Once upon a time, sources of information and entertainment were limited to television, radio, and newspapers. Fast forward and this trio of media outlets had to scoot over in their thrones in order to make way for a new generation; the age of social media.
Social media platforms soon became a digital world that we all gladly immersed ourselves in. These online communities consist of billions of voices that spark millions of conversations. We all have a voice and once we use that voice to initiate influence, we amplify it. Becoming an influencer unleashes your ability to tell your story and connect with people who share a similar passion. The opportunities to grow your audience, work with co-creators, collaborate with brands, and make your name known are infinite.
The journey to becoming an influencer isn’t an easy one, but this guide will help you pack your bags with all the stuff you need to take flight into a vast virtual world of possibilities.
The first step in your influencer journey is choosing your niche (also known as your personal brand). To find this, you need to ask yourself: What am I interested in? What am I passionate about? What topics can I generate content for? What topics do I enjoy most?
By answering these basic questions, you are determining your field of expertise and deciding what kind of content you will be creating.
If you have a case of wanderlust, you might consider establishing yourself as a travel influencer who blogs or vlogs about the culture, food, fashion, and lifestyle of every country or city you visit. This is a great method to gain an audience who loves travelling as much as you do or is looking for their next dream destination.
If you’re a self-proclaimed master chef, why not whip out your chef’s toque and show off your culinary skills? This would likely draw traction from three types of people; those who can cook, those who want to learn to cook, and those who just like eating.
In case you’re a proud parent of an adorable cat and just want to flaunt their cuteness on the internet, that could be your niche too. There are pet videos out there that have garnered just as many likes as someone’s graduation photo, because who doesn’t love animals?
There are so many makeup and skincare enthusiasts that want to get a second opinion before they commit to buying that new collection of matte lipstick. Don’t even get us started on the percentage of the population that’s sick and tired of drawing crooked eyebrows.
When in doubt, beauty aficionados turn to people they can trust most: beauty influencers.
Want to help push for environmental change? Showcase your eco-warrior skills by spreading awareness and tips on how to help save our planet. Social media influencers who work in the name of a good cause are phenomenal (and rare) additions to the digital realm; just like Greta Thunberg.
Decided on your niche? Awesome! The next thing you need to cover is choosing your social media platforms. There is a platoon of social media channels at your disposal. All you have to do is pick your favourite one(s)!
Understanding your audience is essential in keeping them interested and attracting new ones. You can do this by performing regular analytics checks, which assist you in identifying the age groups, gender, and locations that follow you the most. By doing this, you can learn more about how to engage with your audience and potentially grow it into a larger one.
To date, Facebook reigns as the most popular social media platform, followed by Twitter and Instagram. So, it would be advisable to harness these socials to your advantage. One thing to keep in mind though, is that you need to choose your platforms in correspondence with the specific demographic you want to appeal to.
If you’re planning on becoming a beauty influencer, research shows that YouTube is the best platform to build your brand on. It’s perfect because you can easily upload your makeup or skincare tutorials in video format.
Facebook is great for influencers who want to promote household and family-related content. Since 74% of parents are active on Facebook, this would be the perfect platform to gain an audience – plus it’s the mega-giant of social media platforms with 2.8 billion active users.
If you’re a blogger who likes to post stories, you should definitely start marketing on Facebook as its interface and group features are ideal for creating a community. When it comes down to it, Facebook stands out from the rest because it radiates a certain personal touch that makes people feel more connected. If this is the vibe you’re going for, then Facebook is the place to be.
While Twitter and Facebook let you post without images, it’s the first prerequisite for Instagram. If travel or fashion is your thing, then you need to sign up for Instagram right now! Being a photo-based social media channel, you can flaunt your travels or outfits-of-the-day to curate a stellar customized feed. It’s all about the visuals on Instagram. Give ‘em something to look at.
TikTok has always been a thing, but it wasn’t until the height of the COVID-19 pandemic that it really rose to massive fame. TikTok was the most downloaded app of 2020, and what started out as a cure for boredom has transformed into one of the biggest influencer platforms in the world. If you’ve got great comedic timing or mad dance skills, then you will definitely thrive on TikTok.
Twitter may only let you post 280 characters at a time, but it does let you share photos, videos, and links that you can make the most of. Tweet your way into becoming an influencer on Twitter if you enjoy posting about food or pets. If the character limit holds you back, you could always use Twitter as a secondary account to link to your blog or other social media pages.
The first things that people see when they encounter your page is your name, photo and bio. This is the first impression. Stay true to yourself, because authenticity is what creates consistency. You only have a few characters to describe your purpose, so make it an honest and compelling reflection of who you are. Don’t forget to include location, contact information, and links to your other pages.
As for the profile photo, choose one that stands out in a crowd. Whether your page’s aesthetic is decked in pastel or bursts of colour, it’s always a good idea to make these two connect. The profile photo is the icon that your followers will use to recognize you, and it eventually becomes your brand’s identity. Whatever the image is, make sure it’s taken under good lighting and with high-resolution quality.
Whatever your chosen niche may be, this is your chance to share fun and useful content with your followers. The key to piquing their interest and encouraging them to engage with your posts is value. If your posts hold value for your demographic, it won’t be long before you become their go-to influencer.
If you’re a travel influencer, for instance, you could post photos and videos of monuments, nature sights, exotic food, and activities from your travels. Shake it up a bit by adding helpful information in the caption, like the name of that cafe where you ate that delicious croissant and cup of hot chocolate, or a little fun fact about the beach you just sunbaked on. Additionally, make it a point to show your face often for some personalized flair.
Another secret that isn’t so secret at all is that people love visuals. You could ask a person to open a book and their eyes would initially drift towards the photos before they dive into the text. The same applies to your posts, so you’ve got to make your photography skills rise to the occasion. They say that a picture says a thousand words, but you want your pictures to sing a thousand words. The more beautiful, the better.
Whatever your target market may be, you can never go wrong with video content. Aside from posting aesthetically pleasing photos with substantial comments, videos are a great avenue to illustrate your influence. This is how YouTube will be your new best friend. Connect your YouTube channel with your social media platforms and you’ve got a recipe for success.
In a sea of digital influencers each churning out content for specific audiences, how do you stand out? The truth is that it’s not going to be easy, but with dedication, creativity, consistency, and a signature voice, you’ll be one step closer to achieving influencer status.
Since there are many other voices speaking up about their passions, you have to learn how to make yours heard on your very own frequency. Integrate your signature sound; a secret weapon, an element that makes you unique.
Don’t be a silent influencer! Make your audience feel heard and valued by responding to the comments. You may even want to encourage them to talk to you by posting questions in your captions or organizing contests for giveaways.
Don’t be shy to let them know that there is a person behind all those stunning photos and compelling words. This is an effective way to keep them engaged while receiving great insights that could be very helpful to your blog or vlog.
Propel your influencer platform to new heights by letting brands know that you are open to collaborating with them. This step can take your content to the next level in terms of business partnerships, raising awareness about your brand, and ultimately, generating revenue.
Make it happen by tagging brands in relevant posts or reaching out to them directly via emails that convey a convincing pitch on how the partnership could be beneficial to both parties. Joining forces with brands and other influencers is a wonderful way to inject a splash of dynamics and growth into your influencer adventure.
Becoming a popular name in the industry and generating revenue may not come instantly, but when the time comes, it’s truly rewarding. All it takes is the investment and dedication of your time and effort and it will all come full circle.
There is a chance that your first article, video, or photo won’t gain the attention that you dream of right away, and that’s totally okay. Every master was once a student. It takes a while to be noticed, but once the right people see you, you’ll be in the spotlight. Keep that don’t-give-up mindset and success will follow.
Now that your bags are packed with all the essentials, you’ve got the fundamental components to spread your wings as a full-fledged influencer. Wherever your digital escapades take you, remember to be an influencer that motivates people to do better, feel better, and be better.
One of the principal factors that gets people hooked on following influencers is emotion. Make them feel something that both rivets and moves them, because once you enter this world, you are more than just an aesthetic Instagram feed or a how-to video; you are an influencer.2
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