The rapid boom of social media platforms and the continuous inflow of new audiences has enabled new opportunities for people who want to grow. We all use at least two to three social networking websites regularly, why not start making a living out of it?
Becoming an influencer is an exciting prospect; it offers financial benefits and enables you to work for the causes close to you. How to become an influencer, then? Well, it is easier than you can imagine and only takes consistency and knowledge of a few essential elements.
Let us tell you exactly what you need to do should you decide to go down that path. Let’s get to it.
What Is An Influencer?
As the name suggests, an influencer is anyone who influences your decision-making in any capacity. As an influencer, you can influence the decision-making about various things. For example, you can influence whether or not someone decides to purchase a particular product.
You can also influence people’s decisions about the events they want to attend, the outfits they decide to wear, and even the political party they vote for. The point is there are tons of things where you play a role in people’s lives as an influencer. You just have to find the niche that suits you the most.
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Content Creator Vs. Influencer
While influencers can also be categorized as content creators, they do not really fall into the content creator as we imagine. Traditionally, a content creator is someone who prioritizes the quality of their media. They will invest in quality gear to deliver high-resolution and well-edited media to their followers and sometimes may even charge for it. Of course you may save some money by buying used camera equipment, which still allows you to provide the same good quality content, but with much less investment.
An influencer, on the other hand, prioritizes relationship-building with the audience. While influencers also post media, they are not as highly prioritized as in the content creation industry. Typically, media posted by influencers draws new audiences to your page and then engages with them via different means.
Different Types of Influencers
Influencers can be categorized based on the niche they work at or the number of followers they have. Influencers working in fashion, healthcare, or travel are known as fashion, health, and travel influencers, respectively. However, PR firms often differentiate the influencers based on their followers. These categories include;
- Mega Influencers: Accounts with followers higher or equal to one million
- Macro Influencers: Accounts with followers between 500,000 to 1,000,000.
- Mid-Tier Influencers: 50,000 to 500,000 followers
- Micro-Influencers: 10,000 to 50,000 followers
- Nano Influencers: 1000 to 10,000 followers
How To Become An Influencer In Your Industry
Becoming an influencer is surprisingly easy. You only have to get the basic rights and be consistent in your efforts. The basics to becoming an influencer include;
1. Find Your Niche
The first thing you need to do is to identify the niche you find suitable. It does not have to be something you have studied or have prior experience with. You must be passionate about it and have the right credentials; it is icing on the cake. For example, a doctor can become a fashion influencer, but if that doctor decides to try healthcare influencing, it will be even better, provided that one is passionate about it.
2. Optimize Your Social Media Profiles
Optimizing your social media profiles is the next step to becoming an influencer. Almost all major social networking websites offer an account dedicated to professional use. You should switch to that and build your profile. The profile should be complete and include everything that the particular website demands. An incomplete profile does not seem as attractive and is often hard to rank.
3. Understand Your Audience
Once you have identified the niches, understand what the audience of that particular niche expects from you. For example, the audience of a healthcare influencer will expect preventive strategies and precautions from an epidemic. Or, the audience will expect fashion influencers to keep them updated about the newest offerings of popular brands.
4. Explore Your Content Strategy
The content strategy is essentially how to use the tool available on different platforms to draw more audience. For example, Instagram offers Reels, Stories, Highlights, and Posts. Now it is up to your creativity to use these tools to make your account more engaging.
In some platforms like Instagram, a particular tool is often more trending than others. At the time of writing this piece, Reels are probably the most used and watched tools on Instagram. However, it might not always stay like this. Thus, you must watch the trending tools and strategize your content to capitalize on them.
5. Optimize Your Online Presence
If you ignore the followers, the followers will reciprocate, period. However, if you are too accessible, followers may lose interest in you. You have to strike a balance between the two. Never ghost the audience but do not increase the online presence so much that people start losing interest in you.
6. Engage With Your Audience
As discussed earlier, engagement with the audience is one of the critical differences between influencers and what are generally considered content creators. Thus, you must engage with the audience to become a successful influencer.
You can engage with followers by replying to their comments and DMs or engaging with them in stories. A platform that offers Live features can be used to engage with followers in real-time. The optimal engagement with the audience makes you feel more friendly and attract more followers toward you.
7. Post Unique Content Regularly
No matter what niche you decide on, hundreds of other influencers will be in the same niche. Thus, it is where uniqueness becomes critical. You have to provide your audience with the reason for visiting your profile and watching the content you upload. If they watch the same content repeatedly, the engagement with posts drops along with the post’s ranking.
8. Collaborate With Other Brands
Collaboration with brands can go a long way to making you a successful influencer. You can approach brands that offer the products of your niche and ask them for opportunities for collaboration.
For example, if you are working in the healthcare niche, you can ask medicine companies to provide permission to visit their manufacturing plants. Show these plants to your followers and chat with the officers managing them. It will boost your account as the social media handles of the brands will also start to promote your content.
What are the Skills That Influencers Must Have?
You do not have to master specialized skills to become an influencer, but you should have a decent grip on some basic skills. These include:
1. Be Well-versed in Content Creation
An influencer should know what it takes to create appealing content and the tools that can be used to market your content. You should know the media requirements of different platforms and create the content accordingly. For example, YouTube long videos have a completely different format/aspect ratio than YouTube shorts or TikTok. Similarly, on Instagram, you should be aware of the application of different tools. You will not get good feedback if you post a 3 to four minutes long story. Posting that media in reels is better because it is easier for viewers to watch.
2. Bring Your Creative Self To Life
No matter how knowledgeable you are about the niche you have decided to pursue, if you cannot be creative with it, there is essentially no use for it in this field.
While you must educate the audience about many things, being creative with your stories, reels, and posts is necessary. Posting an educational reel that lacks creativity will bore the audience regardless of the nature of the information and consequently lower your watch time and overall ranking on the search engines.
3. Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization helps rank your profile and the media you post in the top results. While you do not have to be an SEO expert, you should know its basics.
You should at least know the impact of keywords, hashtags, and thumbnails on the overall ranking of the video. It is best to hire an SEO expert if you are starting out or considering investing time and learning the skill.
4. Designing For Different Content Formats
Different social media platforms have varying content formats. For example, YouTube long videos are unsuited for Instagram Reels because of the aspect ratio, and vice versa. However, it does not mean you must produce different content for different accounts. You just have to be familiar with the tools to help you convert the content from one form to another.
5. Become Proficient in the Written word
The caption is half of a post, making proficient writing a must. All well-written captions can influence how the viewer perceives your posted content. In contrast, a boring caption will make it look like just another video or image on the platform. Writing the caption over the video or image and posting them online is especially important.
You would not want followers picking up on your vocab or lack of it and grammatical mistakes. Thus, try to be proficient and creative with your words and never post anything without proofreading.
Benefits Of Taking An Online Influencer Course
Some online courses and tutorials can help you find the path to being an influencer. These courses range from basic to advance, which should be picked based on your level. The basic courses are generally free and teach about the fundamentals of influencing. They will help you find a suitable niche and explain how to optimize your social media pages.
Advanced courses, on the other hand, go into more detail and help you understand analytics in detail. You can make a world of difference by having a good grip on analytics. It will also teach you different content strategies to improve the impact of your media and increase its reach.
Is Being an Influencer a Good Career Option
Being an influencer is sort of a dream job for most people. Who does not like influencing people’s choices while making a living out of them? You can collaborate with different brands, run promotions on your page or use affiliate marketing to generate revenue. Once you are established as an influencer, you only need to worry about the account’s security because the money will keep flowing.
Furthermore, it makes you feel heard on the issues you care deeply about, which is an added bonus. You also make relationships with personnel in an impactful position, which is helpful in life.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Followers Do You Need To Be An Influencer?
If we go by how most PR firms define influencers, you will need at least 1,000 followers to be classified as influencers.
How Do You Start Off As An Influencer?
You can start by finding the niche you are passionate about, reading about it, and posting about it on your social media handle.
Do Influencers Get Paid?
Influencers get paid by PR firms, brands, and other influencers for collaborating with them on a different projects. Established influencers can make handsome amounts by posting a story on their social media handles.
How Do I Become An Influencer and Get Paid?
Becoming an influencer is not too challenging regarding skillset, but it demands consistency and dedication. As long as you are passionate and willing to put in the effort, you will start earning by being an influencer.
Can Anyone Be An Influencer?
You do not need a particular skill set or a degree to become an influencer. Just read and research the stuff you are passionate about and start telling people about that in a creative manner.
Becoming an influencer is an interesting prospect, one that rewards highly. You can become one, too, as long as you have it in you to be consistent and creative with your offerings. Always remember, no matter what niches you decide on, uniqueness and quality go a long way to making you successful.