What’s important to remember is that while growth is more of an uphill battle these days, it’s still more than possible.

And what’s even more encouraging is that you don’t need hundreds of thousands of followers to succeed as an Instagram influencer in 2020 because brands are getting more and more attuned to the power of micro-influencers.

Firstly Identify Niche and Content Pillars

Picture this: you’re scrolling through Instagram’s Explore page and you come across a beautiful travel image. Since you love to travel and are always looking for more inspiration to jet set, you visit the profile.

The likelihood of you following a page that is filled with equally stunning travel imagery is much higher than if the page was filled with random images of a dog, a family, selfies, beauty products and flowers.

When people come to your page, they want to know what they can expect by following you and feel confident that they will consistently receive that type of content. Because of this, niching down is absolutely vital because it will help you grow your audience faster.

Identifying one specific topic to post about can oftentimes be really difficult, though. We are all multi-faceted with many interests, so it can be strange to post only about travel, fashion or wellness, for example.

Here are some questions to ask yourself that will lead you to your niche:

•What am I most passionate about?

•What am I most knowledgeable about?

•What could I happily create consistent content about for a year without making a dime?

Once you have your overall niche established, you’ll need to nail down 3-4 content pillars to get more clear on the type of content you’ll post on your Instagram. These content pillars are smaller, more specific topics that fall under your broader niche.

Secondly Stay Consistent

A few years ago, it was possible to post sporadically and grow consistently. But in 2020, it’s a different story.

If you want to see growth on Instagram and stay top of mind with your followers, it is vital to be consistent.

As far as feed posts go, pick a schedule. Whether it’s posting every day of the week or just Monday through Friday, set a posting schedule and commit to it. Your audience will want to know when they can expect to see new content from you.

Regardless of what schedule you commit to for feed posts, I recommend showing up on Instagram Stories every single day.

Write Meaningful Captions

The data from Fohr and Later’s recent study shows that average caption length has more than doubled since 2016.

And it’s no wonder: Users are wanting more out of the influencers they follow than a pretty photo and a cute 4-word caption.

Captions are a great opportunity to spark conversation and start forming meaningful connections with your community. They’re also a perfect place to provide value and inspiration to your audience.

Becoming a successful Instagram influencer isn’t easy, and it’s no secret that Instagram is a very different platform in 2020 than it was just a few years ago.

Long gone are the days when getting featured on a larger profile would grant you hundreds of thousands of new followers.

Posting a 3-word caption and seeing consistent growth? It doesn’t fly anymore. The old follow-unfollow “hack”? We don’t know her.

 Focus on Building Community

While follower growth and engagement rate are important metrics to be mindful of, influencers should be focusing equally — if not more — on the quality of the community they are cultivating with their audience.

When you’re hyper-focused on breadth, you might have a very large audience, but one that doesn’t necessarily trust your advice because you haven’t spent the time building it.

When you’re hyper-focused on depth, you’ll have an audience that trusts your recommendations, buys the products you recommend, and follows you to other platforms.

No matter what stage you’re at in your Instagram influencer career, building relationships within your community is the single most important thing you can do.

After posting on your feed, stick around on the app for at least 30 minutes after you’ve posted responding to comments and go back later in the day to respond to the rest.

When you receive DMs, always be sure to respond and strike up a genuine conversation. Sending voice notes adds a personal touch too (and saves your fingers!).

One way to do this is by asking your audience to engage with one another in the comments of a post.

In this episode of my podcast Her Life By Design, I spoke with luxury travel influencer Lindsay Silberman. 

Learn About Your Audience

Do you know more about your audience than basic demographic information? Do you know the kinds of brands your followers love, the jobs they have, their struggles & goals?

To succeed as an Instagram influencer, you truly need to know everything about the people following you because it will help you create content that they resonate with and that therefore performs well.

It will help you ensure that you take on the right kind of collaborations with brands that resonate with your audience and that your followers might buy from.

If you want to create a product of your own one day (an online course, a clothing line, a digital product), knowing what your audience’s interests, desires, and struggles are will be incredibly helpful in ensuring you won’t launch to crickets.

Set Yourself up for Brands to Approach You

One of the most common complaints I hear from new Instagram influencers is that brands aren’t coming to them and, most of the time, it’s because their page isn’t set up in a way that will attract them!

Some things you can do to make sure that potential brand partners know that you’re open for business:

Make sure you have a business profile

•Make your email address visible

•Be strategic with your content

Lastly Network,Network!

If you want 2020 to be the year you finally start getting brand collaborations, you need to put yourself out there.

Creating consistent content and building a community on Instagram without networking with brands is kind of like winking at a guy in complete darkness… they aren’t going to notice you.