Are you committing the first deadly sin of Instagram influence?

When people talk about Instagram influencers, huge names come up like Kim Kardashian, Gigi Hadid, and Kylie Jenner. Let’s take Kylie Jenner as the classic example of a super successful Instagram influencer. If you scroll Kylie’s feed, you’ll see tons of selfies, mirror selfies, ads for her makeup line, etc.

Kylie is undoubtedly a smashing Instagram success. She’s built a billion-dollar makeup brand, largely thanks to her social popularity. And she keeps fans satisfied with her frequent posts and new lip colors. It’s natural to look at Kyle’s millions of followers and think that her strategy could be a successful one for you, too.

Before you unleash 13,000 selfies, though, let’s compare Kylie’s feed to another Instagram influencer, the uber-successful beauty mogul, Huda Katton (@hudabeauty).

Both accounts are created by gorgeous women with hugely successful accounts that are largely about makeup. They’re both doing great work and making fantastic money posting on a social media platform.

But what differences do you notice between the two Instagram accounts? Although they’re both makeup-centric, the two profiles end up with completely different looks and feels.

Let’s start by looking at their bios. Kyle’s says her name, links to her website, and her other Instagram. At a glance, her bio says “Kylie, Kylie, Kylie.” Huda’s bio is almost the opposite. “Love my InstaFam, ” “PROVING DREAMERS CAN MAKE IT,” “Here to support artists” are all about her followers. Out of 4 statements, 3 are about her followers. Only one is about Huda herself.

The same idea is reflected in their respective feeds. Where Kylie’s is all about selfies and her own life, Huda’s is about her community: teaching people to use make up, and inspiring them to pursue their own ventures.

Essentially, where Kylie’s profile shouts “ME, ME, ME!” Huda’s shouts “YOU, YOU, YOU.”

This isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with the way Kylie uses Instagram. Her strategy’s working extremely well, she’s been wildly successful on the platform. She monetizes her online influence to an extent that few people could even dream of.

In fact, Kylie Jenner’s profile is actually closer to how a typical user behaves. What do most of your friends post about? Themselves, their pets, their kids, their food, etc.

There’s a huge problem with replicating her path to success, though. Kylie is not a self-made Instagram influencer. She’s actually a celebrity who’s successfully used Instagram as a platform to leverage and monetize her fame.

If you’re already friends with the people posting random selfies, you don’t mind that their posts are all about them. In fact, you like it. You follow friends on social media because you’re already interested in them. And that’s why making their social media all about their personal lives works so well for celebrities. People already “know” them, so practically anything the celebrity does is inherently interesting.

But, if you’re not already a celebrity and want to become an Instagram influencer, you need to spread your reach outside of people who personally know you or already know who you are.

That means you’ll almost certainly want to choose a strategy closer to Huda’s than Kylie’s.


Deadly sin #1: Keeping up with the Kardashians.

How to avoid it: If you want to engage strangers, your Instagram can’t just be about you. It needs to be about your community.


This content is modified material from our online course, Becoming an Online Influencer. Check out the course to discover the other 6 sins of social media, learn the strategies to grow your account to 25k and beyond, and become an Instagram influencer.

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