Scalefluence – 12 Things Big Money Instagram Influencers Do Better Than Most

Published: September 20, 2021 Updated: March 7, 2021

Social media influencers such as instagram influencers rarely become rich and famous by chance. Some lucky people fall backwards into fame, usually people who are attractive and do interesting things, who are famous, or connected in some way to someone famous. They may not start with a plan, but they usually find a focus for their instagram accounts that their audience responds to.

For some influential people, romancing an audience just comes instinctively. Others need to make a detailed plan. If you want to build your audience, boost your engagement rates, and attract more sponsors, here’s how influencer marketing celebrities get -and keep- attention.

 

Here’s what you’ll learn:

1. Find a Niche

2. Understand Your Value

3. Stage Your Photos

4. Bare Your Soul

5. Time Your Posts

6. Track Everything

7. Go Live

8. Hashtag Wisdom

9. Crosspost on Social Media Channels

10. Tag Others

11. Encourage Shares

12 How to Connect with Brand Sponsors

1. Find a Niche

If your goal is to monetize, you’ll need to identify a niche and grow your audience (more about audience later). Popular niche industries include fashion, fitness, beauty, food, and travel. And these are all great subjects, but the competition is unbelievable. Some highly successful influencers choose a more narrow niche, like street food or plus-size fashion.

Tess Holliday is a plus-size model, makeup expert, and a star in the body positivity arena. While she may not represent what comes to mind when most people think “beauty influencer,” her fearless approach to life and raw honesty have earned her more than 2 million followers.

Making big women feel good about themselves is not for everybody, but influencers like Tess recognized a growing interest and cashed in big on a growing trend. The vast majority of successful instabloggers post content about specific things. They may include random photos now and then, but the bulk of their account will be filled with photos and comments on point with a carefully crafted persona.

To be profitable, your niche should be:

  • Authentic to you – look for a natural fit. You should be able to find a target audience for anything you’re interested in.
  • Affordable – Attracting sponsors can take a while. Can you sustain your topic focus until cash starts rolling in?
  • Something sponsors look for – Your passion might be hummingbirds, but is the bird feeder industry hiring influencers? Find out what type of content industries and types of businesses usually hire influencers, and try to find the sweet spot between your interests and potential industry interest. Try tying your love of hummingbirds into, for example, traveling to exotic locales.

2. Understand Your Value

Not every influencer is a Kardashian with millions of followers. Categories of influencers include nanoinfluencers who typically have fewer than 10,000 highly engaged followers can make more than $30,000 per year. The next step is microinfluencers, with 10,000 to 50,000 followers. They are typically offered a couple thousand bucks per post, and can easily make upwards of $40k per year.

The real instasuperstars with followers numbering close to a million (or more), can truly cash in. They are typically paid at least $10,000 per post, and those with a massive audience in the millions can collect up to $250,000 per post. But try not to get carried away with unrealistic goals. People in this category are usually either famous, famous-adjacent (Kim K’s BFF), or insanely talented. Shoot for nanoinfluencer and try to get some good press.

3. Stage Your Photos

Ordinary photos won’t grab attention. To compete, your photos need to be perfectly composed and staged, well lit, and interesting. Even celebrities stage their photos to add drama and flair.

You may not wear an evening gown to play tennis, but you can set your stage for a great photo with props, settings, and clothing.

For consistently great photos, pay attention to every detail:

  • Subject – What’s the point of your photo? Make whatever you’re trying to communicate the star of the show. Your photo should speak to your audience, even if it’s a closeup expression to convey a mood
  • Pose – if you’re in the shot, make it artsy. Check any self-consciousness at the door. It’s not about how attractive you are, it’s more about your confidence. The standards of beauty are constantly evolving, and the current trend is to embrace who you are.
  • Lighting – Bad lighting is a photo-killer. Chances are your mobile phone has a great camera; many of today’s built-in cameras are smaller format Hollywood studio quality. You’ve seen commercials shot with iPhones and the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is advertising 8K video quality. So you probably don’t need any special equipment beyond what’s in your pocket, with the exception of good lighting. If you’re shooting outside, it’s about timing. Grabbing that good light while it lasts. Inside, you may need to invest in a little equipmen
  • Composition – Look for balance, so your photo isn’t weirdly lopsided or deeply shaded on one side and light on the other. Your foreground image doesn’t have to be centered, but it should fit within the overall composition for a nicely balanced look.
  • Color – Consider the color combination created by everything in the frame. Even a chaotic mess can be fun and attractive with good staging.
  • Crispness – Fuzzy photos look amateurish and don’t often intrigue viewers. Make sure you get good quality shots with tight focus.

Together, these details add up to a story. In Serena Williams’ story, we see power, grace, beauty, glamour, family, love, and the thing that made her a household name – tennis. With a side helping of whimsy, because “let’s put on princess dresses and play tennis” seems like a great idea dreamed up by a preschooler.

4. Bare Your Soul

The most popular photos make viewers feel something powerful, whether it’s happiness, nostalgia, sadness, desire, or hunger (everybody loves food porn).

Internet fame often comes with a price. Emotion is complicated, and internet users can forget that real people are behind every internet personality. When you put your personal life on display, you may get unexpected responses. While it might be hurtful, responses to a mean comment can help you assess how well you’re doing with your target audience. Ideally, fans will rush to your defense. Seasoned social media pros turn criticism into an opportunity to connect with their core viewers.

As a supermodel married to the great John Legend, Chrissy Teigan isn’t your everyday lifestyle influencer. When she posted a heartbreaking photo after she miscarried, many of the comments were horrible. That might have been enough to break some people. Not her. As the story circulated, her follower count grew, and so did the outpouring of love and support. Undaunted, she continues to post emotional, real life photos.

5. Time Your Posts

The bad news: There’s no definitive time that’’s best to post. The answer depends on your audience. The good news is that you can try different types of content at different times of day and look for response patterns. Which leads us to the next tip:

6. Track Everything

Post new content often and track the time and day when you get the highest number, and the type of content that attracts the highest engagement. When it comes to social media, followers aren’t the only measure of worth. Potential investors in your brand want to see engagement. With Instagram experimenting with hiding likes per post, you may not be able to depend on that metric in the future. Try to build more engagement by responding to comments (be clever!) and posting branded content people will want to share.

7. Go Live

It may push your comfort zone, but a face-to-face conversation with followers builds relationships and lets followers get to know you better. Before you go live, use social media to announce the time, date, and what you want to talk about or demonstrate. Whether you’re giving a makeup tutorial, financial advice, or telling a funny story about your kids, your audience loves to participate. Going live lets them ask questions, laugh along, and make comments.

8. Hashtag Wisdom

Hashtags are surprisingly powerful ways to put your blog content in front of a completely random audience. Would you expect a violinist to have almost 9,000 views? I didn’t. (she’s amazing)

9. Crosspost on Social Media Channels

As you know, Instagram isn’t the only influencer marketing program. You’ll grow your following faster if you push it out across various social media channels. Rather than use the same wording -or worse, generic words like “check out my latest post on Instagram” (YUCK)- write a series of enticing intros for different social media channels. Here are a few examples to intro a fictional food blogger’s photo of a dessert:

  • Luscious,decadent, and so much better than sex. #foodporn #cake #chocolate #chocolatecake
  • I have died and gone to food lover paradise. Dessert does not get better than this. #foodporn #cake #chocolate #chocolatecake
  • Cross this one off my bucket list. I found the perfect dessert. #foodporn #cake #chocolate #chocolatecake
  • Can someone nominate Chef Smith for the Nobel Peace Prize? This cake may be the answer to world peace. #foodporn #cake #chocolate #chocolatecake

10. Tag Others

Thank a restaurant for a good meal, a hotel for a nice stay, mention friends, or tag another blogger who inspired you. By tagging others, you may be able to engage a wider audience of like-minded folks who are interested in your content. You can even form influencer partnerships with bloggers like you to share adventures, comment and share each other’s content, and even stage a limited-time takeover.

And, of course, be sure to tag any brand you’re interested in representing. Anything you eat, wear, or drive, anywhere you stay or visit, including cities, towns, and national parks can be potential influencer fodder. If you have a great shot that showcases a product, you may get the brand’s attention, which will help spread your fame and put you on their influencer radar.

11. Encourage Shares

Instabloggers use all kinds of incentives to encourage shares. You might offer a sample of your wares, for example a makeup blogger might offer a live online makeover for a fan who shares and tags you, a travel blogger might send a silly souvenir to a random responder, or a pastry chef might offer a free dessert now and then to followers who comment. People love swag, whether it’s a $5 Eiffel Tower keychain, handmade cookies, or a personalized ringtone sung by a musician they love. If you share a passion, any kind of reward is usually a hit.

12. How to Connect with Brand Sponsors

Finally, the most important thing instafamous people do is connect. As with any other job, there’s a marketplace where you can connect directly with industry sponsors looking for influencers like you. And guess what? You’re already here. If you’re an original content creator with an audience of at least 5,000 engaged followers, you might already be the perfect influencer for a brand seeking someone exactly like you. Sign up today and explore the possibilities!

Recent Articles

Categories

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons