Hearing someone being called “instafamous” may sound like a joke, but incurring fame or at least becoming very well known purely because one’s Instagram has proven to be very possible, and it has become a much more accessible path to stardom. The trendiness of Instagram is forcing social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to take a backseat as this platform explodes in the new wave of interactive online branding.

Creating your own Instagram is like creating your own brand. And holding this power in your own hands has proven to be priceless, especially since using free apps like Instagram allow you to market yourself without spending a dime, and sometimes the opposite.

If you’re thinking there’s no way to make money by just posting on Instagram, then think again. There are people out there making as much at $15,000 per post! The Instagram users capable of making this much money off of their posts would be considered influencers. Influencers are people who have lots of followers, and thus a far reach into their audiences likes, dislikes, and in the mind of a business man, purchasing habits. People with this much influence over their followers are more likely to get sponsorships and companies to pay them to make posts that support their brand.

The reason why Instagram has so much money making power is because it is the fastest growing and most socially relevant platform currently available. Influencers are taking advantage of this by accepting sponsorships from global companies looking to have their products out there on social media. Brands are spending over $1 billion to sponsor Instagram posts every year, and not just for big name influencers. There are sponsorship opportunities for people with more modest amounts of followers as well.

Growing a following large enough to attract sponsorships will not happen overnight. There is no doubt that all the influencers out there with hundreds of thousands and even millions of followers would agree on the fact that it took a lot of time and a lot of hard work to get their audience to the size that it is. Here are a few ways you can work towards growing your following as well:

Make Lifestyle the Focus of Your Posts

When trying to sell a product or market a brand, the most effective way to do this is to make it seem real and applicable to everyday life. This is part of the reason why Instagram has blown up in the world of marketing and sponsorships recently.

Promoting your brand or product in an Instagram post shows your followers that they could do the same in their lives. When looking at ads for companies like Nike or Adidas, you will seldom see just a picture of a product. It is more effective to show the product on a person doing something that the average person might want to do as well.

Design Your Posts to be Accessible

The best way to attract support from your followers is to make yourself seem relatable. Being a role model for your audience should not be about building yourself up as this perfect icon to be idolized. If anything, that is a good way to lose followers and support. Making yourself and the things you post seem honest and real will motivate your followers to go after their goals just as you are.

Instead of only posting videos and pictures of yourself in the most perfect lighting with the most perfect editing, show the real you doing what you really love. Painting a picture of perfectionism is not relatable and does not result in a strong supportive following that will be with you in the long haul.

Gain Followers from the People You Follow

Building a following large enough to gain sponsorships can seem like a daunting task at first. But just as we all learned writing essays in High School, getting started is the hardest part. Once you get your first 100 or 1,000 followers, you will see what it takes to build an audience you desire. The easiest way to attain more followers at first is to see who is most active on your account and who is liking most of your posts.

You can then look for accounts that are similar to yours and see who is following them and try to load up on followers liking their posts. Being generous with likes and comments on other people’s accounts will get your name out there and increase your recognition. To receive you must give and to get likes and comments you must give likes and comments. Doing a little outreach everyday will culminate to a lot of personal outreach and expansion.

Be More than Your Instagram Account

At the end of the day, your Instagram account is just one of many, and making yourself stand out is what will bring you success in the end. In order to do so, you need to show your followers that there is purpose and meaning behind the things you post.

A pretty picture will get a lot of likes, but showing your followers that there is substance within your account will create an emotional attachment that is stronger and longer lasting than pure aesthetics could ever bring. Be authentic, show who you really, share your passions, and the followers will come.