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One of the most powerful ways to give your Instagram a boost in exposure, engagement, and follower growth is to work with an Instagram Influencer. Here's our step-by-step guide to working with Instagram influencers to boost your brand awareness, bring in more business and increase your sales.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn some money if you click on one. Read my full disclaimer here.

Growing your Instagram audience can be a tall order, especially when your account is still small.

How do you get your momentum going?

One of the most powerful ways to give your Instagram a boost in exposure, follower growth, and sales is to work with an Instagram Influencer.

There are tons of free ways to grow your business on Instagram, but maybe you’re struggling with them. 

Check out this post to learn about all the best free methods of growing your Instagram.

Maybe you’re stuck. Maybe your follower growth is a bit sluggish. Maybe your sales numbers are looking a little sad this month.

Maybe you’re already putting a bunch of strategies into action and you’re still not seeing the results you want.

What then?

Three words:

Instagram influencer marketing.

A little bit of money can go a long way when you spend it on growing your business on Instagram. It can give you that little push you need to reach your Instagram  and revenue goals.

influencer marketing instagram promotions

A paid shoutout I did with an influencer in order to grow my email list.

Get My Instagram Growth eBook for 50% Off!

You’ll get instant access to the top 5 most effective strategies for growing your Instagram following from scratch — the EXACT strategies I used to grow my Instagram audience to over 100k followers in under a year.

Grab your copy of the Complete Guide to Instagram Growth

How to do a Promoted Post with an Instagram Influencer

Sponsored or promoted posts are pretty simple:

You want to get your content in front of someone else’s larger audience. In order to do that, you pay the influencer to post your content in front of their audience. This is usually for a limited but specific amount of time.

You might want to do this for several reasons:

    • To gain more followers for your account
    • To get more people to opt-in to your email list
    • To spread awareness about your brand or product
  • To make more sales

Getting in front of a large audience has a ton of advantages. But before we jump into how to set up a paid shoutout or promoted post with another influencer, I want to talk about how to find the best influencers to work with.

Your results will greatly depend on how good the accounts are that you decide to work with. You don’t want to waste your hard earned cash on a bad deal!

Before working with influencers, you might want to make sure you aren’t making any of these 3 highly common but fatal mistakes on Instagram.

Since you’ll have money on the line, I want to make sure you’re choosing the best influencers out there:

5 Things That Matter Most When Selecting an Instagram Influencer for a Paid Shoutout

1. Size of the account.

First and foremost, the more followers the account has, the more people will see your post.

In general, this results in more people following you, signing up for your email list, or buying your product afterwards.

2. Engagement rate.

Even if the account has millions of followers, it still might not be a good option if they have crappy engagement. 

Example: Account A has 1 million followers but a 1% engagement rate, and Account B has 500k followers and a 5% engagement rate. Who wins? Account B! It gets an average of 25,000 likes per post, and Account A only gets 10,000.

If they have a lot of bot followers or completely inactive followers, you won’t get your content in front of as many eyeballs as you might expect. As a result, you won’t gain as many followers either.

Aim for at least 3-5% average engagement rate at minimum, but the higher it is the better!

You need to check that they’re consistently getting a lot of likes and comments on their posts! For example, if an account with 1 million followers is only getting 1000 like per photo, that should be a red flag and you should probably pass on working with them (since that works out to a dismal 0.1% engagement rate).

Ink361 analytics for Instagram

Keep track of influencer average engagement.

3. Relevant Niche.

Niche is incredibly important when choosing an influencer to work with.

Let me give you an example to illustrate why:

Let’s say you have an art account where you show off your talent and your latest oil paintings. You’ve found an account you’re thinking of doing a shoutout with because they have 500,000 followers–but it’s a fitness account.

Even though the account is big, you probably won’t get much bang for your buck. Why? Because you’re looking for an audience with an appreciation for art, and your influencer has an audience who is interested in fitness, health and working out.

These interests don’t exactly line up. Therefore it’s not likely that many people in that audience are going to be interested in your work.

Instead, focus on working with relevant accounts in your niche who reach the same or similar audience as you.

4. Your Call to Action.

If you’re promoting a product or a freebie to get new people on your email list, make sure you tell them to follow the link in your bio to sign up!

Don’t have an email list? The provider I use to collect subscribers and send email blasts to my list is Convertkit. Your email list is an essential part of your online business, because it allows you to contact your potential customers whenever you want. This is super important in getting to know your audience, and you should be using your email list to send promotions and announcements about your products.

Use my link to sign up, and you’ll get a FREE 14-day trial of Convertkit.

Convertkit provides a super simple and easy-to-use platform that makes managing your email list a stress free part of your day, and I can’t recommend them enough.

If you want them to follow your account, you need to mention that prominently in the caption of your paid post.

influencer marketing CTA

5. Timing.

You’ll want your paid post to go live when the influencer’s audience is most active to get the best results.

Best times are different for everyone, so use an analytics tool like Instagram Insights to find out the best times for the account you’re working with. Once you know, make sure that the account you’re working with is willing to post for you at a good time.

best time to post to Instagram

Doing your research on these larger accounts before you spend your money is a great way to get the largest ROI.

How much will it cost to work with an Instagram Influencer?

Paid shoutouts can cost anywhere from $5 to many hundreds of dollars depending on the popularity of the account and demand. We aim for the $20-$50 per shoutout range – this should get you a quality shoutout from a large, engaged account with a good ROI… BUT this could vary depending on your niche.

You can also get a general idea of the cost by plugging in your account in this calculator. But remember every account will charge different rates depending on many factors.

The Process – How to set up a paid shoutout

So now you’ve analyzed the influencers you’re interested in working with and you’ve decided on the ones that look like they’ll have a promising ROI.

Next you need to contact them to find out what they offer for paid promotions — prices, duration, content they accept, etc. Email or Instagram DM works fine.

Then you send them your image, caption, desired time, payment, and whatever else they need. If you’re not sure what’s required, just ask!

Having trouble creating professional-looking images for Instagram? Check out my resources list and scroll down to the social media section for all the apps and tools I use and recommend for Instagram content creation.

When your post goes live, you should keep an eye on it and track your results. How many followers did you have before the shoutout vs. how many afterwards? How many email opt-in did you get? How many extra sales?

Whatever you were aiming for, you should make note of what your results were so you can make an informed decision about working with that account again in the future.

What Kind of Results to Expect

The results you get from promoted or sponsored posts depends on the many factors listed above: the size of the account, the engagement rate, the strength of the CTA, the niche fit, and the timing.

Finding out which accounts work best for you will take some experimenting, so make sure you keep track of the results you get for each shoutout. That way you’ll know which influencers to work with again in the future and which ones to avoid.

Overall though, paid promotional posts can be a fantastic way to expand your reach. Whether you already have an audience of your own or not, they’re worth a shot.

Ready to take your Instagram to the next level? 

Get My Instagram Growth eBook for 50% Off!

You’ll get instant access to the top 5 most effective strategies for growing your Instagram following from scratch — the EXACT strategies I used to grow my Instagram audience to over 100k followers in under a year.

Grab your copy of the Complete Guide to Instagram Growth

This Post Has One Comment

  1. I love this.

    I don’t have time to create a big IG following, but I’m using IG influencer marketing to grow my list.

    I’m looking for big accounts with a 5% engagement rate like you teach and offering to pay them in return for a story/post and bio link.

    It’s working decently well and I’m looking to aggressively scale it up.

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