What Do You Need to Become a Social Media Influencer?
Influencer marketing is one of the most powerful business marketing strategies today.
With most businesses working online, consumers are looking for product recommendations from the only people they can trust.
That’s social media influencers.
Influencers help affect the purchasing decisions of their followers. They can do this since a follower assumes that he/she is an expert in that field. So, any product they recommend must be good.
As such, it’s a very profitable job, if done correctly.
But that’s not the only reason why we all want to be influencers. The free trips, free products, and not to forget, the fame, is just as enticing as the money.
What you need to know
As glamorous as the influencer life seems, the journey isn’t all roses.
With the number of influencers rising by the day, the competition to make it in the industry is insane. You not only need to work hard, but also have a thick skin for you to earn the status of influencer.
Growing and maintaining the trust of your followers is also one of the most challenging parts of the job. So, you need a lot of patience to survive.
Also, don’t think you’ll start and earn like Kylie Jenner in your first year. Influencer pay isn’t that good at first, but with time, it improves.
That said, you must be wondering, what do I need to become an influencer?
Here are the six golden steps.
- Carefully select your niche
By niche, I mean your area of expertise, a field that you have not only knowledge about, but also one that you’re passionate about.
As an influencer, you need your followers to trust that your reviews for specific products are credible. Therefore, being a jack of all trades won’t cut it.
By niching down, you’ll be able to attract a specific audience who are interested in what you do. This, in turn, makes it easier for brands to determine if you are the right fit for them.
Nonetheless, you don’t have to be an expert in a field to choose the niche. The secret is in your creativity.
The more creative you are, the better you stand out from the competition. For instance, you may not be a chef, but you can specialize in trying out new homemade recipes.
- Choose your social media platform
Once you’ve settled on a niche, you need to select your social media channel. And not just any channel, the right channel for your audience.
Instagram has, by far, been the most popular platform for most influencers. But that doesn’t mean that it’s the best platform for you. You can choose to try Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, or any other site that works for you.
Moreover, when starting, you need to focus on only one platform for better efficiency. Otherwise, you’ll fall on your face trying to leverage an audience on multiple platforms.
Remember, regardless of how valuable your content is, your target audience won’t find it until you find them first.
- Create valuable and informative content
Once you have a platform, the next thing is content creation.
You need to create valuable content that keeps your follower’s attention. Content that fosters good engagement with your audience and influences their decisions through your opinions and recommendations.
After all, that’s your work as an influencer.
Depending on your platform, create blog posts, videos, or images that are relevant to your audience. Additionally, some originality and uniqueness go a long way in attracting more followers.
This, however, doesn’t mean you have to invent all your content. No way!
All you have to do is present things differently, even if a million other influencers are doing it. Find an angle that makes your content a bit different from others—a signature move.
For instance, you can choose to start your content with some jokes, a fun fact, or something personal like how your day was. Simply anything that’ll make your audience differentiate you from other influencers out there.
- Listen to your audience
The first rule of creating content is that it should be something your followers want to see. The more relevant your content is, the more followers you gain.
There are several ways to get to know what your followers like.
The first one is using analytics to determine which topics get the most reactions from your audience. Most sites offer you an analysis of your content performance including the age, gender, location, and online behaviors, among other features.
If these tools aren’t for you, there’s always Google search to help you with content ideas, based on the most searched keywords.
- Network with other influencers
Due to the competitive nature of the influencer industry, it can be very hard to succeed on your own. You need to find other established influencers in your niche and engage with them.
One of the easiest ways to engage with other influencers is by commenting on their content. Follow their pages and accounts and provide honest, insightful comments to their posts regularly.
Once you do this long enough, they may start engaging with you at a personal level, hence building a positive rapport with them.
Use tools such as Buzzsumo to identify the best influencers in your niche to connect with.
You can also connect with other influencers through attending relevant seminars and meetings in your niche.
The more influencer friends you have on your side, the better you’ll stand when you need help.
- Stay consistent
You need to engage with your followers as an influencer. And one way of doing this is by staying consistent with how you post your content.
Your consistency in posting high-value content is what keeps your followers on edge, waiting for the next post.
Once your consistency drops, your followers start ignoring you, your reach falls, and your appeal to businesses starts to fade.
One way to keep your consistency on track is by using management tools to your advantage.
This will give you more time to work on your content and hence limit your distractions.
However, you need to ensure that you don’t compromise the quality of your content when looking for consistency. It’s only human that, at times, you may run out of content to deliver.
On such occasions, inform your followers of the delay and assure them that you’re working on something, and you’ll post it soon.
This way, you’ll keep them on their toes as they wait for your next post.
There are thousands, if not millions, of social media influencers in the world today. And the numbers keep rising.
However, this is no cause to discourage you from achieving your dream of becoming an influencer.
Because despite the competition, it’s still possible to beat the odds.
The key is in your originality and uniqueness.
By following the steps above, with hard work and patience, you can be confident that you’ll become an influencer faster than you think!