Getting Started: What You Need to Make It As An Instagram Influencer

On Creating Your Brand

Ask Yourself, ‘What Do I Want to be Known For?’

“Creating a personal brand and aesthetic is a process that I believe looks different for everyone. One key thing to start that process however is, ‘What do I want to be known for?’. When I started my Instagram and blog a few years ago, my posts were heavily food and recipe based, with fashion and lifestyle sprinkled in. As I began to grow, however,  I always caught myself thinking, ‘I’m not just into food, I like a lot of other things just as much.’. Now, my feed is based on fashion, food, and lifestyle. In this way, I feel like I’m free to post about things I’m passionate about, without being stuck in one specific category.” - Katerina, @katerinaseigel

Katerina’s Instagram is a mixture of things she’s passionate about from food to fashion.

Make it Cohesive

“The most important thing is to be true to yourself. Find what speaks to you and stick with it. Think of colors and other mediums that inspire you. For me, I try to incorporate nature into most of my posts since I grew up in colorful Colorado. After you establish your ‘style’, you can try new things, but stick with the core of what makes you, you." - Lauren, @bohemianbythebay

Lauren incorporates warm, natural color schemes to tie her images together.

On Creating Content

Organization is Key

“You want to stay organized and plan out content ahead of time. I use a life planner, and also a dry erase board that I can see at all times in my office. Organization is important with anything you do, but especially when you are running your own business and blog.” - Stephanie, @bohemiancrown

Find a Method That Works for You

“I use Google Sheets for my content calendar! I simply plan out the months and each column is a date and each line is a platform. There are a lot of good templates online to help with this! I also plan at least a month in advance.” - Lauren, @bohemianbythebay
“To organize my content I use UNUM.. it has been really helpful and totally free.” - Indah, @indaheart

Side Bar: Here at Obviously we LOVE Preview - it’s super user friendly and  doubles as an editing app!

On Building a (Legit) Following

Don’t Turn to Buying

“I know that it’s hard to grow your Instagram following organically nowadays, but I believe that if you constantly providing your audience with quality content and engage with them your following will grow.” - Indah, @indaheart

Engagement is a Must

“While my tactics to build a following have changed a lot over the years, there are some key points that have stayed the same all along. These are being consistent (showing up every day - whether that be in your IG stories, or by posting a photo to your feed), engaging (commenting on others posts, asking questions of your own, or simply by chatting with others via DM), and posting stories. While Instagram stories are fairly new, I’ve seen such a positive response from doing them frequently. I think they are a great way to get to know your followers and show them another side of you.” - Katerina, @katerinaseigel

Be Patient, Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day!

“Patience, time, and hard work! It doesn't always happen overnight! I think I've gained some amazing followers just simply by connecting with them, messaging them, and creating a place for them to feel welcome and inspired! I just do what I do because I wholeheartedly love it, and it amazes me all the amazing people out there who follow along -- It's amazing the world of social media, I've met a few of my very best friends through it!” - Lisa, @lisamarieprang

On Working With Other Creatives

Collaboration Over Competition

“My goal for 2018 is to help spread the love about collaboration instead of competition! All those who are also in the bizz are striving for similar goals, so why not support each other!? Like I said before, I have met some of my bff's on social media! Life is too short not to collaborate and help build up those around you! It's seriously one of my favorite things meeting fellow creatives. We connect so quick and working with those similar to yourself is just a breath of fresh air!” - Lisa, @lisamarieprang
 Lisa making magic with fellow creative Mallory,  @malloryonthemoon

Lisa making magic with fellow creative Mallory, @malloryonthemoon

Get Out There! Join Groups, Networks and Platforms

“I joined a platform called Style Collective over a year ago, and it has opened the doors to so much. The most rewarding part is being able to network with other like minded individuals, and gaining friendships. Meeting up monthly with other creatives to bounce ideas off each other, or just to talk is my jam, and creates a sense of community. It has helped us all to grow, and learn together. If you can join a platform, or get together with local bloggers, I highly suggest it.” - Stephanie, @bohemiancrown

On Scoring Coveted Brand Partnerships

Create High Quality Content  Feat. Your Fave Brands

“I started blogging 4 years ago and honestly had no idea brands, shops, or people would want to work with me! It's such an honor to score a partnership, I honestly still have no idea how I've been able to work with some of the brands that I do! It's amazing! But for how to score one -- I'd say an easier way is to continually post about brands you love, and hopefully and eventually they notice! They come with time!” - Lisa, @lisamarieprang

Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out First

“Don’t be afraid to reach out to anyone. Numbers don’t mean a thing. The more you pitch, the better you’ll get at it. If you get denied by brands you already love, make quality posts featuring them. Try again. Brands love to see that the relationship will be genuine, long-lasting and worthwhile for both parties.” - Kit, @things.sheloves
“I think that a lot of influencers just starting out look at bigger bloggers in their space and think that they just get the brand deals and partnerships handed to them. In my experience, it’s really a 50-50 kind of thing. Just as often as brands reach out to me, I reach out to brands. Every so often, I make a list of brands I love and know I’d like to work with, find their press email, and shoot them a pitch. I outline who I am, what I’d like to do for them, and explain why I’m a good fit. I really believe that pitching yourself and your brand can never hurt. Even if you aren’t a good fit for the brand you’re reaching out to at the time, they just might remember you in the future once your presence grows.” - Katerina, @katerinaseigel
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