Instagram has completely redefined the way people live. Back then, we love to read a newspaper or even our favorite magazine to get inspired by people we adore the most. But now, it is no longer happen after the actual invasion by Instagram. What has Instagram done to our live? It can be simplified as a 'primary necessity' meaning that Instagram is our new partner in the daily life. In the USA, most social media users spend around 1 - 3 hours/day for checking their Instagram profile while in Asia it takes longer than that around 2 - 4 hours/day on a daily basis. Such a substantial evidence to proof my first sentence above.
More than 1 million ads have been created over the past six months together with billion of content posted every day on Instagram. No wonder anything that you love including food, lifestyle or even cute pet is all there on Instagram. Because the major purpose by signing up on this social media platform is to get attention and create attention at the same time.
Recently, I got so many questions regarding, how to become Instagram famous? It sounds so frustrating for some people somehow, but, I will try to share my honest opinion here. Of course, if you want to become Instagram famous, there are several ways to be followed, and unusual patterns do be understood. I admit that I am not the expert, but I just finished my dissertation for MSc. (IB) regarding this topic which concerning on Instagram for Business. That is why I can share you a bit of knowledge, and hopefully, it will open up your mind! :)
I still remember how difficult to get my first ten followers on Instagram. It takes more than one week to achieve that and lot of efforts to be known by ten real people. I start being a Blogger on 28 May 2014 and that is the first time I put a lot of commitments for any social media platform including Instagram. From posting a random stuff like selfie, noodle, or even dog to posting only about food takes me more than one month to redefine my account. At first, all of my friends and colleagues start leaving me because of my new commitments. What they thought is Instagram only about having fun, I am not famous (even now), and I will be never famous (what they said). There is an intense emotional sickness during that time, but I need to face it.
Never stop there, my parents also start questioning my identity. The purpose of shifting my identity from students to Food Blogger, how much money did I spend monthly (only for food), and time for writing one article on my blog. It is entirely difficult to convince them about what I do and what I love. It takes almost two years to change their mindset about blogging and support my career now.
Enough with my story, now we head back to the main topic. The best way to be known on Instagram (Re: ORGANICALLY) would be listed.
1. BE HONEST
Your past did not determine your stage now. But, your efforts and attitudes reflect on this present situation. I heard a lot of people instantly famous without any reason and any purpose. They tend to be a real superstar in the digital world, in fact, not even people know them in reality. Buying followers, buying likes, and buying comments might be a good example of this. It might be a mystery when we talk about 'people's credibility.' However, I have a great website for you to check it. Just click www.socialblade.com to know the lifetime history of somebody's account.
At this stage, the question would be, why instantly famous not right for you? Because EVERYTHING NEED PROCESS. Remember the first time when you start walking, studying, eating, talking, and reading. All of them takes time and a lot of effort for you to master it. Therefore, it would be replicable for Instagram as well. Being an influencer never cost you 1 or maybe two years, perhaps, it could be more than that. The idea is to enjoy every process in your life and let people know the goodness of your work.
2. DETERMINE YOUR THEME OF PHOTOGRAPHY
People start wondering the beauty of other's people work and how they make it happen. 'Wondering' is good enough to motivate you, but still, you need to determine your theme of photography. Not every people passionate about food like I did, or even lifestyle like other people did. The good example of this would be one or two of my blogger friends who start slow with food photography and finish high with travel/portrait photography. There are two keywords on the previous sentence including 'weak' and 'strong.' I use this two keywords to address the importance of following your passion. You cannot be Angelina Jolie or even J.K. Rowling, but you can be YOU and world will respect YOU.
Take 30 minutes - 1 hour/day to discover your passion. Start with this question, 1) What attract me the most (Ex: Food, Travel, Portrait, etc.)? 2) Did I have any budget to do so? 3) Can I wait for another 1/2 or maybe three years until people recognize me as a Food Blogger / Travel Blogger / Lifestyle Blogger? After you answer all of those questions, I bet you will find a bit of inspiration to fulfill your dream.
3. BUILT A PROFESSIONAL INSTAGRAM PROFILE
The Instagram profile is crucial. People might judge you from what they see on your account, no matter how weak or strong your profile is. The next step that you need to follow is built a professional Instagram profile by setting up a long bio. Instagram allow you to create a significant bio with 150 words, and yes, it is more than enough. The usage of emoji is necessary to provoke people's attention and reduce the density of words being used. But, limit the emoji and focus on your personal information. Take into the account this questions when start building your professional Instagram account: 1) Who are you? 2) What can the audience expect from your Instagram profile? 3) Personal expertise & contact information (Email/WA). Those questions are essential, and you can tweak it if you want too.
Then, you need to establish a robust and exciting feed. Imagine yourself browsing through Instagram and find an interesting feed from someone you did not know. The possibilities for you to follow that account is relatively high! Because you aim to get inspired by his/her works. Therefore, it would be applied to you as well. Either you are focusing on food, travel, or lifestyle, each account got different characteristics and attributes. You will know everything over a given period. JUST FOCUS! (75% of my followings section on Instagram is foodies, the idea is those people are the one who loves to engage on my account consistently due to similar content).
4. CONSISTENCY OF STYLE
After all, the coherence of style speaks more than words. I still remember the first year of being a Food Blogger, I still posted a random lifestyle content like scenery or even a portrait. No wonder the engagement on my account is relatively small during that time. Because most of my followers or even me, get confused by looking at my Instagram feed. There is a lot of things happens there and did not work in the sequential order.
Consistency also means your style of photos. When it comes to food, there are several photography techniques including structure shots, flat lays, and ambiance oriented. You might realize that all of the pictures on my Instagram feed is structural shots. The reason I love this kind of technique is that it shows you everything about the food. There is a beautiful layer of Red Velvet Tart or even Cheesecake that you can see easily by applying this technique. I start being as a Food Blogger by using this kind of technique and that is why my blog called EATANDSTRUCTURE because it is all about the structure. Then, you need to ask yourself, how about you? What kind of technique that suits you well? I saw several foodies try to plagiarism what I do now by shifting from flat lays, or ambiance shots to the structure shots. As the results, the engagement becoming lower because people see inconsistencies in their feed. I did not feel worried about those individuals who try to copy my style. Because I have found my trademark and people will always remember it (Survey show that 7/10 strangers recognized me because of my style of photos - Random Sampling Using www.surveymonkey.com).
5. ACTIVELY ENGAGE
You always imagine to get thousand of likes or hundred of comments on your account, but you just forgot that engaging other content is clearly relevant. Never be too selfish with yourself when it comes to Instagram and social media. You want to be appreciated, so does other people. Therefore, you need to engage with other content which is RELEVANT TO YOURS actively! The reason why I put this sentence in caps lock because some of you might argue that engaging other content has been done properly, but the results are just invisible. Yes, the problem is because you never focus on what you were done. If you are foodies, make sure to engage with other food related content. Then, if you are a traveler, scenery and nature might be your best content to get engaged. Also, it is necessary to spend minimum 1 hour/day to engage on other content or reply any comment on your picture.
6. POWERFUL HASHTAG
Without hashtag, it is entirely difficult for people to discover your artworks. But, using unspecified hashtag also useless and corruptible. That is why choosing the right, and the great hashtag is necessary for any content that you posted on Instagram. You can use https://focalmark.com to help you to generate the great one. Do more experimenting to be stand out.
The algorithm of using the hashtag on any content on Instagram is to make your content viral at several territories. It will break up the barrier of impressions and engagement because people can find your image on exploring and hashtag search engine.
7. MAXIMISE CAPTION
Some of you have sometimes ignored the caption. In some cases, you might have a dynamic and emotional content being posted on Instagram, but the engagement level still weak. Probably, it is because the caption that you used. Either it is less informative, too informative, or more emojis there. Once again, emoji is important on your caption to attract people's attention. But, if it is too much, it would be less efficient and be considered as spam.
If you want to elevate the functionality of caption, do trial and error at first. It also happens to me at the past 2,5 years ago. I never create a good caption and result in lower engagement rate on my content. The only way to tackle this is to know your audiences and what they want from you. Either it is less informative or more informative, both ideas works on different people and different content.
8. ALWAYS RESEARCH
I have been working on Instagram for the past three years, and until now, I always do research. Research does not mean 'research.' But, you can only browse through Instagram or Internet Explorer to find what is happening in today's world or even what another influencer is focusing now. It will enable your creativity to create something unusual and fresh. But still, never lose your authenticity and generosity as well. Your style is your style, never be someone else's style.
9. SET A POSTING SCHEDULE
You can't be known if you post any content on a random timetable. Imagine you are followers of A and A always post a great content on the random hour. Today might be at 1.00pm, but tomorrow at 3.25pm, the next two days at 5.01pm and so on. Don't you get confused now? It does happen to you as well! Be consistent with what you do and keep focus. Set a potential posting schedule that you can afford either you are a professionals or students. Posting once a day is enough for some people as long as you are consistent.
10. SKILLS SPEAKS MORE THAN CAMERAS
I got so many questions on Instagram and Email about what camera did I use on a daily basis. I use FUJIFILM X-PRO 2 as my perfect travel partner. But still, it all depends on your skill and experience. You cannot produce high-quality content if you never pass a certain period of experience. Like what I said at the beginning, BE HONEST! It means that you can't be a real influencer if you never survive the test of time. Practice every day, always learn from another influencer, and be better. That three sentence is what I believe until now.
Hopefully, those ten steps do answer the question above. I would like every one of you to be inspired by this and keep on moving forward to achieve your dream. Nothing impossible in this world (even the words itself say 'I'AM-POSSIBLE'). The most noticeable things to be remembered is, YOU IS WHAT YOU ARE. No matter how good you are copycat other people's style or be someone else, you will become you in the end. People know you because what you do. Keep on do your best, and I believe we can meet on the top of the world someday! :)
Please drop any comments or suggestions down below. Would love the hear more from you guys here and thanks for reading this article. God bless you abundantly! :)
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