In today’s digital age, anyone can become an influencer. And it’s easy to see why people are trying—influencing on Instagram is big business.
But you don’t have to have a million followers to be a successful influencer. As a micro influencer, you can build an engaged audience that follows and trusts your content.
Even with a small number of followers, you can get paid to represent the brands you love. Brand deals or sponsorships for micro influencers can range from $50 to over $1,000.
But what is a micro influencer? And how can you become one?
With the digital world at your fingertips, you can become a micro influencer—whether you have 1,000 followers or 50,000. Are you ready to build your social media presence and become the influencer you were born to be? Let’s get into it.
What Is a Micro Influencer?
You’re probably already familiar with the world of Instagram influencers. As public figures, these influencers tend to have 50,000 followers or more—sometimes even millions.
These major influencers are sometimes even considered celebrities, like beauty influencer James Charles, who reportedly makes $14,000 a day and has been featured by major news networks across the country.
But not everyone has millions of followers at their disposal. For those Instagram users who are just starting out, or who aren’t celebrities, micro influencing is a great way to ease into the world of influencing.
Micro influencers are defined as influencers who have between 1,000 and 50,000 followers.
The difference between bigger influencers and micro influencers isn’t just in size. Micro influencers are considered experts in their niche. They tend to have a very deeply engaged, specific audience. Although they may have smaller followings, they’re considered to be more authentic than larger influencers.
What Can Micro Influencers Do For Businesses?
Micro influencing might be smaller than the typical influencing world, but it can actually provide more value to brands. By becoming a micro influencer, you can tap into a world of brand deals and opportunities for development.
Here are some of the top reasons why businesses are investing more in micro influencers.
The world of Instagram can be tough to break into. With so many influencers out there competing for followers and engagement, it’s hard to rise above the rest and establish a solid online presence. But there’s one easy way to determine the quality of an influencer: Checking their engagement rate.
The engagement rate is the percentage of an Instagram influencer’s followers that actually engage with their posts.
Not only does it show you which Instagram influencers might be buying followers and faking their popularity, but it also shows you which influencers actually have an engaged community. Engagement tends to drop the more followers an influencer has—which is great news for micro influencers.
Larger influencers tend to have engagement rates between 1 and 3 percent. Micro influencers tend to have engagement rates between 4 and 10 percent.
This means that more of their followers will be engaging with their posts and sharing their content, which offers significant value for a brand. Using micro influencers as a part of their marketing strategy can help brands reach more interested audiences, which leads to more sales.
It’s no secret that influencers can make a lot of money. For one branded post, an influencer with a large following can make thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.
While many brands are excited to get the visibility of a larger audience, this kind of rate isn’t affordable for all businesses.
Micro influencers can offer the same level of marketing value, but for a much more affordable rate. 97% of micro influencers charge $500 or less for a sponsored post.
These days, followers are looking for more than just a big Internet personality. They want something deeper than the shallow world of likes, follows, and Facetuned personalities.
Many micro influencers offer a more real or authentic side to their content. Having a genuine online presence—no matter how many followers you have—is the key to opening up new opportunities and growing a real audience.
When brands collaborate with micro influencers, they’re more likely to get the most out of their money. Larger influencers are beginning to lose the trust of their audiences—but micro influencers are more likely to take on brand deals that they are truly passionate about, which translates into more sales.
How to Become a Micro Influencer
So how does one actually become a micro influencer? In an increasingly competitive market, it can be difficult to break into the micro influencing sphere.
But with the right strategies, you can set yourself up for success. Here are some steps you can take to become a micro influencer.
1. Define Your Niche
Because the market is so oversaturated with other influencers, you have to find a way to set yourself apart. This means picking a specific, targeted niche.
On Instagram, a niche is the kind of content you gravitate towards, as well as the kind of audience you’re hoping to attract.
First, pick a general topic. For example, you could be an influencer in the fashion niche or travel niche.
Once you’ve picked a general niche, it’s time to get even more specific. Think about what might make you different from others in that niche.
If you want to become a fashion influencer, what makes you different from the other thousands of fashion accounts out there? This might mean focusing on diversity in fashion, sustainable and eco-friendly fashion, or just a personal style that’s completely out of the box.
By picking a specific niche, not only will you be able to rise above the masses of other influencers within your niche, but you can ensure that you’re targeting a specific audience that will gravitate towards your content.
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2. Invest in Quality
No matter how targeted your niche is, you won’t make it on Instagram if you don’t have quality content to back it up.
Focus on creating high-quality posts that offer value to your audience. This might mean that you have to make a few investments. Make sure that you’re taking photos with a high-quality camera. Take photos in a well-lit space, preferably with natural lighting.
If photography isn’t your thing, look for professional stock photos from a reputable source to create the perfect feed.
Try your best to make these photos as clean and professional as possible—this will draw your audience in and keep them invested in your content.
3. Focus on Captions
Posting pretty photos isn’t enough. You need to offer significant value to your audience—which means that your audience should gain something from your post, whether it’s education or inspiration.
A great way to do this is to put more time and energy into your captions. Aim for multiple sentences or even multiple paragraphs. Try tying the post back to your personal life, offering new insight on the topic, or giving tips on how to accomplish something.
In addition to offering more value to your audience, this can actually help boost the post overall. The Instagram algorithm depends on a variety of different factors, including how long users spend on your post. Therefore, if your captions are longer, people are more likely to spend longer on the post in order to read what you have to say.
4. Create a Set of Hashtags
You may have seen some of these overused hashtags floating around: #likeforlike, #followme, #cute, #igdaily, #fitness. But these spammy hashtags just aren’t working anymore. They’re flooded with millions of different posts.
It’s important that you use the right balance of hashtags to make sure that your content gets seen. Aim for about 20 to 30 hashtags total—with a balance of large hashtags (500,000+ posts), mid-sized hashtags (between 20,000 and 500,000), and small hashtags (under 20,000).
5. Grow Your Following
Before you start reaching out to brands, it’s important that you grow a following of at least a few thousand. It can be tough to crack the first 1,000 followers, but with a few daily strategies, you can get there.
Try to post as consistently as you can. Aim for every day, every other day, or several times a week minimum.
In between posts, engage consistently with your audience. Respond to all your comments, answer DMs, and post stories daily. You can also engage beyond your page—liking posts in hashtags related to your niche or engaging with the followers of other Instagram users.
Some strategies—like follow for follow—might get you a following faster, but these tactics are considered spammy and won’t lead to an authentic and engaged audience. Slowly but surely, by staying active and engaged, as well as using hashtags, you’ll start to grow your following.
The Bottom Line
What is a micro influencer? And how can you become one?
Building a genuine, engaged following on Instagram can feel like a daunting task. But if you’re ready to change the game and start building your community of passionate followers, then you’ve come to the right place. With these tips in mind, becoming a micro influencer is within your reach.
Once you’ve built your brand, it’s time to start reaching out to brands and getting those sponsorships. Ready to start getting leads, clients, and a real income from Instagram? Check out our free email course to turn your Instagram into a business opportunity today!