Here’s Your Guide to Becoming an Influencer

The global influencer market is huge – valued at $21.2 billion as of the end of 2023. It’s not impossible for you to cut yourself a piece of that pie. People love scrolling social media for content, especially content that’s relatable, entertaining, informative, or otherwise engaging. Being an influencer is just like being a performer – you carefully curate an online persona to entrance and entertain your viewers, and when you gain their trust, you can use that platform to earn money from affiliate links, product promotions, and donations. Here’s how to break into the influencer industry.

Clarify Your Goals

Working as a social media influencer is a business venture, and you should treat it as such from the beginning. Before you even open your social media accounts, sit down and put into writing what your goals are for becoming an influencer. If you want to work with specific brands, build a career doing what you love, put that into words. If your goal is simply to make some extra cash, that’s fine, too.

Summarize the brand you want to create, including what you want to post about, what parts of your life you want to share, and how you plan to monetize your efforts. Will you use affiliate links? What about asking for virtual gifts? What brands do you want to work with? How much do you want to charge brands for promoting their products? Write a business plan, analyze your competitors, and find a payment tool that makes it easy for you to send invoices and get them paid.

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Discover Your Niche

Decide what you’re most passionate about and then identify a niche within that area of interest to set yourself apart and appeal to your target audience. If you’re interested in nature and the outdoors, for example, maybe your niche will be some aspect of wildcraft, like identifying edible mushrooms and other edible plants. To help narrow down your niche, consider your ideal viewer. What would he or she want from your content? What challenges is he or she facing? What goals does he or she have? The answers to these questions can guide you to an area of focus.

Select Your Platform(s)

You have at least several social media platforms to choose from when starting out as an influencer, and in the end, you’ll probably end up sharing your content to most of them. If you understand your target audience properly, then you should be able to choose the platform that will most appeal to them.

Of course, you also have to consider where the brands you want to work with want to promote their products. Instagram is a popular choice, but TikTok is also popular for influencers hoping to reach a younger audience.

Develop a Content Strategy

Without good content, you simply can’t make it as an influencer. Choose a format that works well with the platform you want to use – for example, if you want to use Instagram or TikTok, you should probably focus on making videos. Follow the 5-3-2 principle for posting content on social media: five out of ten posts should be curated from sources relevant to your audience, three out of ten should be content you’ve created for your audience, and two out of ten should be content that is personal in nature and services to humanize you to your audience. Work with a Phoenix SEO services agency to develop a strong content strategy.

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Post Consistently

You won’t see the results of your content strategy right away, so it’s important to keep posting consistently even if you’re not getting much visibility or engagement. If the quality of your content is high, it will gain in popularity the longer you work to promote it. Post on a regular, frequent, and consistent basis to keep audiences engaged and encourage followers.

Engage with Your Audience

The power of an influencer is in his or her ability to build trust with an online audience. To do that, you need to engage with your audience. Respond to comments and private messages. Reach out to your most engaged followers to find out what kinds of content they’d like to see. Ask followers questions to encourage them to leave their answers in your comment section.

Be Authentic

Part of what makes influencers so powerful is that they’re not celebrities – they’re regular people, just like you and me. They’re relatable. People want the authenticity that comes with a Joe Schmoe content creator. That’s what builds parasocial connections and trust between you and your followers. So be yourself. Your audience will respond to it.

Whether you want to make your career as an influencer or just want to bring in some money on the side, there’s a lot of potential in this new marketing space. Work with your favorite brands, or just bask in the admiration of your online followers when you become an influencer.