How to Become an Instagram Influencer, 15 Easy Ways

By: | January 11, 2020 | Tags: , , , , |
How to become an Instagram Influencer, 14 tips

Do you want to become an Instagram influencer?

Influencers are becoming such a mainstream part of our society the character of a YouTube influencer was recently written into the plot of the television show “The Good Doctor.”

Using an Instagram influencer to promote a brand is an obvious choice.

After all, Instagram is a video and photo-sharing site.

Since Instagram influencers have many followers, brands use influencers to advertise their products in photos or videos.

Therefore, this post will explain how to become an Instagram influencer so you can take advantage of what those opportunities bring. Those opportunities will be revealed in this post.

Do I know how to become an Instagram influencer?

Yes. I have over 80,000 social media followers, and I work with an Instagram influencer. She is a solopreneur, not someone from a top influencer marketing agency.

The post will cover how to become an Instagram influencer and how to get paid to advertise on Instagram.

Are you ready to take a deep dive and learn how to become an Instagram influencer?

What is an Instagram Influencer?

To be an Instagram influencer, you need to follow several criteria:

  • You need to have at least 2% engagement. I’ve read as high as a minimum of 7%. There are easy, free steps you can take to grow your Instagram engagement.
  • You need to have a specific niche. Then, you must create content in that niche.
  • You need to be an industry thought leader. People erroneously believe you have to be a celebrity like Kim Kardashian to be an Instagram influencer. This isn’t true. Even a blogger can become an Instagram influencer.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Instagram

A person who follows the above criteria knows how to become an Instagram influencer.

As a result of the following, the engagement, and the content they produce, the ability to make money is one of the advantages of being an Instagram influencer.

Related: You can use an Instagram engagement rate calculator.

How to Get Paid to Advertise on Instagram

According to digital marketing specialist Codrin Arsene,

“Bloggers and social media influencers with large dedicated followings can charge thousands of dollars per sponsored post, and businesses will pay.”

However, marketing coach Mark Newsome disagrees with the form that compensation takes.

“This is 2019. Not 30 years ago. Barter is incredibly viable today to the tune of billions of dollars worth of transactions annually.

You’d definitely be surprised, at the types of companies, especially the larger ones, and the many professionals who are very pro-actively utilizing some form of barter and or cross promotions.”

My experience supports Mark’s report. For instance, I’ve been offered all sorts of products and premium tools and services in exchange for promoting brands.

For example, I’ve been offered lifetime premium accounts for graphic design tools and video makers.

As you can see, I was even offered tea in exchange for coaching.

I didn’t know how to respond, so I asked Instagrammers for their opinion.

What would you have done? Would you have accepted the tea as compensation for coaching?

Despite the advice of the Instagrammers, I turned down the offer.

Arsene admits, “They may also send you some free stuff in exchange for a post.”

Bartering is the Wave of the Future

Why are influencers paid in products more and more?

There is a definite reason bartering is increasing as a trend:


Since consumers have no way of knowing if influencers actually use the product, seeing the influencer in the photo or video using the product increases trust and confidence, trust in the brand and confidence in the influencer.

This conviction will convince Instagram followers to make purchases. Therefore, marketers who pay influencers with products make more sales.

Did I mention: A brand at offered to pay Instagram influencers with indoor dog grass?

UPDATE April 2020:

A brand offered me free leggings. If I photographed myself wearing them on Instagram and sold any leggings, I’d get 40% of the cost of the leggings.

Any guesses what I said?


According to the Wired blog, the Covid-19 virus affects the status of influencers.

For example, the blog reported one influencer used her status to get a Covid-19 test when others couldn’t. She came under criticism for this.

Also, with photo shoots canceled, influencers have limited ways to “influence.” Whether their careers will rebound after the pandemic passes is anyone’s guess.

Do you still want to become an Instagram influencer?

Read on.

How to Become an Instagram Influencer, 15 Hacks

To become an Instagram influencer, you need to do what a successful Instagram influencer does.

Hack 1: Dress the part in your profile picture.

Look like an influencer. Perception goes a long way on social media. For example, a blazer and slacks might make you look influential.

Hack 2: Strive for an engagement rate of a minimum of between 2% and 7%.

Use an engagement rate calculator to determine your engagement rate.

Hack 3: Pay for Follow Loops.

Follow Loops are actually free.

However, you need to follow people who follow you. As your follower count grows, you won’t be able to follow more than 7500.

Paying for participation in Follow Loops precludes that. You don’t have to follow anyone.

You need to invest money to make money. Different Instagrammers charge different rates. Whatever the fee, you will get hundreds of new Instagram followers by participating in Follow Loops.

How to become an Instagram influencer

How to find Follow Loops:

Type #FollowLoops into the Instagram search bar.

Since many of the Instagrammers who followed me during the Follow Loops are Mommy Bloggers, I could apply to a diaper campaign.

In contrast to concerns over not having a targeted audience, I could try to monetize the “mommy” Instagrammers.

Hack 4: Go where influencers go.

For example, you can go to and sign up as an influencer. I use this agency. I recommend since the service sends me personalized campaigns that fit my brand.

The best part: is a free service. If you have any questions, the support team is friendly, helpful, and prompt in their replies.

Linquia is another service that matches brands with micro-influencers. A micro-influencer has between 2,000 and 50,000 followers.

You can use Famebit (rebranded to YouTube BrandConnect last year) Famebit is YouTube’s influencer program. This might be better for people who become a YouTube influencer instead of who become an Instagram influencer.

You can also go to Smartfluence. Smartfluence is an agency that matches brands and influencers through artificial intelligence. There is a charge for using Smartfluence. In contrast to, Smartfluence is not free.

UPDATE: After publication, I heard from the Smartfluence Agency. They wrote, ” We only charge brands to access the platform, while our influencers are all pre-vetted by our team to ensure they will be a good fit for the brands that reach out to them.”

Hack 5: Be willing to accept payment other than and in addition to financial compensation on Instagram.

For example, I had a new Question and Answer site approach me and offer me an opportunity. The opportunity was not financial although down the road it may have turned into sales for me.

The company wanted me to create new content and go live with an Ask Me Anything on their new site.

In exchange, I’d get exposure.

Would you have accepted the exposure as compensation? Just like I refused the tea, I turned down this offer as well.

Hack 6: Be willing to barter.

This is similar to Hack 5 when I was offered exposure for payment. This hack asks you to accept products as payment.

Look at what influencers are offered in exchange for their participation in brands’ marketing campaigns:

“In kind” means the brand is paying you with the product. “Paid” means the compensation you receive is money.

How much money?

Look at the campaign for Californians. The compensation is between $5.00 and $10.00.

Do you still want to become an Instagram influencer?

If so, read on.

Hack 7: Extend your brand.

There are many ways to extend your brand in order to become an Instagram influencer.

For example, you can participate in an Ask Me Anything on Instagram Live.

how to become an Instagram influencer

You can also put your brand on a custom Instagram sticker. The top example is Instagram’s. The bottom example is my custom Instagram sticker. Note: The Any Sticker app doesn’t have hashtags.

Here are the instructions: How to make custom Instagram stickers.

Hack 8: Establish yourself as an authority.

You can do this by answering questions about Instagram at Quora.

If you are going to become an Instagram influencer, you have to spread your influence.

Let everyone know how much you know about Instagram at Quora, the popular question and answer site.

become an Instagram influencer

At Quora, type “Instagram” into the search bar. Look at all the categories of Instagram questions that come up!

You’ll extend your brand at Quora and establish yourself as an Instagram authority.

[Related reading: How to Be a Better Blogger with Quora]

Hack 9: Go to other social media sites.

Instagram influencers have an all-encompassing social media presence that’s not just limited to Instagram.

For example, Favour, an Instagram influencer, is on Twitter. TV celebrity and Instagram influencer, Ali Fedotowski, is also on Twitter.

how to become an Instagram influencer

Photo by Alice Donovan Rouse on Unsplash

Hack 10: Don’t try so hard to boost your following.

Micro-influencers are actually more popular than macro-influencers. This is because they charge less than influencers with a larger following.

Hack 11: Use Photo Carousels.

Instagram influencer Neil Patel reports his follower count grows by 10,000 people each week using this method.

Image Credit

Do you see the icon of the two white overlapping squares in the upper-right hand corner?

This indicates Neil Patel’s post is a Photo Carousel, a series of photos.

How to make an Instagram Photo Carousel:
Click the + sign. Click the first photo. Click “Multiple.”

Click Next. You will be able to apply a filter.

You can apply the filter to all or individual photos. Tap the photo or video to put the filter on just one item.

If you forgot anything, scroll to the right. You’ll see a plus sign. Click the plus sign to return to your photo library to add more elements.

When you’re done, click Next.

Add your caption.

Tag people if desired.

Under Advanced Settings, you can turn off commenting.

Click Share to share.

Hack 12: Post Memes

According to the Los Angeles Times, a person wanting to be an Instagram influencer should post memes. Apparently, the meme accounts, funny and sometimes crude, are becoming the most popular on Instagram.

Hack 13: Genuinely show your followers you care.

Don’t make people feel like they are a dollar sign to you even if you are able to monetize your Instagram following.

Favour and Lady Boss Blogger may have each become an Instagram influencer, but they still genuinely care about their followers and show it.

Hack 14: Humanize your brand.

Have you heard virtual influencers are on the rise? Show people that you are a real person.


Return all Direct Messages. Respond to comments.

In doing so, you will start meaningful conversations. This is what followers and brands want from Instagram influencers in 2020.


Bonus Tip: Hack 15 Go on the television show, The Bachelor.

In Season 24 of The Bachelor, when speaking of another contestant, a woman exclaimed,

“She’s trying to create hashtags for her brand.

I don’t need this to build my brand. I built my business myself.”

Source: RESET

According to the Reset podcast, “Contestants come on the show to become Instagram influencers.”

The host actually calls this “a fundamental truth about the Bachelor in the Modern Age.”

November 2020

Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, social media use rose dramatically. There are many advantages to using social media. One of them is people are no longer have to feel alone.

The trends that began in 2020 will continue in 2021. One of these is the need for Instagram influencers.

This trend makes these tips timely: Learning how to become an Instagram influencer is more important than ever.

Early April 2020

According to Vogue Business, during the Coronavirus outbreak, brands are leaning on influencers even more heavily.

Apparently, the prior collaborations brands and influencers made before the Coronavirus pandemic are paying off for influencers. Brands are depending on them when in-person photoshoots aren’t possible.

According to Adweek,

“Brands and organizations need to prioritize responsible outreach during these uncertain times, and one of the best ways of doing so is with influencer marketing. Influencer marketing during Covid-19 is not only a fast and effective way of reaching target audiences, many consumers believe brands can help with navigating this crisis.”

Late April 2020

It seems early reports about the Coronavirus helping influencers were premature.

The influencer culture seems threatened by the Coronavirus. After all, photo shoots showing brands’ products are no longer possible.

According to reports, brands are using their budgets in different ways. For example, brands are now pushing their advertising budgets in the direction of streaming TV (Source).

Become an Instagram Influencer: FAQ

How do you become an Instagram influencer and get paid?

Join agencies that match brands with influencers. is an example.

How do Instagram users get paid?

Instagram influencers get paid in products or financial compensation or both.

How many followers do you have on Instagram to get paid?

You need a minimum engagement rate of between 2% and 7%.

How do you become an Instagram star?

Do what Instagram stars do. Use these 14 tips as a checklist.

Wrapping Up: How to Become an Instagram Influencer

In closing, for those of you who aspire to become an Instagram influencer, now you know the hacks you need to follow.


Did you notice some of these strategies that tell you how to become an Instagram influencer have overlap?

For example, if you want to become an Instagram influencer, you should humanize your brand. Give your brand a face and personality.

Two of the strategies, post memes and care about your followers, both result in your humanizing your brand.

As you can see, the techniques overlap.

With 14 methods, you certainly need to work hard to become an Instagram influencer.

If you put in the work and all goes well, you might even be offered a brand ambassadorship.

Once you become an Instagram influencer, if you are offered a contract by a brand to represent them in the long term, you become that company’s brand ambassador.

I look forward to your views in the comments section.

Which hack will you follow first?

When you become an Instagram influencer, will you accept products or only money?

Readers, please share so Instagrammers who want to become Instagram influencers know the steps they need to take.

  1. Monica

    This is a lot of new information to me. I didn’t know people paid for followers. I wondered how people (who aren’t famous) have 15,000 plus followers.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Monica,
      Currently, I have 15,300 Instagram followers, and I’m not famous. I participate in Follow Loops for $4.00. I get hundreds of new followers this way. I don’t have the time to participate free of charge since it requires reciprocation. Also, I’m so close to following 7500, I wouldn’t be able to follow all those people even if I wanted to.
      Thanks for reaching out with your question and for reading what I wrote.

      • Natalie Portman

        I don’t have Instagram account but thanks for sharing this information now I create new account on Instagram

        • Janice Wald

          Hi Natalie,
          Thank you for commenting.
          I’m so glad I inspired you to set up an Instagram account. Thanks for writing to tell me I did.

  2. Erica Judes

    Becoming an Instagram influencer is not easy. But the tips provided by you are worthy. I also want to increase my followers and looking for an article like this. And I am happy that I found your article. I will Sure try these tips.
    Thank you for sharing this.

  3. Antionette Blake

    Great tips for bloggers looking to increase their visibility on Instagram.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Antionette,
      Great to see you! Thanks for your compliments on my Instagram post.

  4. Peter Mark

    Well, this one of the best Instagram which really shares deep info to become an Instagram influencer.

    Instagram is the best social media network and I see most of the peoples are enjoying Instagram than other social media networks.

    How to become an Instagram influencer, is a big question for all those who look to become an influencer but Instagram is an amazing platform to become an influencer and make money.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Peter.
      I agree with you. People do seem to enjoy Instagram more than other social media platforms. This accounts for the high level of engagement there. Thanks for commenting.

  5. Instamixes

    First of all, congrats for your big success. Your post will help me be an influencer on Instagram.A big thumbs up!

  6. Ananias Santos

    Ótimas dicas preciso aumentar minha audiência no instagram tenho poucas mas vou usar essas dicas para aumentar o trafego do meu site.

    • Janice Wald

      I am sorry but I do not know Spanish. However, I really do appreciate you commenting on my Instagram article.

  7. Monica Grover

    Hey Janice!! Great tips. I am an Instagram influencer. I started it just 1 month ago. I am facing the problems in gaining more followers. Earlier I was not aware that I can buy Instagram followers but after reading your blog I am thinking to buy Instagram followers for my account. I want to ask whether these paid followers will behave the same like real followers on my account??

    • Janice Wald

      You will get less engagement because they are not targeted to your niche.

  8. Monica Grover

    Hey Janice!! Great tips. I am an Instagram influencer. I started it just 1 month ago. I am facing the problems in gaining more followers. Earlier I was not aware that I can buy Instagram followers but after reading your blog I am thinking to buy Instagram followers for my account. I want to ask whether these paid followers will behave the same like real followers on my account?? Waiting for your reply.

  9. Bella D. @ Self-Publishing Made Easy Now

    I really don’t have any plans of being an online influencer but after reading this article, I now have a little bit of interest in becoming an Instagram influencer. Your tips are the best. Thank you for sharing this post.

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