Sometimes, when Luanna Perez-Garreaud walks down the street, she realizes she’s been recognized by one of her 2 million Instagram followers for @luanna90. “The other day, someone stopped me and said, ‘Are you …’ that’s it! Just ‘Are you,’” the 25-year-old laughs. “I just said, ‘I am,’ and she was so excited.”
Being stopped on the street is still something of a shock to Perez-Garreaud, a Fashion Business Management major at the Fashion Institute of Technology. “I’m an addict; I post like five photos a day,” says the flame-haired student, whose singular style fuses ’90s grunge with New Wave goth and ’50s pinup girl. But with so many followers, she has become an accidental entrepreneur; brands, including Coach, Kate Spade, and Honest Tea, often partner with her on projects that they dream up together.
Danielle Bernstein ’14 is making a successful career out of her personal style blog and Instagram account @weworewhat. The Instagram celebrity, with 1.3 million followers, earns income through sponsored content, advertising, and other collaborations. “Surpassing 500,000 followers was when I realized this is a legitimate business,” she says.
Here are seven tips for killing it on Instagram, courtesy of Perez-Garreaud and Bernstein.
- Develop a distinct style—don’t use a different filter every time you post.
- Show a variety of images. If la mode is your métier, don’t just post photos of your outfits, but of the fabrics, colors, artworks, and vintage photographs that inspire your style.
- Use popular hashtags specific to your photo, such as #selfie, #tbt (throwback Thursday), and #photooftheday.
- Tag posts. If you’re taking a selfie, tag the brand that made your outfit or your lipstick. If you’re documenting your artfully crafted latte, shout out the coffee shop where you got it. And if you’re snapping a photo of the paperback you’re particularly enjoying, tag the author.
- Reach out to the community. Follow other users and comment on their photos, and they’ll do the same for you.
- Be consistent. Don’t post one photo and then forget about Instagram for weeks.
- Plan out your snaps. Bernstein creates an editorial calendar that ensures variety in the images she posts.
In addition to its full-time undergraduate curricula, FIT offers a variety of continuing education classes in Fashion Business Management, Advertising and Marketing Communications, and many other fields.