Lifestyle Influencers: The Ultimate IG Trendsetters

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | May 23, 2024

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There was a time when lifestyle bloggers ruled the internet. People would set up websites to write about their travels and fashion tips. Beauty bloggers would blow everyone away with their round-up of the top ten holy grail makeup products of the year. But in recent years, a new breed of trendsetters has taken the social media world by storm. That’s right, we’re talking about lifestyle influencers on Instagram.

Social media influencers in the lifestyle space hold a lot of power today. Not only do they come up with high-quality, aesthetically pleasing content, but they also set the biggest trends online. They’re fashion-forward, have impeccable makeup skills, travel the world, and whip up the most delectable dishes. Oh, and they hold elite status in the eyes of brands and online communities.

But what does it take to be an influencer in the lifestyle space? What do you have to do, and what do you get out of pursuing it as a career? Keep reading to learn more about these influencers and the right path to take to become one of them.

An influencer recording a video in the kitchen with their phone camera and tripod.

First Things First—What Is a Lifestyle Influencer?

There are plenty of social media influencers today that focus on lifestyle niches like fashion, travel, art, food, and more. But what is a lifestyle influencer anyway?

Basically, Instagram influencers in the lifestyle space create content about their passions to make an impact in other people’s lives. They’ve amassed a significant following online because of their expertise in their respective lifestyle topics. By sharing insightful content about their interests, they become trusted authority figures in those niches.

For example, a health and wellness influencer might post about their love for yoga and meditation. Creating content related to these is a fulfilling way to express their interest in them. At the same time, it’s a terrific way to get people on the yoga bandwagon by educating them about it.

The same goes for other lifestyle topics, like travel, food, books, fashion, home décor and parenting. These influencers will have a mix of aspirational and educational content that can inspire others to curate their dream lifestyle. They set trends and get people excited about their niche.

Now comes the technical aspect of being an influencer in the lifestyle niche. How does it come into play in marketing and PR?

Today, companies are well aware of the fact that young people listen to real people over brands. So, these brands tap popular content creators to promote their products to reach a wider audience and get more engagement. This is called an influencer marketing strategy.

Brand collaborations are how influencers make money. A company will reach out to them if their lifestyle niche is aligned with their brand. If a creator accepts the job to be their brand influencer, the company will “sponsor” some of their posts. The influencer will then promote the brand directly to their followers and get paid for it.

A female influencer posing as she takes photos and videos with a phone and tripod for her Instagram content.

Chasing That Fame: How To Be a Lifestyle Influencer on Instagram

When you see influencers’ content on Instagram, it may look like a dream job. Travel influencers trot around the world and see different cities every day. Fashion and beauty creators, on the other hand, always look terrific, thanks to their brand sponsors.

But getting to that point isn’t a walk in the park. These creators have to fight tooth and nail to earn their spot as trusted social media influencers and brand ambassadors. It’s not just about looking good and putting out stunning photos on Instagram. You also have to learn how to grow your page and build a relationship with your audience. And that takes a lot of hard work.

Are you wondering how to be a lifestyle influencer on Instagram? We’ve broken down the entire process for you in four steps.

1. Choose a Niche and Define Your Brand

The first thing you want to do if you’re considering being a lifestyle creator is to decide on a niche. There are plenty of topics that fit into the lifestyle space. These include fashion, travel, food, wellness, pets, family, spirituality, art, film and many more. You just have to pick the one you are one, knowledgeable with, and two, passionate about. If you don’t know or love what you’re talking about online, your influencer-dom is doomed to fail.

When you know what niche you want to play in, it’s time to create your brand and social media strategy. Make an Instagram profile and set it up with a unique handle that is easy to remember. Think of content buckets you want to post. Strategize how to make your brand stand out against your competitors.

You might also want to optimize your influencer Instagram account by setting it to Creator Mode. By doing so, you can access influencer tools like Instagram metrics, post insights, and branded content tools.

2. Post Engaging, High-Quality Content To Catch People’s Attention

When your Instagram page is all set up, you’re ready to rock. Create high-quality, interesting content related to your niche to lure potential followers to your page.

Make sure your posts are relevant and add value to your target audience’s daily lives. Here are some examples of fun, impactful content you can create to pique your audience’s interest:

  • “Get ready with me” videos for fashion influencers and beauty bloggers.
  • Affordable fashion brand recommendations for clothing lovers on a budget.
  • Recipe videos using ingredients that people usually already have at home.
  • Workout tutorial Reels to motivate people to exercise or practice yoga.
  • Horoscope content for those who are more in touch with new-age spirituality.

Keep your page active by consistently posting new, helpful, beautiful content on your page. Develop your unique aesthetic that will wow audiences and get them excited every time you post something new. And don’t be afraid to play around with different Instagram post formats to keep things fresh. Make sure you have a mix of Instagram Reels, feed posts, Stories, and more.

3. Be Authentic, Relatable and Engaging Online

At this point, you’ll likely have some followers tuning into your account. The next thing you want to work on is your relationship with this fanbase. It’s important to create an emotional connection and genuine friendship with the people supporting your page. And the best way to do that is to show off your authentic personality.

According to a study by Matter Now, consumers gravitate more toward influencers that are relatable and authentic. Over 60% of people find raw, relatable influencers most appealing on social media. Meanwhile, only 28% of people prefer to follow aspirational personalities.

So, don’t be afraid to show off your quirky side. Remember—being an influencer isn’t all about looking pretty. It’s about having a fun, approachable, positive personality, too.

But even if you do have a sparkling personality, you can’t rely only on that to reel in new followers. You also have to engage with your audience regularly. That means replying to their comments and DMs about your content. On your Stories, ask questions about their interests or personal lives.

Genuinely try to get to know your audience. Not only will you foster a solid relationship with them, but you’ll also know more about their interest. This can help you with creating content relevant to your followers in the future.

4. Land Your Dream Collab With a Brand or Fellow Influencer

And finally, collaborate with fellow influencers and brands within your niche. If you’re lucky, these brands and creators will reach out to you. But if not, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and ask if they’re interested in collaborating with you.

There are plenty of fun ways to collaborate with others on Instagram. You could make a collaborative post that features you and the people you’re working with. This pushes out the content not just to your followers but to your collaborators as well. That means more reach and engagement for your collab post!

Collaborating with other influencers widens your audience and builds your credibility and trust level. It can also help you grow your following if the person you’re collaborating with has followers who love your content.

All these elements can help you grow your page and put you in the line of vision of bigger brands. Before you know it, household name brands will come knocking at your door, asking you to be their brand ambassador.

Two beauty gurus collaborating on a makeup video they are filming.

Top Lifestyle Influencers in Popular Niches (And What They Do Right)

Do you want to learn how to be a good, impactful influencer that brands and audiences will love? The best way to do so is by learning from those who have been successful on the same path. Let’s take a look at the top lifestyle influencers in the most popular niches for inspiration.

Stylish Fashion Influencers

Fashion influencers are known for their trendy style and ability to mix and match clothes and carry them well. They stay up-to-date with the latest fashion trends to share with their audience. Successful fashion content creators will partner with apparel brands that carry collections similar to their style. People look up to their fashion sense and might end up shopping from the brands they promote.

One wildly successful fashion influencer is Danielle Bernstein, the founder of the NYC-based fashion blog WeWoreWhat. The brand currently boasts over 3.2 million followers on Instagram.

The success of WeWoreWhat is largely due to their very specific fashion niche—New York City fashion. Aside from that, Danielle also expanded her brand to include an online clothing shop and several other fashion lines.

It only goes to show that when you niche down to something specific, you become more memorable and more successful. And when you leverage your growing fame and build avenues to share your passion with others, your brand will grow.

Another popular, well-loved fashion content creator is @thanya, who currently has 2.1 million followers. Years back, this Germany-based influencer used to post only mirror selfies with her favorite outfits. But in recent years, she has branched out to creating funny, trendy, relatable Reels—all still centered on fashion. Because she continues to experiment with formats and content styles, she never lost momentum as an influencer.

A female fashion influencer filming herself showcasing a new skirt for her followers to see.

Inspiring Fitness Influencers

Next up, we have fitness influencers. These content creators make it their mission to motivate others to work out and live a healthy lifestyle. They post workout regimens, nutrition tips, yoga routines, and more. Some of them even open up about their difficult fitness journey to inspire others to start their own.

The keys to being a successful fitness influencer are showing your expertise in exercise as well as empowering others. These are things that bigshot fitness influencer Kayla Itsines incorporates into her content and passion projects. The content creator has 16 million followers who enjoy her diverse content. These posts range from high-intensity workouts to inspirational posts about strong women.

A male fitness influencer having an intense workout at the gym.

Stunning Beauty Gurus

Creators with a passion for beauty and self-care will likely become beauty influencers. These creators use their platforms to talk about makeup, skincare, and personal care. Their main goal? To boost people’s confidence and help them present themselves to others the way they want.

There are two main kinds of beauty gurus on social media—skincare influencers and makeup gurus. And the road to success for each one is very different. Let’s look at two top influencers from each specialization to see what it takes to be a stellar niche influencer.

First, we have Hyram—a popular skincare influencer who posts brutally honest skincare reviews. What makes Hyram so influential to skincare lovers is that he values the science behind beauty products. He uses his skincare knowledge to educate his followers about what is good and bad for the skin. As a result, people flock to his page for his brand recommendations.

Next is Steph Hui, a young star in the makeup world who has amassed over one million followers on Instagram. She mostly posts content about hairstyles and makeup trends. What is the name of her game? Catchy Reels and trendy audio clips as she does her hair and makeup. Her take on beauty content is incredibly fresh and vastly different from that of “traditional” beauty gurus. So, if you want to stand out in the beauty world, experiment with cool, chic, and unexpected content styles.

A female beauty influencer holding a brush, showing her followers how to apply makeup.

Aspirational and Adventurous Travel Influencers

Travel influencers have always been big on Instagram. People love seeing content about the cities they dream of visiting. These content creators bring the experience straight to their screens to invoke their wanderlust—and people eat it all up! So, what are the top travel influencers doing to be on their A-game?

Christian LeBlanc, also known as “Lost LeBlanc,” is a popular travel influencer with over 700k followers on Instagram. His key to success was creating aesthetic travel content with his photography and filmography skills.

Because his cinematic photos and travel vlogs were stunning, more and more people started to follow him. He showed off the beauty in every destination he visited, which made his page incredibly appealing. That is something any successful travel content creator should know how to do.

But pretty pictures aren’t the only requirement to be a successful travel influencer. You also need an awesome personality and exciting storytelling skills. These two are the strengths of Claire and Peter, a couple who took a gap year to travel the world.

Claire and Peter’s content style is very different from Christian’s but is still incredibly effective. Instead of focusing on the aesthetics of travel, they create funny, relatable Reels about their adventures. This creates an approachable, authentic feel to their content, making people feel like they’re friends with the couple. Thanks to their exciting videos, they’ve 353,000 followers.

A female influencer sitting on a beach with tropical fruits and a rattan bag on her mat.

Food Influencers With Mouthwatering Content

Lastly, we have food influencers who create the most delectable, mouthwatering content for foodies and homemakers. Everyone loves making and eating food, so these influencers are a dime a dozen. That makes it difficult to break into this space. So, what is the best way to bake it big as a food influencer?

The key to success in the food space is to make your branding a little more niche and specific. That way, you become more memorable. There are way too many food accounts posting aesthetic flat-lay photos and one-minute recipe videos. Try to make your page more unique and one-of-a-kind.

This is something top food influencer Nutrition by Kylie has successfully done on her page. Her branding is very distinct: she’s a dietician who posts healthy recipes with ingredients you already have at home.

All her content is about easy recipes that aren’t highbrow but are still yummy and nutritious. Her mantra is to “focus on what to add to, not what to subtract from, your meals.” This stands out in a space where everyone else either focuses on excessive junk food or unrealistically healthy recipes. Take this as a lesson on tight, clear branding and being relatable to your audience.

Who Has a Bigger Impact: Big or Small Influencers?

If you’re just starting as a content creator, you might be intimidated by bigger accounts with millions of followers. But don’t overthink it. Everyone who has made it big on Instagram was once a small-time influencer. Plus, not every brand is looking for huge macro-influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers. Sometimes, tapping micro-influencers is better.

Big and small social media influencers have their role to play in any influencer marketing campaign. Which type of content creator is perfect for the job all depends on the brand’s goals.

Brands launching big brand awareness campaigns might tap macro-influencers and celebrities. The goal of these campaigns is to reach as many people as possible. So, bigger influencers will likely make more of an impact on these brands.

However, brands who are trying to engage with a niche audience might find that working with smaller creators is better.

While mega celebs have millions of followers, they can’t reply to every single one of their fans. That could make their engagement rate and relationship with their fanbase quite weak.

However, smaller influencers are known to have more active fanbases, which they converse with and have a strong relationship with. They have the wiggle room to reply to more comments and foster a sense of community in their fanbase. That means they have more sway when it comes to brand conversion. So, micro-influencers suit brand campaigns that are focused on talking to the audience and closing sales.

Ultimately, big and small influencers have their own space to fill in influencer marketing. A bigger following won’t always land you the brand deal. And just because you’re a micro-influencer doesn’t mean you can’t collaborate with your dream brand. The type of influencer a company taps depends on their campaign’s goals.

Launch Yourself to Influencer-Dom With Path Social!

Being a social media influencer may look like it’s all glitz and glam. But in reality, it takes a lot of work to be an impactful, influential trendsetter in lifestyle niches. You need to pin down your branding and target audience, curate a gorgeous feed, and keep your community alive.

Whether you’re into fashion, fitness, travel, or whatever lifestyle niche, Path Social can help put you on the influencer map. Our AI-powered targeting tool looks for your target audience and pushes your content to their feed. That way, you get more organic reach and engagement on your posts and the potential to grow your following. The best part is that all the new followers you get will be 100% real—never bot followers.

With our help, you’ll be collaborating and rubbing elbows with big-time brands and lifestyle influencers before you know it. So, what are you waiting for? Work with Path Social and grow your Instagram fanbase today!