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Becoming an Instagram influencer is no easy task. Want your Instagram account to have millions of followers but don’t know how to get there?
Becoming an Instagram influencer is not easy and requires hard work and dedication. Coming across a feed that has a million followers may not seem like a big deal, but the person behind the account puts time, work, and effort into it. They strategize, mold their accounts, and craft them into what they are.
Take a leap of faith
Do you dream of being a famous influencer and travel blogger who gets paid to travel like Ryan Gargiulo, the creative mind behind the wildly popular account, @pausethemoment? Or Kiersten Rich, the gorgeous @theblondeabroad?
Getting to where these two are isn't easy, and it all begins with a leap of faith. Growing a following of 31,000 people, like Ryan’s, takes a lot of time, which is why he even left his day job to follow his passion. His 6-month long trip is still going, and his thousands of followers hope it never ends. Ryan’s pictures from around the world are beautiful and awe-inspiring, but even more powerful is his love and passion for life. Kiersten left her comfortable and well-paying finance job to explore as well. She’s since visited 55 countries and been exposed to incredible sights and cultures.
If Ryan Gargiulo isn’t proof enough that taking a leap of faith is necessary to run a popular travel blog, take Jack Morris, the man behind @doyoutravel, and his girlfriend, Lauren Bullen, the beauty known as @gypsea_lust. Jack was cleaning carpets for a living, falling into a rut of routine, when he decided to pick up and explore the world. He bought a one-way ticket to Bangkok, and started his travel blog, from where he documents his adventures. Along the way, he met his current girlfriend and travel companion, Lauren, in Fiji. The two travel to some of the world’s most beautiful and exotic locations, and get paid for it too! You read that right. Instagram influencers as big as this couple get paid up to six figures from sponsors.
If you want to be a top Instagram influencer, you need to take a leap of faith and dive in fully. Travel bloggers like Ryan Gargiulo, Jack Morris, and Lauren Bullen would never have gotten to where they are today if they hadn’t followed up on their wild and crazy ideas. And Jack and Lauren would never have found each other either.
Don’t Be Afraid to Be Different
Most pictures on Instagram are of people; selfies, smiles, and faces. If you want to become an influencer, you can’t be afraid to be different. Being different makes you unique, which is the reason why someone would want to follow you in the first place.
Take Mel Hie, for example. The creative soul from @girleatworld. It’s a food and travel blog with 396,000 loyal followers. In her feed bio, Mel says she’s eating her way around the world and capturing her moments in photos taken on an iPhone X.
The whole concept behind her feed is that Mel herself is never in any pictures; it’s just her hand holding a drink, dessert, or anything else delicious, and a worldly background from her current location. Mel thought of the idea behind the creative photos because she doesn’t like selfies and didn’t want to appear in any photos herself. So she did something different, something that wasn’t being done by others. Her risk paid off, and her account has taken off like crazy.
Another classic example of switching things up and not following the norm is Murad Osmann, the Russian photographer behind @muradosmann. Murad became one of the most famous Instagram travel bloggers after he started his “follow me to” series. In the photos, you see Murad holding his wife’s hand and being led to a new place. The account has a whopping 4.5 million followers and beautiful pictures that will make you think differently about photos, perspective, and life in general. The angle Murad chooses to capture his subjects from is unusual, yet incredible and thought-provoking.
Whatever you want your Instagram account or blog to be about, do it with passion. Drive is what gets you to a goal, but passion is what keeps you there and what attracts others. One Instagram account that gets this right is Passion Passport, or @passionpassport on Instagram. The account’s bio describes it as a community, and that the account holder(s) live to tell impactful stories about travel. It collects photos tagged with #passionpassport and then shares them with its community of creatives and storytellers in order to inspire them to explore. Passion Passport’s passion for travel is apparent, and it impacts others.
Passion can also be seen in the account Beautiful Destinations, whose handle is @beautifuldestinations. The account, which has 10.4 million followers, celebrates people, places, and activities around the world by sharing stunning photos. Each photo is beautifully edited, making you want to buy a ticket around the world and explore it for yourself.
Most importantly, when growing your Instagram following to become an influencer, you need to promote what you’re good at. Putting your best foot forward means it’ll be that much easier to come across as genuine and succeed in whichever area you choose.
A prime example of someone doing what they’re good at and taking it to the masses is Chris Burkard, the photographer who created the @chrisburkard account. Chris just needed a camera and he was happy, which is why he turned it into his job. He has 2.9 million followers, and aims to inspire them to pick up a camera for themselves and photograph the beautiful world around them. We also like Jessica Stein, the “wanderer” behind the account, @tuulavintage. She travels taking pictures, but puts a fashion spin on all of her adventures. She has taken what she likes and what she’s good at and turned it into something that works for her.
Taking your Instagram account from “meh” to “wow” is hard work, but achievable. And the most effective way to do it, of course, is to learn from the best. Tune into some of the top influencers to see what they do, but most importantly, always be yourself and let your passion shine through.
But there is more than one way to become an influencer. You can also create a travel blog. It will allow you to show off your lifestyle and encourage others to explore other cultures or destinations they might not have known about before.
Having a travel blog isn't just about documenting the places you've been. It's about adding value to other people's lives by giving them ideas for their next holiday or adventure. It's about meeting other travelers and becoming a person who inspires others and helps them find their own motivation.
Just imagine how good it would feel every time someone comments on how awesome you are or tags you in an Instagram post with their memories from that same place!