More and more people are taking to instagram to find ways to make money online, but so little actually manage to achieve that goal. Instagram is a powerful platform, with millions of users, and if you know how to, you can leverage it to build a successful account that not only inspires your audience, but benefits you too.
If you've never heard the term before, you're probably wondering what an instagram feature account is. Well, to break it down, Instagram accounts can usually be divided into one of three main categories: personal accounts, business accounts and feature accounts.
Chances are, you already have a personal account, where you post content relating to yourself and your life. If you run a business of some kind, you may have a business account, where you promote your products/services with the hopes of attracting new customers. A feature account can help you to grow both your personal and business accounts by attracting a large following and directing them towards your business / personal accounts. Essentially, feature accounts are curated galleries of other people's work.
They post content produced by other instagram accounts, essentially "featuring" them as part of their specific niche. Most feature accounts will have a very specific theme to their account, such as travel, sport, decor and.
These types of accounts often grow very quickly because of their specialised theme. They are attractive to potential new followers because you know exactly what you're going to get, and don't feel like you're being sold too. It's guaranteed quality content. Some of the top feature accounts have millions of followers, and many can grow to over 100,000 in just a year.
It's easy to see why feature accounts are so popular: they grow quickly, are fun to create, and require very little effort compared to other accounts. You know longer need to take and edit photos, but simply sort through an abundance of other people's photos and find the very best ones.
One of the big questions people who are looking to get into instagram and become successful on the platform is how they can monetize that success. If you're reading this, you're probably in the same bat, wondering how you can grow your influence and start to make some real money from it. Many of the top instagram influencers are able to sustain themselves full-time simply from their instagram earnings, allowing them to travel and save money without having to sit at a desk from 9-5 every day.
Feature accounts can make you money in two main ways: by attracting brands that will pay you to promote them, or by directing people to your own business.
If you don't already own your own business, you'll probably be working with the first one. Essentially, when your feature account grows and you have a large audience, you start becoming attractive to brands who want to advertise to your audience.
They then offer to pay you for exposure on your page, it's as simple as that. Different brands will have different requirements, but many will simply ask that you feature their products, or talk about their business in the captions of your posts. You get paid, they get their business exposed to hundreds of potential customers. It's a win win.
If you do have a business or otherwise with to promote yourself, feature accounts are still an excellent way to earn money. By creating a feature account with a theme related to your own business or personal profile, you will be able to cross-promote your own content and expose your brand to thousands of potential new followers / customers.
The crucial element here is that your feature account and your personal businesses blend seamlessly. Your feature account followers are there to see high-quality themed content, and if you're promoting posts from your own business that don't fit in right, you're not going to get the same level of engagement on those posts.
For example, if you run a business selling custom surfboards and you want to create a feature account so you can cross promote, you'll want to stick to a theme that has something to do with surfing, beaches or the ocean. All of these themes are directly related to surfing and the people who are interested in seeing these themes may well also be interested in surfing. Posting a picture of someone using on of your surfboards would not seem out of place. If you started a feature account focused on minimalistic interior design however, a post promoting custom surfboards would likely look very out of place.
By driving more traffic towards your business you can grow both your feature page and your own business, and start profiting from both.
Onto the nitty gritty, here's how to design, create and grow your very own feature account.
The first step in the process of creating any feature account it to create a theme, or the focus of your account. What will your account promote and showcase specifically. This can be anything you like, but try to pick something that other people also produce a lot of, so that you'll have plenty of content to choose from. Common themes include: travel, interior design, portraits, fashion, wildlife etc. Pick something you won't get bored of seeing either, because you'll be looking through a lot of this stuff.
Another key aspect to your theme is aesthetics. You should always be aiming to pick out the very best photos to feature on your account, but you should bear in mind the look and feel of those photos too. Some feature accounts like to stick to a very bright and colourful theme, whereas others go for more action packed, bold and exciting or perhaps moody and grungy.
Look through what other content creators have been producing and see if there is an overall theme that people seem to like producing that you could also emulate. A lot of coffee shop photography is very dimly lit and atmospheric for example, while wedding photography is often bright and airy.
In order to start branding yourself properly, you need find a good name for your account. This can be crucial, as it's often one of the first things potential followers look at before deciding whether to visit your account. Ideally you'll be wanting to keep your handle short and snappy, while getting the point across. Make sure your name tells your audience exactly what kind of content you produce.
To give you some ideas, here are some of the most popular feature accounts on instagram : @beautifuldestinations @earthfocus @illegalvisuals @portraitmood @bestmeowdels All of these handles reflect in some way what the account showcases, while still remaining short, catchy and slightly intriguing.
Once you've decided on a name, you'll need to fill out your bio, telling the world exactly what it is that you are "featuring". Generally it's best to keep it short and simple. Confusingly long bio's tend to look unprofessional and will turn potential followers off.
Say what kind of content you feature, how people can get featured and how to contact you.
Next up, your logo - a crucial aspect of your feature accounts brand. Along with your name, your logo will be the first thing your audience looks at if your account is recommended to them. It is important that your logo conveys the theme of your account, while remaining professional and easy to understand. Many feature account creators use online platforms such as canva to create quick, simple and gorgeous logos.
You're on a roll, the next step is to actually start uploading. How you choose to do this is up to you, but most people running successful feature accounts choose to prepare all their content in advance, create captions, and schedule their posts to go out however often they'd like.
There's no hard and fast rule as to how many times you should upload to instagram, but generally once a day is a good start.
Creating a good caption to go with your content is important, if time-consuming. It doesn't have to be long or drawn out, a simple comment highlighting why you like the photo and who originally created it is all you need really (crediting the original photographer / artists work is important, not only because it is polite, but also because you can get into trouble if you don't). If you want, include a reminder for your audience to tag you in photos, or a link back to your business or personal accounts.
Using hashtags is crucial if you want your feature account to grow as quickly as possible on instagram. If you can, try to find feature accounts that are similar to your own and conduct some keyword research to find the most popular hashtags that people like you are using successfully. Remember: it's not always the most popular hashtags that are the best ones. You can use up to 30 hashtags at a time on instagram, so you might as well use as many as possible.
The one hashtag every single feature account should be using is your personal hashtag. This will likely be the same as your name, so if your handle is (for example) @catswithwatches, your personal hashtag should also be #catswithwatches. This is great for two reasons: it generates engagement from your audience, encouraging them to tag their own photos with your hashtag, which will then lead others back to your account while also creating a database of content for you to use, uploaded by your audience.
If you want to take your feature account seriously, you'll need to plan and upload every day, which can get annoying, and as humans, we're prone to be forgetful. This is where scheduling comes in.
By scheduling all your posts out for say, a month, you can effectively get all the work you need to do done in an hour or so and then sit back and relax until next month. This is great because, when done correctly, can be a form of passive income. Your account and influence grows without needing your input, leaving you to focus on bigger projects.
There are two main scheduling apps that work with Instagram: Later and Buffer. Each has their pros and cons. With buffer you will be able to post directly to instagram, but you will need to make a business account and a facebook page to go with your instagram account. With Later you don't need to do any of that, but it can't post directly to instagram, only prompt you to upload the pre-prepared post.
Ideally, you want your follower growth to be as organic as possible - no bots involved, but there are a few things you can do to encourage people to follow you, without using scams.
A key component of any feature account is your unique hashtag. Use it wherever possible, and encourage your followers to use it too. This hashtag is like your branding, and if other users who don't follow you see people they follow using it, they'll often be intrigued to find out more, which will lead to organic follower growth for you. Plus, by encouraging your followers to tag you in their photos, you start creating a database of content for you to use later on.
Instagram is primarily a community platform, and so it's algorithm supports that. It wants to see you connecting and engaging with other users, and one of the best ways to do this is to follow other accounts. Try to find those similar to yours and follow them, or even check out their followers and connect with them. If they like the account of someone similar to you, chances are they'll like yours as well.
You can't go wrong with a good caption. Spending a little extra time to add some story and information to go with the content you're posting makes all the differences and leads to higher overall engagement.
To go along with writing good captions, using the right hashtags is equally as important. To some basic keyword research before you post and make sure that you're using the hashtags that are most likely to get you high engagement and have your post reach as many people as possible. Remember, the best hashtags aren't always the most popular ones.
The key to any feature account is consistency. Your followers clicked the follow button to see more of whatever type of content it is that you post, and so you should honour that. Treat it like a business. If a chocolate shop suddenly stopped selling chocolates and started selling phones instead, the likelihood is the majority of their customer base would lose interest and they would have to start all over again.
What's the point in growing a large following on Instagram and not doing anything with it. Of course, you don't have to monetize your following, but realistically, who doesn't want to earn a bit of extra money. Here are the three main ways you can monetize your feature account:
If you run a business of any kind and you've set up a feature account to support that, start cross-promoting right away. Feature accounts are a great way to give your business the exposure it needs to truly flourish.
One of the main ways that instagram users earn money through their following is by collaborating with brands. Once you become big enough, you may have brands approaching you often, offering to pay you to promote their products. Be careful to pick wisely - too many brand deals can turn your audience off and decrease engagement.
Make sure the brand deals you pick are one's that you genuinely think offer a decent product, and fit with the theme of your feature account. If you run a feature account dedicated to cute dog pics, don't start advertising cruise vacations around the Mediterranean, is what i'm saying.
Last but not least, if your feature account is popular enough and has a dedicated following, you may well be able to sell merch. This differs from promoting your other projects in that you are selling a product that is directly related to your feature account. It could feature your personal hashtag, your logo, or an inspirational saying to do with your theme.
Feature accounts aren't for everyone. They can be time-consuming, and ultimately unfulfilling if what you want is a really authentic instagram experience. If you want to gain some exposure or start earning money through social media however, a feature account could be the way to go.