I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how I got my Instagram verification (the little blue checkmark by your name). Full disclosure: I am in no way the social media guru, but I have done a bit of research and spoken to other verified accounts. Here is what I’ve gathered.
There’s no direct phone number or email you can contact to inquire about verification. There are several spammy, black market, third-party advertisements claiming that you can buy your way to verification for a steep fee ($1500-$8000!!) but I wouldn’t recommend sending money over the internet, to Nigerian Princes (or any stranger for that matter).
If you look at the types of people and accounts that are verified are all “googleable.” You’ll notice a lot of actors, musicians, and celebrities are verified. Based on my knowledge, I would speculate that many of them didn’t personally seek verification. It is more likely that their label, media company, agent, manager, publicist, producer, movie or show contacted Instagram directly to verify their account without exchanging any money because it is necessary to stand out in their industry and any confusion of identity could potentially be detrimental to a project they are working on. It is also easier to verify the notable achievements and authenticity of an actor, musician, or even model.
There are two types of Instagram accounts: personal and business. In order to get verified, you’ll need to be either a public figure or a global brand. There are two ways (that I know of) to go about getting verified.
1. Go through a publicist. Be sure to ask upfront if they have the necessary contacts at Instagram before signing any deals. Regardless of how much you pay a publicist, you’ll need to be credible. For example, having online news articles, a Wikipedia page, or credits on IMDB (preferably all three). A publicist may submit those materials along with a personal bio and an explanation of why it’s necessary for you to be verified. Be wary, Instagram does not condone selling verification packages, so it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to google “publicist Instagram verification” and find a legitimate company. You’ll probably have to reach out directly and ask if they have contacts at Instagram.
2. Alternatively, if you want to get verified as a business, I’ve heard you can go through your Instagram Ad Representative and submit with your business ID number, trademark info, related articles, and press. It is my understanding that verification is significantly easier for a business account.
I’ve told many of my friends and colleagues everything I know about how to get verified but I think what they actually want to know is how I personally become verified, so I’ll share.
My verification came while working on a docuseries (credited on IMDB). The producers wanted the cast to be verified in order to gain credibility and make it easier to prove who we were while traveling and filming. Once my verification request and press kit were submitted, it only took about 12 hours for my request to be approved and the little blue check mark appeared next to my name.
Keep in mind the purpose of Instagram verification is to weed out accounts with your same name or imposter accounts.
Here’s a fun example: If an actor’s account wasn’t verified and an adult film star pretended to be that actor on Instagram, it would be an absolute PR nightmare for the production companies working with that actor and could cause irreversible damage to their project. Therefore, it is easier to get approved if there is confusion of identity and the only way for fans or customers to find your real account is if you are verified.
Lastly, if your Instagram account name is a nickname or a stage name instead of your actual name, you’ll probably have a hard time getting approval without a registered trademark and backing credentials to go along with that name, and linking back to your actual identity.
Good luck, and feel free to share your verification journey with me!