How To Become An Influencer
Influencers are everyday people who have earned a significant number of a loyal following because of their expertise, transparency or lifestyle. Unlike celebrities who actively endorse products on their social media accounts, influencers are most likely to gain their reputations based on the relatable content they share with their social media followers.
Being an influencer goes far beyond just becoming “well-known”. The real questions are; how do you make sure that you relate with your followers? How do you really become an influencer on your social media platforms?
1. Discover Your Niche
If you want to become a social media influencer, the very first thing you need to do is to choose a specific niche where you want to be known. In this way, you get to determine who your target market is and relate to them as effectively as possible.
Although most social media influencers start out by posting content they're passionate about, what sets them apart is the fact that they tend to focus on a particular niche within the industry they're passionate about and they remain consistent at it.
2. Select Your Ideal Social Media Platforms
For you to do well and achieve your goals of becoming an influencer, you need to make sure that you select a social media platform that works for you and make sure that you are consistent at utilising the platform.
The best way to determine which platform to use is to analyse which platform your targeted audience is using. You are not limited to using one platform based on the type of content you would like to share.
If your content is more visual, then you may consider using Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat etc. But, if your content is more written orientated then it would be advisable to use platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, or create your own blog using vast blogging options available.
3. Get a Business Account
If you’re looking into becoming an influencer mainly focused on Instagram only, you need to create a sense of professionalism and seriousness, and nothing does a better job of doing this than having a business account. ‘Why have a business account?’ - one would ask.
The reason why it would be advisable to have a business account is that you get access to insights. You’ll be able to see not only your follower demographics but also which of your posts are getting better engagement than others; that way you can select the types of posts you should be sending out. You will also be able to see the days and times which give you the best engagement.
Another way of getting relevant recognition is by verifying your accounts; Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. By doing this, you also show your audience that you are authentic as an influencer.
4. Create a Notable Bio
Once you have decided on your niche and have selected the platforms that will best suit you, you need to start fine-tuning your accounts. The first thing that you need to focus on is creating a bio that immediately catches people’s attention and is good enough to tell people who you are and what you do. It should talk about your story an influencer in a way that engages people.
Always remember that a bio is one of the first things that a brand or potential followers see on your account before or after your profile picture. So, if you want to become an influencer, make it noteworthy.
Side note: remember to select a quality image for a profile picture that will best represent you as an aspiring personal brand and influencer.
5. Create a Content Strategy
The quickest and most effective way to reach a destination is through planned and prepared navigation and for becoming an influencer, you need a content strategy as a navigation tool.
When creating a content strategy, you need to understand what your constant information priorities are at all times and ensure that you have a plan that will answer the question; “why will people be eager to follow you?”
Your content needs to add some value to your targeted audience’s lives, and consistently working on a content strategy not only helps you have a direction with the type of content you share, but you also get to show your audience that you are passionate about what you do and you have a unique selling point about the type of brand you are building for yourself. Remember, to keep followers, your content needs to be fresh and contain quality images!
6. Be Consistent
Once you have completed your strategy and have set timelines for executions; start publishing and remain consistent.
Your content must attract people; it must be well-thought-out, planned and consistent. At this point, you already know the kind of message you are trying to send to your audience and you have goals of how you want to be perceived; so build on your message and remain consistent to that developed identity all the time, but also keeping in mind to find innovative ways to keep things fresh and trying new elements at the same time to keep your followers entertained!
Another idea for content sharing is that you can shoot all of your visual content on one day then share the content over a month. That gives you more than enough content to leverage off!
7. Build A Reputation Within Your Industry
One of the main points of being an influencer is getting recognition not only from day-to-day followers but also from businesses and other influencers within the specific industry you are interested in.
It is important to build your reputation by contacting other people and brands in your industry. Talk, exchange likes, create DM groups, comments, tag the businesses you may be targeting to get their attention. Be noted and go places. By doing this, you also get to grow your network, establish your credibility and expertise as an influencer, and indirectly grow your follower base.
8. Engage With Your Followers
At the end of the day, you are human - show your audience that indeed you are human and not just a bot posing as an influencer. When your followers leave a question or comment on your posts, take the time to acknowledge and respond to them. By doing this, you make your followers feel like they're valued, and this will also help you develop a relationship with them.
Not all of the comments and questions will be positive and in a way you would like them to be. As an influencer with a great following, expect that you’ll have your fair share of negative comments and criticisms every now and again. Make it a point to remain calm, neutral and address them in a professional manner. This will say a lot about you and the type of brand you are building for yourself.
9. Stay Updated
Most social media channels and networks update their algorithms,posting terms and conditions on a regular basis - and as an aspiring influencer, you need to keep yourself updated with these changes to avoid penalisations as well as using outdated methods.
You’ll also need to familiarise yourself with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and policies, especially if you’re going to be collaborating with brands to promote and give away their products and services using your own social media accounts.
With influencer marketing proving itself as a highly effective marketing strategy, the FTC has become even more vigilant in monitoring brands and partner influencers that might be violating marketing guidelines all over the world. The GDPR(General Data Protection Regulation) is also very important because it dictates how you store people’s personal data.
10. Do Not Buy Random Followers
One of the best ways of being an authentic influencer is having authentic followers. It’s not always advisable to pave an easy road to success. Random bought followers are no good to you. If you want to become an influencer and make money while you’re at it, organic is the way to go.
Bought followers can be detrimental to your growth because these followers won’t always be engaging enough if they followed you not for your content and they are most likely not your ideal target audience. So your follower count will increase without any substantial increase in engagement, which is not the point of becoming an influencer. You are an influencer because people like you and the content you create for and with them.
Buying followers will affect your engagement rate heavily - thus reducing your chances of collaboration with your desired brands.