Written by Tina Dahmen
Social Influencer 101: How to Become a Modern Day Celebrity
Influencer marketing is nothing new, from celebrities to athletes, from actors to the ordinary stay at home mum, they have all influence. And in today’s world, it’s all about social influence, online.
What is an influencer?
Social Media Influencers aren’t your traditional celebrities. Thanks to the rise of social media, everyday people are able to gain huge audiences across a range of platforms from Instagram to Snapchat to LinkedIn.
They are also active in many different industries. Whatever hobby or interest you have, you will find an influencer representing it.
You can find influencers in the travel, food, fashion or even in the video game industry.
Social Media Marketing with social media influencers is one of the most powerful ways of attracting new customers and engaging with fans of the brand. When working with Social Media Influencers, they then also get more exposure and become even more well known.
It’s a win-win.
Are you looking to become a social media influence?
Then now is the time to do it, Business Insider reports that “The influencer marketing industry is on track to be worth up to $15 billion by 2022, up from as much as $8 billion in 2019”.
Influencers are a tremendous way to build brand equity and get the word out there about your product, especially if you are trying to spread the word to a specific audience. – Gary Vee
Let’s dive into the power of social influence and all the ins and outs of becoming a social media star.
5 Reasons Why Social Influence is Key
- Right now there is more demand in the world for influencers than ever before. Big brands are noticing that almost everyone is using social media several times a day. A study by Asurion found that the average American checks their phone 80 times per day.
- Social media is a great way to create a connection between customers and big brands. Influencers are often the missing link between the two. And BigCommerce says that companies are investing more in influencer marketing “17% of them plan to spend over half of their entire marketing budget on influencer marketing this year”.
- It’s a great way for influencers to make money and it’s a great way for companies to save on advertising. Companies don’t have to go through an advertising agency or think about advertising elsewhere (TV, newspaper, online ads…). Companies can reach an audience of the same size, sometimes bigger for a fraction of the price. According to BigCommerce there’s no shortage of money being invested in influencer marketing: “The most common influencer budget is $1,000 – $10,000/year, followed by $100,000 – $500,000/year”
- Audiences want to hear what the influencers they are following have to say. Unlike when an advertisement comes on TV, people feel like they are being interrupted. And because they admire influencers, they are often seeking out their opinions and advice.
- Influencers can provide much more unique insights into what their customers are thinking and feeling. There is only so much brands that can find out through market research themselves. Having an influencer on board can help to get more accurate data about the ideal customer.
How to Become an Influencer
The road to becoming an influencer isn’t easy.
It’s about putting yourself out there, improving your influencer network, creating engaging content at all times which is a lot of hard work.
Do you feel confident enough to put your message out there, are you prepared for negative feedback from trolls and do you know how to deal with it?
Here are 5 steps you can take to get started today:
Step 1 – Find Your Niche:
Finding your niche ensures you attract the right people who are also interested in your chosen topic.
You’re not going to appeal to everyone and that is a good thing. This also means you are building an audience of loyal followers.
This can only happen, especially when you start out if you choose one topic only.
Choose something you love, the odds are there’s a lot of people who love it too.
Try to niche down even more from there. Don’t be a travel influencer. Be a travel influencer for a specific country only for example etc.
If you’re doing it right, people will take notice and start looking for your opinion.
Step 3 – Share what’s on your mind
Probably one of the few things that all influencers have in common is their ability to share their opinions and to be vulnerable. That’s what makes influencers unique and helps them stand out from the crowd.
You need to be an independent thinker and someone who isn’t afraid to deviate from the norm. Being you is your USP and your strongest currency in this world.
People like it if you share vulnerable stories as this creates a human connection between you and the audience. People like to see you are human too and not just superman or wonder woman.
Step 4 – Network as much as possible
One of the best ways to become an influencer is by networking and getting to know other influencers. The two main ways to do this are online and offline. Online you can interact with them by commenting on posts, leaving some really good quality comments under their posts.
You could also get in touch directly. For example, you find out they really love vegan food, so you could send them the latest article they need to check out.
The second way is by going to events like tradeshows or asking for a collaboration or guest post on your site. The main thing is to keep reaching out and offering value. Don’t get disheartened if you don’t get a reply. This is a numbers game.
Step 2 – Share Your Knowledge
To make a name for yourself you need to start sharing your knowledge. How do you do it? Start sharing quality content daily. This is a vital step in the process because it shows people that you know what you’re talking about. Without sharing any content people won’t discover you.
Luckily, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to platforms. With a range of social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and even Linkedin to name a few. We highly recommend that you also set up a personal blog website.
Further down the line, you could start creating a podcast, Youtube videos and host events to meet more people in the influencer network.
Again, produce quality content daily. Let your content speak for yourself and people will automatically assume you are an expert in that area.
Step 5 – Engage with your Audience
If people are trying to interact with you, don’t ignore them or assume they will always be there. If they leave a genuine comment, always reply even if it’s a simple “thanks!’.
Your audience doesn’t want somebody that’s unengaged, fake or has their account automated.
They want a real interaction, they want to connect with the real you, somebody who they can relate to. You can however automate certain actions on your accounts, but not the interaction with your audience.
Show them this side by jumping into the comments and their posts to show them they’re appreciated.
Perks and Challenges of Being an Influencer
While there are a lot of perks of being an influencer, like getting paid to post on Instagram, getting paid to travel or free luxury accommodation or always be invited to the latest restaurant openings, like any job, it has its tough moments too.
Perks of Being an Influencer
- Flexibility: You don’t have to show up at an office, in fact you don’t even have to leave your room. You can do your work from anywhere, as long as you have a stable internet connection to make sure your content gets out there and you are able to communicate with your audience. Being able to make your own schedule is one of the major perks of this kind of job.
- Be Yourself: This one of the few ‘jobs’ where your personality really matters. You get to show what makes you unique and talk about what you enjoy. You get to work with different brands and companies, and you get to be yourself and they will love you for it.
- You Must Keep Growing and Measuring: Being a social influence isn’t about getting paid for an Instagram post and forgetting about it. You will most likely be working for a company that will be expecting results and reports on how you did. Being an Influencer requires you to be a jack of all trades. You will gain experience in negotiating, content creation, marketing and a lot of other things that you would never have expected. It’s not easy but you will be a much more well-rounded and skilled person after it all.
- Creating an Engaging Community: It can be very rewarding to be one of the main people in an engaged community. You will get to hear different stories and how you helped people. Best of all, you will be rewarded for it.
Challenges of Being an Influencer
- Authenticity over Money: It can be difficult to turn down a big-money deal with a major brand. But overall, it’s the best decision you can make because your audience will trust you more. If the product or service doesn’t align with your brand then you will lose respect from your audience. However, if you’re only choosing the brand that aligns with your beliefs and you truly believe in their product or service, then you build more trust with your audience.
- Other People Don’t Think You Work: Contrary to popular belief, being an influencer isn’t easy. Much like being a freelance writer, you will have deadlines to meet, clients to keep happy and not to mention finding recurring clients or different streams of income. It has to be run like a business. It’s not just taking cute hotel pictures or cups of tea. It requires a lot of work and a lot of people won’t understand that.
So there you have it. If you’re thinking of exploring the social media influencers market then 2020 is a great year to start.
Now you understand the power of social media influencers and everything you need to do to become an influencer, from growing your influencer network to getting paid for Instagram posts.
The entry barrier of becoming an influencer is fairly easy, but becoming a well respected influencer in the industry isn’t.
Once you have figured out your voice and the things you want to stand up for, the journey can be hugely rewarding, you will learn a lot about yourself and a lot of valuable skills throughout your journey.
We will discuss all of this and many more topics all-around influence in The Influencer Bible.
Find out more about how influencers can make money and how you can do so too.
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