How to Become a Fashion Influencer: A Step-By-Step Guide to Becoming a Social Media Style Star

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Karen Lin

Instagram Growth | May 24, 2024

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Sharing street style and fashion trends have certainly become a mainstay on Instagram, coming from both celebrities and everyday people. Sharing premium content is happening on the daily, with everything from style bargains to designer threads. Is fashion something that you eagerly await to see every time you open your Instagram app? Or perhaps creating outfits to inspire others is your favorite pastime? If either of these things ring true, you may be wondering how to become a fashion influencer yourself.

As you can imagine, there are many different avenues you can take when it comes to a career as a fashion influencer. After all, everyone has their own sense of personal style and a different eye for what looks good. Are you interested in sporty style or a more edgy look? Is staying up-to-date with the latest trends more your style? Regardless of what your go-to sense is, there is someone out there who will view your content as inspiration. With that in mind, read on as we cover everything fashion influencer related. We’ll talk about how to target success – and how to do it on a budget.

Women recording content while learning how to become a fashion influencer.

What Is a Fashion Influencer on Instagram?

So, just what exactly is a fashion influencer on Instagram? By definition, an influencer is a person with the ability to influence another. A fashion influencer is someone who shares daily styles, outfit inspiration and shopping hauls with their followers on Instagram. They give styling tips and techniques and show their audience different ways to pair things. They may even share bargain buys or high-end pieces that are worth the investment. Their followers look to them for guidance and as a knowledge resource.

In our current era where social media is everything, an influencer is typically referred to in a marketing sense. That is, someone who can influence people to buy a product or service by recommending it through social media platforms. Companies and businesses have seen the power of influencer marketing campaigns and are all-in on this type of promotion.

Did you know that many of the current top fashion influencers got their start by first being bloggers? It’s true. In a time before Instagram, trendy people took to blogs to share their street style and everyday fashion. In fact, many fashion influencers still write and publish fashion blogs on their branded websites. This is a great way to further connect with their audience and gives them another platform to share their style. If you are interested in how to become a fashion influencer, consider launching a blog in addition to Instagram.

Women learning how to become a fashion influencer by sharing clothing with followers.

Target Follower Count for Becoming a Fashion Influencer

You’re probably wondering how many followers you need to obtain when it comes to how to become a fashion influencer. We’re here with the answer – and it might surprise you. Did you know that even those with a couple hundred Instagram followers are technically considered influencers? That’s right. A nano influencer has an approximate following count of a few hundred up to 10,000. So, you may be an influencer already. Now, of course, the goal is to continue to grow and expand your audience and reach with organic followers. That’s what sets nano influencers apart from everyday Instagram users. Once you move on from nano status, you’ll reach the micro level. This means you’ve gained a following of around 20,000 to 100,000. At this point, your content is still mostly self-created. Micro influencers have built a loyal following, due to being authentic and transparent with their audience.

Of course, the influencing ladder doesn’t stop there. Wondering how to become a fashion influencer with even more followers? Once you gain 500k to 1 million as your audience count, you can consider yourself a macro influencer. Many macro influencers hold jobs outside of social media. This can range from acting to singing or starring in a popular reality show. Having another title creates better recognition and connection with their audience. And, of course, the pinnacle of influencer status comes in the form of being a mega influencer. At this level, we’re talking millions of followers and, often, another claim to fame, as well. Think A-list celebrities, star athletes and musicians. Mega influencers have a massive reach and are able to set fashion trends among their audience. Companies pay top dollar for collaborations with these top content creators and it pays off.

Fashion influencer sharing her content with followers.

How to Become a Fashion Influencer on Instagram

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get right into talking about how to become a fashion influencer on Instagram. Like we mentioned above, it is going to take dedicated time and energy. Remember, things worth having don’t happen overnight. Our best advice to start your influencing career path? Have clear cut goals about exactly what it is that you want to achieve. Do you want to keep things on a smaller scale and do this as a part-time gig? Or is fame and fortune your end goal? From here, you can easily put a plan in motion to reach your targeted outcome.

Another first step you will want to take is to update your Instagram profile. Wondering what we mean by this? Make sure your handle is something related to your aesthetic and style. You’ll want it to be catchy and easy for your followers to remember. It’s also smart to use the same name across all social media channels, so think about doing research on availability. With influencing as your main focus, you can also transition your profile to an Instagram business account. This will give you access to features that will help you grow, such as post scheduling and marketing insights. Ready for more tips on how to become a fashion influencer? Keep reading on as we cover it all.

Define Your Target Audience on Instagram

Fashion can be a competitive niche to break into and thrive in, so you need to dial in your style. When it comes to how to become a fashion influencer, make sure your style has a clear vision and stay true to it. Again, you probably have your own sense of style. It may even combine a few genres. Perhaps you love comfortable fashion – but with a sporty twist. Or maybe you like to change it up from day to day. No matter what speaks best to you, be true to yourself and your followers will see your authenticity shine though.

Next, you’ll want to identify your target market on Instagram. This is extremely helpful when it comes to gaining followers. People with a similar sense of style are more likely to follow you back and actively engage with your content. That will help to increase your engagement rate, a key metric when it comes to influencers. Don’t worry, we will dive in deeper to that below. A good place to start with a target audience? Make a list of fellow influencers and brands that match your style and aesthetic. From here, do your research into their followers, focusing on the ones that like, comment and share their content. Don’t be afraid to do a little self-promotion. A follow will surely catch their attention and bring notice to your profile. 

Women showcasing her street style content while learning how to become a fashion influencer.

Connect With Other Fashion Influencers on Instagram

It’s also helpful to work with other fashionable people who are learning how to become fashion influencers. By joining forces and sharing each other’s content, you can attain a larger reach and help to support one another. You may already be following other influencers that would be a good match for you. Remember, they don’t have to share your exact sense of style but rather be complementary. Consider going through your followers list and identifying a few influencers that fit the bill. Next, reach out to them and make a connection. You can do this through either post comments, story replies or Instagram direct messages. You never know when it will lead to a business relationship or even a close friendship. After all, influencers supporting influencers is what social media is all about.

Focus On Your Instagram Engagement Rate

If you’ve done your research on how to become an influencer, you surely know about engagement rates. If not, don’t worry. We are here to break this term down for you. Your engagement rate is one of the analytical tools that businesses look for when they scout potential influencers to partner with. It refers to how actively involved with your content your audience is. It compares your total number of followers to your average numbers of likes, reactions, shares and comments per post. Essentially, a measure of how well your content performs. So, what target engagement rate do companies look for when it comes to Instagram paid partnerships? According to recent reports, anywhere from 1% to 5% is the sweet spot.

When planning how to become a fashion influencer, a higher engagement rate is extremely important and can be very lucrative. In turn, that leads to more money and sponsorships. Wondering how to increase your Instagram engagement? As you start out as an influencer, experiment with different types of posts. This will help to identify what your audience reacts strongly to – both good and bad. Do they prefer feed posts or stories? You can even use the Instagram sticker options in your stories to find out. Additionally, lean into popular hashtags and trends. Adding hashtags to your posts that are relevant to your industry can increase your visibility on the social media app. It can even lead to your content being featured on the Instagram explore page, bringing in a flurry of new viewers.

Person sharing content with followers, learning how to become a fashion influencer.

How to Become a Fashion Influencer on a Budget

Obviously, having a variety of clothes and outfits to showcase is key when it comes to how to become a fashion influencer. After all, that is why your followers are tuning in – to see how you style clothing. While you probably already have a variety of things to choose from in your closet, you may feel like you’ve showcased them all. However, not everyone has the means to purchase new outfits as frequently as content is being shared on Instagram. Luckily, we’ve got some tips and tricks for how to become a fashion influencer on a budget. It’s all about giving the illusion of having access to an endless amount of clothes. If you are smart and strategic, you can achieve a variety of new outfits. Read on as we dive deeper into tips and tricks you can use to expand your closet – with or without money.

Two fashion influencers filming content to share on Instagram.

How to Become a Fashion Influencer With No Money to Buy Clothes

If you’ve got dreams of becoming a fashion influencer, you probably think it will be an expensive career path to pursue. Truth be told, it can be. After all, clothing is the whole basis of being a fashion influencer. Need a few ideas for learning how to become a fashion influencer with no money to buy clothes? First, consider what’s residing in your current wardrobe. That’s right, get creative and reinvent what you already have. In fact, sharing capsule wardrobes is a huge movement on social media. The idea behind this concept is to have a minimalist wardrobe with classic pieces that can easily be mixed and matched. With this concept, it’s not about having a lot of options. It’s about learning how to make better use of fewer options.

Next, consider using your favorite stores’ dressing rooms as your personal runway. This is a popular trick for those learning how to become a fashion influencer. Select clothes to try on and snap quick pictures or videos of you in the dressing room. Instagram stories and reels are both great ways to showcase this kind of content. You can even ask your followers for feedback on which items they like best by using the poll sticker available on stories. Don’t forget to add a couple fashion-related hashtags per story. This is another great way to gain content visibility.

How to Become a Fashion Influencer by Scoring Bargains and Deals

Of course, sometimes having new pieces to mix into your closet is an essential need. After all, it’s extremely helpful to your career path of how to become a fashion influencer. But don’t worry. We’re here to tell you that you don’t always have to spend a lot of money to get a lot of value. Do your research on local thrift stores and consignment shops in your area. This is a great way to score unique and vintage pieces that will make you stand out in the crowd. You can also look into popular resale sites online. It may come as a surprise what you can score for a fraction of the original retail price. With second hand pieces, you may not be able to share the exact styles for your followers to buy. However, remember that you can always lead them to similar styles to duplicate the look.

Woman learning how to become a fashion influencer by filming content.

How to Become a Fashion Influencer and Make Money

The career path of an influencer can be a very profitable one, if you know how to monetize your content. In fact, a single Instagram post for a sponsored brand deal can pay anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Many top influencers do it as their full-time job and are able to support their lifestyle from it. Of course, it all depends on the size of your audience, as well as your reach and your engagement rate.

Wondering how to become a fashion influencer and make money from it? There are a few profitable avenues you can consider. Of course, they mostly involve working closely with brands and businesses. In fact, becoming a fashion brand ambassador is one of the top ways to turn influencing into a revenue stream. If you’re looking for more money-making ideas, we’re here to help. Below, we’ll outline a few ideas to get you started.

How to Become a Fashion Influencer With Brand Deals and Sponsored Posts

Brand deals, or business collaborations, are one of the main ways to make money as a fashion influencer. These typically work by receiving gifted clothing from the brands, as well as a set rate for your work. You are responsible for creating and sharing content. Remember, you’ll have to abide by the stipulations outlined in your contract. This can sometimes mean there are certain aesthetics to follow or formats to capture. Always remember to review and agree upon contract terms before signing any deals.

Wondering how to become a fashion influencer and score these types of deals? Be sure to promote yourself. Tag and mention brands you wear and re-post their Instagram stories or posts. And don’t be afraid to reach out to them with your portfolio. This shows an interest that can get you noticed for collaboration. Of course, you’ll want to also focus on growing your audience and Instagram presence like we mentioned above. After all, more followers will lead to more brand opportunities.

How to Become a Fashion Influencer With Affiliate Links

Of course, we can’t forget to mention Instagram affiliate marketing when you are wondering how to become a fashion influencer and make money. Wondering what exactly this term means? Let us fill you in. This marketing concept is when influencers share outfits on Instagram and add links to each piece item featured. In order to do this, you’ll need to join third-party affiliate programs that support the different brands you promote in your content. When a follower clicks through your shared link and purchases that item, you’ll receive a commission from it. This can sometimes be a very small percent but remember – it all adds up. As you can imagine, the more followers you have will lead to more purchases through these shared affiliate links.

Another way to utilize this revenue stream is working directly with brands or businesses to receive special discount codes to use. Influencers will then share the codes with their followers through social media content, whether its stories, live streams or feed posts. When used by their followers, the influencer gets a small percentage fee. Of course, this works best when you truly believe in the product you are promoting. It’s also extremely important to have a dedicated following who trusts your recommendations.

At Path Social we’ve built up an in-house platform of Instagram influencers and a proprietary AI targeting algorithm over the past decade. That’s how we reach organic users who are targeted, interested, and engaged. And that’s why no one can replicate our results, which means you’ll build an Instagram community that lasts! Start growing and gaining Instagram followers today.