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5 Steps to Building Your Brand on Instagram

Instagram, the image-based social networking platform, has quickly become one of the most effective ways to market yourself or your business. On Forbes.com, Griffin Thall, the CEO and co-founder of Pura Vida Bracelets shares these five steps for building your brand on Instagram:

Find your niche
Every person or brand must have a niche– a way to set yourself or your business apart from everyone and everything else. Without a niche, you will blend in and become lost in the social media noise. Finding your niche is creating your personality. To get started, first ask yourself: what am I good at? What do I enjoy doing? What is my brand’s main purpose? You need to not only be unique, honest, and sincere, but also somewhat mysterious. Be sure to keep your purpose and persona clear but always strive to have people wanting to know more. If people are confused at what you do in the first few seconds, you’ve lost them for good.

Find your influencers
Once you’ve found your niche, the next step is to find your influencers. An influencer on Instagram is someone who has power, reach and authority among their followers. Pairing your brand with the right voice is the single most important force in getting the word out. Who do you want talking about your brand and sharing your story? Start with people who have between 5k and 25k followers and classify them as your “content producers” or entry-level influencers.

Find your product photographers
Once you’ve found your potential influencers, you need to find product photographers. These Instagram users are similar to influencers, but you are not looking to them for outreach purposes, you are looking to them for high-quality lifestyle or product photos of your brand in action.

Send out samples
Once your list of influencers and photographers is finalized, the next step is to send out samples. To do this, first draft up a very simple and to-the-point email to these Instagram pros. These days, anyone can detect a “spam” or templated email from a mile away, so take your time to draft up a unique email that caters exactly to the person you’re trying to target. Remember, these influencers are sorting through hundreds of emails a day just like you, so your first go is very important.

Repeat
Creating a “system” and repeating the steps above is key to growing your brand on Instagram.