Embarking on the journey of how to become an Instagram influencer might seem daunting and time-intensive at first glance.

With potential earnings ranging from $1000 to $8000 monthly, and top-tier Instagram influencers raking in six-figure incomes, it's no wonder many aspire to achieve Instagram fame.

Disclosure: This content may contain a few affiliate links, which means if you click on them, I will get a commission (without any extra cost to you).

Given that 17.6% of the global population is active on Instagram, the platform offers a fertile ground for growing a substantial following, provided you know the right tactics.

In this guide, I'll walk you through the essential steps of how to become an Instagram influencer, simplifying the process for you.

Can You Make Money on Instagram? How to Become an Instagram Influencer

Here is how to become an Instagram influencer and get paid:

1. Choose a Niche You’re Passionate About

To become an Instagram influencer, the first thing you need to do is find a niche that suits your personality. This needs to be something you’re passionate about. Something in which you have a good deal of knowledge and interest.

Just because someone else is doing something and is successful, doesn’t mean you should too.

So, what should you do?

To become an Instagram influencer in any field, you will need to post creative, engaging content regularly. So, selecting the right niche is very important because you will have to spend a considerable amount of time researching it and posting content on that topic.

Maybe you’re great at DIY crafts? Or maybe you love food, and have a great deal of interest in different types of cuisines? Maybe you’re into fashion and the latest styles and trends?

Your Instagram posts should reflect whatever truly interests you and not just random stuff.

Your niche might even be a combination of different things, as long as you stick to it.


Skye McAlpine is an Instagram influencer who blogs about food and travel. Currently, she has over 220 thousand Instagram followers.

Skye posts about all things food and travel, whether it be a new holiday destination or sharing her latest food creations, there’s never a boring moment on her Instagram page.

1 skye mcalpine

As an influencer, she uses her platforms to promote her online shop, which sells tableware, cutlery, and decorations.


2. Create a Noteworthy Bio

Once you have decided on your niche, you need to create an attractive Instagram profile.

The very first thing that you need to focus on is creating an Instagram bio that immediately catches people’s attention. It should talk about your story in a way that engages people.

Here are some tips to create an excellent bio if you want to become an influencer:

  • Remember your target audience when adding skills.
  • Use relevant keywords related to your niche.
  • Make sure your contact information is there and easy to read.
  • Don’t forget it’s your bio, so don’t be shy to let your personality shine.

Remember, your bio is one of the first things that a brand or a potential follower will see on your account. 

So if you want to know how to become an Instagram influencer, you first need to learn how to create an attention-grabbing Instagram bio.


Influencer and travel blogger Helene Sula has a compelling and attractive Instagram bio.

In the name field, this social media influencer has cleverly included “lifestyle blogger,” which will help her profile to rank higher when people search for lifestyle bloggers.

Her reels and stories are mostly about cultural shocks and what it’s like living in foreign countries.

3 helene sula

3. Share Your Stories

If you think you can become an Instagram influencer just by sharing photos, you clearly have it all wrong. The captions that go along with those photos are just as important as the photos themselves.

If you want to become an Instagram influencer your stories need to connect with your social media followers on an emotional level. Give them a reason to trust you, follow you, and engage with you.

However, in your quest towards engaging followers don’t forget to be genuine. Coming off across fake will only turn people off of you. Instead, share personal stories that are interesting and authentic.


Check out this inspiring story from a travel blogger named Curbfreecorylee. This social media influencer talks about how he continues traveling with a pre-existing medical condition.

4 curbfreecorylee

Not only does he inspire people to live their best life, but he offers excellent travel tips for planning your perfect trip.

4. Make Your Instafeed Appealing

This is one of the prerequisites if you want to learn how to become an Instagram influencer. Not only should each of your photos be visually appealing, but your entire feed should look appealing when viewed as a whole.

This means that all of your photos in the feed should look good, individually and collectively.

So, what can you do?

Many Instagram influencers follow a particular style of editing, so that the color and composition of their photos is uniform. You can use photo editing tools like VSCO or Lightroom to edit your photos or you can just use the built-in filters on Instagram.

Also, make sure that your photos are taken in high-resolution and with plenty of light to make them look really good.


Check out Zoë Sugg’s account on Instagram for an excellent example of uniformity.

Zoe’s photos are all color graded in a similar manner.

She has even used her expertise to create an Instagram template and story planner app called “Template | Story Planner,” which you can find on her website and the Apple Store.

5 zoesgg

5. Post Content Consistently

Posting content consistently is key if you want to become an Instagram influencer. Most Instagram influencers post daily or once every two days. 

However, some of them post a few times a day or even a few times a week.

Studies have revealed that an increase in your content-posting frequency can boost engagement rates. However, when you decide what your posting schedule needs to be, make sure that you choose wisely.

It needs to be something realistic that you can actually stick to. Setting an unrealistic goal that you cannot adhere to will not help you in any way.

If you find sticking to a schedule difficult, you can schedule your posts with tools like Buffer, Planoly, Preview, or Ripl.

These platforms allow you to create your content in advance and set the dates and times for posting. So you don’t need to do it yourself, but your content gets posted automatically.

Preview is free for use and so is Planoly for 30 photos per month on a single Instagram account.

Buffer allows you to schedule up to 10 posts for free across any 3 of your social accounts.

Ripl offers subscriptions starting at $14.99 per month, but also has a free basic plan with limited features.

What’s more?

You need to remember that posting content isn’t the only important thing. The content that you post must be grammatically correct and should be of high quality. 

To ensure that your content quality is top-notch, you can utilize tools such as ProWritingAid.

This tool checks your grammar, style, and helps you find the right words for your content. As a result, you’ll be able to post high-quality content to Instagram.

6. Choose the Right Hashtags

The best tip anyone can give you on how to become an Instagram influencer is to use hashtags. Hashtags are important because they help your content be found by other Instagram users.

Instagram allows you to use a maximum of 30 hashtags on a post, but I recommend starting with three to five hashtags at first. 

But what kind of hashtags should you choose?

Remember that hashtags that have high search volumes aren’t necessarily good for you. Because high search volumes imply high competition.

So the chances of your post being discovered using those hashtags are bleak.

Instead, choose hashtags that have decent search volumes and maximize your chances of appearing in the top posts. 

Ideally, use a combination of hashtags varying in search volumes from above 10,000 to 1 million. But definitely, not more than a million.

But how can you find reliable hashtags?

To find the right hashtags for your Instagram posts, I recommend using HashtagsForLikes.

This AI-powered tool goes through your profile and finds the best hashtags for you. Alternatively, you can enter any hashtag on the platform, and it’ll show you its performance. This can help you ascertain which hashtags will create the most impact for you.

If you’re still uncertain about using hashtags correctly, check out my complete guide to using hashtags on Instagram in 2022.


For example, this post by an influencer uses the hashtag #adventurecouple. This is the top post for this hashtag having search volumes of more than 105,000.

6 organized adventurer

7. Get a Business Account

If you’re serious about learning how to become an influencer, you need to get a business account for your Instagram. There are numerous benefits of switching to a business account.

What are they?

The most important benefit is that with a business account, you get access to Instagram Analytics. You’ll be able to see not only your follower demographics but also which posts are getting better engagement. You will also be able to see the days and times which give you the best engagement.

To become an Instagram influencer, it is important to understand your audience and learn what content works best for them.

instagram analytics

Follower demographics are very useful when it comes to pitching to brands for collaboration. Because numbers speak louder than words.

The other advantage you get with a business account is the ability to run ads. You can promote one of your posts if you want, in order to get some additional engagement.

So, getting an Instagram business account is an important step if you want to become an Instagram influencer.

8. Leverage Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are probably the biggest thing right now on Instagram. More and more users and influencers are joining this bandwagon. 

In fact, more than 500 million Instagram users are using them every day. This makes them a perfect weapon to grow more followers and gain visibility.

Even people who aren’t your followers can discover you from your Instagram Stories. By adding hashtags or locations to Instagram Stories, you can be discovered by more people. And if you have 10,000+ followers, you can include an outbound link using a “swipe up” option on Stories.

What’s more, you ask?

You can even tag others on your Stories and give a shout-out to other accounts. 

instagram stories

This is not only a great way of building relationships but also growing your own following. Because those accounts are likely to return the favor too. And this means you get more visibility.

Because of these benefits, a lot of influencers use Instagram Stories. And if you are serious about becoming an Instagram influencer, you should start using Stories now.

9. Engage Meaningfully

Social media is all about people and how you engage with them. Engagement is one of the most important factors that will help you become an Instagram influencer.

When someone comments on your photos, make sure that you reply to them. 

Also, return the favor by liking and commenting on their posts.

Here’s a checklist that you can use to increase the engagement rate on your posts and become an Instagram influencer:

  • Include a call-to-action in your caption
  • Post at a time when you’re likely to get maximum engagement (use insights if you have a Business Account to find the best times)
  • Host giveaways and contests
  • Use polls in Instagram Stories
  • Follow similar accounts and engage with their content
  • Use popular and relevant hashtags or create your own hashtags

You can use the “Explore” option on Instagram to find content that you can engage with. Also, you now have the option of following hashtags so that relevant content shows up in your feed.

10. Tag Relevant Brands and Contact Them

There are actually two stages of learning how to become an Instagram influencer. The first, of course, is to grow your followers organically and engage them. 

The second, and probably more important for some, is to make money as an influencer.

So, once you have grown your followers above a thousand and have a decent engagement rate, start your brand outreach. 

The easiest way is to tag relevant brands on your photos to put yourself on their radar. Sometimes brands even feature such photos on their Instagram account giving you greater visibility.

johnny hochstetler instagram

Here’s a great example of micro-influencer Johnny Hochstetler showing off some of his tech and adding Apple as a hashtag to the post.

What else can you do?

You can also send direct messages to brands you think are relevant to your niche. Especially, if you have seen them collaborate with other influencers in your field. 

Work on a pitch that talks about why you are reaching out and what you can offer them. I’m not saying it’s easy but you might be pleasantly surprised at the responses.

You can even join platforms like Grin, InsightPool, HYPR, InfluencerBay, TRIBE, and Izea to find and connect with relevant brands.

Some of these platforms need you to have a certain number of followers to be able to participate in campaigns. So, use this channel when you have reached a certain follower count.

11. Do Not Buy Followers

This is a rookie mistake I’ve seen many Instagram influencers make to pave an easy road to success. Paid followers are no good to you. If you want to become an Instagram influencer and make money, organic leads are the way to go.

Yes, I know it’s not easy and it certainly won’t happen overnight. But hey, there’s no easy road to success. 

Paid followers can be detrimental to your growth because these followers won’t be engaged enough. So your follower count will increase without any substantial increase in engagement.

What’s more?

It’s not that difficult for brands to identify influencers with paid followers. If someone realizes that you have a high percentage of fake followers, you could lose your credibility in the industry. This could affect all of your future collaborations or lack thereof.

Getting caught having paid followers can be detrimental to your success as an influencer. If you’re really serious about your goal to become an Instagram influencer, you need to do it the right way.


Q1. How do you become a paid Instagram Influencer?

A. The time it takes to become an influencer on Instagram depends on your ability to identify a niche and grow an audience that trusts and looks to you for recommendations.
Once you have more than 1,000 followers, you can start trying to monetize your Instagram channel. 
This can be done through affiliate links with brands, sponsorships or even launching your own brand and online shop.
For more on monetizing your Instagram channel, click here.

Q2. How long does it take to become an Instagram influencer?

A. The time it takes to become an influencer on Instagram depends on your ability to identify a niche and grow an audience that trusts and looks to you for recommendations.

Q3. How much does an Instagram influencer make a year?

A. How much an influencer makes yearly depends on their followers, engagement rates, number of brands they work with per year, and other partnership specifics.
And although there's no one-size-fits-all price, most brands follow the $100 for every 10k followers or one cent per follower rule. But that's just the basic starting point.
Brands will also consider an influencer's engagement, the campaign's length, budget, and other factors.

Q4. How many Instagram followers do you need to become an influencer?

A. Unfortunately, there's no magic number to becoming an Instagram influencer. You also need to have engaged followers and influence over their decisions.
However, there are numbers you can use to get an idea of how many followers you need to become an influencer:
1,000 to 5000 followers – Nano-influencers
5,000 to 100,000 followers – Micro-influencers
More than 100,000 followers – Macro-influencers
Global figures or household names including successful artists, musicians, actors, sportspeople, etc. are called mega-influencers and have millions of followers.

Q5. Is it too late to become an influencer?

A. No. It's not too late, but you will have to work harder to ascend to the same level of fame those already in the industry have attained.
The influencer industry is now saturated, and anyone with a voice worth following or an expert in something can be an influencer.
Therefore, to succeed, you need to offer something different, be relatable, and gain high engagement. You also need to have something you can bring to the table for brands looking for partnerships.

Q6. How can I become an influencer overnight?

A. Becoming an influencer overnight is not possible.
You have to invest time, effort, and resources. It will also involve finding a niche, building a brand, garnering engaged followers, etc., which takes time.

Q7. Is becoming an influencer hard?

A. Yes, and it takes more than posting engaging photos.
It also:
– Takes time to establish yourself
– Has no regular hours
– Attracts criticism and bullies
– Requires a full-time commitment
– Requires skills to help with marketing, branding, PR, research, data analysis, post-processing, – web management, writing, etc.
– Demands flexibility to keep up with changing trends and audience behavior
– Calls for authenticity and uniqueness to stand out
– Offers an unstable income until you become successful
Ultimately, it takes hard work, patience, consistency, time, and a creative mind that consistently produces unique and engaging content.

Q8. Can you be an influencer with 1000 followers?

A. Yes. 
With authentic engagement, influence, and an audience that trusts you, you can become an influencer even with just 1000 followers.

Ready to Become an Instagram Influencer and Get Paid?

Becoming an Instagram influencer isn't an instant process. It requires patience and a commitment to the steps outlined above.

While it may take several months, the results will start to show. I've witnessed and assisted numerous individuals in securing brand partnerships in just a few months by following this guidance. You have every opportunity to achieve the same success.

Do you have additional insights on how to become an Instagram influencer? Share your thoughts in the comments. If you're seeking personalized advice on your journey to becoming an Instagram influencer, feel free to contact me!


  1. DearMishuDad says:

    Those are great tips. Do not buy followers – that will be more negative than positive on the algorithm.

  2. Shafi Khan says:

    Instagram is a powerful social media channel to target new-age audience. It especially works like a magic for fun niches – entertainment, travel, food, fashion, etc.

    Thanks for sharing this guide.

  3. Great article and right to the point.

  4. Rebecca Nelson says:

    These tips helped me out a lot!

  5. Excellent tips.

    1. Shane Barker says:

      Thank you so much!

  6. Daniel Segun says:

    Nice tips. I will apply them to my aspiration.

    1. Shane Barker says:

      That is awesome news! Let me know how it goes! 😉

  7. Thanks for this!! There’s so much info about how to get started on Instagram that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. This is such a simple and thorough step-by-step guide. Really well done.

  8. Thanks for the tips they are very helpful to us newbies who want to become influencers!

    1. Shane Barker says:

      Hi Zine, the pleasure is all mine. I’m glad my post about how to become an Instagram influencer was helpful to you.

  9. Thank you for these great tips!

    1. Shane Barker says:

      Hey Savin, the pleasure is all mine. Thanks!

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