Do you remember 2010?

I remember it.

It was the beginning of Instagram and ever since then it has changed, not only our lives, but also the face of business. In fact, Instagram has changed the lives of 800 million people (the approximate number of users on Instagram) of which 8 million are businesses. Even if that number is only 1%, it’s still 8 million competitors we’re talking about. And some of them are, let’s be honest, super cool brands that we love so much!

Since its debut in 2010, Instagram has captured the public and given brands the opportunity to engage with their audience to talk about their business through the power of images.

Besides the 1% of brands though, let’s talk about the remaining 99%, of which are the remaining Instagram users.

Are you an Instagram user or influencer that publishes great content day in day out, uses hashtags, tries out different strategies 24/7, but doesn’t seem to have the impression that any of these efforts are bringing you the expected results? Well, the reason for that is probably not that your putting in enough effort, but maybe you’re doing something the wrong, and you probably just don’t realize it.

In this article, we will go over 7 common Instagram influencer mistakes and give you an easy-to-follow action plan to help avoid them:

COMMON INFLUENCER MISTAKES TO AVOID ON INSTAGRAM

COMMON INFLUENCER MISTAKES TO AVOID ON INSTAGRAM

Mistake #1: No Defined GoalA lot of times many influencers start off with their Instagram accounts with no goal or purpose in mind, besides maybe to share photos with friends and family. However, to take the next step in becoming an outstanding influencer, goals need to be set in place. Without a goal in mind, every image will have no larger meaning behind it, which is not a great thing to have when trying to develop an influencer image.

How to avoid this mistake?

Whether you’re on Instagram to increase brand awareness or add a human dimension to your brand, every piece of content you post on the platform should be an added value that helps you achieve a specific goal.

Some questions to ask before starting should be: How many subscribers do I want to have within the next 3 months or 6 months? How do I intend to turn these subscribers into visits to my site, (If you have one), or another brands site? How do I want to turn these visitors into sales? And what message I am conveying?

Mistake #2: Using Hashtags Poorly

Mistake #2: Using Hashtags PoorlyA few years ago, Instagram used to allow users to add as many hashtags as possible. Many Instagrammers used to add 30, 50, or even 70 hashtags on their posts, but over time that became a killer. Hashtags are a good tool for you to get discovered but you shouldn’t focus on it so, so much. Recently, Instagram has admitted that you should focus more on content than on hashtags. Also, using the exact same hashtags over, and over again can cause the Instagram algorithm to consider it as spam and can ban you, so watch out for that.

How to avoid this mistake?

Trying using no more than 10 to 15 hashtags per post is a good way to stay focused while not being very excessive. Also, coming up with new hashtags regularly can be fun and in keeping things original and genuine. Looking at brand logos and your surroundings with a clever eye can help open up ideas for new hashtags every time.

Mistake #3: Posting Low-Quality Images

Mistake #3: Posting Low-Quality Images

Instagram is a visual tool, so it is not advisable to publish unattractive or ugly images. Yes, we are not all pro photographers and not everyone can make pictures scream wow! But it is still necessary to pay attention to the quality of your Instagram photos, even if they are not worthy of Magali Mei (my reference when it comes to pro photography).

How to avoid this mistake?

Taking a lot of pictures from a certain angle can help when going back to upload the right images on Instagram. Sometimes taking an amazing picture comes by capturing it at the right moment, so taking more than one picture from the same angle can help with that. Also, take into account the shadows and reflections that may appear on your images (such as those on your phone) as they might distract and devalue the quality of the image. Try to pay attention to the brightness of your surroundings because images in the dark are as not as easy to capture in quality form.

Mistake #4: You're Bored

Mistake #4: You're Bored

I’m sorry but it had to be said. When was the last time you tried to be creative on Instagram, or posted something funny? Well, one thing I want you to know is that your audience will not care if you do not show anything interesting or creative. An Instagram photo that works must stimulate emotions.

How to avoid this mistake?

Being creative does require some effort but not a whole lot of effort. All it takes is speaking your mind and letting other people know how you perceive things, regardless of the criticism that may come afterward. Just like there are people who criticize, there will also be those who will embrace your perspective and your creativity. So, stop being bored and unleash your creativity & motivation.

Mistake #4: You're Bored

Mistake #5:  Having Too Many Strategies

This kind of goes back to having a defined goal. If you as an influencer has so many distractions going on around you, which we all do, it’s important to be able to tackle them one step at a time. Otherwise, things can get very overwhelming in trying to accomplish everything, all at the same time.

How to avoid this mistake?

Writing down all the goals or things that you would like to achieve can help in making things more clear. Afterwards develop a single strategy which aligns everything all together. For example, if your goal is to increase your subscriber count, then focus on that one goal and build your strategy around that. So, choose one goal, strategise it, and fine-tune it.

Mistake #5: Having Too Many Strategies

Mistake #6: Cheating

Let’s face it, when times are rough, cheating to buy Instagram followers, likes and comments can seem like the easiest way to climb the ladder. However, that can be one of the worst mistakes any Instagram influencer can commit. It destroys the lack of effort to be put into being genuine and creative. This strategy may work in the early stages, but later on it is highly likely to fail.

How to avoid this mistake?

The best way to avoid this mistake is to forget the use of bot or any other means of cheating and act as if they did not exist. Just stick to a goal, be consistent, and give it your best shot without ever giving up.

Mistake #6: Cheating

Mistake #7: Not Publishing Enough Or Inconsistently

Not being consistent with uploading content on Instagram can be a harmful way to ruin your reputation as an influencer. It will show followers that you aren’t as dedicated enough as other influencers who are consistent with their posting habits. It’s never a good idea to start off by publishing 10 posts in one day and then nothing in the next, but instead spread them out.

How to avoid this mistake?

Setting up a frequent schedule or planning things ahead of time is a good practice to avoid inconsistency. Try creating a system or a routine to follow on a weekly basis that allows both quantity and quality to come out of each photo and video post. Using apps, reminders, or calendars are good for making this kind of change.

Mistake #7: Not Publishing Enough Or Inconsistently

The Ultimate Summation

No influencer likes to make the same mistake over, and over again. Committing too many mistakes can harm your potential growth as an influencer and can negatively impact your reputation. Deciding to take the initiative to make a change is crucial to becoming successful. We all must start somewhere and it’s never too late to turn things around.

By Katie Leimkuehler

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