1. Have a Specific Niche
If you want to stand out and grow fast you have to have a specific niche. A great example I heard a while back was something like this;
Niche: Adventure Blogger
More Specific: Female Adventure Blogger
Even More Specific: Introvert Female Adventure Blogger
By doing something like this it allows you to become an expert in that topic, have very specific ideas for blog posts and collaborations, and allows you to build a strong community.
Now let’s say you want to be a Lifestyle Blogger and include everything you love such as travel, food, your relationships and so on. Then you need to find a niche within that in another way, something that pulls it all together. A great example of that is our friend Andi Sakowski who covers topics from travel to Disney to products and so on. The way she brings it all together is by having a 70s inspired vibe to everything she shoots.
2. Be Unique
The influencers that grow the fastest on Instagram are unique and consistent in their photo editing. It’s those that people recognize their photo right away by their style. A perfect example of this is Jaci Marie Smith who is known for her unique photo poses and orange hues in her photo editing. Another example is Margo & Me who has a very editorial look in her photo editing.
A great way to find your own unique style is to head to Pinterest and start saving photos that catch your eye. The hues and vibes of the photo are more important than the subjects in this case. After you have a full board examine what is the common ties between the images. Is it the colors? The composition? This will help you narrow it down.
3. Create Great Content
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “Content is King” a few times in your life. The reason content is so so important is because it’s what keeps your audience coming back time and time again. By giving them value whether that’s through inspiration, knowledge, entertainment, and so on, the key is to give quality content. The only way you’ll be able to keep up this is if you are intentional and you plan ahead. For our blogs we use Google Sheets to create a schedule for our blog posts and we use Planoly to schedule the Instagram posts. You can read more about how we use Planoly in our blog post here.
4. Be authentic
Up to this point you’ve built a strong and unique brand. The next step is making sure you preserve the brands authenticity by being careful what companies you partner with and even how many. We’ve all seen these types of instagram that are advertising one thing or another every post. This starts to get old and makes the audience lose interest. In order to grow your engagement you have to work with companies that align with your brand. It might be tempting as a new influencer to say yes to every brand deal out there but understand this will hurt your influence and will keep you from growing later.
A great example of someone who has a great engagement and influence by being picky is Jess Conte who has 2 million followers but a 18.20% engagement rate! Keep in mind the average engagement rate for influencers is more around 3-4% and the more followers the harder it is to keep that number up. Scroll through Jess’ Instagram and notice how little ads there are. I’ve been keeping an eye on her youtube channel and notice the few times she mentions a brand those sales for that brand SHOOT UP. Why? Because she doesn’t recommend things all the time and her influence is that strong. Do you think that will help her connect with more high paying brands in the future? You betcha!
5. Focus on Your Community
Lastly your brand is nothing without a community behind it. There are many ways and tactics on growing a community but it all comes down to a few things. First is providing value to your community, as mentioned above, by giving quality content. Secondly is being there and interacting with them. This means answering comments, going to their photos and engaging, and keeping track of your most engaged audience. Lastly, doing giveaways for your audience can be a great way to show you appreciate them but be sure to not make them salesy because it will backfire.