Top Influencers on Instagram


Are you a brand that has an extremely visual product? Do you have a product that must be seen, in order to be appreciated and understood ? If yes, then Instagram is the best platform for you! More specifically, as marketers say: “Instagram is the best because a picture is worth 1000 words.”

If you are a brand that shares the above characteristics, that wants to get on Instagram to gain recognition and raise awareness, then you should stay on this page and read our blog.

We’ll give you some examples of the top influencers on Instagram and more importantly give insight on why they became some of the top influencers.

Soo…Who are they?

Before we actually mention some of the most influential people on Instagram, it’s important to note that different people have different perspectives and as a result, the top influncers may vary from person to person.

The criteria we used to help us choose our top 3 influencers are the following:

  1. The number of followers, in comparison to other influencers in their field and
  2. The level of engagement (number of likes, comments, tags) in comparison to other influencers.

Therefore our TOP 3 influencers are:

  1. Jay Alvarez

Jay Alvarrez is just a regular 22 year old boy, who works as a model and loves to travel the world with his girlfriend. However, besides being a model, Jay has become one of the most influential people on Instagram. As of right now, Jay has over 3.7 million followers and the engagement he receives from his followers is unique. As you can see from picture above, he got 368 thousand likes and 2.6 thousand comment. The numbers speak for themselves, yet it’s important to give him credit for the originality and quality of his content as well as for the creative captions he uses to describe his pictures. The above factors, the connection and trust he has created with his audience, over time, are the main reasons that have built his profile and expanded his audience.

2. Jamie Oliver 

Jamie Oliver is a British chef who lately became a media influencer; he started his career as a chef and restaurateur and he continued by hosting TV shows. Today he is one of the most influential figures in the field of food. He currently has 4.3 million followers and the engagement level, as you can see, is significantly high. Jamie managed to bring the audience and trust he had created with his experience and expertise from the restaurant business and translate it into followers with high level of engagement. He has a very targeted group of followers that trust him and everything he shares. The fact that his content is extremely personalized and specific is another factor that contributed to his popularity.

3. Dwayne Johnson-The Rock  

The Rock is a very unique icon and his story is very interesting. Namely, despite the fact that he has had a great career as an actor and as a WWE fighter, he gained most of his popularity after he established himself as a fitness figure. In his Instagram profile he has 50.5 million followers and as you can see from the picture above, the engagement in the content that he shares is extremely high. He is a great example of a successful influencer that managed to use his authority from the past to become the great influential figure he is now.

In conclusion…

One thing we know: if you have a product that needs to be visually shared to gain recognition and appreciation, then INSTAGRAM is the right platform for you!!!

Taking this into consideration, as well as the examples of the top influencers on Instagram, and the reasons that put them on the top of the list, your only job is to identify which influencer would be the best fit for your brand!

P.S. Some of our previous posts could aide you in the process of identifying your perfect fit!!

Images Sourced Within.

How do Instagram Influencers get paid?

7c79ef0f-341a-4c72-b444-d53fa79a1f5c-1020x1013Photo: Liz Ezwein


New Yorker Liz Eswein, 25, is one of the most popular brand influencers in the world of Instagram. Joining the app shortly after it launched in 2010, she pursued her passion of photography and began posting pictures of her city under the account @NewYorkCity. Ezwein has since attracted 1.3 million followers. For each brand endorsed, she earns $1 for every like with an additional fee based on the number of photos she posts. For her photo above, she amassed close to sixteen thousand likes. Now, that’s a lot of money…

For those like Ezwein, who have learned to monetize their passion for quality photography, Instagram can be a wonderful place. With over 400 million users, the photo-sharing app has truly grown to be social media giant. According to The Guardian, 90% of Instagram users are below 35 years of age and more than 50% of those users use the app every day.

Brands ranging from Adidas to National Geographic have realized the potential in reaching a particularly younger market. Instagram stars that have thousands of followers can reach a wide audience with just one post. Nowadays, agencies have moved to Instagram as a staple for brands that are looking for exposure. 

According to a recent article by the Huffington Post, Instagram influencers account for over $1 billion in advertising spending a year, with most of that going directly to social media celebrities.

Currently, it’s safe to say that social media celebrities have more of an influence than actual celebrities do. The reason being is that people can sincerely relate to them.

Here are some ways in which brand influencers make money:

  1. Sponsored posts

The main way influencers earn their income is through sponsored posts. These posts can go a long way for brands looking to produce a high ROI on Instagram. Brands decide what product/service as well as the messaging they want their influencer to promote. Influencers then go about creating their own content incorporating the company’s strategy in a manner that’s authentic.

It’s especially important for brands to choose an influencer with the right audience. To execute a strategy that works, choose an influencer with an audience or niche your brand will resonate with.

  1. Documenting an event or experience

Instagram influencers are often paid to travel to exotic locations to promote an event or experience. Ezwein, for example, consistently travels the world to take pictures for various projects.

  1. Hosting or appearing at an event

For immediate results, brands often ask influencer to host events. Whether it’s a party, restaurant opening, or any other type of event, influencers can drive brand awareness and traffic to events.

How much money?

There’s an incredible amount of money to be made in the world of social media advertising. According to Harper’s Bazaar, companies spend more than a billion dollars every year on sponsored Instagram posts. The amount of money that influencers make depends largely on how many followers they have. Essentially, the more followers you have, the more views you have to offer a brand, which means that you can charge businesses higher amounts for sponsored posts.

Are you an influencer that wants to get paid?

The amount of money to be made for influencers all comes down to views, and followers. For example, Dash Hudson, an agency that focuses on influencer marketing on Instagram, does not choose users that have less than ten thousand followers. If you want to appeal to brands, then it’s important that you consistently produce high-quality content for your profile. Thomas Rankin, CEO of Dash Hudson, is known to select connect brands with influencer that have a high engagement rate coupled with a large audience. All in all, work on your account. Engage with your audience and when the time is right, directly reach out to brands in your niche.

Within the next five years, influencer marketing is expected to be a massive $5 to $10 billion dollar market. It’s time to hop on board the influencer train and start making a difference for your brand.

Do you think brands should pay for influence? When should you influence for free? Leave your comments below!

Spotting Up and Comers

up and comer

There are two main types of people when it comes to being in the spotlight: the timeless, and the easily forgotten. Staying up to date with the latest and greatest can be difficult when things are ever changing. However, there is a third type: the up-and-comers.

How you go about finding the up-and-comers can be approached from a variety of ways:

#1: Google

Google is a plethora of information and has 99% of the answers you are looking for. The only downside is that it is accessible to everyone. If you are looking for a specific industry up-and-comer, this could be a great starting point. Lists of up-and-comers in a variety of industries are popping up all the time, sports, entertainment, fashion and more. With the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic games just around the corner, has already created the list 16 Athletes to Watch in 2016. These lists will allow you to find the fresh new faces.

Knowing what to Google is the tricky part. Your search needs to be tailored and effective. Many people type a sentence or question into the search bar and sift through the results until they hopefully come across their answer. Instead, I recommend reading “How to Search on Google” which outlines 31 ways to optimize Google searches. While some of the tips are more useful than others, this article teaches how to search everything from the basics (Step 17: Translate) to less obvious (Step 31: Comparing Food).

How to search on google

#2: Look Behind the Scenes

Everyone remembers when Jennifer Lawrence hit the scene. She broke into the spotlight and was probably on every up-and-comer list that year. Now, if you wanted to go along with everyone else, you would try and reach out to her to be a fresh new face, but instead take it a step further and look behind the scenes.

The lesser known names are the stylists, designers, makeup artists and hair stylists. Although they are lesser know they hold high amounts of credibility.  If Mark Townsend says that chopping your hair is the look of the year, you may not believe him because ‘who is Mark Townsend?’ If Mark Townsend, Jennifer Lawrence’s hair stylist, says chopping your hair is the look of the year, everyone will be rushing to the salon to get the next ‘IT’ look.

Looking to those who support the stars will not only provide you with hyper-focused expertise, but also a very strong list of references!

When It Worked: Check out Tyler Henry who got his own show after appearing on an episode for Keeping Up with the Kardashians! He did an accurate reading for Khloe and instantly became a hit.

  1. Find Your Influencer’s Go-To

With everyone sharing everything these days, it’s no surprise that everyone has their favorite go-to: outfit, style blog, person, etc. Even some of the greatest influencers are influenced by others. Style Icon Gwen Stefani seems to play by her own rules, but while out last February, she rocked bright red sunglasses and a striped shirt inspired by the late Kurt Cobain of Nirvana.

Finding these inspirations might not be as blatantly obvious as Gwen channeling her inner Kurt but there are a few quick tricks to finding them.

  • Scour Social Media

Anyone who uses social media follows things they are interested in. Your favorite people are no different. Check out their Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social pages to see what they are following, liking and engaging with.

Hint: Celebs usually don’t follow back everyone who follows them, so there is a good chance the people that the follow matter. Check out below to see Gwen Stefani’s Followers v. Following 

tweet stats

  • Watch clips and videos

Even if the interview isn’t about their influences, sometimes the person will mention it passively. Although this takes a bit more work and not always guaranteed to yield results, it could provide information that others might not pick up on

Hint: Behind the Music has some great interviews! 

  • Engage

Some celebrities are very active on social channels, so ask away! The worst they can do is not respond; alternatively they could give you exactly what you are looking for. Ask them who they’re favorite new band is, or whatever peaks your interest. If they respond, you’re in.


To find an up-and-comer you don’t necessarily need to be with the “in” crowd, you just have to be in the know. Using these three tips, you can bring your influencer portfolio to the next level!



For Images Sources – Please Select Image

The Business Behind Influencer Marketing

Let’s take a step away from the whom and focus on the step-by-step process of how a business works with an influencer.

The first step is reaching out to contact the influencer. Depending on the influencer’s popularity within the social sphere he or she might have a manager ready on standby to negotiate sponsored content. If that’s the case, settle down and make the call. Typically the meetings will be between the business, the influencer and their manager. It’s at this point that  you must be forward in what way you want to work with the influencer . Make sure that you have spent time researching the influencer and what they typically blog or post about. It’s not uncommon that influencers will turn down businesses because they feel that their brand image and the product that you want them to post about to do not align.

If the influencer is still up and coming (which for small businesses are the key influencers to target and work with) they will provide the best way to contact them on their chosen social media platform. Regardless of popularity you must be forward in what you expect from the influencer and what they expect from your brand in return.

Moving forward, you booked your influencer, you know what you expect from them and they expect from you, now let’s talk financials.

YouTube star Vivian V. posts a sponsored post for Kohls Madden reaching her 356K+ followers on Instagram
YouTube star Vivian V. posts a sponsored post for Kohls Madden reaching her 356K+ followers on Instagram

So how does working with influencers turn away from the idea of doing a favor and into an action of business?

According to Harpar’s Baazar and New York based fashion blogger WeWoreWhat it’s all about the numbers. “Right now, Bernstein’s rate card, through Next Models, sets her range for the cost of a single piece of sponsored content (i.e. one Instagram shot) ranging from $5,000 to $15,000.”

The piece goes on to discuss that the rate can be negotiated depending on the terms of the deal, for example of a brand wants a long term commitment or multiple Instagram posts a deal might be able to be cut. But it doesn’t stop there, according to the piece influencers with 1 million or more followers can charge anywhere between $20,000 – $100,000 for a single post on the visual social platform.

Danielle of WeWoreWhat promoting makeup brand Maybelline on Instagram
Danielle of WeWoreWhat promoting makeup brand Maybelline on Instagram

I know what you’re thinking, those prices are a steep amount to pay for a single post and if you’re a start-up or small businesses, paying those prices isn’t plausible. This is where non-financial influencer marketing comes into play. Often times, smaller and lesser (although still relevant and popular) known influencers will offer to post and promote a product simply in exchange for the product itself.

Consider this example; you’re a small business that focuses on selling organic drinks with locally grown ingredients. You would search for health conscious bloggers who have already posted several times about some of their favorite natural beverages. Assuming they do not have a manager, you can reach directly out to them offering a package of top product in exchange for a review on their blog or even a social media post.

Instagram star and model Shannon Barker posts a picture of a Pressed Juicery drink on her Instagram
Instagram star and model Shannon Barker posts a picture of a Pressed Juicery drink on her Instagram


If you are working with an influencer on a non-financial partnership you must ensure that your product aligns with their personal image. If the influencer risks the chance that his or her readers will question the validity of the review of the product, they will most likely choose not to promote your product, knowing that their followers might lose trust in them and because they have no financial stake in the deal.

The Influential Figures of Sports


The field of sports has always been one of the most successful and influential industries in modern society.  Advertising and marketing evolve at an extremely fast pace, yet athletes and major, sports-affiliated companies have always been by their side. The past has shown that the impact of the athletes and sport organizations exceeds the sport industry. Specifically, we have seen all stars for every sport participating in campaigns related to the food and fashion industries, the car industry and many more. In other words, if you are a small business or a startup company and you are trying to make a name for yourself, there’s no better way than to have a sports figure join your team.

Who are the top influencers in the Sport Industry?

As we would all imagine, the most influential athletes on social media are those who are also the best, most successful and well known in the sport industry. They are the figures that the biggest companies fight to partner and work with. According to Verge Campus, the top five most influential athletes from 2015 are the following: in fifth place is Michael Jordan, who despite the fact is not active anymore, is an icon that has tremendous influence over many different social groups. Right above him is Stephen Curry, who many call “the next Michael Jordan.” As an amazing person with his talent and genuine character, he inspires a lot of people. Next on the list is probably the most popular soccer player of the modern world, Cristiano Ronaldo. He is an athlete that managed to combine his success in soccer with his natural beauty and has become one of the most coveted sport figures. Second comes Conor McGregor, a mixed martial art athlete, who everyone has been talking about the past two years. His unique and authentic personality has dramatically increased the popularity of both himself and the UFC. On the top of the list is Tom Brady, probably the best quarterback to ever play the game of football. He’s so influential that he managed to “sell” a predominantly female brand, “UGG,” to men.

To sum up, we realize that the most influential people in the industry of sports are the ones that combine success with something else. In each case, that “something else” is different. Your job will be to identify it and eventually decide whether it’s something that expresses you and your company.

How are you going to create partnerships?

Many of you would say “But how am I going to get LeBron James, Cam Newton, Rafael Nadal or anyone that famous to join my team?” Well, the truth is that you don’t need to. You don’t need the most famous and successful athletes for your campaign, social media page or account to promote your company. Any regular athlete with the right personality, who shares the same values and ethics with you, will most definitely have the right connections to get you and your company at the desirable position. He or she can be the vehicle you need to expand to new heights.

There are many examples and success stories of start up companies that had the chance to partner up with less known athletes and made it to the big scene. It is important to understand what a sport figure brings to the table. Besides their very important fan base and followers on social media, it’s also their teammates and their connections and lastly their influence within their sport.

One of the many examples that illustrate the above argument is that of the start up company named PRO-NRG after their main product. PRO-NRG is a startup company that specializes in performance recovery drinks. The founder of the product and owner of the startup, Tania Patruno, was very familiar and experienced with the market. She knew that in order to overcome the competition, she would need a person-ideal to market her product. She found that person in the face of Brandon Jacobs, a former NFL player. He wasn’t an extremely famous athlete; yet, just with his connections and especially with the influence on his teammates and the rest of the athletes in the NFL, he was able to market and promote this product in the best possible way. Brandon Jacobs was certainly they key for the success of this product and start up company.

There are many success stories that prove that you don’t necessarily need the top five or twenty most influential people of sports. You just need to find the perfect fit for you and your company. In other words, you need to find the person with whom you share the same ideals and more importantly the person who is influential to the group of people that you consider your target group.

Image Sourced here.

Top Influencers in the Beauty Industry

With the rise of social media and the increasing digital space, it’s no wonder that top beauty brands are the first to jump on the influencer trend. The use of bloggers, vloggers and social media influencers has propelled both high-end and drugstore beauty brands to reach a larger and more diverse audience. In 2015 top brands such as L’oreal, Cover Girl and Bobbi Brown created strictly digital marketing plans to launch their new products to customers. Their success would not have been possible had they not reached out and partnered with those that are already succeeding in the digital and social media world.

When determining what type of individual to reach out to in regards to representing your beauty product or brand, it’s imperative that you consider how you want to market the brand. Customers will turn to different types of media outlets when they are looking for different things.

Blogging allows customers to read about and digest the review that an influencer has posted about the product. Although digital, it is comparatively similar to traditional reading so it’s no surprise that bloggers continue to reach an older audience.

On the other hand, maybe you’re looking for more of a candid “on the spot” review or “how to” tutorial using your product. Vlogging allows customers to connect more personally with their influencer. Through the camera, the audience feels like they are experiencing the review along with the influencer. The vlogging scene generally reaches a younger demographic because of the Millennial generation’s need for constant interaction. Vloggers are also extremely present on social media because it’s the outlet that they use to reach their audience as well (primarily through YouTube).

So where are these influencers and how do you reach them?

According to Style Caster Media Group the top US based beauty bloggers include Shea Marie of Peace Love Shea, Jacey Duprie of Damsel in Dior and Serena Goh of The Spicy Stiletto. The Top US based beauty vlogging world is dominated by Los Angeles based Michelle Phan as she continues to top the charts boasting 8 million subscribers on her YouTube channel. Each video she posts reaches an average of 1-3 million views. Her high numbers are followed closely behind with vlogger Andrea Brooks reaching 3.7 million subscribers and Dulce Candy reaching 2 million subscribers.
Regardless of which influencer you use, the key to utilizing an influencer for all that they have to offer is through their social media reach. Although having a blogger write a post about your brand or a vlogger posting a review on YouTube is important, social media is unique and necessary because of how instant it reaches an audience.

Let’s return back to Michelle Phan. The 28 year old has over 2.1 million Instagram followers and 678K Twitter followers. For every video she posts, she will post a corresponding tweet or picture to advertise her new video. It’s likely that even customers that do not subscribe to her on YouTube will follow her on social media platforms. With this your product or brand has the potential to reach a large number of additional customers almost instantly. If customers are then interested in the product they can follow through and see how Michelle has used the product in her videos.

The same can be said about Shea Marie boasting 958K Instagram followers. Her past work with brands has shown that often beauty brands will choose to market their product exclusively on her social media channels because of her high numbers and instant reach they can access.

So what does this all mean for new beauty products or brands trying to break through the scene?

First you must consider what type of audience you want to target. Stick to the blogging scene for an older mature audience and turn towards the vlogging scene for millennials and younger generations because of their need for that extra personality from their infleuncer.

Second, consider your influencers interaction with social media in every aspect of your marketing strategy. Whether this means that you work with an influencer strictly through social media or follow up to ensure that they post about their review on social media, it’s imperative to reach a wider audience and gain brand recognition among your audience.

Finally, don’t forget to recognize that sometimes the best type of marketing you can do is through strictly social media and continue to utilize and monitor who the new “it girl” is.

All images sourced here