To be successful on social media, you must post consistently and post quality content. A big part of that is simply a mindset.
In this article, we’ll teach you a foundation of how to be a successful Influencer on Instagram - this includes how to be more creative, a mindset for posting consistently, and the basics of a quality post.
How to be more creative
Contrary to popular belief, creativity is not something you’re born with. It’s a skill that is cultivated over time. Creativity is like a muscle 💪 the more you exercise, the more powerful it becomes.
To exercise your creativity muscle, keep a lookout for opportunities where you can be creative. Let’s start with your bedroom - how can you make your bedroom more creative? Add color, add photos - do you like the beach? Place photos of a palm tree on your wall so you think of the beach whenever you enter your bedroom.
It’s also helpful to change up your surroundings often so you can consistently be practicing creativity. This is similar to the science behind improvisation. Take advantage of opportunities to periodically work in different environments. If you’re in an office setting, sit with new colleagues or invite people from different departments to lunch.
“You want your physical and social surroundings to change,” says Robert Epstein, senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology. “If it’s the same old stuff on the walls and your desk -- and the same people you’re talking to -- that’s not necessarily good for creativity.” (Forbes)
How to post consistently
Posting consistently may seem like a daunting task. Social media can sometimes feel like a full-time job - in fact, many influencers and companies have an entire team behind their content creation and platform operation. But that doesn’t mean you need to too! It’s better to start small.
A good way to start posting consistently is by getting into the habit of documenting what you are already doing, rather than brainstorming new content. With this mindset, you’ll always be on the lookout for a new post (that may even spring up right in front of you!). Inspiration can hit at any moment - so be sure your phone stays charged 😀 It can be in the car, while walking on the sidewalk, or at the bar. If you see something that is satisfying to look at, snag a quick photo (or video or boomerang). Even if you don’t have time to think up a caption and post it right away, at least you have the picture (which is the most important part!) then next time you’re laying on your bed scrolling through Instagram, scroll through your recent photos and start working on your next post. If you don’t get the post just right, utilize the drafts feature in Instagram until you’re ready to post. For more info on using the draft feature, see here.
Here are a couple Gary Vee videos to help you
understand the idea of “document don’t create”
Pop music is popular for a reason 📻 it follows a specific formula that resonates well with the human brain. Most creative channels are like this. In photography, there are a few tricks you can follow to help your photos stand out and appeal to more people. Here are some of our favorites:
Use the rule of thirds
This rule helps you take eye-catching pictures by using one of the most effective rules of composition.
To use the rule of thirds, imagine four lines, two lying horizontally across the image and two vertical creating nine even squares. (see photo's below) Some images will look best with the focal point in the center square, but placing the subject off-center at one of the intersecting points of the imaginary lines will often create a more aesthetically composed photograph.
When a photograph is composed using the rule of thirds the eyes will wander the frame. This makes the photo more pleasing to the eye.
Use cool backgrounds
When photographing a subject (like yourself!) pay attention to the background just as much as the subject. This will create an overall appealing photo. If you are photographing in front of landscapes, it helps to create a sense of depth, in other words, make the viewer feel like they are there.
If you don’t have a cool background near you, the simple approach is another great option. You have to decide what needs to be in the shot, while not including anything that is a distraction. Also, simple backgrounds tend to look better in digital photography.
If possible, choose a plain background (neutral colors and simple patterns). You want the eye to be drawn to the subject as the focal point of the image rather than a patch of out-of-place color or an odd building in the background. This is especially vital in a shot where the subject is placed off center.
Try not to use flash
Flash on smartphones tend to not work well. Definitely use your best judgement, but it’s safe to say that most of the time you’re better off fixing your environments lighting rather than using a flash. Flash can look harsh and unnatural especially for indoor portraits.
Use the native features
There are a ton of features available today like portrait mode, filters, boomerangs, video, panorama.... The list goes on! Make it a point to try out all the different features so you know what you have to work with. When you thoroughly understand each feature, you will know which to use and when. For example, when a shot would look nice with slight movement or panning, you’ll think to yourself “this is a good opportunity for a boomerang.”
Use filters and effects
You can use preset filters to change lighting, exposure, and hue to achieve any desired emotion. Also, Instagrams native editing features can make any photo look its best. Be sure to play around with Instagram's new AR filters too! 📷
Hit the ground running!
If you follow the foundations outlined in this article, connect with your community, and constantly educate yourself on industry news and trends, then you just may have what it takes to become an influencer.