An influencer is a person who has a great number of followers in a certain niche. He or she is engaging with those followers actively to affect the purchasing decision. It is usually a person who has power, knowledge, status, and/or relationship with the audience, and this is why he/she can affect that kind of decision.
According to Wikipedia, though, “just because an individual has many follows does not necessarily mean they have much influence over those individuals, only that they have many followers”. That is something we could think about for a moment. Building and keeping a community of faithful followers is not an easy assignment, as it may seem. It requires a huge amount of effort and – in most cases – time. But also it requires a few tricks we will share with you in this post.
Pros and cons of being an influencer
Considering the fact that every influencer has its style, that means it is easier for brands to determine which kind of audience it has. A really simple example: If you are a clothes manufacturer, you will search for a fashion blogger/influencer. Through marketing on such channel, you have direct access to the audience which you precisely need.
The people who are influencer material are willing to share their private life. (This is what makes them special.) No secrets, no mysteries, no faking. Even we know that not everything we see on social media i 100% accurate, being a (good) influencer means being true. If you don’t love what you do, it is easily recognized by your followers.
Many people want to become influencers. Maybe because it seems glamourous – you can actually become a star, without getting to the TV. Heck, you can have your own “TV” channel! But not all of them are aware that behind that there is a lot of hard work and effort. Building a true community that will follow you is a slow and painful process. You can not just throw in sponsoring brands, because no one likes to be spammed. You need to gain the trust of your audience to be able to present them something you genuinely like. That is the “no faking” part – if you market something that you don’t believe in, people will notice.
Find your niche
It is very important that you pick a niche you know and like. Doing “everything” will get you nowhere in the end. According to statistics, these are the most profitable niches in 2020:
- health and fitness
You can combine two or more of these, but the ones which have some similarities. Also, if you have some other interests, you don’t have to stick to the list just because these are the most popular categories. Maybe you will be even more successful in something that not a lot of people know about. Everything has its audience.
Pick a platform
Posting on multiple platforms is exhausting and takes a lot of time. And I don’t think it is truly necessary. If you need help choosing the right network, you can read a post about it here. You will realize that not every kind of content is for every platform, so you can choose wisely, not to lose your time or effort over the wrong ones.
Depending on your niche, certain platforms might be better befitted for your content than others. Although Instagram is heaven for influencers (93% of them is preferring it over other platforms), it works best with visual content. And also it produces the best results.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider other platforms. On the contrary. If your niche is business, think about LinkedIn and Twitter. You should also think about what your audience likes to use. If your target audience is millennials, you should focus on Snapchat and Instagram. Most likely you will choose more than one social media platform, just make sure that you adjust your content for each channel.
Put a lot of effort in your content
High-quality content is your number one focus if you want to be an influencer. It needs to be unique to catch the attention of your audience. And it’s inevitably authentic. If you want people to come back to your profile, to attract new ones, to engage them, you need to make your content valuable. Something so interesting that everyone wants to see more of it.
If you already decided which niche and which platform you will use, then I assume you know which kind of content you want to create. These are the most common:
- blog posts
- social media posts
- courses etc.
You can also combine more types of content according to your needs. It is a very common method, I would say it is almost impossible to stick to just one type of content. So you can hardly make a mistake here, except to put a lot of texts without any visual content. Nobody reads these anymore.
There might be a need for you to run contests or giveaways for the brands you will cooperate with. Plus, you will need to create stories regularly (if you use a platform that supports it). They attract extra attention and are a great way to promote your posts. So, being an influencer is clearly not for introverts.
It is not enough to just post anything anymore. Your content needs to be exceptional. Also, you need to find a theme as you are a brand yourself. Aesthetics were never more important, and your profile must be extraordinary at a first glance.
Using the right hashtags might be the most important way of finding new, organic followers. I recommend you to read “Instagram hashtag research” to get an insight into the right way to use them. Your content can be perfect, but if it’s not reaching the (right) audience, it’s worthless.
By adding the right hashtags to your posts, you will increase the visibility of your content. This is especially useful if you are just starting and need to gain followers. Identify which are the most relevant and popular hashtags in your niche and make yourself a list. An excel or google sheet will do great because you can take notes on how many times you use certain hashtags. Spinning them is not important just because of the algorithms some platform use (and they consider using the same set of hashtags spam), but also to see what is working better for you. Mix them to use more popular and less popular hashtags. Also, create at least one branded hashtag, which will be associated with you over time, hopefully.
Also, you need to watch your aesthetics. Leave a blank space between your caption and hashtags, or put them in the comment section. Don’t overcrowd your post.
I am assuming that you understand the importance of posting regularly. You can not just stop by now and then if you are taking this task seriously. Even small businesses are fine with posting two to three times per week, if you truly desire to be an influencer, you need to post at least once a day. Stories even more often. And there is no such thing as break or vacation – your audience needs to know “everything” about your vacation. Nobody promised this would be easy, right?
You will have to plan your posting in advance. This can be difficult sometimes, especially because our lives are unpredictable and you can’t know where you’ll be in a month, or three months. Let’s say you are a photography influencer. You’ve stacked a lot of beautiful photos and planned your posts one month ahead. But in the meantime, you might get an opportunity to shoot something great. Of course, you will add those fresh photos! If you use some kind of scheduling tool (which is truly a thing to consider), this will be just a few minutes of work. But planning is crucial. That way you will be ready if something unpredictable happens and you need a few days off.
Build a website
You will build foundations of your influencer job on social media. Your strategy and plan will go around that. Yet, anyone who is familiar with marketing knows how significant a website can be.
Your audience will grow and many people will want to google your name. Except for the social media profiles which will come out as search results, a website adds a lot to your credibility. If you chose a blog as your content type, then you are already prepared for this. But every niche can be well presented through a website. If you do photography, create a portfolio. If you bake cookies, add how-to videos from your YouTube channel, and so on. Just as long as you realize the importance of having a website.
In order to maintain a personal connection with your audience, from time to time you will need to go live and share something in real-time with them. That will get you closers to them as they will see you as a real person. It can be an event, a party, something interesting that may give them the feeling they are going behind the scenes.
Also, you need to sometimes communicate with them in real-time. Some platforms allow you to host chats, or streaming with an option to chat. Don’t underestimate this strategy because it can seriously boost your engagement rate. Notify your audience on time about the event, and most important: allow them to ask questions and answer patiently.
If you are ready (and serious) to become an influencer, prepare for a few months of hard work before you start seeing the results. If you go through these tips we provided you, and add your uniqueness, it has a great chance to go well.