It’s 2018. So you can, in theory, become Instagram famous overnight by posting an image or video that suddenly – and unexpectedly – “goes viral.”\nBut, if you want to be a successful social media influencer, you can’t count on something like that happening.\nMost of today’s top social media influencers snagged thousands upon thousands of followers by consistently executing a well-planned strategy – and not by relying on luck.\n@emilylyonessembedded via\nAs an executive who runs a modelling agency headquartered in Toronto, I’ve helped many models build massive followings on social media. And you can do the same, too, by following these time-tested tips:\nAt the top of the “What No Social Media Influencer Should Do, Ever” checklist is this commandment: don’t boost your follower count with fake or illegitimate followers. That’s something that’ll almost certainly backfire on you – even if not right away. If you’re going to be a true social media influencer – and not a wannabe – then you’ve got to build up a fanbase of real, devoted, engaged followers who love what you do, what you post, and what you have to say. Because then, and only then, will you actually have real influence over people – instead of just putting on appearances.\n@emilylyonessembedded via\nChoose what niche – or niches – you want to be in as an influencer. Maybe it’s makeup. Or gaming. Or fitness. The options are practically unlimited, but the important step is to actually choose your niche. After that, you can take the time to become an authority in that niche – so you can ultimately be one of the top influencers in that area.\n@emilylyonessembedded via\nCreate a content schedule for yourself ahead of time. All that glitters is not gold, and not everything that looks glamorous is easy work. To be a successful social media influencer, you have to put in the work – much of which boils down to creating and posting great content that your fans will love. This can take a lot of effort and energy, but it doesn’t have to be a huge time-sucker: by creating a content schedule ahead of time – in other words, planning exactly what kind of content you’ll post and when – you’ll never feel like you have no idea what to post.\n@emilylyonessembedded via\nDon’t be afraid to unveil your personality in front of all the world. In fact, if you are to become a successful social media influencer, you’ll have to get used to putting your personality out there – even if there are haters who leave nasty comments. If you have the audacity to do that, then you might discover that many people like who you are and what you have to say. And these people will become your loyal fans.\nFor more from Emily Lyons, visit her Instagram page and her website, femmefatalemedia.com.\nDisclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Narcity.