How to Build a Brand on Instagram in 8 steps – Pt. 1
How to Build a Brand on Instagram in 8 steps
If you want to make money on Instagram, let me spell it out for you. The old rules don’t apply. They really don’t. If you’re a veteran of forum marketing, you know that if you just keep posting, eventually you will gain some sort of traction. It’s kind of like throwing spaghetti on the wall. You keep throwing pasta until something sticks.
Well, that’s not the case with Instagram. You either swing for the fences and build a solid brand, or it’s too easy for people to dismiss your account as just one of the many faceless, anonymous and essentially worthless accounts on Instagram.
Now, don’t get me wrong. You can have a nice post occasionally that gets a tremendous amount of engagement but, ultimately, your account won’t have much of an impact because you don’t really have a brand orientation.
You have to focus on building a solid brand that people can refer to time and time again. You have to build a solid persona that companies would want to sponsor. This doesn’t happen by random. Gone are the days when people just open an Instagram and post camping pictures, and suddenly they’re making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
Now, the game has pretty much solidified and, for better or worse, has become more corporate. Accordingly, you have to be more systematic and methodical about it otherwise it’s going be very hard for you to gain traction on Instagram.
What is at Stake?
Before I launch into the steps you need to follow to build a solid brand on Instagram, you need to understand what’s at stake. What exactly is the objective behind the brand? Well, it really all boils down to being taken seriously regarding a narrow range of topics because that’s what you’re selling. You’re selling your authority and your credibility.
It’s really hard to attract the attention of a corporate sponsor if they feel that your expertise is a mile wide and an inch deep. Rather, in this world of digital marketing, sponsors are looking for experts on topics that are an inch wide but a mile deep. Keep this in mind because it’s all about credibility. That is what you’re selling. That’s what sponsors will be investing in.
Here are the steps to building a solid brand on Instagram:
Step #1 – Do a Personal Assessment
To quote Socrates, “The unexamined life is a life not worth living.”
Live by these words. Pay attention to what you like to do. Pay attention to what you’re about. What do you believe? What are you passionate about?
Write these down and then score them in terms of intensity. What are the things that you would love to keep talking about? In fact, you enjoy these topics so much that even if you weren’t getting paid, you would continue to talk about them. Create a shortlist. This is going to be your initial filter list for your niche specialization.
Step #2 – Find a Tight Fit Between Your Personality, Your Passions and an Existing Niche on Instagram
Please understand that talking about the right stuff is not going to cut it. A lot of people are big fans of Donald Trump, but not everybody who is a big fan of Donald Trump would make a great Instagram personality. There has to be a tight fit between certain personality elements that you have and the niche that you are passionate about.
If you are a very timid person, and you don’t like confrontation, chances are championing Donald Trump or conservatism is probably not going to serve you well on Instagram or any other social media platform. On the other hand, if you love a good debate, and you have a good command of facts, and you have a very witty sense of humor, you might do quite well. Do you see how this works?
There has to be a tight fit between your personality, your niche passion and the fact that niche already exists on Instagram.
Step #3 – Build a Persona-Based Brand about Your Personal USP
What is USP? USP stands for a unique selling proposition. Everybody has a unique selling proposition.
Maybe you’re a very insightful person. Perhaps you are a very analytical person. Possibly, you have a very interesting sense of humor.
Whatever the case may be you have to be clear, based on your personal assessment, what your personal USP is. This is your product. This is what’s going to build credibility, authenticity and authority around your brand. You can’t fake it until you make it. That’s simply not going to work. You have to build on something real. Either you already have these USP or you don’t.
The key here is to focus on what you really have to offer and then base your persona around that. In other words, for example, if you like posting about tutorials on farming or gardening, pay attention to what kind of personality traits you would expect from somebody looking to convey that type of information.
You’re probably looking for somebody who is eager. You’re looking for somebody who goes out of his way to help other people. You’re looking for somebody who is knowledgeable but has a sense of humor. Build your persona around the expected personality of people that handle a particular niche based on your personal USP. The USP has to be there already.
Step #4 – Invest in High-Quality Photo Composition and Post Solid Photos
I’ve got some good news and bad news. The good news is that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on very expensive photo equipment. You really don’t. This is Instagram we’re talking about. Technically speaking, all the photos there are supposed to be shot with mobile phones.
With that said, your focus should shift to your composition skills. In other words, make sure that you have a good handle on the lighting. Make sure you have a firm grasp of how to shoot with the right angle. This way, when compared to other people in your niche, your posts would stand out. People would naturally gravitate to your photos because they are, at least on first glance, technically superior.
That’s the bottom line because pictures are worth a thousand words. You make your impression based on the image. Later, they would read the description, and that’s where your personality or your distinct take or point of view would stand out.