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How to Become an Instagram Influencer? (13-step Guide)

Ready to reach influencer status on Instagram, but aren’t sure where to begin or how to execute your vision? We’ve got you covered! Welcome to our step-by-step guide to how to become an Instagram influencer.
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How To Become an Instagram Influencer
Table of Contents

Believe it or not, you can become an influencer on Instagram by following 13 simple steps. By breaking down the process into actionable tasks in this way, you’ll find that achieving your dream is easier and more realistic than ever.

Let’s begin!

Step #1: Identify Your Niche

Before you can start promoting yourself, and even before you can start creating content, you must identify your niche. This will be the bedrock of your entire influencer career and inform all your marketing strategies going forward. 

So, what is a niche? It’s whatever topic, industry, or subject matter that you intend to focus on when developing and releasing content on Instagram. 

For example, if you want to be a beauty influencer, then your posts should mostly cover beauty tutorials, reviews, hauls, and news. The same goes for tech, lifestyle, fashion, cooking, and literally any other niche you can think of.

You’re not necessarily limited to just one niche, however. For example, some influencers post about beauty, lifestyle, and health and wellness.

But whatever niche(s) you choose, make sure that you are either an expert in it or have a huge passion for exploring it for the long term. Since you’re going to build your entire reputation around it, you want it to be something you like and are interested in!

Step #2: Optimize Your Bio

Next, optimize your bio, so that users who find your profile know what you’re about and where else to find you on the internet. This step will also help your account rank higher in search results. 

When you optimize your bio, focus on including keywords that describe who you are and what kind of content you make. Remember that you only have 150 characters at your disposal, so every word needs to count.

For example, let’s say you’re an influencer who reviews computers and other gadgets. In that case, you may want to write in your bio something like, “I’m a tech expert who reviews gadgets” or “Tech gadgets influencer.”

Another important element of your bio that you should add is a hyperlink to your website or your Instagram Shop (if you have one; you’ll need to convert your account type to Business before you can set one up). Then, to make your bio stand out, incorporate different fonts using an Instagram font generator. Add a couple of eye-catching emojis, as well. 

Finally, when it comes to your profile picture, choose one of you or of your brand logo. Don’t use a stock photo, as this will make your account look inauthentic and fake.

Step #3: Create Engaging Content

Once your Instagram bio is optimized, it’s time to start uploading engaging content. 

When crafting your posts, think about how you can make them engaging – that is, how you can make them grab people’s attention and make them want to interact. 

Ask yourself what value you want your posts to provide to your followers, and what they can contribute to your niche as a whole. Most often, you’ll be more successful in getting users to stop and view your posts if you approach content creation with a desire to make it educational, entertaining, or impactful in some way. This is what will make them want to stop scrolling and engage.

Step #4: Post Regularly

Establishing a regular and consistent posting schedule will benefit you in several ways. 

First, it will ensure that you always have fresh content flowing onto the platform. 

Second, the more regularly your post, the more your audience will see your content, remember who you are, and engage. 

And Third, the Instagram algorithm is more likely to reward influencers who regularly upload new posts by pushing their content out to more users. Posting regularly, then, is one of the keys to helping you grow your reach and achieve influencer status.

Step #5: Focus on Being Authentic

When you’re creating content and being active on Instagram, focus on being as authentic as possible. 

To do that, make a point not to lie, exaggerate, or stretch the truth just to sell a product or an idea. Don’t deceive your audience by constantly altering the reality of your content with filters and effects. And don’t stage every one of your photos and pretend that they were unplanned or natural; your viewers are smart and will see right through that facade.

You’ll be more popular if you be yourself rather than inventing a persona. Eventually, that persona will crumble and fade, but you will always be important and relevant.

Step #6: Utilize Your Hashtags Strategically

Hashtags are critical to helping you expand your presence on the platform and reach more people. 

But some influencers include as many hashtags as possible in their captions under the mistaken assumption that the more they use, the more people will see their posts. 

In reality, you’ll have a lot more success if you are strategic about the way you utilize your hashtags. 

For example, use hashtags that are the most relevant to your content and that users are likely to search for. You can research which keywords fall into these categories by using a keyword research tool, or by typing potential key terms that you think you might want to use into the Instagram search bar. That way, you can see how many people are posting those hashtags and if they’re popular or not.

Finally, use only 3-5 hashtags per post. That way, you won’t dilute your reach by overloading your caption with irrelevant hashtags. Plus, if you use too many, you may get mistaken for a spam account!

Step #7: Leverage Stories and Reels

As you’re creating content for Instagram, don’t forget that you have two other types of posts you can leverage in addition to the regular kind: Stories and Reels. 

Both Stories and Reels have their own separate feeds on Instagram. Thus, by leveraging those, you’ll have a total of three different areas of the app you can spread your content. You’ll be able to tap into four groups of users: the ones who just scroll their feed, who prefer viewing Stories, who scroll the Reels tab, and who like a combination of all three. It’s a win-win-win!

Step #8: Engage With Your Audience

To grow your followers and build a fanbase that will raise you to the level of an influencer, you must engage with your audience. This will make them feel important and valued, so that they remain loyal to you and build a cult following around you. 

There are a lot of different ways you can do this, and you may have to adapt your strategy as you grow. But in the beginning, try these strategies:

  • Include CTAs in your Stories, Reels, and captions.
  • Ask leading questions and spark conversations and debates in your comment section.
  • Reply and react to users’ comments on your posts.
  • Pin your favorite comment from another user to the top of your post.
  • Hold a giveaway and use a giveaway picker tool to select a winner from your comment section.
  • Hold polls in your Stories.
  • Involve your followers in content creation by asking them what they want to see from your account in the future.
  • Shout out to your followers and thank them for their support in a dedicated post, Story, or Reel.

No matter how far you go as an Instagram influencer, remember that your followers are a crucial aid on your journey. Without them, you can’t be successful.

Step #9: Collaborate and Network

As an Instagram influencer, you’re not alone on a desert island. Instead, you’re a resident of a bustling megalopolis along with hundreds of thousands, if not millions of other creators. 

Rather than view them as competitors, take the opportunity to collaborate and network. Not only will this strategy help you establish a great reputation for working well with others, but it will also help you expose your content to more people who are interested in your niche.

When reaching out to influencers and brands to ask about a potential collaboration or just to make a connection, be sure to contact them via their preferred method. Some prefer a DM, whereas others would respond better to a professional email sent to their business email address.

Step #10: Monetize Your Influence

As your influence grows, you can extend it out even more – and simultaneously turn your Instagram career into a profitable business venture – by monetizing it. 

Instagram offers several different avenues for making money from your content, including:

  • Joining affiliate marketing programs
  • Recording live streams and receiving paid badges from fans
  • Setting up subscriptions for fans to access exclusive content
  • Partnering with brands for sponsored posts
  • Enabling ads on your Reels

Monetizing your influence will also help you improve your account with more expensive and ambitious content. In this way, you can even say that earning money on Instagram as an influencer is critical to the continuance of your career.

Step #11: Limit Your Sponsored Content

Even though you can make hundreds or even thousands of dollars when you post sponsored content, we recommend you limit it. 

Remember how we talked about the importance of authenticity earlier? If all your posts are sponsored and promoting some type of product or service, there’s a good chance that you’ll lose the confidence of many of your fans. They want to see you and your work, not an endless feed of ads.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t have sponsored posts, period! Just ensure that they don’t take up the majority of your content. 

To that end, it may help to be selective about who you partner with. Try to only collaborate with brands that you believe in and feel confident in recommending to your followers. This will help you build trust in your audience rather than tearing it down.

Step #12: Upgrade To a Business Account

As you scale your follower count upward into the thousands, take your influencer journey to the next stage by upgrading to a Business account. With this, you can set up your own Instagram Shop with your products and add it to your profile. You can also add more contact details, including a physical address, which will give fans and brand sponsors more ways to reach you.

Step #13: Analyze and Adjust

The last step is one you’ll want to repeat at every stage of growth for your Instagram account. Being able to analyze and adjust your strategies will help you advance higher and higher toward your goals. If, on the other hand, you’re inflexible and intractable in clinging to techniques that aren’t working, you will quickly fall behind. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Followers Will Make Me an Influencer?

You are considered a nano influencer, which is the lowest tier of influencers, if you have more than 100 and fewer than 10,000 followers.

Is Quality or Quantity of Instagram Content More Important?

Quality is more important for Instagram content. Remember that posts are a dime a dozen, but great posts that provide real value and authenticity are rarer.

What is the Best Way To Approach Brands To Collaborate?

The best way to approach brands is to reach out to them via their business email or whichever contact method they prefer. This information will often be listed on their profile bio.

Do I Need To Have Professional Equipment To Create Instagram Content?

No. You can create amazing Instagram content using only a smartphone with a good camera and a handful of inexpensive tools, like a portable microphone and a free video editing software.

Are There Any Laws or Legal Considerations I Should Know of As an Instagram Influencer?

The most important law to be aware of is copyright. You should never use sound, music, photos, or video footage that belongs to someone else without their permission. Three copyright strikes will get you banned from the platform.

How Much Money Do Instagram Influencers Earn?

Depending on how many followers they have and how popular they are, Instagram influencers can earn anywhere from $900 per sponsored post to over $1,000,000 per post.

How Much Money Does Instagram Pay Influencers For 1K Followers?

Influencers with 1000 followers can make up to $901 per post.

At One Point Should I Start Monetizing My Instagram Content?

You should start monetizing your Instagram content when you are able to maintain a large (more than 1K) and loyal follower base and have established yourself as an authentic and prolific content creator.

How Can I Stay Up To Date with Instagram’s Algorithm and Features Which are Always Changing?

The best way to stay up to date with changes to Instagram’s algorithm and features is to follow Instagram’s official social media accounts. You can also keep coming back to the Viralyft blog.


Becoming an Instagram influencer is more achievable if you know what steps to take. Refer to our guide as you commence your journey and spread your unique voice across the app!

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