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:

FacebookPinterestLinkedInBloglovin and Stumbleupon.

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…

About Authentic Chica

Traveler, wanderer and explorer from the Netherlands, with a special love for authenticity, while keeping it chic. With a passion for traveling, lust for exploring, heart for holidays and an eye for beautiful things. Find out about my tips on how to find the perfect traveling combination of authentic chicness.
Gallery | This entry was posted in blogposts, personal, social media & travel tips and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Instagram tips, social media strategies & personal branding

  1. Weer zo’n goede blog Naomi!
    Je werkt er hard voor en verdiend het om gevolgd te worden!
    Love your feed! Keep going!


  2. Mr Grumbert says:

    Mr Grumbert has been following you on Instagram for a while now and really likes your pictures! It was interesting to read in this post, how you built up your personal brand. Thanks for sharing this Information!


  3. Piet says:

    Voor het eerst heb ik je blog gelezen. Niet alleen deze maar ook iets meer, wie je bent. Leuk om Naomi even te “leren kennen”. En echt, geweldige complimenten met wat je bereikt hebt. Ik kom vast wel eens vaker neuzen bij een blog. Herstel lekker van je jetlag 🙂



    • Hi Piet, wat een ongelooflijk leuke en lieve comment en bedankt voor het nemen van de tijd en moeite om mij beter te leren kennen.
      Dat waardeer ik enorm en vind ons contact op IG heel waardevol! Altijd leuk om anderen te kunnen inspireren en leuke connecties te leggen:) Spreek je snel weer en een heel fijn weekend gewenst! xx Naomi


  4. wegotoblog says:

    Very usefull, thanks to your tips I’ve grown my insta (@ssolalessa) a lot (I don’t have a lot of followers yet, but I am happy, In less than a month I have +600 followers) . Still I need to work more on engagement with my followers, but step by step 😀

    Dankje Naomi!


    • Thanx girl, I really like your account and value our contact on IG. So great to hear my tips helped you grow and that you’re having so much fun with it! That really makes me happy and that’s exactly why I write these blogs! Keep up the great work and great weekend! Kisses Naomi

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Naomi
    Love the blog post! Your tips are really helpful and encouraging. It’s nice to feel that way as sometimes social media marketing can get overwhelming! I’m with you though – Instagram is definitely my favourite. See you there again soon 😊
    Kaylee (Footprints and Photos)


    • Thanx Kaylee, really appreciate your comments and our contact on IG, so much fun to have met you here and hope my tips my tips will help you grow even more! Have a great weekend! Kisses Naomi


  6. Victorina says:

    Thank you for useful article…Is type of camera one of the most important thing to create wonderful image?

    How important the caption in Instagram post?

    Appreciate your response…


    • Hi Victorina, thnx for your comment! There are many aspects which contribute to a successful post, quality of tge picture is very important, but as my phone has a good camera, those pics work well too! And next to caption the hashtags are very important but also the type of pics and total look of yr gallery…if you want you can also check my previous 3 ig blog posts to see all my tips summed up, so you can use it as a checklist if you like. Good luck and have fun with it! Xxx Naomi


  7. Susan says:

    Duidelijke en prettige tips! Heb ook de vorige artikelen doorgelezen. Zelf vind ik het nogal lastig om de ”juiste” foto’s te plaatsen in een normale week. Jij hebt natuurlijk een travel account en je ziet zoveel mooist om te fotograferen, maar als simpele student in Nederland is dit toch lastiger. Heb je hier tips voor? Ik wil namelijk wel proberen 1 tot 2 keer per dag te plaatsen, maar soms zijn mijn leuke foto’s op en dan heb ik het idee dat ik mijn feed verpest haha. X


    • Hi Suzan,

      Thnx voor je comment en leuke feedback! Wbt je vraag, dit hoeft geen probleem te zijn! Voordat ik zo veel ging reizen postte ik ook veel foto’s van mijn voorgaande reizen van meerdere jaren geleden. En verder kan je dit natuurlijk afwisselen met mooie sfeer foto’s van typische NL details zoals onze leuke huisjes, grachten, fietsen, straatbeeld, windmolens, duinen, stranden en mooie natuur! Zo speel ik ook vaak toerist in eigen land met mn camera. Veel buitenlanders vinden dit fantastisch om te zien en ik volg Igers die uitsluitend dit soort foto’s posten en hier heel veel volgers mee hebben behaald.
      Have fun! Xxx Naomi


  8. Wat heb je uitgebreid tips gegeven. Ik heb er zeker wat aan, dank je wel! 🙂
    En trouwens, prachtige foto’s zeg!!!


  9. patricia says:

    muy buenos tip gracias por este articulo de verdad muy completo


  10. Coco kliks says:

    Another great post Naomi. I will definitely benefit from your generous advice, especially about the food posts! Sometimes people ask me for more food posts, which confused 🤔 me, and confused my gallery. Thanks for straightening that out for me 🙃 I’m going to stick to what I do best: Dreamy slow travel.


    • Hi Coco,
      Love your ig account and pics and indeed you should stick to your strengths, but happy I could help to guide you in this! Thanx for your wonderful comment and hope u had a great weekend! xxx Naomi


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