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Instagram tips, social media strategies & personal branding

As I mentioned earlier already I love Instagram, and while I’m a fulltime travel blogger and social media manager for various companies for which I use several social media platforms, I like Instagram the most and this is where I personally am the most active and successful: @authenticchica

I started on this platform about 19 months ago and am happy to have seen it grow to almost 48,000 followers till date.

I use Instagram to practice and optimize my social media and online marketing skills and to promote this website of course. But through this I was also able to help over 30 of my favourite brands and hotels, by promoting them, running give away campaigns for them and by reviewing their services.

You can read more about my tips and experiences with social media and Instagram so far in my earlier posts on my Social Media Tips page. And you can see who I have worked with so far and will be working with here: Work with me.

Last December I even started my own PR and marketing agency:

Authentic Chic Travel & Lifestyle

to work as a freelancer in online marketing, brand promotion and social media management fulltime from now on. And until now I already have 2 recent projects and 3 more lined up for the coming months, which couldn’t have been a better start for my business!

For me this is a dream come true, but most importantly it shows me that dedication, hard work and focus does pay off, as I followed many courses and worked hard to get here!

I love to help small companies and beautiful brands grow and be more successful online, but I also get contacted by others asking me for advice to grow their Instagram account and help them create more engagement. Of course I am always happy to help, but in my opinion and experience social media and especially Instagram success in general depends on 3 critical factors:

  1. Focused personal branding

  2. Analysis and correct implementation

  3. Hard work and value

Therefore in this post I will give a few more tips to help you implement these 3 factors in the right way and hopefully be more successful on social media as well:


Define your own brand by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What are you passionate about?

  • What are your unique skills?

  • What message do you want to tell to the world and why?

  • Who do you want to work with/what do you want to promote?

Then define your niche by:

  • Analyzing what is successful online and on social media already, but also look for what’s still missing out there

  • Defining the target group you feel closest to and will have the most content for

  • Limiting the themes you will post about, for example; if you want to post pics of travel then don’t post about food or beauty

  • Of course you can post a combination of travel pics, including lifestyle (restaurants, hotels etc.) and architecture (city trips and iconic sights), but if you also add food shots it can become too cluttered and your target group will get confused

  • Choose a certain color scheme or picture types, for example; mainly pastel tones or very colorful, dreamy pics or very clear pics, etc.

  • If you think of this in advance, you can define your strategy to position your brand better on social media and especially Instagram, where the competition is huge!

By defining your niche and limiting your posting themes you will create a more focused follower base from the beginning, who will be much more engaging and loyal in the long run.

Choose the right social platforms and work for it:

  • Choose which social media platforms fit your brand best. Each platform has its own reach, potential and target group, choose the right one for your brand

  • It’s better to focus on a few platforms and become very successful on those, instead of putting effort in too many and remain small on all of them, which also looks bad!

  • For my target group that loves pictures of travel, lifestyle and architecture, my own blog, next to Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest are the platforms of choice

  • Post on a regular basis and be dedicated

  • Set up a beautiful gallery to display your brand

  • Reach out to brands that match yours and make sure to have a good pitch which describes the value you can provide them

  • Create a good media kit by downloading a template. In this you can sum up your value, website and social media stats and previous work, for a better overview of what you have to offer

  • You can read more about pitching to and collaborating with brands in my previous post: 9 Top tips for Instagram growth, engagement & brand collaborations


  • Use tools to analyze your accounts on a weekly – monthly basis. For Instagram I use Iconosquare to see which are the right posting times, hashtags and picture types for my account

  • You can also read more about this in my earlier post: Instagram tips for organic growth part 2

  • Look at your most liked pics regularly, of course these also depend on the time of posting and if they are your most recent posts, but will also tell you a lot about what your followers and target group like and want to see more of

  • I will analyze my top 5 posts from last year here to give you an example;

What do these top 5 posts say about my personal brand?

Conclusion: My followers like spectacular viewpoints and dreamy color schemes.

Conclusion: The spectacular nature surrounding of the desert appeals to my followers, but also sunsets and jump pics is a recurring theme in my gallery which gets liked a lot.

Conclusion: Again a sunset, but this time combined with ancient architecture, heritage and a bit of drama.

Conclusion: This pic was taken in front of a UNESCO site in Bergen and is a close up of me, which tells me they like to see more of me, but also appreciate city trips, architecture and heritage, like I do.

Conclusion: Again a UNESCO site in an iconic city, dreamy colors and a hat, another recurring theme!

My general analysis from these pics for my account is that my followers love:

  • Seeing me travel the world

  • Beautiful viewpoints,

  • Architecture and spectacular sights,

  • (UNESCO) heritage,

  • City trips,

  • And me, especially while wearing a hat!

And luckily that comes naturally to me, as I love all those things and that’s also how I built up my account the last 1,5 years.

An analysis like this should make it more clear what works best for your account and will help you define your niche and focus on the right target group.


Create the right content and focus:

  • You will definitely have to work for it! So take lots of pictures and videos to be able to choose the right content afterwards, always make sure to have at least 2 or 3 options per pic to choose from

  • Focus on what matches your account and decide on your picture gallery order before posting

  • Only work with brands and companies that match your niche and target group

Provide value:

  • If you give value people will be attracted to you and will keep following you for more

  • So create great content and be open by: giving tips and inspiring others by sharing unique pics, brands and locations

  • Engage with your followers, show interest, ask questions and answer theirs as well

  • Create small quizzes and run give away contests

  • Collaborate with other influencers or bloggers that match your niche, don’t be too competative, but be open to help each other grow instead!

Are we Insta friends already? Just click on the pic below to go to my Instagram account and make sure to leave a comment. I’m always happy to hear from you and connect!

Or find me on:

What do you think of these tips and do you see yourself as a personal brand already? Do let me know what you think and if you need any more tips.

You can always contact me directly by mail:

Or just leave a comment below…

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