How to become an Instagrammer and make a career out of it

First of all, some might ask, what is an Instagrammer?

Well, Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables users to take pictures and videos and share them on a variety of social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.  Instagram is “like Twitter but with pictures”. Instagram unearths your creative side and gets it flowing and allows you to share your life, feelings, sensations, experiences and advice.


Instagram was launched in October 2010. The service rapidly gained popularity, with over 200 million active users globally (approximately 700,000 users in South Africa) as of April 2014. The service was acquired by Facebook in April 2012 for $1 billion.

As a job seeker you need to diversify your social media presence if you hope to keep up with your potential employer, so it stands to reason that if the people you are marketing to are on Instagram, you should be, too! In essence an Instagrammer is someone who tells a story with pictures.

We recently spoke to Alessio La Ruffa (one of Gauteng’s promiment Instagrammers) at Hello Ambassador 2014. He offers some insight into becoming a Visual Story Teller.

He started using Instagram in October  2010 after he spotted this cool app (which had created a lot of hype online). He downloaded it and started taking photos. Admittedly, his first couple of hundred photographs were not so good but with practice they got much better.

Alessio La Ruffa

“By becoming an Instagrammer you do not need expensive photographic equipment, all you need is a smart phone with a decent camera. Once you become good at it there are a few professions you could follow, thus starting your career in visual story telling” says La Ruffa.

This is essentially a marketing profession as the end result is telling a visual story for brands. One could either become a freelancer or apply for work at a digital advertising agency.

Check out the full interview with Alessio La Ruffa below. We trust that you’ll find this #YouWantMyJob video insightful and useful.

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Here are 7 ways to become a good Instagrammer:

  1. Post quality photos.  The better your photos are, the more people will like them and comment on them. You’ll get better engagement and gain more followers. It’s the most organic way to be a better Instagrammer.
  2. Make sure your profile is complete. Let people know who you are (or at least who your Instagram personality is). Make sure to include a link to your blog / facebook page/ other home on the web. It’s your only link, so make it count.
  3. Use tags & hashtags correctly. Rule of thumb is to use the tag (@xxxxxx) if you want that person to see your comment, or if you want to leave a link to that person’s Instagram profile. Make sure to take advantage of popular hashtags, as long as they make sense along with your photo.
  4. Make friends & chat to people. Be friendly! Like and comment on other people’s photos. Tag friends in photos if you think they’d be interested. Start conversations in the comments and be social. Remember, social media is two-way communication and it’s all about networking and building your personal brand.
  5. Join in on post-ups / events. Play along with Instagram events like #workspacewednesday, or #widn.
  6. Think quality, not quantity. You can and should post multiple times a day if you want to get more followers, but you need to spread these photos out over the course of the day and you really shouldn’t post more than five times a day. Applying limits to your posts will help you reach your audience better.
  7. Find your niche. If you can differentiate yourself by sticking with one quirky theme, you may gain more followers than you would just taking photos of whatever.

Leave a comment and let us know what your thoughts are. Feedback is appreciated and welcome here. If you found this to be informative and useful information remember that Sharing is Caring. Feel free to check out our previous installment in this series featuring Mike Sharman on how to get into the Digital Marketing Industry.

If you have not yet registered your CV, Register here: WEB or MOBILE or go ahead and apply for Marketing jobs today! Remember to keep your CV updated and watch this space for regular updates for job seekers on the Job Mail Blog.

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