How to become an influencer with Nicky Lark, creator of fashion and lifestyle blog Calmly Kaotic.
Vamp influencer Nicky Lark outlines her top tips of how to become an influencer and succeed. She covers growing your followers, to embracing the Instagram community, her top 3 influencer apps, writing the perfect Instagram caption and why it’s important to be authentic and selective of the briefs you choose.
It’s been a wild ride since I started my Instagram @calmlykaotic and blog 3 years ago. I came to Instagram in the first place for inspiration, I loved getting lost in the imagery and being able to engage with women that I admired for their style, and of course all the lifestyle & travel goals.
It was this inspo that got me thinking about starting my own blog and after a lot of hustle (yep, being an influencer requires a lot of actual effort) I have turned my side-passion into a side-income, and loving every moment this ever changing and ever growing industry.
So I thought I’d share some of my top tips on how to become an influencer:
How to grow your followers
It’s taken me a long time to grow my following but growing authentically has been super important to me. I’ve really learned a lot over the past few years, and it’s taken time & effort with all of the algorithm changes which have made organic reach less achievable, but I’ve found that the only thing that has continued to work is authentically engaging with other accounts. It often means spending some quality time with Instagram – I guess like any relationship, you only get out as much as you put in!
With hashtags becoming less effective, this often means getting lost in what I call “the rabbit hole”, click after click after click finding new accounts (and therefore new audiences) and offering them likes, comments, and genuine follows (none of this follow-back bs). The more exposure you can get yourself, by making people aware you exist, the more likely you are to gain new, real, engaged, authentic followers.
Embrace the Community
For those trying to discover how to become an influencer, they must know that community is key. Ultimately, what comes with authentic growth is authentic connections and it’s the influencer/blogger & PR community that I’ve come to love most about Instagram. I’ve met so many amazing people through this platform and I’m grateful for genuine friendships I’ve formed (both online and irl) and the willingness to share knowledge on growth & monetisation – which is actually how I came to hear about the Vamp app!
Top influencer apps
Speaking of apps, here are 3 apps that have helped me grow, and made my experience of Instagram super fun:
- PLANN is an app I use for pre-organising my feed. Apparently it takes milliseconds for someone to glance at your feed and decide if they’ll follow you! That is staggering statistic, right!? But it’s true! I use PLANN so I can arrange my next 9 images ahead of time and make sure that my feed is always looking clean and not too spammy with sponsored content. Mixing flatlays with fashion shots, travel & food – I love being able to play around and really curate my feed.
- PicTapGo has always been my go-to for image editing. This app was recommended by another amazing influencer and I’ve never looked back, so I’m happy to pay it forward and share the hot tip. This app allows you to create your own ‘recipe’ of filters, and save it, so you can quickly edit all your photos within seconds using your own unique filter.
- Vamp is by far my favourite influencer app, as it allows you to apply for briefs that you align with (and skip the briefs that aren’t your thing) without any commitment to purchase product or create content prior to selection. When you’re selected for a brief with Vamp you’re sent relevant product & have complete creative freedom to produce your content! I love that at a glance you can see your deadlines for approved briefs, and new briefs you haven’t yet applied for. You’re paid upon completion and it’s just… easy.
Be authentic and selective
I love working with brands. I have a marketing background so it stands to reason I love creating sponsored content. I’ve always been able to use my imagination to come up with an ‘angle’ for promoting almost any product, but it’s important to me to be honest about my associations and only work with brands that I genuinely align with. Which often means saying, No. It’s not always easy to say no to an offer of payment but it’s so much more important to build your ‘personal brand’ and be as niche as possible within your category. If you can build trust with your followers and offer them consistency with the brands, products and style of content you produce then you can foster long lasting insta-relationships within your community.
How to write the perfect Instagram caption
Gone are the days when a simple emoji was enough to caption a photo! A picture might be worth a thousand words but not when you’re working with brands, and not when Instagram algorithm favours meaningful captions & comments. There’s no predicting how well photos will rank in the algorithm anymore but we can certainly do our best to engage followers with meaningful captions. When I’m posting for a brand I try to think about what I would say about the photo if it wasn’t sponsored, and vice-versa. It helps me to structure posts with both brands and followers in mind, and keeps my feed genuine and consistent – something brands, followers and Instagram all look for!
Instagram is still growing, with more users coming across to this platform from others every day. If I can offer any final advice about how to become an influencer it’s to stay ahead of the pack with information & quality. Keep up with any new functions that Instagram brings in, join some groups or pods to share knowledge within your niche, and simply align your focus and just keep working on producing high quality content.