How to become an influencer might be a question many are interested in. Influencers are the new hot topic right now. Brands want to collaborate with them to drive brand awareness and sales. While their followers often see them as role models.
How much influencers make is no longer a secret. Even if you have less than 10,000 followers, you can make a nice side income.
Being an influencer is now seen as a lucrative, almost perfect career for many. It offers excellent upside potential, allows you to work from anywhere in the world, and gives you autonomy and flexibility in life.
If you are one of those who want to become an influencer or are working to grow your following numbers, keep reading!
Six Steps to Becoming an Influencer
- Identify Your Niche
- Evaluate Your Lifestyle
- Select Your Social Media Channels
- Understand Your Target Audience
- Create and Post High-Quality Content Regularly and Consistently
- Work with Brands
Identify Your Niche
The first and maybe the most critical thing to keep in mind is to treat your influencer career as a business. The journey to becoming an influencer is quite similar to building a business – it requires a business model.
To build a successful business, you need a positioning, aka a niche. The most popular social media influencers niches are probably fashion, beauty, and travel. Some lucrative niches are personal finance and technology.
To identify your niche, think about what you’re good at. What can you offer to your audience?
To be an influencer, you need to offer something valuable and unique.
For example, many fitness influencers are personal trainers. They have years of experience in coaching and training. So they can share valuable fitness advice with their audience. Some successful examples are:
To become a travel influencer, you’ll have to post travel content consistently and regularly. Many successful travel influencers can create beautiful images that inspire you to the next destination.
Examples of successful travel influencers:
Evaluate your Lifestyle
And this comes down to evaluating your lifestyle. If you want to become a travel influencer, are you able to travel frequently to keep your audience interested?
Some might aspire to be a luxury fashion influencer, but are you able to afford luxury fashion items in the first place, and produce meaningful content from them?
If luxury fashion is a bit out of place, maybe you can start with affordable fashion and create interesting content such as how-to style guides, shopping haul videos to build an audience base.
Remember, when choosing your niche, being able to stay consistent and authentic is the key.
Stay Consistent and Authentic
Select Your Social Media Channels
When talking about influencers, many would naturally think of Instagram and YouTube. But you do not have to limit yourself. There are also Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tiktok. It is essential to use the right social media channel to your advantage.
Visual Content – Instagram and Pinterest
For niches that focus more on visual content, Instagram and Pinterest are your best friends. It is common to find fashion, beauty, travel, and design influencers on Instagram, but many omit Pinterest.
Pinterest deserves special attention because pins last for a very long time. On Instagram, your posts might be ‘outdated’ after a week, but the average lifespan of a pin can last for a month or even a year. Pinterest clicks can keep coming for an extended period.
You can also direct your pin traffic to Instagram. This way, you have a much higher chance of acquiring new followers.
Knowledge Sharing – YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Blog
For niches that focus more on knowledge sharing, try YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Experts and influencers in personal finance, digital marketing, entrepreneurship, etc. are usually active on these platforms. Some famous examples are:
- @garyvee from VaynerX on entrepreneurship
- @ryandeiss from DigitalMarketer on digital marketing
- @tonya.rapley from @MyFabFinance on personal finance for women
Short videos – Tiktok and IGTV
For short videos, consider Tiktok and IGTV. Almost any niche can utilize short videos to engage with the audience. Video content is becoming more popular amongst search engines and social media platforms. They usually have a higher engagement rate.
According to Impact, 75 million people in the U.S. watch online videos daily. And by merely mentioning the word ‘video’ in an email subject line, the click-through rate increased by 13%. Over 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube each day. Video is the King. We’re going to talk more about it in another article.
Understand Your Target Audience
Content is perhaps the most important part of becoming an influencer. You need to create content that your audience wants to build meaningful connections with them and reach more.
It is, therefore, critical to understand what your target audience wants. Many may refer to the content other influencers create. But a better way to do it is to learn about what people are searching for and what people want to know.
To quickly identify content demand, you can use tools such as SEMrush and Google Keyword Planner to find out keywords or topics with high search volume in your niche. You can also utilize search platforms such as Quora to see what people want an answer on.
Besides, you can utilize the built-in analytics tool that is available on most social media platforms. It gives you meaningful insights into your audience demographics, such as gender, locations, active time, etc.
There are also other social media management tools that help you with content ideas, analytics, and scheduling.
Create and Post High-Quality Content Regularly and Consistently
After finding out what your target audience wants to learn, it’s time to create and post the content! Publishing high-quality content regularly and consistently is one of the most effective ways to build relationships with them.
Many YouTubers would let their audience knows when they are uploading videos. For example, some might maintain a consistent schedule of uploading at 8 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday. It sets an expectation and builds a habit for their audience to come back regularly.
It is recommended to post at least twice weekly. Many full-time influencers can even manage to publish every day. After all, every new piece of content you publish is a unique chance to reach more audiences. So quantity does matter.
However, don’t sacrifice quality in an attempt to maintain a high quantity output. Know your limits and maintain a balance between both. If you run out of content ideas, ask your audience what they want to know. You can ask it on Twitter or do a Q&A Instagram story series. It helps engage with your audience and show them how much you value them.
Balance Quality and Quantity
Also, don’t forget to interact with your audience. Respond to comments and answer questions. If you don’t have enough time, you can like their comments to show your appreciation.
Work with Brands
Lastly, it’s about monetizing. Working with brands is one of the major ways influencers make money.
To begin with, you need to let brands know you’re open to collaboration. State your email in the bio so brands can contact you.
You can also actively reach out to brands you are interested in working with. Write an outreach template that includes who you are, your social media profiles, any past collaboration examples, and your audience demographics.
Next, include a personalized message for each brand you reach out to. Let them know how you’re a big fan of their brand and why your audience would love to see content about their brand.
But how should you contact the brand? The best way to do it is to find out their PR or influencer marketing specialist on LinkedIn. Find their work email and email them. Or send them a LinkedIn message.
If you couldn’t find any members you can reach out to, contact the brand’s press email. Many brands have a contact page that states the general email address to reach a specific department.
Another way to do this is by signing up for influencer agencies. It is perhaps the best way to get more collaboration opportunities. Brands that reach out to these agencies already plan to work with influencers and are actively looking for influencers. Your chance to close a deal is higher.
Here are some apps and platforms you can check out:
Over to You!
Becoming an influencer is a challenging yet rewarding journey. Overnight success is rare. It takes creativity, consistency, and discipline to establish your online presence and social media profile. Follow these steps and give some patience; you will see the desired results.