We have been getting a lot of emails seeking advice on becoming a social media influencer recently. Brand owner & Head of Marketing Nicolette explains what makes a great Instagram profile worthy of brand sponsorship.
The Instagram Commandments
- Thou shall know the elements & principles of design
If you studied textiles or multimedia in high school, there's a good chance you'll remember these. The elements & principles are a guide to design, photography and visual creative work responsible for making the image 'work'. You can learn about the elements & principles in depth HERE
- Thou shall have good skill
Some of the most popular bloggers have creative professionals shoot their photos. Taking high quality lustworthy pics usually require the right equipment: DSLR camera, photoshop, lighting, or at least a creative someone who knows their way around a camera and some editing apps. That incredible candid image of your favourite blogger may have taken several hours and the work of creative professionals. Being passionate about being an influencer means you're ready to enhance your skillset. With each pic you're going to get better! Have fun practicing, grab a camera savvy friend and have some fun playing around with photo editing apps! Create stylish, well framed pics with colours that pop for instant influencer cred.
- Thou shall moodboard
Pinterest is a great tool for trialing how your image tiles fit together. Have a look at your profile as a whole. Do the colours & angles of different photos work well together? Does it look like an incoherent mess? Is it in between? It takes planning to create profile pages that flow. Practice on Pinterest. Besides fashion shoots and selfies, experiment with posting images of things you like or colours that go great with your image tiles. Cute animals, yummy food, inspirational calligraphy. If the elements & principles are in line with your content & style, it will look amazing and stop your feed from looking too 'busy'.
- Thou shall own your own content
Sure, the odd inspirational pic looks amazing. Obviously there will need to be shots of you, images you created which makes the page about YOU & your style. You can research and look to other influencers for research, but if you copycat someone or a few someones it will look unoriginal & generic. Use the platform to create & flaunt your style. Brands are looking for unique models who fit their look and explore it in their own way.
- Thou shall give credit
Sometimes it takes a team effort to create THAT shot. Don't forget to tag & credit all photographers, hair & makeup artists and fashion designers responsible for achieving it. Its a win-win, you're all promoting each other via all your channels creating a pool of fans between you who follow your work. Also, be nice, don't steal original credited images someone else created. If you're unsure, ask them and definitely credit.
- Thou shall promote yourself
So you did your research, created your brand, took photos now what? You have to stay engaged & active! Great instagrammers treat it like a job. They post daily, like and follow their role models, other influencers, PR/magazine/cute animal/fashion blog accounts. They have an integrated social media plan meaning they post on Insta, share it on facebook, sometimes link their blog, link the blog back to Instagram or Facebook. The loop is constant. And its all about you! Keep your followers interested, talk to them, ask questions, engage! Follow brands you like, tag them if you're wearing their products. Usually if you have a beautiful carefully curated stylish page, it takes between 800-2000 followers to be approached by brands, so build up. Use & follow popular #hashtags which describe your style, mood and the image. Follow your friends, ask them to tag, follow & share if they enjoy your work!
- Thou shall be creative
The best profiles have a certain style but are outside the box creative. Study the photography in different domestic and foreign fashion magazines, blogs, photographers. Fashion photography is both aspirational and inspirational. It is about the clothes, the mood, the mood the clothes create when you wear them creating an image of what we want our life to look like. What are some of the keywords you'd associate with the images on this page? Dreamy... Fierce.. Expensive... Street cred...cool....goofy ...fun...flirty...globetrotter...fashionista... So you're using your creative mind, photography, design and styling skills to weave a location and a pile of clothes into a beautiful story of your choosing. Have fun with it!
- Do your research
- Learn more about the industry
- Find you niche
- Create a kickass visual style
- Build your personal brand
- Treat it like work
- Be passionate
- Be discouraged
- Mix personal & business accounts
- Upload low quality content
- Be too predictable
All images creative commons via Unsplash.com