Getting Your Instagram Account Ready for Brand Influencing
You may think that you need hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers to become a brand influencer on this social media platform. That’s not the case. You can connect with brands looking for influencers even if you’re in the 5,000–10,000 follower range. At Glew, we go through an extensive deep dive into the analytics, engagement rates, and likability of a profile before we accept a user onto our platform. These analytics aren’t available for just any Instagram user. Before you’re ready to be working with brands on promotional posts, branded campaign deals, and simple tagged shoutouts you must set your account up for success. You simply need to follow the following steps to get started.
Switch to a Professional Account
Professional accounts on Instagram are available for free to users who want to use their accounts as a brand or creator. You’ll benefit from the following when you switch to a professional account:
- Insights — You’ll be able to view data on how well your content is performing such as the number of accounts you’ve reached, amount of content interactions, percentage of follower increases, and detailed metrics on each post you share.
- Video — Creating video content through IGTV videos is user-friendly and you’ll be able to view metrics on insights like average percentage watched, comments, likes, reach, saves, shares, and video views.
- Promotion — You have the opportunity to significantly expand your reach and help new followers find your account by promoting a post, video, or story to increase engagement and expand your following base.
You won’t be able to switch to a professional account if your account is set to private mode. If you already created an account and have been posting for a while, you can still switch to a professional account for free and all of your content will still be listed on your profile. However, insights will only be available for the new content once you’ve switched to the professional account.
If you want to start working with brands seeking Instagram influencers, it’s important that you switch to a professional account. Some brands will still work with you without this. However, if you want to work with a brand influencer network, they’ll likely request to link your profile with them to your Instagram account so they can review engagement insights. That won’t be available to them if you don’t have a professional account.
Oftentimes before an influencer works with a brand, the brand requests to see the insights and analytics of the influencer’s profile. Don’t be alarmed if a brand is looking to see how many story views you get, how many times your posts are shared on average, how many times your posts are seen, and the full analytics of certain posts. Brands use this data to identify your level of influence and gauge how much value you are bringing to a brand. These analytics will most likely impact the amount of money you will be getting from a brand for a sponsored post. The higher the analytics, the higher the pay!
Switching to a professional account is simple. Open your Instagram account and click on the menu bar in the right-hand corner and go to settings. Then click on the account link. At the end of the list, click on the link to “Switch to Professional Account”.
You’ll be asked to navigate through the following steps:
- Identify — You’ll need to choose ‘creator’ or ‘business’ to describe yourself. Choose the ‘creator’ option if you want to become an influencer.
- Category — You’ll need to scroll through a listing of categories that you fit into, like blogger, writer, entrepreneur, journalist, public figure etc. You can choose to link to your Facebook page during this step. This step also gives you the option to include your contact information, like an email address, on your profile page to make it easy for brands to contact you.
Remember that you can go back and change categories if you need to in the future.
Optimize Your Profile Bio
Having a professional looking bio is important if you want to make an impact with new followers and brands that may want to connect with you for influencing campaigns for their products or services. Consider the following ways to enhance your Instagram bio.
- Profession — Include your profession in the bio. Sure, Instagram is a visual-based social media platform. However, it’s important that you give people an immediate idea of who you are, for instance a blogger, author, or writer.
- Unique — You need to stand out from others in your field, so make sure you add details to demonstrate your personality and why people should follow your account.
- CTA — Provide a clear call-to-action (CTA) for people such as connecting with you through your website or subscribing to your YouTube channel.
- Email — Be sure to provide an email account in your Instagram bio. Brands don’t like sending direct messages in the abyss of the DM inbox because it could get lost and also comes across as less professional. Allow them to reach you in an email setting to begin the relationship.
Remember that it is easy to change content in your bio. Be open to change. Maybe what you had listed isn’t working and fails to grab people’s attention. Don’t be afraid to change things up. Of course, you’ll want to keep your profession the same–unless that changes. However, feel free to change your call-to-action (CTA) if one hasn’t been getting any traction, and change up the words that set you apart.
Stay True to Your Own Brand
It’s great to have a variety of photos that you post. Just remember to stick to your overall brand. You want people to be able to easily identify who you are simply by looking at your photo grid on your profile–even if they didn’t view your profile yet.
For example, if you want to get connected to lifestyle brands that promote natural products or healthy living and eating, share photos of a new healthy recipe that you made and really enjoyed. If you want to connect with fashion brands, focus on posting some photos of yourself with your new seasonal wardrobe.
When you stay true to your brand in all the content that you post on Instagram, you’ll be well on your way toward connecting with brands who want social media influencers.
Register for Glew’s Brand Influencer Network
With platforms like Glew, the sole purpose of the company is to connect brands and influencers together. There are various platforms online, but most of them don’t directly allow the brands and influencers to connect. Once accepted into the Glew platform, as an influencer you can see a plethora of deals that brands have posted. By applying to be a part of these deals, brands will see your social analytics and profile and make a decision to scout you for a brand campaign.
You can try to connect directly to brands like Johnson & Johnson or the Coca Cola Company. This, hypothetically could be done by sending an email to them, or direct messaging their Instagram account. However, that route is more difficult, and large companies usually work with more well-known influencers who have large followings.
The best route when starting out as an influencer is to register as a creator with some of the companies who work with influencers who have smaller followings. They generally ask questions such as follower count on the major social media platforms and whether or not you have a blog, and you’ll likely have to link your accounts to your profile on their platform to track metrics.
The general process is that once you’re approved as a creator with their network, you can view opportunities on their dashboard and apply as an influencer. Then the brand will review your pitch stating why you’d be a great influencer for their campaign–and then they’ll review your social accounts.
Starting Small is the Only Place to Start
Unless one of your videos, blog posts, or social media posts goes viral and continues spiraling into the stratosphere, it’s going to take hard work to become a brand influencer. Don’t let that discourage you. If you never begin, you won’t succeed. Start small by following these steps to get your Instagram account ready for brand influencing. This article focused solely on Instagram since many brands offer opportunities for this social media platform, rather than the others. YouTube is generally a second choice, then TikTok, then Facebook, and then Twitter.