How To Build a Brand on Instagram in 7 Easy Steps

Profile photo of Karen Lin, author

Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | May 21, 2024

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

Building a solid brand is a must if you want to succeed on Instagram. This typically means creating a business with the right look and feel to attract customers. But for many content creators, brand-building focuses on crafting a vibrant persona as an influencer. If you have a brand people recognize and resonate with, it will be easier to meet your social media goals. That’s why today, we’re talking about how to build a brand on Instagram and lure followers in.

Whether you’re producing personal content or promoting a partner brand’s products, nailing your brand is crucial for success on Instagram. But building a brand from the ground up can feel super intimidating if you’re doing it for the first time. To help, we’ve created a step-by-step guide on how to make a brand that best represents you. Let’s jump right in!

A woman writing marketing plans on a whiteboard filled with sticky notes.

Why Is Good Branding Important on Social Media Platforms?

Having a solid, cohesive branding strategy impacts how people perceive you as an individual. Your overall identity, appearance, personality, and creative style create someone’s first impression of you. And that’s super important for new influencers trying to make it big on Instagram.

Recognition is another reward for well-crafted personal branding. If your branding is positive, engaging, and unique, people will surely remember you. That’s the main goal of being an influencer—standing out and shining in a crowded social media platform. You want a personal brand that isn’t just like every other influencer’s feed. It has to be different and instantly recognizable.

Good branding also makes you appear more credible. Being in tune with your authentic self and expressing that personality through your branding makes you seem more genuine. This is something people can sense even just by looking at your Instagram feed. The more authentic and expressive you are of your true self, the more trustworthy you’ll seem.

All these branding benefits are musts if you want to make it big in the digital world. That makes nailing your brand a non-negotiable on the road to success as an Instagram influencer.

A box full of candy brads from different brands.

How To Build a Personal Brand on Instagram: 7 Steps to Success

Companies and businesses have the luxury of hiring digital marketing agencies to come up with their branding for them. But it’s different for individuals and influencers. To create a personal brand, you must tap into your interests, style, and personality. The only person who can successfully bring your brand to life is you.

That might sound scary, we know. But if you know how you want to present yourself and what content you want to share online, you’re golden. As long as you’re in tune with your identity and willing to express yourself online, brand-building will be super fun!

Are you ready to rock? Here’s how to build a personal brand on Instagram in seven easy steps.

1. Define Your Identity and Overall Look (Make Sure It Shows Brand Authenticity)

The first step in creating a personal brand is knowing what identity you want to present online. Is there a particular niche you want to operate in or passions you want to focus on? What traits in your personality do you want to show your future audience?

From there, it’s time to craft your brand story and vision. Think about your purpose for being an influencer. Are you there to inspire others with stunning content? To make younger people laugh with funny videos and social media challenges? What is the message you want to deliver through your page?

When you know the direction you want to take your brand, it’s time to think of your visual aesthetic. Craft a visual identity for your brand. Think of the design elements you want your brand to be associated with. These can include key symbols, photo filters, cool fonts for your captions, and many more.

For example, consider choosing a color palette for your brand that will later affect the style of your social media content. According to the Pantone Color Institute, color can boost brand recognition by 87%.

Choose signature colors for your page that reflect your true personality and will make for interesting, memorable content. If you have a more chill, down-to-earth identity, choose neutrals and monochromatic colors for your page. If you’re more youthful and outgoing, go for bright, loud colors to grab people’s attention.

It’s important to ensure that your brand identity, purpose, and creative aesthetics all line-up. That’s the only way you can exude natural brand authenticity and resonate with your audience.

A branding mood board complete with a color palette and photos for aesthetic inspiration.

2. Choose Your Target Audience

Next, it’s time to decide who you want to speak to on Instagram. Define your target audience according to their demographics (age, sex, location) and psychographics (interests, hobbies, life stage). You should also look into their pain points and how your brand can help them navigate these unmet needs.

Make sure that your niche and brand identity will be attractive to this audience. For example, if you’re a fashion influencer in NYC, you might want to target young, professional females in the area. It also needs to be an audience you’re comfortable engaging and forming a relationship with. Otherwise, your branding and content won’t be valuable or interesting to them. You’ll be pouring all your effort into reaching an audience that doesn’t vibe with your brand.

Understanding who you want to talk to as a brand will help you brainstorm social media content later on. While your content should mainly be a reflection of you, it should also be tailored to your audience’s enjoyment. That way, you can form meaningful connections and have awesome engagement on the platform.

3. Craft Your Unique Creative Content Strategy

Now that you know your brand purpose, identity, overall look, and target audience, it’s time to craft a content strategy. Your creative content strategy serves as your guide to producing social media content. It’s a blueprint to help you come out with Instagram posts aligned with your brand personality and your audience’s interests.

Here are just some of the key elements of a high-quality, well-planned content strategy:

  • Key content buckets or themes. These topics can be anywhere from educational posts to glam shots with you as the subject. Each piece of content should fall under one of your buckets. These buckets should be significant to your niche. For example, if you’re a fitness influencer, key themes might include exercise tutorials, body transformation stories, and nutrition tips.
  • A balanced mix of content formats. Think about what kind of formats you want to use for your posts. And don’t just pick one—you need a balance of multiple photo and video formats. For example, maybe you’d like to post at least two Reels and two photo carousel posts per week. Then, you might want to post more casual and candid Instagram Stories in between them.
  • A content calendar for a clear post-publication schedule. A calendar will help you keep track of what you should post when you need to post them. It creates a cadence to your content. That way, you don’t overwhelm people with too many posts at once or bore them by going days without content. 

4. Create Your Instagram Account and Start Posting Content

Next, it’s time to finally set up your Instagram account. Make sure to choose a high-quality profile picture that will reflect your brand personality (and color palette, if any). Think of a fun, memorable Instagram bio, too, to make the best first impression for people who visit your page. Oh, and don’t forget to switch to a Creator account once your page is set up!

Now that your page is all set, it’s time for the fun part—making content. Be sure that every photo and video you churn out lines up with your creative content strategy. That way, you’ll be doing your brand justice and ensuring that your target audience finds value in every post.

Someone scrolling through an Instagram profile with plenty of photo posts.

5. Promote Yourself So You Can Reach Your Target Audience

Branding isn’t just about aesthetics and expressing yourself online. It also has a marketing aspect to it. To grow your Instagram brand, you need to know how to promote yourself on Instagram properly. Make relevant noise to grab people’s attention. Otherwise, your hard work coming up with top-notch, well-thought-out branding and interesting content will be for nothing.

If you’re new to the platform and want to reach your target audience fast, consider running Instagram ads. Investing in paid ads can help you reach a specific audience—that way, you know that your content will actually reach the people you want to talk to.

If you love coming up with crazy creative posts and gimmicks, think of posts that will draw audiences to you. Consider running a giveaway to get people interested in your brand, or perhaps invent a fun Instagram challenge. Whatever gets your name out there and draws in more people to your page!

A woman about to talk into a megaphone.

6. Engage Your Followers To Build a Solid Relationship With Them

The point of building a brand is to attract followers to your page and make meaningful connections with them. So, make sure that you put as much effort into engaging your followers as you did with establishing your brand. Here are just some of the ways you can do that:

  • Reply to people’s direct messages and comments on your posts. Make sure your replies aren’t curt and basic. Spark genuine, substantial conversations in your responses.
  • Talk to your followers in a personal, candid way on Instagram Stories. Consider holding Q&A sessions there, too, to let fans get to know you more.
  • Ask your followers questions, whether in your post captions or through interactive stickers on your Instagram Stories.
  • Thank and acknowledge your fans whenever you reach milestones, like your first brand collab or reaching a target follower count. 

7. Maintain Good Public Perception With Brand Reputation Management Strategies

Imagine building your brand from the ground up only to have it shatter if people see you negatively. Any influencer or company can deal with a brand crisis. That’s why it’s important to have a brand reputation management strategy in place. These techniques will help you maintain a positive perception of your brand and repair any damages caused by bad PR.

To maintain positive sentiment about your brand, make sure to keep engaging with your audience. Just because people love you now doesn’t mean you should slack in that regard. Keep building your relationship with your followers by monitoring and responding to their DMs and comments. If they have any negative feedback about your content, address them promptly and gracefully.

Have a game plan for situations where you might find yourself being painted in a bad light on Instagram, too. Know when you need to pull out from brand partnerships, giving you bad press. When you need to apologize for a wrong move, do it humbly and take responsibility for your actions. That way, you can protect and repair the brand you’ve built even when things turn sour. 

How To Build More Followers as a Brand on Instagram

After you craft a cohesive personal brand and consistently post content aligned with it, it’s time to focus on growth. What’s the point of painstakingly perfecting your brand if no one sees your content anyway, right? So, it’s time to funnel your efforts into getting more Instagram followers.

All brands—influencers and businesses alike—have a lot to gain from a growing Instagram fanbase. Having more followers means higher visibility on your content. It also means higher brand awareness—a huge metric to see if you’ve built a successful brand. For businesses, more followers mean more sales. For content creators, it could mean better engagement rates.

Are you wondering how to build more followers as a brand on Instagram? Here are some concrete ways to boost your follower count after you’ve built a brand:

  1. Use relevant hashtags in your post captions. Hashtags boost your content’s visibility in a couple of ways. First, your post can show up on the feeds of people who follow that tag. Second, people who lurk on that hashtag’s page might stumble upon your post. Either way, using tags can reach new audiences and potentially new followers for your brand.
  1. Collaborate with other influencers. Borrow from someone’s influence and reach their established fanbase through a collab. By making joint posts or tagging each other in fun challenges, you’ll expose yourself to a wider audience. This can lead to an uptick in followers if some of your collaborator’s fans like your overall branding.
  1. Cross-promote your Instagram account on other social media platforms. If you’re active on other social channels, promote your Instagram page there. You can even link your account to your e-commerce website or even your email sign-off. This allows you to reach people who might already know your brand but don’t follow you on IG yet.

Office supplies on a desk with a yellow sticky note with the hashtag symbol on it.

And That’s How To Build a Brand on Instagram and Populate Its Fanbase

Building a brand isn’t the easiest thing to do. But if you follow this guide, you’ll be on your way to creating a brand your target audience will love. Nail your brand look, content strategy, creative plans, engagement, and reputation management techniques, and you’re all set. In no time, you’ll have tons of followers hooked on your brand’s social media content!

Now that you know how to build a brand on Instagram, it’s time to focus on growing your fanbase. Aside from the tips above, you can also boost your follower count with a growth service like Path Social.

We at Path Social do the heavy lifting so you can focus on maintaining your brand. Just tell us your ideal target audience, and we’ll promote your content straight to their feeds. This ensures that your social media content reaches the right people every time. As a result, you’ll see a significant boost in your follower count! Grow your brand’s online community fast with us today.