How To Become An Influencer: What You Need To Know To Crack Social
As the growth of influencer marketing continues, thousands of people are now earning a living as full-time influencers — but how exactly do you become one?
It’s not easy or obvious (despite what some people may have you think). Building up and maintaining a following on social media takes a lot of persistence and hard work.
In the article below, we take a look at exactly how to become an influencer and what you need to know to crack social media.
Choose your niche
The first thing you need to figure out is what niche you want to become an influencer in. You want to choose something to focus on that you’re passionate about, or you can provide some expert insights and opinions on.
You ideally want to choose a really specific niche or have a unique angle for a niche, which means there’s less direct competition with what you’re posting about.
However, you don’t want to end up with a niche that’s too specific — there needs to be interest and a good-sized audience for what you’re posting about.
Understand the audience
When you have an idea of what niche you want to be known in, you need to get an idea of who your audience is and who you’re going to be targeting.
You want to know what kind of content they’re interested in, what they engage with, and who they’re following. This will give you an idea of the kind of content that you should be sharing to garner interest, and how to interact with your target audience to gain followers.
Choose the right social media channel
Once you understand the audience that you want to connect with as an influencer, you should have a good idea of what platform to use — this is where your core demographic hangs out (finding out which platforms other influencers in your niche are using can also help you decide).
Two popular social media platforms for influencers are Instagram and LinkedIn.
Instagram is one of the best social media platforms for targeting millennials and Gen-Z audiences. It’s primarily image and video-based, so you need to be able to create content that’s suitable — and eye-catching. Instagram is a great place for influencers that focus on lifestyle, beauty, fashion, food, travel, fitness and interior design, among other things.
LinkedIn is more career and industry-focused, so this would be more suitable for you if you want to be an influencer that connects and works with businesses and professionals. LinkedIn influencers will share insights on technology, business news, and career advice, and it’s far more text-based than Instagram.
Many influencers are also active on Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok, and will have a YouTube channel as well. It’s up to you which channels and how many you use, but it’s generally best to focus on one or two social media platforms so that you can post engaging content across each of them without spreading yourself too thin.
Plan out your content
To the untrained eye, iInfluencers might seem fairly spontaneous and casual with their posts — but in fact, a lot of planning usually goes into their content.
To successfully build up an audience as an influencer, you need to be posting the right content at the right time on a regular basis. Consistency is essential to establishing a loyal and interested following.
By coming up with a social media strategy and planning out your content in advance, you’ll be able to make sure that everything is targeted towards your audience.
Of course, there should still be some room for more ad-hoc posts and day-to-day interactions. For example, on Instagram, you might publish a new post to your account a couple of times a week, but you can use Instagram Stories to share what you’re up to in a more informal way.
Engage with other influencers
While other influencers in your niche are technically your competition, it’s actually a good idea to engage and interact with them.
When you become an influencer in a certain niche, you’re joining a community — which is a great opportunity to connect with new people, share ideas, collaborate and make friends.
Be friendly, active and supportive when you’re checking out other influencers in your niche. This has a few benefits — firstly, you’ll start getting to know people and making friends. Secondly, other influencers will start to notice you and begin to engage with your content. They may even share some of your posts or your account with their followers. This is a good way to increase awareness of your account and build some relationships with people trying to achieve similar goals.
If you’re not sure who to start following or chatting to, look for other influencers that have a similar size following to you and some that have a slightly bigger following.
Set up a website
You can become a social media influencer without having your own website, but it’s a good idea to set one up.
As you start to grow your audience, it’s a good place to direct people that are interested in finding out more about you.
Image: Olivia Rink
Additionally, if you can write blogs to support your social media posts it can help establish your authority in the niche. Plus, as you start to work with businesses it’s a good idea to have a professional website that adds credibility and can showcase what you do.
Interact with your followers
As people start to follow you and comment on your posts it’s important to interact with them.
It might be time-consuming, but it’s all part of the influencer job. Responding to your comments and messages will help build trust with your followers and helps them feel more connected. Ignoring comments can make you seem rude or insincere.
Utilise hashtags to increase your reach
You need to be adding the right hashtags to your posts so that you’re able to increase visibility and reach your target audience. Identify relevant hashtags for your niche as well as current trending hashtags that you can use.
Be strategic though — you don’t want to overload your posts with too many hashtags, especially if they’re not really relevant to the people you want to target.
Don’t be tempted by hashtags that have millions of posts, that means that yours will get buried below thousands of new ones too quickly. Target more specific ones that your audience might be following.
Becoming a successful influencer requires focus, consistency, and planning.
But follow these tips and you’ll be able to crack social media, build up an engaged audience, and make a living working with brands and businesses to promote their products.