How to Become a Social Media Influencer on Instagram


Becoming a Social Media Influencer is easier then it sounds, in fact, anyone can do it! Influencing products online has become very popular all over the world. Who wouldn't want to get free products, or even get paid for posting on Instagram? Social Media Influencing has allowed Dev and I to travel all around the world and work from home. It has also given us so many opportunities -- from free resort stays to living in numerous places. It has also given us the opportunity to consult influencers, bloggers, and brands about how to work online! Read more and start getting paid $$$.

How do you Transition your Personal Page to a Business Page?
This first step is optional. Many influencers like to switch to a business page because brands will look at you more seriously when you reach out to them asking to work together. Also when you switch to a business profile you are able to see your stats (audience demographics, impressions, reach, etc.). Also, Instagram just dropped it's Branding Tool this week so brands can keep up with the insights from their creator's content. Soon, every creator will be required to approve this tool on their business page so certain brands can keep tabs on their work. 

In order to have an Instagram business page, you first have to create a Facebook business page. You can check out the Being Summer Lewis page here. When you are setting up your Facebook business page, you'll have to choose what type of page it is (blogger, community, etc). Once you have created your Facebook business page, log into Instagram and turn on your business profile (your Instagram business page will be connected to your Facebook business page). Now you're all set!

How many followers do you need before influencing?
The first goal I give people who want to become Social Media Influencers is to get to 1,000 Instagram followers. I have wrote a few blog posts that talk about how to gain followers, you can check them out here. 1,000 followers combined with posting high quality photos, a great bio, and maybe even a website (if you are a blogger or youtuber), will show brands that you would be a great fit to influence their products. Your next goal is 5,000 followers -- this will make you more appealing to brands and they will be more likely to give you awesome products to feature! For a long term goal, definitely aim for 10,000 followers. Once you hit 10K, you will be able to start getting paid for posting for brands (you can definitely get paid before 10K, but it's a lot harder), and you are also able to have a swipe-up link in your Instagram stories which is something that brands look for as well!

Learn how I gained 10,000 Instagram followers in 5 months here.

How do you find brands to work with?
If you have under 10,000 followers, normally the best way to find brands to work with is by contacting them directly. You will want to directly email them from the contact information they have on their Instagram page. One way you can find brands that work with Influencers is by joining a community or a pod (you can join my community of bloggers here) in order to network with other people in your niche. Take a look at the type of products they are influencing and talk to other people working in the influencing community. You can also email some small shops that you love and ask them if they would be interested in collaborating. A product exchange or offering to do a giveaway in exchange for free product from the brand is a great place to start. Once you have a large following, you can also apply for campaigns on marketing networks -- a third party that connects bloggers with large companies! 

Need help creating a email template or a media kit to send out to brands? BSL Consulting can help you create the best one.

Okay, but how do you get paid from brands to post?
Personally, I think that working for free is always worth it especially when you are starting out. The more experience you have, the more brands are going to want to work with you! I know some bloggers that say they NEVER do product exchanges, and in my opinion I think that shouldn't be the case! Now even at 100K, I still sometimes post for free (I'm working on a nursery room makeover for Aimery, and I didn't ask the brands participating to pay me, because hello, I'll take a free crib for Aimery any day!) Although if you are looking to make a living online, once you get around 10,000 followers you can start working with brands for paid marketing. I didn't start getting paid until around 12,000 followers, but I have some blogging friends that have gotten paid from gigs with 7,000 followers. Don't be afraid to take the jump and contact a brand whenever you think you are ready! After a few rejection emails (okay, a lot!) the first brand I worked with for just a dedicated Instagram post was for $80 and I was SO excited! I had NO idea back then that I would be making Instagram my full time job so soon, but here I am doing it for a living. You can too!

How much should you ask from brands? 
If a brand asks you what your rate is and you are just starting out, a good place to start is $5-$10 for every 1,000 followers. For example, if you have 5,000 followers your rate might be $25-$50, and 10,000 followers would be 50-100$. Up until around 30,000 followers I would always ask what the brand's budget was before giving them my rates. I pretty much always took what their budget was until I honestly got too busy to keep up with my collaborations so I had to stick to my rates. Although I think it is important for influencers to know their worth, I understand that some brands just genuinely can't afford my rate sometimes. And even now, I take products for half my rate all the time, and normally those are the brands I end up working with long term!  I hope this encourages you if you are always getting brands lowering your rate -- it's totally normal and you shouldn't get too disappointed!

What is an affiliate program?
Affiliate programs are an option that many brands will give to influencers when they don't have an up-front budget for marketing. How affiliate programs normally work is the brand will send you free product once or multiple times and there will be a time commitment on how often you need to post. The brand will sometimes also give you a discount code where you will receive a certain percent of the earnings from each product sold using your code (normally 5-20%). Here are a couple examples of affiliate programs I have done in the past:
Exercise Company: They sent me one mat in exchange for three social media posts within a three month time frame, I received an affiliate code that gave me a percent commission for each mat sold.
Beauty Brand: They sent me one beauty product in exchange for at least one social share with an affiliate link. I liked this one the best because I didn't have to worry about posting multiple times unless I wanted too!
I am currently not doing any affiliate programs because I have not found a brand that is a good fit -- plus with my consulting business I truly don't have the time to focus on something else right now! Affiliate programs are a great option for some bloggers and they are definitely worth trying out if you love the brand. 

Are you serious about getting started?
I want to help you work full time on social media. Maybe you are a mother looking to stay home with her babies, or a college student wanting something on the side. Anyone can be a social media influencer and make thousands of dollars from working online. I am passionate about helping beginner influencers/bloggers learn how to create a media kit, contact brands, and everything in between so they can start making money on Instagram TODAY! In one consulting session, I will make a plan for you to start working full time on social media. Check out everything you need to know about BSL Consulting here.