Gary Lim is here again to share with you how to make money on Instagram. The last time, he shared some tips on how to succeed in e-commerce as a beginner. Today, he will be showing you how you can become an influencer on Instagram.
First off I want to say thanks. Thanks for putting your trust in me to invest your time to read this article. This is also my first time doing something like this, so I am always open to your feedback and questions.
Firstly, I would like to talk a bit about on how I got started before I get into the details. Skip this part if you wish to just get into the details.
Here’s my story.
I always had an entrepreneurial mindset and have been trying to make money on the internet for about nine to ten months now with the first 6 months failing really miserably.
So, eight months ago, I decided to hop on Instagram for the pure sake of wanting to make money from it. Who doesn’t?
I got pitched to join an Instagram automation company and hopped on their affiliate program and that’s when my life started changing.
Looking back, the growth was really slow but throughout the process it taught me a lot about sales and marketing. And also, I met many people and built many connections. So it was worth it for me.
Then something big hit me.
I was seeing people who were gaining thousands of followers everyday and I was struggling to even get to 100 per day. And that got me thinking like what the heck was I doing wrong?
After about three or four months, things really started changing. I got introduced to a few mentors through a Facebook group and they were literally teaching people how to go viral for free.
Not long after all the live streams that I attended, I cracked the code.
I still remember my first post that went viral. That feeling was sensational. Today, I have clients that I’m working with to help them manage their accounts. I can say now that Instagram is quite a successful side hustle for me.
I believe that what comes around goes around, so I’m doing this help you, build more quality relationships, and also build my personal brand around integrity and transparency.
Alright. Enough about me for now. This article is about you.
1. The algorithm: How to solve the Instagram puzzle
Instagram is an algorithm. There is a reason why some people are struggling to gain 100 followers per day while others are doing over 1000 followers per day without trying.
Instagram wants to show high quality content to people who are most likely interested in their content. And that is through the explore page.
Explore page is where you should be gaining your followers from and people who tell you that hashtags is the best way to get the most followers are not the people you want to listen to. For Instagram to show your content to the right people, they segment each and every account into a niche automatically.
So let’s say you’re in the travel niche, for example, your content will be shown on the explore page of people who are also interested in travel.
Instagram determines whether a post is “high quality” based off a few things:
a. The amount of high quality engagement it has as soon as you post.
Example, if a 100,000 followers account decides to like your picture right after you post, your picture will be shown to the explore page of the people who followed that account. It also depends on many other variables like the amount of likes given out during the day and others which are not so important. Don’t fret the small things.
b. The quality of the image.
Long story short, Instagram tends to favor images which are nice and has a better quality. Although, low quality images are also able to go viral but let’s not over-complicate things.
2. Instagram content strategy: How to pick content
What type of content do you post exactly on Instagram?
I don’t know what niche you’re in but it doesn’t matter. If you know this dirty trick, growing accounts in any niche won’t be hard.
Look at what your competition is doing. Very simple.
Let’s say you are in the travel niche, just search for the term “travel” on Instagram’s search tool. Look at what the other 100,000 followers accounts are doing and do exactly what they are doing.
They already done the hard work for you by testing what works and what’s not working to grow an account in that particular niche. It’s not hard. You can screenshot their post or use an app to use the picture.
If you are growing your personal brand, of course you don’t want to be using other people’s picture.
What you can do is look at the kind of picture your market leader is using. Those pictures with the higher engagements are the one you should emulate.
So, if they have a picture of them reading a book and it has unusual engagement, you can try doing the same exact pose from the same exact angle since you know it’s already working.
Golden nugget right here.
3. Finding viral content on Instagram.
So now you know the type of content you need to post. Mostly you want to be using viral content, or semi viral contents.
To quantify whether a post is a viral post is pretty simple.
Let’s assume that you are taking a post from a competitor, so what you want to do is this. Look at the 12 most recent posts and find the average amount of likes. A viral post will have 30 percent more likes than the average one. You can use this for your page.
4. Hashtags: What the heck are they actually for?
# # # Hashtags!
You probably know what a hashtag is and how it works. If not google it. I’m trying to tell you the stuffs that isn’t found on Google.
So actually, hashtags are not really important for engagement. Hashtags are only responsible for about 15 percent of your engagement on average. Hashtags have been sort of hyped up because most people think that’s where most followers come from but it is actually not true.
If you are using the methods described above, you should be getting most of your followers from the explore page. The explore page is where you want your account to land.
This may sound contradicting but hashtags are crucial for Instagram to determine your account niche.
Instagram has a complex algorithm that will decide the niche that your account is based on some factors such as the type of pictures you post, the profiles you view, what you search, who you follow, hashtags you use and a ton of other factors which I’m not that sure about.
However, the point is that hashtags place an important role in the “classification” of your account.
For example, if you’re in the entrepreneur niche, you want to be using hashtags like #entrepreneurlifestyle. This way, Instagram will guess that you’re in the entrepreneur niche based on the factors above and then show your content to the people who are also interested in the entrepreneur niche.
So yes, hashtags are somewhat important when you’re just starting out. But personally, I’ve seen many big accounts who stopped using hashtags and they are still going viral and getting a ton of engagement and growth probably because they are lazy.
Most influencers are actually really lazy. Chances are they don’t check their DMs. And if they do, they don’t reply. Speaking from personal experience as well.
5. How to choose hashtags?
Personally, I find that choosing 28-29 hashtags with about 9-10 for small (50-100k recent posts), 9-10 for medium (100k-1million recent posts), and 9-10 for large work the best as a general guideline for anyone.
What I do is go to Instagram’s search bar and search for a particular hashtag. From there, I will click on the suggested ones and see which one and how many I can fit in to fit the criteria mentioned above.
As long as the hashtags you’re using makes sense in relation to your niche, post them. Don’t be scared to use them.
Some days when I’m feeling really lazy, here is what I do:
I’ll go to one of my competitors account and literally copy all of the hashtags they are using. This way, I save time since they’ve already done the hard work for me.
For you to make money on Instagram, you must do the right things. And Gary has explained exactly what he did and doing to make money on Instagram.
Don’t forget to leave your comments and share this post with your friends. You can learn more about Gary by connecting with him on Facebook.