Selfie-Made: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming an Instagram Influencer in 2023

Naomi Michaelian

Support Specialist at Notch Insurance

Instagram tips

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Influencer Success: Tips, Tricks, and Strategies to Take Your Account to the Next Level!

Are you an avid Instagram user with a passion for creating captivating content? Have you ever considered turning your love for the platform into a career as an Instagram influencer, or content creator? The rise of social media has paved the way for a new wave of celebrities - influencers who have built a following through their engaging content and relatable personalities. But with so much competition on the platform, it can be challenging to stand out and build a successful career as an influencer. In this post, we'll guide you through the ultimate roadmap to Instagram influencer success, sharing tips, tricks, and strategies to take your account to the next level. Whether you're just starting out or looking to grow your following, this guide will provide you with the tools you need to become a top Instagram influencer.

How to effectively define your niche and target your audience as a content creator or influencer

One of your first steps should be defining your niche and target audience. Doing that will help you create Instagram content that is focused, valuable, and relevant to your audience while identifying your target audience will help you reach the users who are most likely to be interested in your content.

Why is niche defining so important

@brock11johnson (637K followers), an Instagram growth coach, and @itsmodernmillie (128K followers), an online educator and YouTuber - both agree that selecting a niche is key.
According to Brock and Millie, defining your niche will-

  • Provide clarity for you, your followers, and Instagram’s algorithm
  • Help you build credibility and establish yourself as an expert
  • Allow you to stand out in a saturated industry
  • Make attracting and building your ideal following easier
  • Give people an easy way to talk about and recommend your account

What you should be asking yourself when defining your niche and target audience

“Fitness VS. fitness from home for busy moms,
Travel VS.
Budget-friendly international travel,
Fashion VS.
Eco friendly 70’s fashion”

As you embark on creating content for your chosen niche, it's essential to ask yourself a set of questions that can help you to get a better understanding of your niche and who you're creating content for:

  • What topics or interests am I most passionate about and knowledgeable in?
  • What types of content do I enjoy creating the most?
  • Who is the target audience for my content, and what are their demographic characteristics (age, gender, location, education, income, etc.)?
  • What problems or challenges do my target audience face, and how can I help solve them?
  • What are the values and beliefs of my target audience?
  • Who are my competitors, and how can I stand out from them?
  • What are my unique strengths and talents that I can bring to my niche?

To give you a better idea of what well-defined niches look like, @MillieAdrian, gives some awesome examples of honed-in niches that speak to particular segments of the market :

How you can create content that truly engages your audience

One of your main goals as an Instagram influencer or content creator should be producing content that not only attracts the interest of your target audience but also stimulates them to take action, such as commenting, liking, or sharing your content. By doing so, you can build a dedicated following, boost your reach, and establish your authority within your niche.
Your goal is to create content that people want to see and share with others, whether it's because it's visually appealing, informative, entertaining, or thought-provoking.

There are endless strategies, methods, and content discussing Instagram’s reach algorithm. We’ve selected our top-3 tips you should keep in mind:

1. Create visually appealing posts

Instagram is, after all, a visual platform, so it's important to create visually appealing posts that stand out and suit your aesthetic. To make your posts truly eye-catching, aim to use high-quality images or videos, experiment with creative compositions, incorporate bright colors, and explore different techniques for shooting and editing your content.

2. Tell a story

People love stories, so try to weave a narrative into your content. Whether a personal anecdote or a behind-the-scenes look at your life, this can help create an emotional connection with your followers.

3. Interact with your followers

Engage with your followers by responding to comments, asking for their opinions, or running polls. This will make them feel valued and encourage them to continue engaging with your content!

@Brock11johnson’s shares his 16 strategies for boosting engagement:

How setting goals can help you succeed as an Instagram influencer and creator

Step 1: SMART goal setting

SMART - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound

Without clear goals, it's difficult to track progress and determine what strategies are working and what needs improvement.
Your goals should be SMART - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound, such as increasing your followers by a certain percentage, improving your engagement rate, or securing a certain number of sponsored posts per month. By setting goals, you can create a roadmap for your success and hold yourself accountable for achieving your desired outcomes. It's also important to regularly evaluate your progress and adjust your goals as necessary. By consistently setting and working towards your goals, you can take your Instagram account to the next level and achieve the success you desire as an influencer.
Here are some examples of goals you can set to measure your progress and success:

  • Expand reach by collaborating with 3 new content creators within the next quarter.
  • Increase website traffic by 20% through Instagram by the end of the year.
  • Increase followers in a specific demographic by 25% within the next 2 months.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with at least 3 followers or fellow influencers per week through engaging in comments and direct messages.

Step 2: Break down your actions

Once you have set your goals, the next step is to break them down into actionable steps. This will help you to focus on the specific tasks that you need to accomplish in order to achieve your larger goals. Once you have broken down your goals into actionable steps, you can create a more detailed plan of action to help you stay on track toward achieving your desired outcomes. @itsmodernmillie shares some examples of actions that you can take to support your goals:

For growth on the platform:

  • Create more Reels to reach new users, and treat every Reel as if it's someone's first time seeing you - add a call-to-action at the end.
  • Explain why someone should follow you in your bio.
  • Engage with people who DON'T follow you to reach more users.
  • Study analytics to see what leads to followers and reach.

For increasing engagement:

  • Engage with your CURRENT followers by commenting on their posts, replying to comments, and DMing them.
  • Sort your analytics by post engagements to see which content performs the best.

For making sales/finding clients:

  • Establish your authority by creating pinned posts that introduce who you are and educate on what you offer.
  • Use calls-to-action in your bio to lead people to a freebie.
  • Create highlights that will generate income, such as affiliates, products, FAQs about your service, and more.

Using AI to help with content creation

As a beginner influencer or content creator, it can be challenging to come up with fresh and engaging content ideas for your Instagram. However, you can utilize AI tools to help you generate content ideas and improve your content strategy. 

Fun fact: This paragraph was written with the help of artificial intelligence!

Which AI tools you should use

Start by choosing an AI tool that fits your content creation needs. There are various AI tools available that can help you with different aspects of content creation, such as generating ideas, optimizing headlines, analyzing performance, and more. Do some research to see what suits your specific requirements. We’ve gathered some of the best AI tools for influencers and creators:


This AI-powered chatbot can help you provide personalized responses to your audience's queries. It can also help you generate human-like text for social media posts, captions, and chatbot conversations.


This AI-powered writing tool can help you generate catchy headlines, engaging social media posts, and full-length articles. It's perfect for busy creators who want to save time and effort while still producing great content.

This AI-powered video editing tool can help you create automatically short, highly-sharable branded videos from your long-form content. It's perfect for influencers and content creators who want to take their video content to the next level.

Answer The Public 

Not an AI tool, but, if you're stuck for ideas, Answer The Public can help you generate a list of questions and topics related to a specific keyword. This can help you come up with new ideas for blog posts, videos, and social media content.

Help it help you

Provide clear and specific prompts to the AI tool. Be precise about the type of content you want to generate and the tone you want to use. The more information you provide the tools, the better results you can expect that truly suits you and your original intention.

Kickstarting with AI tools

Having a hard time coming up with content ideas? Consider using generated ideas as a starting point for your own unique content creation process. The AI tools can provide you with lots of content ideas, but it's up to you to flesh them out and make them your own. 

how to use AI to become a better content creator
An example of using AI to create more and faster

Avoid robotic and dull content

While AI tools can be a total lifesaver for generating content ideas, it's important to remember not to rely solely on them. Injecting your creativity and expertise into your content will give it that unique edge that sets it apart and makes it truly influential. Sure, AI-generated content can save you time, but too much of it can leave your followers feeling like they're getting a robotic experience. And always keep in mind: AI tools can be great helpers, but they're not perfect. So, remember to double-check your facts and sources before sharing any content that the tool has produced. After all, you don't want to be spreading any misinformation to your followers!

Turning your influence into profit

As an Instagram influencer or content creator, monetizing your influence is a crucial step toward building a sustainable career.

We’ve gathered 4 of our favorite strategies to help you with that!

Working with brands

If you're interested in partnering with a brand, don’t be afraid to reach out to them! Contacting the brand via email or a DM can be a great way to get the conversation started. To increase your chances of success, it's essential to be clear, and professional, and provide concrete evidence of why they should work with you. For example, you could share stats from your Analytics page that showcase your audience and engagement. Creating a media kit is another effective way for demonstrating your professionalism and the value you can offer as a partner. As you become more established as an influencer, brands will start reaching out on their own — especially if they can see that you know your niche, and have a strong connection with your audience. 

Take advantage of your Instagram bio link

Don't overlook the potential of your Instagram bio link! This feature can serve as a valuable tool for expanding your brand presence and generating additional sources of income. By linking to other social media platforms, your blog posts or podcasts, portfolio or LinkedIn resume, online store, or affiliate links, you can increase engagement and reach across various channels.

As a start, you can join Notch Affiliate Program - If you do decide to become a policyholder, you'll be able to apply and gain money per lead generated.

How to make money with Instagram

Although, Meta announced they will stop offering Reels bonuses to creators on Facebook and Instagram, you can still use the following tools -

Go live and earn badges

Instagram badges have emerged as a popular feature that allows creators to monetize their Live content and show appreciation for their most dedicated supporters.

So how do Instagram badges work? It's simple: during a live session, creators produce content for their followers, who can then purchase badges as a token of appreciation. The badges come in three different pricing options: USD 0.99, USD 1.99, or USD 4.99.

Supporters who have purchased badges during a Live session are entitled to extra benefits, including a special icon that appears beside their name when commenting and the ability to use a unique heart symbol during the live video.

Open an Instagram shop

If you sell a product(s) online, integrating your product catalog with your Instagram profile through Instagram Shop can be a game-changer. This feature allows you to promote your products directly to Instagram users through posts, Stories, the Explore tab, and a special Shop tab on your profile. Users can make purchases directly in-app without being redirected to your website, providing them with a seamless shopping experience. 

Taking it one step at a time

When it comes to achieving success as an Instagram influencer, it's important to acknowledge that it won't happen overnight and that you need to start small, taking one step at a time. It's okay to start with a small following and to learn and grow as you go.  A "fake it till you make it" mindset can help you manifest success. This doesn't mean being dishonest or inauthentic; it means believing in yourself and your potential, even if you haven't fully achieved your goals yet. By projecting confidence and putting in the work to improve your content and grow your following, you can start to attract opportunities and collaborations that will help you reach your goals. Remember, success is a journey, not a destination, and by staying focused, committed, and persistent, you can achieve the level of success you aspire to!

Protect your hard work

Regardless of the number of followers you currently have, the risk of having your account hacked is a genuine concern. Losing access to your account can result in the loss of your hard work and potential income. This is where Notch comes in, offering the world's first insurance for Instagram accounts.

With Notch's Instagram account insurance, you can rest assured that you have a safety net in case of a hack. Not only does this insurance solution provide financial assistance, but it also offers support in regaining access to your account.

By treating your account with safety measures and insuring it with Notch, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that you have a backup plan in case of a hack.

As a beginner influencer, having social media insurance can also make you more attractive to brand partners, as it demonstrates your commitment to keeping your account secure.

In fact, according to a survey conducted by Notch, 85% of influencer marketers are willing to pay extra to work with influencers who have social media insurance. This means that investing in Instagram account insurance can not only protect your account but also make you more appealing to potential brand partners.


Insure your Instagram account with Notch

Get the peace of mind you need to focus on growing your online business.

Starting from $8/mo
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