Blogging Tips

How to Become an Instagram Influencer in 5 Steps

November 26, 2018
How to become a social media Influencer

Have you ever wondered how you can start receiving free products or compensation in exchange for posting content? How do you become an Instagram Influencer and start working with your favorite brands on social media?

Instead of paying for other forms of advertisement, brands invest in Bloggers and/or Content Creators to get their products in front of more people. You don’t need a huge following to become an Influencer. If anything, micro-influencers are becoming popular for brand promotion since their audience is more engaged.

A micro-influencer can have as little as 1,000 followers on social media. However, anyone can start working with brands if they have something valuable to offer, whether it’s having the target audience they’re looking for or good-quality content.

If this is something you’re interested in doing, you can follow these 5 steps to become an Instagram Influencer and build an engaged following that’ll start attracting more brands to your page.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.


How to Become an Instagram Influencer

Define Your Niche

A niche is a topic that your platforms focus on. Narrowing down your niche will help you determine who your target audience is and what type of content to create. You want to fill a specific need and answer questions people may have about a certain topic. There are a variety of niches to choose from such as:

  • Beauty
  • Wellness
  • Travel
  • Motherhood
  • Mental Health
  • Blogging Tips

Think about what you’re interested in talking about consistently and whether or not people are looking for answers within the niche you choose.

Here’s an example: My niche is focused on clean beauty, wellness, and blogging tips. My target audience contains women who want to learn how to take care of their natural hair and skin while keeping their mental health in a good space. It also contains Content Creators who want to monetize their influence and build a successful brand.

As you continue on your journey, you may expand your niche as I did and discuss multiple topics. There’s nothing wrong with that! Slowly incorporate new topics and watch how your audience reacts to them.

Create Quality Content

A black woman sitting on a bed while holding a Canon camera to her face

If you want to become an Instagram Influencer, you want to start creating good-quality content.

The quality of your content can attract brands to your platforms and inspire comments from your audience. Brands will start to notice you and show interest in a partnership if you create good-quality content. You don’t have to invest in a professional camera! Although it’s a great upgrade, you can start with what you already have and still put out amazing work.

I had an iPhone 6S Plus when I started my page and my quality wasn’t the best, however, I was able to grow my audience and improve my skills over time to enhance my content. After one year, I bought my first camera and invested in equipment that would make creating quality content easier.

A ring light is a great purchase to make if you want to improve your quality. The first one I bought was budget-friendly and still got the job done. I love that it gave plenty of light, had different brightness settings, and came with everything I needed to take pictures and record videos easier. You can find it below on Amazon:

After a while, I upgraded my lighting and bought the Neewer Ring Light Kit and Softbox Lights. Check out the blog post below to find more equipment to invest in on your journey!

Related Post: 16 Gift Ideas for Bloggers and Content Creators

Grow Your Following + Engagement

Follower count isn’t the most important, however, you need enough followers to get noticed by most brands. A micro-influencer can have as little as 1,000 followers, therefore, that would be a great starting point.

You can grow your following by creating valuable content that provides a solution to a problem. Using good hashtags, following similar pages within your niche, and engaging with others will attract your target audience to your page. You want to build a following that will engage with your content consistently!

Having an audience that regularly engages and resonates with your content will increase your chances of being noticed by brands. Engagement can be in the form of likes, comments, shares, and saves. Creating sharable, valuable content will spark engagement and help you get to know what your audience wants to see from you.

Here are some ways you can improve your engagement:

  • Write captions that educate/entertain
  • Respond to your comments
  • Focus on building genuine connections
  • Respond to your DM’s

You want to get to know your audience and build lasting connections. This will lead people to continuously show up for you and trust your recommendations. Having the trust of your audience will come in handy when brands want you to promote their products.

Related Post: How to Increase Engagement Organically on Instagram

Post Your Favorite Products

In the beginning, you can’t expect to get paid immediately. You have to get your foot in the door and give brands a reason to partner with you. It’s great to focus on establishing brand affinity.

Brand affinity means that you’re a regular supporter of a company. You’ve been using their products for a while and purchase them using your own money. Start posting about your favorite products and tag the brand(s) in the photo.

Brands love to see when an Influencer talks about their products organically. This will show that you’re genuinely interested and put you on their radar. Those same brands may want to work with you in the future. My first paid campaign was with a brand I already supported and loved!

Although you’ll be creating this content for free, you have to start somewhere. When you’re ready to work with brands, you’ll be able to refer back to this organic content and show how well it performed.

Pitch to Brands

After you have worked on building your following and engagement, you’re in the position to start reaching out to brands. I know this sounds scary, however, you can’t expect to get anything if you don’t ask for it!

Don’t sit back and wait for brands to reach out to you for a partnership. You have to stand out from the crowd by putting yourself on their radar.

Before you pitch to a brand, you want to have an idea of what you can offer. What value can you bring that would make the partnership successful? Do you have the target audience they’re looking for? Are you viewed as an expert in your niche and know your audience trusts your recommendations?

I’d recommend pitching to small/medium-sized brands first. It may be easier to work with brands closer to your size in the beginning. This will help you grow and gain more experience when you’re ready to start working with bigger brands in the future. Remember, you have to start somewhere!

Related Post: How to Confidently Pitch Yourself to Brands


I used to believe that you had to be popular on social media to become an Instagram Influencer, however, that’s not the case.

Everyone has something unique to offer through their content, and sharing your voice with the world will help you stand out. If you’re passionate about creating, follow these steps to start your journey and build your personal brand!

You can’t expect massive growth overnight. Also, don’t compare your journey to someone else’s. Continue to stay consistent with putting out good-quality, valuable content, and forming genuine connections.

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24 Comments

  • Reply Tonya November 26, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    This was a great read full of good advice and tips! Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply naturally_madisen November 26, 2018 at 1:55 pm

      Thank you sis! ♥️

  • Reply Shauna November 26, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    I really enjoyed this Madisen a very good read

    • Reply Madisen November 26, 2018 at 7:40 pm

      Thank you for reading love!

  • Reply Dee Johnson November 26, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    Nice blog. I have seen a lot of growth since following you!! Keep pushing and keep the great content coming ?.

    • Reply naturally_madisen November 26, 2018 at 10:39 pm

      Thank you! That means a lot! ♥️♥️

  • Reply Tanya November 27, 2018 at 1:59 am

    This was a great read! I am definitely interested in becoming a natural hair influence. I have been wanting to do something in this area for a long time. Some brands that I would like to work with are Not Your Mother’s Naturals, Shea Moisture, As I Am, Garnier Fructis, Kinky Kurly, Deva Curl, Rizos Curls, Maui Moisture, and a few others. I think I have a good base to start. I am overwhelmed with how the curly community has grown and I want to be part of that! Thank you for all of this info. I hope that we will be in touch soon!

    Sincerely your curly friend,
    Tanya Tucker
    @tanyatucker5

    • Reply Madisen November 27, 2018 at 2:53 pm

      Thank you for reading!! Sounds like you already have some goals in mind! You will be able to do it, just like I did ? You’re welcome!

  • Reply Stevie December 1, 2018 at 9:59 am

    This was a great read and you gave great tips!!

    • Reply Madisen December 1, 2018 at 10:05 pm

      Thank you for reading! ♥️

  • Reply Stella December 4, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Really nice blog Madisen really great points and advice..

  • Reply Brittany M December 11, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    Hi Madisen! I really enjoyed reading this, and I’m looking forward to the series, especially more details about how to grow your following and pitch yourself to brands. You are such an INSPIRATION ? keep up the awesome work!

    • Reply Madisen December 12, 2018 at 11:55 am

      Hey love! Awe thank you so much for reading! I really appreciate that. You’re so sweet!

  • Reply McMurrayStyles December 28, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this article it was very informative!
    – McMurrayStyles

    • Reply Madisen December 30, 2018 at 8:32 pm

      Thank you love for reading!

  • Reply Lebo L June 11, 2020 at 11:37 pm

    I enjoyed reading this Madisen and it is very informative. Thank you for sharing

    • Reply Madisen June 12, 2020 at 4:59 am

      Thank you for reading and I’m glad it’s helpful! You’re welcome ❤️

  • Reply TeRasha Holmes June 23, 2020 at 10:57 pm

    This information was really helpful. It’s just the getting started part !
    Thank you.

    • Reply Madisen June 24, 2020 at 10:57 pm

      I’m glad it was helpful! You’re welcome.

  • Reply Pao & Jo December 5, 2020 at 1:42 am

    Thank you… I feel more confident to promote my business

    • Reply Madisen December 5, 2020 at 2:09 am

      I’m glad to hear that! Thank you for reading ❤️

  • Reply Ticara January 27, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    I’m an aspiring influencer. Your tips are so helpful and informative. 🙌🏽

    • Reply Madisen January 30, 2021 at 3:50 am

      I’m glad to hear that my tips are helpful! Thank you for reading ❤️

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