Let’s Chat:: How to become a full-time Instagrammer!

Let’s Chat:: How to become a full-time Instagrammer!

Being an Instagrammer has become one of the modern professions that everyone’s curious about. Millions of people make money out of it, with the minority making a living that loads would be envious of; think of luxury holidays, expensive handbags, first-class flights, being a full-time Instagrammer can offer a luxurious lifestyle that has it all! But, how to become a full-time Instagrammer? Today, I am spilling the beans, sharing some of my secrets after working closely with Natbee’s the past two years.

So here’s a full guide on How to become a full-time Instagrammer!

how to become a full-time Instagrammer!

ONE // Whether you are new to Instagram or you already have an account and you want to take it to the next level, the first step to making this your profession is to decide what the subject of your account will be. Do you like knitting or perhaps cycling? Do you like architecture and design, or cooking and baking? Whatever your passion lies in, find it and make it the theme of your Instagram! Be sure to post consistently, following your theme and soon enough people who have similar interests with you will follow you.

TWO // Be part of groups by using the appropriate hashtags. Back in the day, there were the Twitter groups and chats, now its the Instagram hashtags groups. Find the hashtag of the group that you like the most and start engaging with its users.

THREE // Make sure you use the same filter. Instagram is all about cohesion! Unless you have the most expensive camera and the quality and lighting of your posts is the same regardless of the time of posting, you need to make sure that you post images of the same colours and tones. When I post on behalf of Anastasia on the Natbee’s Instagram account, I make sure I do my best to edit the images as close as she does, keeping in mind that the colour theme is soft & warm tones with loads of exposure and increased shadows. Anastasia has agreed to write a post on how she edits her Instagram images, so keep an eye for it!

FOUR // Are you a fan of micro or macro shots? Gather your top favourite Instagrammers and study their feeds, why do you like them? Do they post zoom out or zoom in images? Or is it a mixture of both of them? Find what you like and based on your camera’s capacity work around it. How to become a full-time Instagrammer

FIVE // Speaking of cameras, the biggest misconception is that you have to have an expensive camera to make it! This is totallu untrue, some of the biggest Instagrammers out there only use their phones and still do a brilliant job. On my personal Instagram account, I post a mixture of iphone 6 shots (yes, I am that behind with technology) and my Nikon D3200. I try to mix things a lot but by applying the same filter and taking images during daylight, there’s not much difference to tell.

SIX // Covert your account into a business account and study your account’s insights. Find out which is the best time and day to post and take advantage of this valuable knowledge. How to become a full-time Instagrammer

SEVEN // Instagram images are more likely to be seen by your followers the first hour after posting. In order to make sure, your posts are not shadow banned (albeit Instagram denies this), you have to engage, aka comment and like on other peoples accounts, for an hour after posting. By this, you increase your chances to have your images on top of everyone’s feed and, thus, to get more likes and comments.

EIGHT // Do not follow accounts that are irrelevant to your feed and definitely not accounts that do not use the same hashtags as you do. This is something that I had to learn the hard way, and after falling apart with a few colleagues for not following them back, BUT, you have more chances to be feature on the ‘Explore‘ page of Instagram if you follow only accounts that post similar content as yours and not accounts that are completely irrelevant -e.g. Miranda who posts amateur pictures of her baby and homemade lattes (sorry Miranda, nothing personal here!). This might mean that you will follow *only* users who post similar content with yours and use only the same hashtags that you do – but, think, since this is your job and you treat Instagram as your ‘virtual office’ why follow users who do not treat it as their job and take it lighthearted? Instagram is an inspirational app – this is your place to seek for more inspiration and connect with like minded people, so do not treat it like an app where you follow each other, but rather for exactly what it is! Also, you have more chances to expand your audience by being mentioned in a similar-content Instagrammer’s account than Miranda’s, who has totally irrelevant audience to yours. So… How to become a full-time Instagrammer

NINE // Speaking of numbers: the less people you follow, the better the engagement and the more chances you have to be taken seriously by brands. By following a small amount of accounts, you never miss their posts, you have the chance to engage with them (who by the way, you should totally treat as your virtual colleagues) since their posts are not hidden under a pile of posts coming from irrelevant to your content users, and so you increase your chances for better engagement on your account. Also, if you follow roughly the same amount of people that follow you, in a sense, it is like a follow-for-follow exchange, rather than a genuine follow-out-of-interest audience, which totally puts of brands and businesses when considering working with you. So, between having good engagement and pleasing everyone who is following you by following them back, choose the former 😉 How to become a full-time Instagrammer

TEN // ENGAGE, engage, ENGAGE! This, along with number 9 and 10, are the most valuable tips I have learned the past year. Not only it is rude not to comment on your friends’ latest posts, showing your lack of support (sadly sometimes being an intentional one!), but it also ungrateful not to take the time and answer to all the people who have comment on your own posts. Even if things get busy, I always find sometime to respond properly to everyone commenting on my Instagram and also give a few likes and comments to my dearest friends’ accounts. If nothing more it shows kindness and that I, indeed, treat Instagram as my profession!

So, these are all of my precious tips when seeking advice on how to become a full-time Instagrammer. Some might sound weird to you and some might be a big no-no, but once you try them, you will soon find out how each connects to each other and how the Instagram algorithm works. How to become a full-time Instagrammer

Let me know how it goes. Good luck!



Joanne is an avid salsa dancer and instructor. She posts under the ‘Let’s Chat’ category about lifestyle advice and life in between Edinburgh, UK and Corfu, Greece. You can also find her Instagramming at @theedinburghlife
She loves salsa, good wine and colourful sunsets.

Find me on: Web | Twitter


  1. November 26, 2018 / 3:22 pm

    wow they are all so helpful! I totally agree with everything. But the fourth one I never noticed before, I think it still affects in some kind of way. thank you for sharing! x
    have a wonderful day!

    • November 27, 2018 / 9:28 am

      Hi Grace, thank you for your comment.
      Like I said to Adam in the previous comment, I was very sceptical once she told me what and how to do it, mainly because people who do not understand Instagram or do not know how seriously we take it, they thought I was mean not following them back! Once I saw that her tips are working though I started engaging properly with a more focused audience in mind and my numbers increased, so it was all worth it 🙂
      Let me know if you try any of them, good luck!x

  2. November 26, 2018 / 3:30 pm

    Insightful and helpful as always Joanne! I had no idea about 7! I’m going to test it out this week and see how my insights change.

    • November 27, 2018 / 9:26 am

      I am massively impressed by everything Joanne shares here. These tips are so insightful and they totally work!
      At first I was sceptical then I un-followed around 300 accounts that weren’t inspiring or relevant to my content (sort of like the Miranda example she gives) and immediately noticed an increase in my engagement, so I like it or not she’s right…

      Let me know if you try them and how it goes x

  3. November 27, 2018 / 10:38 am

    Great tips! I must admit that I can’t spend an hour on Instagram after I post because I just hate looking at my phone for that long but I might test it by using my laptop and see if it helps my engagement! xx

    • November 27, 2018 / 2:18 pm

      I hate staring at my screen or phone but either way, the point is to engage after you post so that the algorithm ‘identifies’ you as a user and promotes you to the relevant audience.
      Let me know if you try it!x

  4. November 27, 2018 / 12:59 pm

    This is a really helpful post- I’ve been trying to grow my Instagram ‘professionally’ for about a year and definitely agree with a lot of these points. I didn’t know the importance of only following those in your same niche though, and so am guilty of following some IRL friends that may be harming my account!

    • November 27, 2018 / 2:21 pm

      It is tricky to explain to them why you don’t follow them back (or anyone else who is following you with the hope to be followed back), but it is what it is and as you respect their work, they should respect your efforts too. I do, too, follow a few friends and irrelevant accounts from years back and now I feel that if I unfollow them they will get offended, but I might as well do it, if it is to help my business. At the end of the day it is just another social platform to them, right?x

    • November 27, 2018 / 2:21 pm

      I am glad you liked it! Please let me know how it goes x

    • November 27, 2018 / 2:21 pm

      Thanks! To you too 🙂 x

    • November 27, 2018 / 4:14 pm

      No problem at all, glad you enjoyed it!

    • November 27, 2018 / 5:33 pm

      Thank you Simone, we should thank Joanne really as she is the one who wrote the post 🙂 x

  5. November 27, 2018 / 6:19 pm

    I’ve been wanting to have a clear out of some of the accounts I follow for a while now…at least this post gives me a reason to. It seems a little harsh though! Very insightful post x


    • Joanne
      November 27, 2018 / 8:33 pm

      Hi Sophie and thank you for your comment.
      Indeed, it might appear to be a bit ‘too much’ being selective with who you follow but it’s all for the ultimate good. If your friends would tell you not to buy them chocolate anymore because they are on a strict diet for their own good, you would do it right? (Cruel example but I hope you got my point). Give it a go and see how it goes!

  6. November 27, 2018 / 7:34 pm

    Thanks for the tips, Joanne! Some of them are news to me. I try really hard to create a community and grow my Instagram but it’s really hard!

    • Joanne
      November 27, 2018 / 8:34 pm

      Hi Christina, I am glad you enjoyed it and thank you for your comment.
      Instagram can be really hard at times and I must admit I do not take my personal account very seriously but when it comes to Natbee’s social media I try to follow the rules as much as possible!

  7. November 27, 2018 / 8:07 pm

    Wow, I can’t believe so many people have made a successful career out of Instagram! It seems like a lot of work and something that you’ve really perfected! You’ve got some excellent tips here, and this post is a gold mine for someone who wants to take their Instagram to the next level!

    • Joanne
      November 27, 2018 / 8:35 pm

      Thank you Kristen, I am glad you enjoyed it!
      I try to do my best with Natbee’s social media but it’s really Anastasia who we should credit! Thanks for your comment and I wish you all the best with your Instagram account!

  8. November 27, 2018 / 8:17 pm

    Hello, how nice this your post and I take this opportunity to invite you to follow each other on all our social channels.

    Regarding the hard work to become an instagrammer I wanted to ask you about some points what you think.

    Point 5. Last month I bought a new phone, an Hawaii P20 paid a lot, just to be able to take good pictures and post them on Instagram because if I understand on Instagram you can only post from your phone! Is that true?

    Step 6. To convert my account into a business account, do I have to pay?
    My Instagram is about Fashion and Interior Design. 🙂 Thanks!!

    • Joanne
      November 27, 2018 / 8:36 pm

      Hi Grace, thank you for your comment.
      To answer your questions, yes you do need a phone to post on Instagram as it is a mobile application and not a desktop one (or at least not yet) allowing you to post from your laptop.
      As for switching your account to business, not there is not an additional cost.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions!

    • Joanne
      November 28, 2018 / 12:43 pm

      Thank you Karolina!

  9. November 27, 2018 / 9:58 pm

    Great tips, sadly I can not apply many of them beause otherwise I would have answered

    • Joanne
      November 28, 2018 / 12:44 pm

      Sorry Flo I didn’t understand what you mean here but thank you for reading my article!

  10. November 28, 2018 / 2:15 am

    I’m so interested in this kind of post. I learn so many things about it, thanks for sharing!


    • Joanne
      November 28, 2018 / 12:45 pm

      Thank you Mercy, I am so glad you found it of use!

  11. November 28, 2018 / 9:16 am

    Wow, you are really an expert!
    xx Rena

    • Joanne
      November 28, 2018 / 12:45 pm

      Haha, thanks Rena. I don’t consider myself as one, there’s still so much to learn and Instagram policies and algorithm constantly changes but thank you anyway!

  12. November 28, 2018 / 10:03 am

    I am also still on my iphone 6 so I’m glad that there’s another instagrammer out there who is as behind as me 😉


    • Joanne
      November 28, 2018 / 12:46 pm

      Santa promised to get me an upgrade this Xmas so let’s see how it goes, hehe. Kisses to your gorgeous pup x

  13. Nadia
    November 28, 2018 / 12:28 pm

    This might be the most useful post I read in a while! Thank you so much Joanne for sharing with us, I particularly liked tip No.7 and 8. I have never heard of them before so I’m definitely eager to try them out 😉

    Nadia x

    • Joanne
      November 28, 2018 / 12:37 pm

      Thank you Nadia, I am so glad you like it!
      Thank you for your comment!

  14. December 7, 2018 / 7:14 pm

    Wow I never thought about curating who I follow as a strategy to expand my reach! I’ve only curated who I follow as a mental health kinda thing 😛 But I admit that I do follow quite a few accounts that have nothing to do with what I post… // I also never thought about being active on Instagram within the hour of my post. I know how critical it is for my OWN post to be engaged with within the first hour, but I didn’t think about my activity as well. Thank you for these unique tips!!

    • December 8, 2018 / 6:39 pm

      I know right? So many new tricks to apply and grow your audience!x

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