Even though it can be hard to grasp, being an Influencer can be a profitable and fulfilling career path. Influencing has become a hot topic in the realms of social media and marketing, and for a good reason!
Influencing is now used as a mainstream marketing tactic. Almost every industry has seen a rise in Influencers, and major brands are now using content creators to market their services or products more than a lot of traditional methods of advertisement.
Influencers have become vital to the success of many businesses, one of those businesses being Tesla. Online creators are more than happy to show off their Teslas, which has helped to push the brand even more so into the spotlight. For this reason, Tesla was able to spend a whopping $0 on its advertisements in 2020.
So, how does one become an influencer? In this post, we’ll go over all the steps that you need to take so that you have clarity on your content creation journey.
Know Yourself and Select a Niche
Niche, niche, niche. If you’ve looked into what it takes to become an Influencer I’m sure that you’ve heard this before. But what is a niche?
A niche is defined as, “a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service.” Think of it as your genre. Your niche should be something that you genuinely like, and don’t mind talking about for hours on end because you’ll need to be able to create endless content around it.
You’ll need to research and dig to find the most commonly asked questions in your niche and some unresolved pain points (or issues) that your audience may have.
While you are multifaceted and have a plethora of interests, it’s smart to stick to 2-3 subjects to create your content around. So, maybe you’re a mom who was overstressed and burnt out but loves to cook. You could create content around being a mom, mommy recipes, and take your audience on a journey with you as you start to regulate your nervous system and find pockets of time where you can focus on filling your cup.
It’s nice to have some sort of knowledge on the topic(s) that you choose as your niche, this will help to position yourself as an authority in your given field, but that’s not the only path there is to take. Now more so than ever authenticity is valued over a perception of being perfect. So don’t be afraid to share your journey on social media. It helps to make you relatable and will help you to create more of a community than a following, which in turn translates to an audience that genuinely cares about you and what you have to offer rather than just what value you can provide to them.
Optimize Your Social Media Platforms
Okay, now that we’ve got your niche handled let’s move on to your social media pages. Regardless if your chosen platform is Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest you need to optimize your profile so that anyone that comes across your profile will know who you are and what you do.
First things first, while there are many platforms to choose from it’s best to stick to one or two as you build your business. If you take on any more, especially when you’re just getting started, it can be easy to get overwhelmed.
Becoming an influencer is a journey, not a race. While a lot can happen in a short amount of time it won’t be worth it in the end if you become burnt out and can’t finish what you started.
So, once you’ve selected your platform there are a few ways that you can optimize your page:
- Switch Your Account Type
When you start your page you’re automatically given a personal page. This is great for connecting with friends and family but new doors open up for you when you switch your profile type. For example, on Instagram when you switch to a business or creator profile you’re given access to insights that helps you to gauge your growth and can help you get to know your audience better.
Platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest have this option so just head to your profile settings and get to it!
- Create an Engaging Bio
Your bio is your first impression, so if it’s not giving everything that it needs to give you’ll find yourself missing out on potential followers. Here you need to tell people what it is that you offer and what kind of content they can expect from you. It would also be good to note where you’re located, your areas of expertise, and your contact details here as well.
- Update Your Profile Picture
You may look cute in that Snapchat filter, but please refrain from using it as your profile picture!
Your profile picture should be a clear shot of your face with good quality. If you’re not comfortable with this then you’re going to have a pretty hard time using your face to sell a brand’s product or service.
Many times people will recognize a page by the profile picture, so you want to make sure it’s a good one. Take time to get a little spruced up, find some natural sunlight or invest in some lighting, and make sure that your profile picture matches the overall aesthetic of your brand so everything is cohesive.
While you’re updating your profile picture take some time to update your cover image/story highlights as well so your branding is really on point.
Create Your Content
Here we go! You’ve got your niche and your profile all set up, let’s make some content. You want to make sure that your content is useful and relevant to your niche. This will help your followers to look forward to your posts instead of hitting the unfollow button.
The trick is to be engaging. The more engaging and authentic you are with your content the more people will be willing to listen to you, which is really what influencing is all about.
Before you start making the content, it’s best to create a content strategy. Since Influencing is your chosen business, think of this as your business plan.
Your strategy should consist of the type of content you’ll be making and any branding basics (mission, vision, values, etc) that you can come back to anytime you’re in need of clarity.
Another crucial part of your strategy is knowing your audience. To figure this out, think of who is your ideal follower. How old are they, what do they do, are they married or single? The more specific you get here, the more you’ll be able to get into the metaphorical mind of your followers and push out the type of content that they want or need to see.
It’s great to know what kind of content your followers want to see from you, but it’s even better to know what kind of content you’ll actually enjoy making. This will help you to actually enjoy creating your content which will come across when your audience views it.
There are a couple of ways to go about this.
The first method is keeping all of your content niche-related. This will help you to come across as an authority in your chosen field and your followers will know exactly what to expect from you.
Let’s say that your chosen niche is food. If you choose to go in this direction then you’ll need all of your posts to be food-based. You can post videos of you cooking a dish and have the recipe in the caption. Spend a day exploring a city and capture the places you’ve visited in a review. Take pictures of what you have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and post those pictures as a carousel, and so on and so forth.
You’d want to aim for variety in the types of content that you’re posting all while keeping your content within your realm of expertise.
The second option would be to create high-value content that is related to your niche while sharing bits and pieces of your personal life as well.
So let’s again say that your chosen niche is food. While you create amazing content related to food on a regular basis, you also post about other things. For example, perhaps you like to take your dog for a walk right before dinner. You could post a video and some pictures of your pups in nature. Or perhaps you enjoy watching old movies while you cook, you could share about the movie that you watched and some movies that you’re excited to watch in the future.
Going this route helps to humanize you. It allows you to connect deeper with your audience so that you’re more than a page that just posts delicious food (although there is nothing wrong with that) you’re also a real person with s real life. It makes you seem more authentic and relatable, which again will help to turn your audience into a virtual community.
Yes, my usage of capitalization here is intentional. One of the most important parts of being an Influencer is consistency. To really have influence over people means that you need to show up for them. They need to be able to expect when you’ll be posting so that they can keep an eye out for you.
Being consistent also helps you to remain relevant with your followers as well as with the algorithm, which will assist you in your endeavors long term.
To do this it would be smart to come up with a content calendar. First, decide the frequency that you want to post. This can be weekly, every few days, every day or multiple times a day. It’s best to start with a schedule that will challenge you but isn’t overwhelming. When you get the hang of things you can always increase your posting frequency.
The platform that you chose should also be considered when choosing your posting frequency. Platforms such as Twitter that are more dynamic in nature require you to post frequently to have your profile pushed out to a greater audience, which is the goal when becoming an Influencer.
On other platforms like Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook you can get away with posting once a week and still grow your account. However, use your insights to gain clarity on the best days and times to post for your unique audience.
We briefly went over this earlier in this post, but let’s dive in deeper.
When you start posting content you will start receiving likes and comments from those that follow you as well as those who do not. Since you need to connect with your audience to be a successful Influencer you can’t ignore people acknowledging you and your post.
A best practice would be to respond to any comments you get. I like to match the energy that the people who leave comments give me. If they comment a couple of emojis, throw a few back at them. If they ask you a question, answer it (tip: this can be repurposed as content). If they give you a compliment at the very least say thank you!
Most of it is common sense, but social anxiety is real and the desire to be perfect is even more real. My advice is not to overthink it and just answer comments in a way that you would offline if someone were to be speaking to you face to face.
Once your page starts gaining traction you can just like the comments that you receive on your posts if replying to all of them is feeling too taxing. It’s a small action but it will help your audience to feel appreciated.
You also want to engage the brands that you want to work with. Let them know that you are open to collaborations and are ready to work with them.
You can easily do this by adding it to your bio, that’s why I suggest putting your contact information in your bio so that you can make it easy for brands to reach out to you for a collaboration.
To test the waters and in preparation to pitch a brand you can create content around their products talking about how much you love them and what value their product brings to your life. Alternatively, you can simply tag them in any posts where you’re using their product or service. Consider this a soft pitch and a way to get the brand familiar with you and your brand.
Another way to get your foot in the door is to reach out to brands and pitch yourself to represent their brand. To do this you could find their marketing departments’ information or even slide in their DMs introducing yourself and selling how you would bring value to their image and to their brand.
To do this it’s best to use a template that will highlight what makes you unique and what you can offer to them. This template is typically referred to as a Media Kit, and while you can create your own template you can also find templates on sites such as Canva.
Being an influencer is not only a lucrative way to make money, it’s also a way to have a fulfilling career and become an entrepreneur. With a little hard work as well as a lot of patience and consistency you can craft the life of your dreams.
So start putting in the work today so that you can get started on your Influencer journey. Know that you can do it and that I’m rooting for you. See you online!