How To Become A Food Influencer On Instagram
Becoming a food influencer is every foodies dream.
Not only do you get to go out and eat delicious foods, but are often paid to do so, with restaurants and other purveyors lining up to welcome the most influential voices through their doors.
However, as the old adage goes, ‘if it was easy, everyone would do it’…which goes to show, becoming a food influencer is probably one of the most challenging career paths you could pick.
With the right patience and plan in place though, you can gradually build yourself to developing a reputation as a foodie, as well as someone others will start inviting to their food events as well. Here’s how:
Familiarize Yourself With The Proper Digital Marketing Tools
To be successful on Instagram is to be a successful digital marketer, which is why it’s crucial to align yourself with the proper digital marketing tools.
From an analytics tracker to a hashtag generator, being able to compile a solid mix that both tracks how well you’re performing as well as improves your shortcomings is vital, giving you everything you need to compete with the best.
As food blogs are some of the most cutthroat visual presentations, figuring out how to take stellar photos and design captivating posters will at least put you at level where you can compete; which, if you’re ever looking for a little boost, then looking to buy likes on Insta is never a bad idea (as long as it comes from a trusted, reliable source…like an engagement agency).
Study up on the different mechanisms out there, as going in naked will only leave you coming up short in terms of growth.
Focus On A Niche
The first consideration for anyone to become a food influencer is knowing what their niche is.
While that’s not to say you can’t enjoy a variety of foods (or even should pigeonhole yourself to one genre), an important aspect of being able to go out and show people your taste is having a brand that specifically outlines what you’re about and why people should gravitate towards your page.
As food is something that nearly everyone enjoys, knowing where your tastes fit in as a brand is critical, as well as the perfect jumping-off point.
Make a list of all the restaurants you thoroughly enjoy, regardless of the price.
Jot down a few notes on what you like about them, including if it was the texture, process, backstory, sourcing, or even just simple frills.
The goal here is to understand your personal perspective on food culture, as well as what you might be able to say consistently that other people might find captivating.
Granted, we’re not suggesting that you necessarily get your niche perfect right off the bat, but rather you have an understanding of where it fits amongst the bigger picture.
Food culture is a competitive industry, which is why having a distinct niche to what you write about can help serve a chance to stick out amongst the crowd.
Develop A Brand Around You (and your tastes)
Once you’ve established what your niche is, the next big step is to develop a brand around it.
This is essentially the representation of what your food account is going to be about, as well as the general visual thesis to why others will gravitate towards following you to begin with.
According to ViralRace, while we can go in circles talking about the ethos of branding, much of what you’re going to be doing is fun-loving content (after all, food is primarily to be enjoyed), but that also doesn’t mean there can’t be some nuances in there as an educator or facilitator.
And for that, we should go back to the drawing board on what restaurants we enjoy, as well as what we liked about them.
In looking at our list from earlier, a smart suggestion is to think about your overall taste as a brand.
For example, if the majority of what you’ve listed is based around traditional southern foods or southern revival, then utilizing a brand that leans into those central themes is important.
Granted, a lot of what your brand is based around will be geography, which is good to respect, but not make the focal point of your identity.
Unless you know in your heart you’re full-on into Southern, Californian, Mid-West, etc foods, then having something that reflects more of your approach personally will be much more scalable in acquiring a wider base of restaurants to partner with.
Your brand is ultimately going to be a one-stop-shop for people to come and learn about the cuisine and culture you’ve invested yourself into, so take some time to really hone in on making this right.
Remember to keep it light-hearted, but also recognize the opportunity you have to educate others on what they could be missing out on.
Ultimately, your brand will always come from the heart, which is where it often begins.
Conduct Daily Outreach
Finally, one of the most vital aspects of becoming any sort of influencer is conducting outreach daily.
Whether it be following other accounts, commenting on other pages, connecting with other influencers, or responding to RFPs, you need to be cranking a fair amount of output if you really want to turn this into a full-time job.
While you don’t want to spam people, being a successful influencer is all about being a great networker, knowing how to hit each communicating point multiple times; for example, leaving nice comments on a restaurant you admire, while also going in there to eat, and finally, making the big ask to partner on something when the timing is right.
As social media is all about being social, this is the perfect time to connect with the rest of the industry.
We’ll note that for how competitive the food industry can be, simply leaving a ‘nice shot’ or ‘that looks delicious!’ on someone’s photo won’t get you too far past a ‘like’ and move on.
For many purveyors and creators, this is their art form (which, they’ve put a lot of craft and detail into).
As someone that’s trying to work with them, you need to understand where they’re coming from and show that you’ve done your homework.
Take this as a moment to truly celebrate the great food around you, as this is an opportunity to really make loving food your full-time job.