Written by Caroline Forsey. Instagram is no longer just about connecting with friends -- in , it has become an incredibly powerful platform for finding your voice and creating a business. In fact, Instagram's estimated mobile advertising revenue is expected to reach 6.
Nowadays, Instagram is capable of turning stay-at-home moms into successful hat designers , or a woman working in corporate wealth management into a world traveler.
So it's no surprise you want to become an Instagram influencer, and reach a large audience with your own personal brand. Since I myself am not an Instagram influencer I think an average 60 likes per post falls a little short of most brands' minimum for sponsorship opportunities , I set out to interview some real Instagram influencers in the industry, so you can get the full scoop.
Throughout my conversations with these influencers, one thing became abundantly clear -- the term "famous" makes most of them uncomfortable. Apparently, "famous" denotes something less substantial than what most of these people are chasing. As Emma Hoareau emmahoareau , a beauty and travel influencer who boasts nearly 40k followers, tells me, "Don't set out to be Instagram famous!
Create beautiful work and use the app as a source of inspiration If you think about it, "fame" and "influence" are two drastically different measures of success. While fame is measured by a certain number, influence is measured by something a little less quantitative -- a deep, authentic connection with your audience. Here, we've compiled some critical tips from fourteen Instagram influencers, so you can get one step closer to sharing your brand with the world and influencing your own audience. Across the board, all the influencers in this list insisted on one tried-and-true practice -- authentic content.
Emily Roberts thelipstickfever a fashion and beauty influencer with over 57k followers, told me, "Focus on quality over quantity when it comes to your content. It's better to post top notch images less frequently, than to post something subpar very frequently. To me, this makes sense -- the same is true for any type of content creation. An audience would rather read one high-quality Facebook status than a hundred less interesting ones.
At HubSpot, we'd prefer to publish a few exceptional pieces of content per day, rather than laboring away to produce hundreds of barely average pieces. Emma Hoareau emmahoareau concurred: "Make sure the content you're sharing is true to yourself, and try not to compare yourself to others.
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Of course, authenticity is easier said than done, particularly when you're following other accounts and feeling envious of their posts or their brand image. You might, at times, doubt your ability to remain honest about your life when it's tempting to portray something a little shinier. Nic and Nat sneakymommies , two women who create kid-friendly, healthy recipes on their Instagram account and have over 6, followers, say you should "stay authentic and always be you.
This means being truthful and honest about who you are both online and offline and staying true to your personal brand. Finally, Chelsea Martin passporttofriday , a travel blogger and influencer with over 17k followers, says commitment to your brand is critical -- "don't take just any collaboration offer that comes through the door.
Stay loyal to your personal brand and your followers will stay loyal to you. While it can be tempting to take the first sponsorship offer you receive, long-term growth is about remaining committed to partnering with brands that can offer meaningful value to your audience, as well. When you follow Instagram influencers, you might feel like they joined the app with an inherent and instant understanding of their brand -- at least, that's how I've always felt.
To verify this, I asked Nicole Loher nicoleloher , a health and fitness influencer with over 14k followers, whether she knew what she wanted her brand to be when she first created her Instagram account. Nicole told me, "I've always had a really pure goal to share a super authentic glimpse into my life -- no matter if it's good or bad -- because I ultimately moved to New York not knowing anyone … And 'making it' here was never and still is not easy. I think as my following began to amass, I realized I had a real platform to be an advocate for projects, communities and brands, I'm passionate about -- the most notable one being the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
That said, about three years ago, my brand started to shift. I went from being a girl who worked in fashion and beauty, to a competitive triathlete. It wasn't something I set out to do -- it just shifted as my life shifted! It seems a key factor in remaining authentic and true to your audience is, ironically, allowing yourself to change direction. Family Creative Learning is a workshop series that engages children and parents to learn together using Scratch and MaKey Makey. The free online Facilitator Guide includes everything you need to plan for your own Family Creative Learning Workshops.
The curriculum was designed for middle school participants in afterschool programs. Howtosmile is a collection of more than 3, free science and math activities curated by educators from museums, public television stations, universities, and more. Filter activities by age group, material cost, and learning time to find activities that best suit the needs of your program.
LinkEngineering is an online community and resource portal for educators looking to engage students in grades K in engineering. Resources are posted by LinkEngineering community members and include a wide variety of activities and curricula. NASA Wavelength is an online collection of peer-reviewed Earth and space science resources for all grade levels. Explore the NASA Education site as well for many exciting ways to bring space science into your afterschool or summer program. The Design It!
Designed for elementary students and the afterschool environment by the National Partnerships for Afterschool Science and the Education Development Center with funding from the National Science Foundation.
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Plum Landing is an environmental science initiative designed to engage children ages with hands-on science activities. This includes three curriculum pathways designed for afterschool, clubs, and camps, as well as online learning games and environmental webisodes. Materials include semester- and year-long curricula, activity kits, instructor guides, and websites that offer content appropriate for afterschool programs.
Science Action Club is a network of afterschool programs supported to offer citizen science to students in grades 5 to 8.
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Members receive online and in-person trainings, curricula, and supplies. From the California Academy of Sciences. Science Club offers free curricula on the science of food, sports, movies, medicine, engineering, and clean water. SciGirls' activity guides focus on engineering, the science of living things, physical science, and more. While the guides are designed with girls in mind, activities can be used with all learners and are available in English and Spanish.
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Activities include science journals, circuit boards, scribbling machines, and nature bots. Instructor guides and videos are available free online. While created for upper-elementary school students, the activities can be adapted for students of all ages.
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Department of Education. ZOOM is a series of easy-to-run activities that can be used and modified for all ages. From PBS Kids. Afterschool Alliance Webinars are a great resource for learning about pressing issues in the afterschool field. Here are a few options to consider. For example, comedian Jenna Mourey, more commonly known by her YouTube name Jenna Marbles, sells T-shirts and posters featuring one of her dogs. Selling a physical product might require you to buy materials or find a manufacturer, but you can also sell downloadables such as e-books or art prints.
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Have a secure payment system in place before you advertise your goods. Or if, for example, your videos teach viewers how to draw, you could set up a free class at a local park and sell your book of drawing techniques afterward. Recurring crowdfunding lets contributors pay an amount they specify on a regular schedule. Incentives such as one-on-one video chats, private classes or merchandise can entice viewers to sign up. If you have an idea for a project that requires financial support, a project-based crowdfunding campaign is the way to go.
Devon Delfino is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: ddelfino nerdwallet.