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Become an Instagram Influencer w/ Expert Bonnie Tsang

What does it take to become an Instagram influencer?

Well, as photographer and Instagram expert Bonnie Tsang puts it, “just share who you are.” Originally a graphic designer, Bonnie found herself picking up the camera one day, snapping photos of her daughter. That was when her father pushed her to pursue photography, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Bonnie has amassed an astounding 7+ million followers and viewers across her Pinterest and Instagram accounts. She's been able to build an authentic brand online and has an enviable list of clients that seek her out for her unique style.

In this video, Bonnie breaks down her approach to posting on social media, her iPhone photography process, and how to build your own brand using your social media platform.

How to Be an iPhone Photographer

Bonnie candidly shares her photo-taking process for her Instagram account. Her secret weapon for those clean shots? Her iPhone.

That’s right, she doesn’t use any professional equipment or special lighting for her Instagram shots. Using natural lighting (preferably against the window facing north), clean, simple backgrounds, and editing apps, Bonnie shows that taking high-quality photos with your smartphone is way easier than it looks.

The photo editing apps Bonnie uses include SnapSeed and VSCO.

Tips to Leverage Your Social Media Profile

Leaning on her experience, Bonnie shares a few simple tips for us to implement into our social media profiles.

1. Keep it Natural

As Bonnie puts it, make sure there’s “orderly chaos.” If you’re out to eat with friends for example, you don’t want to make the whole table wait for you to grab the shot. Try to snap as many photos as you can quickly, then edit the photo down however you need. There shouldn’t be any pressure to snap the photo; just keep things natural.

2. Express Your True Self

Social media is all about sharing who you are and your experience online. Bonnie advises to just keep it real, and express your true self, your interests, hobbies, struggles, and anything else in between.

People like to connect with people, after all—not robots.

3. Don’t Post Randomly

Try to keep your posting consistent; that goes for frequency and overall aesthetic. You want your posts to stay in line with the brand you’ve created, while also maintaining engagement from followers.

Find a color palette that reflects your personality and your brand, and keep your feed consistent with every photo you publish.

4. Study the Audience

For every platform, whether it’s Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or LinkedIn, the audience is there for a specific purpose. Take Pinterest, for example. Most users on Pinterest are there to seek inspiration or information they can apply into their own life, like interior design ideas.

Identify the platform’s main purpose, and make sure the content you share is aligned with what the audience is there for.

Work With Brands You Believe In

You would think, as an Instagram influencer, that Bonnie works with tons of different brands. Ironically, this isn’t the case.

In light of keeping things real, authentic, and true to yourself, Bonnie shares the importance of working with brands you share values with.

If you’re going to do sponsored posts, do them with brands you would support yourself. If you don’t believe in the brand, or don’t agree with what they stand for, you don’t have to work with them.

How will you start to use your social media platforms to share who you are with the world?

To learn more about Bonnie, check out her website.

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