Are you wondering how to become Instagram famous?
If you want to be the next Kylie Kardashian or Cristiano Ronaldo, we’ve got bad news — we can’t make Kris Kardashian your mom or bless your feet into super-stardom. (That’s asking a little much)
But we can show you how to find Instafame. After that, whether or not you surpass Ronaldo’s 464M following is up to you.
If you want to become Instafamous, there’s a pretty straightforward formula to follow. We’ll walk you through it in these eight tried-and-true steps.
Bonus: Download a free checklist that reveals the exact steps a fitness influencer used to grow from 0 to 600,000+ followers on Instagram with no budget and no expensive gear.
How to become Instagram famous
These days, being “Instagram famous” means more than just having a large following. Instafamous accounts are usually influencers or creators, which means they can use their audiences to drive awareness about a trend, topic, company or product.
Instafame isn’t instant. You can’t buy a ton of followers, call yourself an influencer, and wait for brand deals to come rolling in.
That goes for folks who are the one-hit-wonders of viral videos, too. Sure, they might experience a brief flare of Instagram attention. But that fame will die out fast if they don’t keep producing high-quality content.
The following steps take time and effort. But they’re consistent with the habits we see influencers and Instafamous folks using.
1. Define your personal brand
If you don’t have a viral video to springboard you into millions of followers, you’ll need to start at the beginning.
That means figuring out how you want to show up on Instagram. Remember, the “you” you put on Instagram is your brand. So your online identity needs to feel (and be!) authentic — your followers will know if it isn’t.
Branding can be an in-depth process. Here are five steps to defining your personal brand and some questions you can use as prompts.
Step one: Define your goals
Without clear goals, you won’t be able to measure your success. Start by thinking about why you’re pursuing Instafame.
- Why do I want to become Instagram famous?
- What does Instagram fame look like for me?
- What milestones can I achieve to reach my goal of being Instafamous?
Step two: Find your differentiator
Next, consider what sets you apart from your competition. No matter your specialty, you’re probably entering a crowded market. Why should someone follow you instead of someone else?
- What makes me stand out from the crowd?
- What can I do better or differently than other personal brands like mine?
- Note: This doesn’t have to be a huge difference — you could be the sassiest baker on Instagram, for example, or the most polite mycologist.
Step three: Write down your narrative
Your backstory is where you say who you are and what you care about. People remember emotionally-driven stories more than facts. Plus, staying on point with your copy is easier when you have a brand story to refer back to.
- What is my story?
- Where did I come from, and where do I want to go?
- What motivates me?
Step four: Define your personality
You want your content to be consistent and recognizable. That means each post should reflect your brand’s personality in some way. Are you trying to inspire your followers? Teach them? Amuse them?
- What are five words that describe my personality?
- What is my brand voice?
- How do I want people to see me? How do people actually see me?
Step five: Craft your personal brand statement
A personal brand statement is a short, catchy statement you can refer back to while creating your content. Externally, it can act as an elevator pitch.
Look at your previous answers and ask yourself, “Who am I? Why am I doing this? What makes me unique?”
You can put your personal brand statement in your Instagram bio. Consider, like creator Lauren Sundstrom has, pairing it down to the bare essentials of what your audience needs to know.
Voilà! Now you’ve got a personal brand you can build your Instagram strategy around.
And a note: These answers will evolve with your brand. It’s meant as a guide, so don’t stress too much about perfecting it the first time.
2. Find your niche and cater to it
Once you know your differentiator (step 2 above), use it to target the niche audience that makes the most sense for your brand.
Niche followers are often fiercely loyal. Shared interests make for strong bonds and can make your relationship with your audience much less forced.
Once you understand your niche, find micro-brands adjacent to you and work with them. Trans woman, activist, model, and style aficionado Lauren Sundstrom posts regularly about only working with brands that share her eco-friendly outlook.
3. Listen to your audience
Your audience is your best asset. Typically, folks on the internet are mercilessly honest. If you ask a question, you can expect a real answer. When you are your brand, this can require some thick skin.
Solicit answers through questions and polls — and be specific. Open-ended questions like “What do you want to see more of?” likely won’t get you what you want. Instead, ask specific questions, like “Should I add color or keep it neutral?”
Pay attention to any repeat comments or questions. There may be a gap in your communication that needs filling. Give your audience what they’re looking for, and you can inspire brand loyalty.
Oh, and don’t stress about having a small following. That just means you’re a micro-influencer. According to Hypeauditor, micro-influencers (one thousand to ten thousand followers) have the potential to earn, on average, $1,420 per month!
If you really want to increase your audience size, though, here are 35 ways to build your follower list from scratch.
4. Engage your followers
Fame doesn’t exist in a vacuum. You can only be as famous as people are willing to pay attention. So, bring your audience in and engage them — and no, you can’t take a shortcut here. Using bots for engagement (believe us, we tried it) doesn’t work.
As tempting as it is to cut corners, a quality engagement strategy will have you reaping the rewards before too long. Strong engagement remains a key player in Instagram’s algorithm. The better your engagement, the more Instagram will put your account in front of folks, and the more your brand reach will grow.
5. Be consistent
Consistency breeds credibility! It may take some time to figure out your visual style, brand voice, and posting cadence. But once you do, keep it up. Folks will start associating your brand with a certain aesthetic and point of view, further cementing it in their minds.
A social media content calendar can be a lifesaver, helping you plan ahead and post consistently.
6. Create quality content
Instagram is and will always be a visual app. That means posting visually appealing content will always be important. You may need to take a photography course, buy some video equipment, or figure out how to edit your videos and photos with photo editing software
And remember: Genuine, authentic content attracts people. Once you’ve got the basics down, you can start optimizing your content with keywords, popular hashtags, powerful calls to action, and Instagram Live content.
7. Treat your Instagram account like a business
Your Instagram account is how you get your product (you and your personal brand) out to the world. That means it’s now your business — so treat it like one.
Plus, a business or creator profile allows you to use third-party apps like Hootsuite (our personal favorite, obviously).
Hootsuite lets you schedule and publish posts directly to Instagram, engage your audience, measure performance and manage your presence on other social networks — all from a single dashboard.
Hootsuite will even suggest your personal best times to post to your social media accounts directly within the publishing interface.
Now for the fun part — money! When you’ve reached a certain level of followers and recognition, you will have brands or organizations reach out to you with sponsorship opportunities.
You can also get proactive about chasin’ that cash. We’ve got expert advice on making money on Instagram.
Plus, when you’re ready to start reaching out to potential collaborators, you can use Hootsuite’s analytics to build out your brand pitch deck. Brands want to know that you’re a good bet, so being able to prove a strong engagement rate or high conversion can be a gamechanger.
Remember when you’re monetizing your account to stay on track to your Instagram stardom. Make sure you do it the right way by avoiding these common pitfalls:
- Don’t say yes to everything. You’ll want to treat your sponsored posts like your own content. If an offer doesn’t vibe with your brand, say no. And make sure you advocate for products or services you would use yourself.
- Make sure you’re comfortable with the compensation presented. If someone offers you “exposure” instead of something with monetary value, don’t be afraid to let them know you can’t pay your rent with “exposure.” Or politely decline. It’s your account and your call.
- Don’t agree to anything you don’t fully understand. Did you receive a detailed campaign brief? What exactly is expected of you? Reach out for clarification if you’re unsure. Otherwise, you may agree to more than you bargained for or damage a potentially lucrative partnership.
Start building your Instagram presence using Hootsuite. Schedule and publish posts directly to Instagram, engage your audience, measure performance, and run all your other social media profiles — all from one simple dashboard. Try it free today.