How to Become an Influencer: A Step by Step Guide
Over the recent years, brands have started using influencer marketing more often. According to statistics, 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations when making purchase decisions. And the numbers are increasing! So, it seems now is the best time to start becoming an influencer. It might seem difficult, especially when there are too many influencers on all social media, but if you make an effort and work hard, you will become a true influencer.
Follow our step-by-step guide to become a successful influencer. But first, let’s discover who an influencer is.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at:
Who Is an Influencer?
An influencer is someone who can affect the purchasing decisions of his/her followers because of his/her authority, knowledge, experience and trustworthiness. They have a large audience of engaged followers, who trust them. Influencers have a targeted audience, and businesses don’t even need to look for their future customers. They simply need to find the right influencers to collaborate with them and get highly engaged customers. That’s why influencer marketing is so beneficial for brands.
How to Become an Influencer
Find Your Niche
The first thing you need to do is to select your niche. You should choose something that you’re good at and have some experience of. Cooking, traveling, fashion – these are some of the most popular lifestyle niches. But it’s not limited to these, you can become a marketing or business influencer. The most important thing is to be passionate about what you choose and be ready to develop your skills and become more professional, as you have to create regular content about your niche.
Don’t be too broad. People don’t trust the influencers who talk about everything. They trust those who are experienced in a certain industry. Some influencers may also post about their personal life from time to time to be more close to their followers. But don’t go too broad, stick to your area of expertise.
Research Your Target Audience
Once you’ve chosen your niche, it’s time to research your audience. Who are they? Which social media do they mostly use? What type of content are they interested in? These are the questions that you need to find answers to.
Besides, you need to research your niche, there may be too many influencers in a certain niche and you may not be able to create new value for people.
So, in this case, you should think about how to become more specific in your niche. For example, if you’re a photographer and you want to become an influencer in this area, you’ll find out that there are already many influencer photographers.
But don’t worry, there’s always a solution. For a photographer, it would be better to choose a certain genre of photography, like street photography or portrait photography. Or you may choose to post photos of certain colors, like black and white photos or only red photos.
The important thing is that you should differentiate your content from the content of other influencers and create value for your audience.
Choose Your Channels and Content Format
Depending on your niche and audience, you should choose your content format and social media channels. There is no right or wrong channel, it all depends on your chosen area.
You can’t be on all social media channels, especially when you’re a beginner. It’s better to focus your efforts on 1-2 channels and create regular high-quality content for your audience than to be on all channels and not be able to create regular content for any of them.
Each channel has its characteristic features and target audience. Facebook is the most popular social media, and it’s very broad. You can post photos, videos, articles on Facebook, and if you find out that your audience is active on Facebook then you should definitely choose it.
Other social media channels are more specific and have a more engaged audience. If you’re a photographer, naturally you’re going to post photos, so you might choose platforms like Instagram, Pinterest.
Though, if you also want to share photography tips, you might think about creating videos, which show those tips, on YouTube.
Optimize Your Profile
The next step is to optimize your existing profiles or create new ones. The first thing to do is to switch to a business account. A lot of platforms have this option, and choosing a business profile will open new opportunities. You’ll have access to analytics tools and be able to analyze your audience, see the performance and improve your content.
Then, create an engaging bio. This is very important, as it will make the first impression on your future followers. Make sure to include here your full name, contact details and area of expertise. It shouldn’t be too long and must be engaging so that people are interested to read it fully.
You can also include links to your website or other channels here. Don’t rush, think carefully about what and how you’re writing here, as your bio is the best section to make a good impression.
And, of course, you must have a high-quality profile photo and for some channels a cover photo. People recognize an influencer by his/her profile picture, so make sure your face is clearly seen and the photo is of high quality.
For some platforms, you might need a more professional look, but the most important thing here is to have a high-quality and clear photo.
Create A Content Strategy
This step is actually worth a whole new article, but let’s try to cover the essential points.
- Define your style, character, a voice that is uniquely yours.
- Analyze other influencers, see what their unique style is and try to create your own.
- You have to be able to create value for followers and you must have something that will make you different from other influencers.
- One of the key points in a successful content strategy is being regular. Whether you’re posting once a day or once a week, you need to be consistent. Before starting posting, remember that you have to create regular and high-quality content. If you can’t make high-quality content every day, it’s better to post once in 2-3 days, but be able to create engaging and interesting content for your audience.
- Also, you have to be consistent in the type of content you’re posting. This is easier as you already know what channels you’re going to use. But note that being consistent doesn’t mean posting only photos, or exclusively videos. You can choose one type and from time to time post other things too. If you’re posting photos regularly, then you should sometimes make live videos or share some articles. But you have to be consistent in posting photos. And also, don’t forget about sponsored content.
- Create a calendar for your posts. There are many online tools that will help you schedule your posts. You can make a content strategy for one month and schedule it. Most social media platforms have built-in analytics tools, use them to find out when your audience is more active. The more people see your content the better the results will be. Sometimes, you might need to post some fresh news or live videos that don’t fit in your schedule and it’s completely okay to do so, but your regular content shouldn’t be changed.
Extra tip: Pay attention to hashtags, the right hashtags can bring your target audience to you.
Engage With Your Audience
Regular content and simple posting won’t make you an influencer. Being an influencer means having an impact on your audience, which is only possible by creating a relationship with your followers. This can be done in several ways.
- Create posts that will open a discussion, ask questions to your audience to better understand them.
- Always respond to comments and messages, or at least like their comments.
- Speak with your audience and show that you are interested in their opinion. After all, you’re an influencer only if you have followers – people that are interested in your content. So, you should not only create content that is interesting for people, but also engage with them and show that they are important for you.
Network With the Industry Experts and Other Influencers
Make connections and collaborate with others. In order to become a paid influencer, you have to make some real connections. You can’t grow your audience simply by making posts. You’re a beginner and people don’t know you yet.
Discover the industry’s experts and other influencers, collaborate with them, share their posts and engage with them. Thus, their followers will notice you and may become your audience. But remember that you should create a long-term relationship with them, it’s not just for one post.
At first, it might seem that other influencers are your rivals and you shouldn’t follow anyone. It’s not the right approach. You’re not the only influencer in your area of expertise, surely, there are many industry experts whom your target audience trusts and follows.
This doesn’t mean you must follow every influencer, but there will be some that you will want to collaborate with. Besides, this way you will learn about new trends faster.
Besides online platforms, make connections in real life. Participate in industry events, conferences and meet the industry experts.
Discover New Opportunities
It’s time to think about your revenue. One of the benefits of being an influencer is receiving income from social media posts. When you receive enough income, you can quit your full-time job and do what you like just by being an influencer.
Connect with brands in your industry, show that you are interested in collaborating with them. You don’t have to have 100K followers to collaborate with brands. In fact, nano influencers, who have less than 1000 followers, usually have a more targeted and engaged audience, so brands can be more interested in collaborating with them than with those who have millions of followers.
So, look for brands in your industry and location and start collaborating with them. Influencer marketing is becoming more and more popular among marketers, so don’t miss your chance.
Follow the trends, always stay updated about what’s going on in your niche. It’s very important as the world is changing very fast, and you need to know what’s changing to create relevant content.
Besides, followers won’t trust you if you don’t know the latest news and trends in your niche. After all, it’s you that should inform people about what’s going on in the industry, so staying current is really essential.
The more experienced you become the better you will notice changes in the industry that are yet to come. Go ahead of time, you may make or notice a trend that will become viral.
Built a Website or Blog
This step might not be necessary when you’ve just started, but the more followers you get, the more important it becomes.
When people search for you on Google, what will they see? Just some fragments of information about you on different social media platforms. Isn’t it better to have a website with full information about you?
It doesn’t have to be a super fancy and expensive website, but having a website or blog will help your audience to know you better. You can’t have a detailed bio on social media, but it’s possible on the website or blog. Besides, when you create blog posts, they can help you raise engagement and become an additional source of income.
Track the Results
Many influencers give up very soon as they don’t see any progress. You might be in that situation too. Remember that no one becomes an influencer in one day, everyone has started with only 1 follower.
You have to work hard to become a professional and when something goes wrong, you should know the reason. That’s why tracking your results is super important.
You should always track how people react to your content, what they talk about, whether they are interested or not. You will see all the declines and increases, notice if people have become less or more engaged.
Usually, social media platforms have their analytics tools, but there are plenty of other free analytics tools. Use them to track and analyze your performance. If you’re not getting the results you expected, then change your strategy and try different things to find your unique voice. Remember to be authentic and patient, and one day you will find your audience.
Value even a small number of followers. It’s better to have a loyal and small audience than a large but not engaged audience. Offer your followers discounts, giveaways, communicate with them to discover their needs. Thus, you will have loyal and engaged followers.
And lastly, good luck to all future influencers! Follow these steps, do not give up, work hard and all your efforts will pay you back. And remember that there is no right or wrong way in becoming a successful influencer, it’s all built on trial and error.
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Influencer marketing has become a powerful strategy and you simply can’t overlook its unique advantages. So if you want to get started but don’t know how, read on.