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What does it mean to be an influencer?
The word influencer means a person who has influence. It is someone who has the power to influence the purchasing decisions of others because of his authority, knowledge, position or because of his relationship with his audience. An influencer is also a person with many followers in a particular field/niche with whom they actively engage. Influencers can influence the opinions of their followers not only by promoting products and services in order to be purchased, but they can also influence opinions about certain events to collect signatures for certain causes.
The development of social networks and their penetration into people's lives as something that is an integral part of both people's personal lives and their businesses has also led to the creation of a new profession - influencer. The enormous opportunities that social networks provide for advertising and marketing products and services, as well as their strong influence on public opinion, make many companies choose them over other marketing channels.
Social media influencers are people who have built a reputation for their knowledge and skills on a particular topic. They regularly post on that topic on their social media channels and attract followers who respond enthusiastically to their posts and pay close attention to their views.
Brands turn to social media influencers because they can create trends and encourage their followers to buy the products they are promoting.
Types of influencers
Influencers can be divided into different types according to different criteria such as: the number of followers, the type of content they post or the degree of influence. They can also be grouped according to the niche or area they are dealing with.
Mark Schaeffer divides influencers into 5 groups in his book.
Over 1 million followers: Celebrities, celebrities - expensive access to huge audiences.
Over 100,000 followers: Macro influencers - stars that people trust and reach a large audience with their posts.
Over 20,000 followers: Experts - journalists, business leaders, subject matter experts.
Over 1,000 followers.
Less than 1,000 followers: Nano influencers - passionate supporters of a brand who share online.
How to become an influencer?
You don't have to be famous to become an influencer, but there are some rules to follow if you want to be successful in this endeavor.
1. Define your niche.
The niche you choose should be highly relevant to your target audience. You need to answer the questions: who are your posts for? What value do your posts have for your audience? What are their desires, goals, challenges, fears and hopes?
Think carefully. Instead of picking the most popular niche, take the time to think about where you as an individual can have the most impact.
2. How can you reach your audience differently?
Once you have identified your niche, you need to think about how you can differentiate yourself from the rest. Start with what benefits you can bring to your audience. It's important to know what influencers are doing in your niche, but you need to think about how you can make a bigger impact by doing things in a different, innovative way.
3. Choose the right social network/platform for you.
The number of social networks is constantly growing, but you need to choose the right one for your niche and audience. Most importantly, find out where your target audience spends their time online and target that network.
The strongest for influencers is Instagram. Facebook and Twitter are also still very popular. TikTok is also growing very fast and experts expect brands to increase their ads on the platform.
When choosing a platform it also matters what content you post. On Facebook, you can post almost anything. Twitter allows you 140 characters per post. Instagram prioritizes and supports posts with pictures, captions and videos.
4. Research your niche.
Find out where other influencers in your niche are posting and make sure the platform you choose fits your target audience.
5. Determine the strategy of the content you post.
When you're an influencer, your content is your product. It's what draws people in, contributes something to their lives and shows brands that they can trust you by investing in you.
Basically, the balance between informative and personal content allows you to spread bigger messages, give information about the brands you work with while keeping in touch with your audience. They need to know you as a person, not just a salesperson.
6. Time to position yourself.
Once you have a solid content strategy in place, you can start working to ensure that as much of your target audience as possible sees your posts. Ideally, they not only view your content, but engage with it with likes, comments and shares.
When posting to different social media channels (we recommend using no more than three to avoid clutter), make sure you personalise each post for these different platforms. For example, your Instagram posts will be slightly different from your Facebook posts. This makes your content look more authentic.
7. Expand the reach of your posts.
Maintain an ongoing dedication to increasing your follower count and building trust in you. Start this at the beginning of your social media journey and continue - there are always new opportunities to connect with people who will become loyal followers, and brands who will become honest contributors.
Creating your own blog provides opportunities for this, as does being a guest on someone else's blog.
Don't underestimate the role of in-person events to increase your follower count. Attend social media events and press conferences in your area to meet people who may be interested in what you do. And consider holding your own event for your followers - influencers often use YouTube to connect face-to-face with their subscribers.
Never neglect your followers. The more followers you have, the harder this becomes. But, as much as possible, take the time to read and thank them for their comments, answer questions, and respond to direct messages. Think of it as part of your job and plan to interact with your audience regularly.
9. Learn how to evaluate your progress.
To learn how to evaluate your progress and determine what is and isn't working for you, it's important to use social media "insights and analytics" statistics.
All the brand marketing people will want to see your analytics to see if you're a good fit for them. Numbers matter and brands won't invest their money in you without proof that you can provide a good return on investment.
10. Keep up to date with what's new on social media.
All social media platforms are constantly evolving and updating their user tools, terms and algorithms. Part of your job when you become a social media influencer is to keep up with what's new. Keep an eye on the changes in the platforms you use and learn how these changes can affect your content and followers.
Algorithm changes can drastically affect the likelihood of followers seeing your posts. So knowing how to adapt to these changes is crucial to getting your content seen and ensuring it gets seen.
As an influencer, you also collaborate with brands on a professional basis. This means you'll need to register to earn income and pay tax - the requirements and process vary depending on your country, and it's always a good idea to register with an account to ensure you're following the correct procedure.
Follow your intuition! It takes time to develop your senses when it comes to figuring out if collaboration is right for you or not. But trust your instincts and if a brand makes you feel uncomfortable, has one-sided contract terms or doesn't offer payment for your work you may refuse to work for them.
You can use these steps to be successful as an influencer. Follow the steps, give yourself time and you will see results. Remember, this is a process that takes time and effort to produce results. Don't expect to become an influencer in 1 day. But if you work hard towards it, follow tried and tested tips and practices, you can become a successful influencer and make money out of it.