How to become a successful Instagram influencer organically

David Banks
Authored by David Banks
Posted Saturday, June 5, 2021 - 6:40am

If you would want to be an Instagram influencer or you are wondering how to steadily build your Instagram followers then, read this article to the very end. You will get simple and result-proven steps you can start practicing today.

Attracting a buzz of followers to your social media account is not as difficult as it looks if you know the buttons to press and you are willing to put in the work. Prior to now, influence marketing was only limited to popular celebrities, musicians, public figures and bloggers but now, anyone with a good following on social media can be an influencer.

Wherever you are on your Instagram journey, whether in the hundreds, the thousands or hundreds of thousands or you are just getting started, there is always room to grow your followers and take a bigger share of the Instagram pie.

Since its creation in 2010, Instagram has no doubt experienced a steady and massive global growth. With 815 million active monthly users as of 2019 and a 1.2 billion users forecast by 2023 by Statista, Instagram is maintaining its position as a part of top social media platforms changing the world for a long time.

Just in case you have heard the term ‘Influencer marketing' so much but you really do not know what it means. Here is a quick definition;

Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing or testimonial advertising where individuals with substantial followers and social trust also known as influencers promote, endorse products and brands to their audience for a form of remuneration. Influencer marketing is often employed to improve brand awareness, reach new target audiences, and increase sales conversion.

Who is an Influencer?

At the crux of the matter, true influencers have influence not just a large number of followers (though a higher following may attract a higher pay). Alongside, a dedicated number of followers often starting from 1000, here are a some must-have before a person or an account can be considered worthy to bear the tag ”influencer”

  • Must be considered as an expert or thought-leader within a particular niche or field
  • Must have a high amount of established credibility and reputation with your followers
  • Must be able to influence followers to quantifiable actions or affect the buying habits or decision of substantial number of followers

 Now that we have that cleared out, let’s get started!

Step-by-step process to becoming an Instagram influencer

Creating a Niche

Talking to everyone is talking to no one. You have to decide on a niche before you take any step towards creating any content. To choose a niche, consider the following;

  • What are you passionate about or comes naturally to you?
  • What is your personality type?
  • What is your knowledge level and the resources within your reach concerning that niche?
  • What part of your life can you freely share and create content around?
  • What pain point would you like to address?
  • What can you easily create content for without any hassle?

Whatever the angle you choose to take to discover your content niche, always remember that the riches in the niches. It is very important that you define your target audience from the onset so you can attract the right audience, brands and sponsorship later on.

Develop a Content Strategy

Now that you have clearly defined your niche, creating a content plan for your target audience is the next most important thing.

  • Rule number one for creating content for your audience is to always deliver value in whatever form. Whether it is humor, information, education, engagement or addressing a particular pain point of your audience, always make use of offering something to keep people visiting your page.
  • Don’t be afraid to explore different content formats. Today's users are fully saturated with what they see. Try to make the original wow effect for the viewers!
  • Use high-quality pictures, beautiful designs and great videos. The esthetic characteristics of what you post are of great importance definitely.
  • Write engaging captions that your followers can relate with. The readers should feel that you are on one wave.
  • Speak the language of your audience and use the right messaging tone. It will help to build confident relationships.

Create an Aesthetically Appealing feed

One of key things to notice on any influencer’s grid is a consistent timeline, aesthetic theme or content pillar. Making your IG feed appealing would involve planning your content ahead; planning your photo shoots way ahead of time if necessary. Don’t just choose a theme because it is the “in thing” but do what works for you. Clarity of communication and consistency is important above all. From your bio to the last post on your page, be clear on who you are, what you do and what you offer.

Develop a Hashtag Strategy

Research and follow hashtags that are relevant to your niche and use different sets of hashtags relevant to each post. This helps to boost your following and grow your audience organically. Follow other content creators in your niche for inspiration, collaboration and engagement.

Be Consistent

Ever heard the story of the well digger who started digging his well yesterday only to return 2 weeks later to meet hole he dug covered up? Moral of the story? Nature abhors vacuum. You must stay consistent if you want to stand out in the crowded field of Instagram.  Commit to a specific time to post daily, weekly or every other day that fits your schedule. As important as planning and scheduling is, it is also great to introduce spontaneity to your content.

Create Content for People not for the Algorithm

While growing your following is the goal, do not forget to always establish human connection with your audience. Build, create and connect for people not just for the algorithm. There is no way you can build trust and influence with your followers if you do not connect with them on a personal level. Engage with your audience and with their content. People do not really care how much you know until they know how much you care.

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Collaborate with other Influencers

One of the fastest ways to grow your brand as an influencer is to leverage on the knowledge, skill and audience of other influencers and content creators while offering value and mutually profitable partnerships. Organize IG LIVES, guest posts; offer collaboration in exchange for them to share your post to their audience and think of other creative ways to collaborate. This helps you to build credibility with an established audience, your own audience and also with future brands. You can also join influencer networks to learn, collaborate and build legitimacy.

Stay up-to-date

Even as you grow your following on Instagram, it is important to stay up to date on all the new features, trends and updates in your niche to remain relevant to your target audience and on the social media platform. Sign up to newsletters that give you updates on the field of social media marketing.

Stay Committed to your Growth Online and Offline

Influence and visibility comes with responsibility, so also does a large following on social media. Stay true to your brand, protect your reputation and keep creating awesome content. It’s easy to get distracted once your followers start to increase, but you must keep growth as a focus. As the brand sponsorship starts rolling in, remember to keep learning, diversifying and growing. It has more pay rewards in the long run.

Be Authentic

While buying followers is a quick way to grow your followers and earn the influencer badge, growing your influencer career organically is often the best approach. According to an article published on Forbes, Influencer fraud continues to be a top issue. Many consumers are becoming savvier at spotting paid influencer campaigns and have no issue with ignoring a brand or influencer that proves to be inauthentic. Beyond the numbers, many brands now fully vet influencers for the authenticity of their followers and only partner with those who have demonstrated professionalism and affinity for the brand in order to ensure brand safety. More and more brands are on the lookout for long-term partnerships and brand ambassadorship with influencers rather than one-offs.

How long does it take to become an Influencer on Instagram?

Building a dedicated IG following and social media influence is a long haul project that requires creativity, consistency and hard work. If you work out the steps listed above, you are well on your way to an outstanding profile. There is no hard and fast rule or duration arched in stone to achieve say 10,000 followers. Set milestones every month and work to achieve them.

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How Much Can I Earn as an Influencer?

As great as having a large following Instagram does not pay you for having a large number of active users rather brands pay you for putting up posts and endorsing products. The pay could be based on the KPIS achieved or based on the number of followers based on an established price rate. Influencers with as high as one million followers earn up to $10000 dollars per upload. Once you have a substantial number of followers, you can reach out to a brand that fits your style, represents your value and above all, falls within your niche or has what your target audience needs. When starting out, you do not have to go for just monetary remuneration. You can accept the brand’s product and other forms of payment to get experience and build your confidence. The gig becomes bigger as your followers become bigger.


2021 is still a good time to be an Instagram influencer with more brands collaborating with both micro and nano influencers for more performance-based results and relying on IG influencing to power social ecommerce and drive sales. It is a great way to earn a steady income even full time once you are ready to put in the work required. Asides YouTube, other social media platforms like TIK TOK and Clubhouse are fast taking the influencer content route with the upsurge of viral and highly shareable content as seen all through 2020. Prioritize social media metrics and analytics right from day one to build social proof. Do not forget to document your journey and have fun while you grow.

Read through this article again if you need to and let’s know your key take-home or how you have been dominating your Instagram game. What simple things can you begin to do today to grow your influence on Instagram?

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