Everyone is concerned about influencer marketing, which is a hot marketing trend. It is no longer exclusive to a small few brands or agencies, but has become a mainstream marketing strategy.
Influencers have been more prevalent in almost every big sector. And brands are using them more than ever before. It’s no surprise that becoming an influencer has been so lucrative that everybody needs to be one in their respective fields.
A step-by-step guide to establishing yourself as a social media influencer in your industry, boosting your influencer profile, and monetizing your influence.
Don’t rely on celebrity endorsements to help you sell your product. The emergence of the influencer, someone with authenticity, legitimacy, and a vast audience who can sway people’s decision-making processes, is a feature of this age of online marketing. We all have our favourite influencers, and after seeing their enviable careers unfold on our screens, who can fault them for wishing for the same level of power and popularity for themselves?
You’ve come to the right spot if you want to stand out as a social media influencer or main opinion leader but don’t know where to start. We’ve put together this step-by-step guide to help you become a social media influencer, achieve your influencer status targets, and monetize your influence.
Understand what exactly an influencer is?
Because of their presumed power, loyalty, experience, and relationships, an influencer may have a significant effect on the buying decisions of a group of people. Influencers, unlike celebrities, are thought to be ordinary people, making their views sound more credible and relatable.
Influencer status isn’t something you can achieve immediately. An influencer must first develop their target audience, which provides them with an appropriate and successful forum on which to express their views. They also make an effort to produce unique and entertaining material rather than repurposing what has already been said and done, offering their viewers a compelling incentive to pursue them.
Trust is perhaps at the heart of any influencer partnership, as their audience expects only truthful, trustworthy opinions and advice from them. After all, millennials trust social media influencers more than conventional celebrities, and brands of all sizes are taking advantage of this.
What are social media influencers?
Social media influencers are a subset of this field, and unlike main thought leaders, they have achieved leverage as a result of the scale of their social media followers.
As we all know, social media has exploded in popularity over the last decade, with 3.8 billion people using at least one social media platform. People are gradually turning to authority figures on these sites to help them make buying decisions, which makes sense.
Brands adore social media influencers because they can promote trends and persuade their vast followings of enthusiastic and committed fans to purchase the goods they promote.
The following are several well-known social media influencers from around the world:
- Murad Osmann
- Kayla Itsines
- Jeffree Star
- Kylie Jenner
- Celeste Barber
Why do you want to be an influencer?
Being a thought leader in your field is incredibly satisfying, and it allows you to have a positive effect on people’s lives in ways you never imagined. However, many people assume that becoming an influencer is a simple and glamorous life; however, this is not always the case.
However, before you become an influencer, you should make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. So, what motivates you to pursue a career as an influencer? Do you want the:
Freedom that comes with being able to have your own job schedule?
The flexibility of being able to create content about just the topics that pique your interest?
Is it possible to only partner with brands that share your values?
Producing content in written, visual, and auditory mediums requires creativity.
Opportunity to communicate with tens of thousands, if not millions, of people all over the world?
The genuineness that comes with embracing your own distinct voice?
Remember that if you’re just interested in becoming an influencer for the perks, such as free stuff, high pay, or a perceived lack of commitment, you’re probably not in it for the right reasons. This is because managing a brand and company while still caring for your family and other responsibilities can be difficult, particularly when social media is viewed as a 24-hour task. Being an influencer is also not a get-rich-quick scheme. Influencers are thought to charge about $1,000 per 100,000 followers for supported posts, which works out to one cent per followers.
Focus on a niche you’re passionate about
It’s critical to focus on a niche in which you’re passionate and knowledgeable if you want to gain authority and therefore influence in a specific field.
Some specific niche ideas might include:
- Vegan food
- Skincare for mature-aged skin
- Business finance
- Budget-friendly travel
See how these niches aren’t just broad categories, but instead concentrate on a particular aspect of a larger topic? Of course, it’s vital not to pigeonhole yourself into a subject that’s so niche that it doesn’t have an audience, but focusing on topic’sub-categories’ like this helps you to hit a target audience that’s looking for the exact content you’re producing. It also significantly improves your chances of being recognised as an authority on that specific topic.
Once you’ve decided on a niche to specialise in, it’s time to share what you’ve learned in that sector. People will tune in to your content to get your latest tips, knowledge, or thoughts, which will help you grow your audience and establish a name for yourself.
When you share your expertise with your audience through high-quality material, it establishes your authority in the field and the value you have — not only now, but also in the future when they continue to follow you.
Pick Your Platform
As an influencer, you must have a significant online presence. That isn’t to say you have to use every social media site and distribution channel available. Certain channels can be better suited for your content than others, depending on your niche.
For example, if you’re a fashion blogger, Instagram will be a better outlet for your visual content than Twitter or LinkedIn. In reality, Instagram is preferred by 93 percent of social media influencers because it produces the best results. However, if your specialty does not agree with Instagram, you should not devote all of your efforts to the site.
Do you want to learn more about the requirements for choosing a platform?
You should also think about which channel your target audience is most likely to use. If your target audience is millennials, for example, you should concentrate your efforts on Snapchat and Instagram. If you’re going to use different social media channels, make sure your content is tailored to each one.
For example, Neil Patel, a digital marketing guru, uses Twitter to promote his blog posts and other material. This is understandable given that the majority of his target audience (entrepreneurs, digital marketers, content creators, and so on) are likely to use this platform to find useful information.
While it is recommended that you choose the platform that best suits your content and target audience, you should not overlook other options. Instead, you can try to gain a basic understanding of other networks so that you can use them if the need arises in the future.
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Develop a content strategy
When it comes to content, it’s important to prepare ahead of time what you’ll be making and sharing with your audience to ensure it’s on target. After all, you want your content to be entertaining, valuable, and exclusive for your target audience, boosting your influencer performance.
Every week, we suggest that you share content that falls into these categories on social media:
Someone else’s valuable content: If you come across content that you feel would be useful to your audience, be sure to share it on your platforms. Not only would they appreciate the added value, but it’ll also help you build relationships with other authority figures in your niche or industry. Who knows, maybe they’ll return the favour with some of your own material in the future.
You produced the following educational and insightful content: Regularly creating your own helpful and high-value content for your audience will help you establish your credibility as an expert on your chosen subject. It may be a social media series addressing a specific problem or a blog post alerting them to your new free eBook, for example.
Posts about yourself: You’ll need to share social media posts about yourself on a regular basis to establish yourself as an influencer, particularly if they provide a relatable or interesting insight into your everyday life. Remind your followers that you, too, are human; it’s this relatability and viewer confidence that will help you thrive as a social media influencer.
Now that we’ve identified the three big categories into which your social media content should fall, let’s look at how you can come up with relevant topic ideas so you don’t run out of steam.
The following free resources will prove to be helpful:
1. Related Search Keywords on Google. This can be found at the bottom of Google’s search results page (SERPs). It contains a list of the most widely used long-tail keywords by your target audience when searching the internet for information.
2. React to the general public. This website provides you with a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions about your chosen keywords, which you can then attempt to address with your material.
3. Quora also has a list of various questions posed by internet users in relation to the keyword, but unlike the previous two services, these were left specifically by individuals actually facing a problem or obstacle. Members of Quora may also leave answers to the questions that have been asked, giving you another opportunity to show off your knowledge.
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Make the content available to everyone.
If you want your content to be seen by as many people as possible on social media, you’ll need to think about how, when, and where you’ll share it.
One of the most important pieces of advice is to plan your content to go live at the best possible moment, which is dictated by your audience’s location and actions. To put it another way, you’ll want to learn when they’re most busy in their time zone.
If possible, use the social media site’s built-in analytics tool to figure this out; if the platform doesn’t have one, use a third-party provider.
You’ll want to think about how you’ll distribute the content to get the most engagement and views. Each social media platform has its own set of rules for posting content, but keep these general guidelines in mind for success:
Check to see if what you’re sharing is relevant to the topic/theme you’ve chosen for your social media site. Content that isn’t relevant to your existing niche or target audience would be off-putting.
If you intend to share your post on various social media platforms, personalise the summary or comment. This keeps the content new and ensures that someone who follows you on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, for example, isn’t bombarded with the same post they’ve seen from you before.
Use hashtags that are currently trending to complement your content. One of your goals as an influencer would be to expand your audience, so getting your content in front of as many people who are looking for the same topics will be extremely beneficial.
Create and share how-to videos and Infographics
One of the main reasons people look for influencers on social media is to learn more about the brands or products they’re thinking about buying, particularly from a genuine and relatable perspective.
This is why how-to videos and photographs do so well on social media — they are in high demand to assist others with a critical purchase decision.
Aim to demonstrate how you use the product, the outcomes you’ve gotten from it, and everything else related to your product experience to your audience. It’s not only a great way to increase the possibility of other brands and clients choosing to partner with you, but it’s also a great way to make your content interesting to others.
Up Your Hashtag Game
If you’re curious how to become an influencer and succeed at it, the solution is to use the best hashtags strategically. When the content hits the right audience, it becomes important and significant.
Using relevant hashtags in your social media posts is an easy way to improve the popularity of your posting. This is particularly helpful for influencers who are just getting started and need to expand their audience.
Determine the hashtags are the most important and common in your niche. Then incorporate them into your posts to reach a whole new audience that was previously unaware of your presence.
You will do this by using Hashtags-For-Likes to find the most popular content and hashtags in your niche. This platform will assist you in locating hashtags to expand your social media scope. It simplifies and speeds up the hashtag targeting process.
When it comes to hashtags, it’s important to avoid overusing them in your tweets. Just use hashtags that are relevant to your influencer profile.
Take a look at the image below to see how Brian Kelly, aka The Points Guy, uses hashtags effectively in his Instagram messages.
Are you stumped as to what else you can do? You should make your own special hashtag in addition to using common hashtags to expand your scope even further. Encourage your fans to use your branded hashtags to post content to their own accounts. This helps to spread the word about your hashtag and raises awareness about you within your followers’ social networks.
Use think leadership posts to your advantage.
Although Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube are great for visual content like how-tos, LinkedIn and Medium are great for publishing content that identifies you as a think leader in your field.
You will do so by writing insightful blog posts or essays on these blogs, as well as posting on and promoting conversation on related posts in your niche.
- Share advice
- Reveal case studies
- Answer FAQs
- Post-thought-provoking opinion pieces
Make connections with other influencers
If you want to be a highly influential influencer, you’ll need to develop relationships and network with other influencers.
There are two main ways to do this:
- Start a conversation with influencers online
- Network in-person at relevant events
Read, watch, or listen to their content to communicate with influencers online, and then reach out with positive feedback or questions. Begin a conversation with them, and keep it going for the next few days, weeks, and months.
They’ll eventually remember your name and regard you as a valuable member of the audience. This, in turn, builds rapport, which can develop into a valuable working relationship or friendship over time.
So, how can you interact with influencers in your industry? You may use one of the many online influencer finder tools or simply employ a freelance marketing expert to do the research for you.
To network at relevant events, you’ll need to first figure out which ones are worth attending. Here are a few good ideas:
- Industry tradeshows
- Live talks/interviews
Do your homework ahead of time to see who will be attending, whether it’s guest speakers, moderators, or prominent audience members, and then try to strike up a conversation with them in person at the gathering.
Maintain a blog in addition to your social media accounts.
Running a blog alongside your social media commitments is a piece of advice we would give to someone seeking to develop themselves as a social media influencer. This is because, no matter how much time and effort you put into your social media accounts, you don’t actually “own” them as much as you’d like.
You see, if your entire profile (photos, likes, follower count, and all) was mistakenly deleted due to a bug in the app, or if Instagram were to unexpectedly cease to exist, there isn’t anything you can do to get it back.
However, with a dedicated blog, you have even more control over your content and can also back it up in case anything goes wrong. It’s also a great way to grow your following, which is crucial for an influencer, and it provides you with another opportunity to inspire your audience to engage with and share your material. Only make sure your site has some social media sharing buttons.
Engage with your audience.
The goal is to try to build a deeper and more meaningful relationship with your audience, and the best way to do that is to connect with them by noticing and reacting to their experiences.
As a social media influencer, your content will receive a lot of likes, comments, and shares, particularly as your following grows.
Although responding to your audience will seem time-consuming, it will make your followers feel appreciated and increase the probability of them interacting with you in the future.
Keep in mind that the existence of the internet means that not all of your comments or messages will be constructive. Still maintain a professional demeanour. After all, you’re now in the social media market, and how you behave on these platforms will make or break your career.
Host AMAs, Contests, and Giveaways
If you want to know how to become an influencer with a large following, the key is to keep them engaged.
Hosting an AMA (ask me anything) session on the site of your choice is one of the most powerful ways to increase audience participation. It will help develop your knowledge in certain subjects in your niche, as well as keep your audience engaged.
An announcement of a giveaway is another clever way to increase interaction. In return for likes, comments, and shares on your posts, you usually give your followers a prize. You may even ask them to share the giveaway announcement with their mates.
For your giveaway, you can use VYPER’s customizable models. This will save you time and money when it comes to planning and executing your giveaway.
A contest is similar to a giveaway, except that to be qualified to win, entrants must upload unique content or use your branded hashtag.
Contests and prizes will also help you attract a larger audience and increase the number of people who follow you. To make them more successful, you can partner with other influencers or brands in your niche. Make sure the rules, deadlines, and prizes are all clearly stated, and that the winner is announced on time. Hosting giveaways and contests to keep the followers involved is one of the best solutions to the issue of how to become an influencer.
From the design factor to the type of rewards to offer, VYPER will assist you with both contests and giveaways. Take your social media competitions and giveaways to the next level with this method.
Maintaining a personal connection with your audience is the simplest answer to the question of how to become an influencer.
Users can go live on most platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and share real-time updates with their followers. You can take advantage of this to show your audience what goes on behind the scenes at an event or a party. It strengthens your followers’ loyalty by making them feel closer to you.
You can also hold a live AMA to interact with your audience in real time. This is a very effective strategy for increasing engagement. At the same time, it gives you a good idea of what your target audience likes/dislikes and what they expect from you. Make sure your followers are aware of the session ahead of time.
Know your insights
When we talk about statistics, we simply mean:
- Follower count
- Audience demographics
- Engagement rate
These are useful not only for you to know so you can fine-tune your content plan for the best results, but clients and brands interested in partnering with you will also ask for these details.
You can collect this data using the social media platform’s built-in analytics or insights tool, or you can use a third-party tool if you prefer.
Keep updated with industry developments
The online ecosystem is still changing, bringing new algorithms, transparency arrangements, and other updates with it. As someone who would be increasingly reliant on new channels like social media, it’s critical that you stay on top of these trends to avoid falling behind.
The Federal Trade Commission, for example, has increased its scrutiny of how advertisers and influencers collaborate to sell goods and services. To escape future fines, make sure you’re up to date with the new FTC rules and regulations.
Focus on consistency
When it comes to being a successful social media influencer, consistency is crucial. You want your fans to keep paying attention to your posts, and one of the easiest ways to do so is to consistently produce high-quality content.
Instead of manually uploading your social media material, use a scheduling function to develop, publish, and arrange your posts in batches. This is also a great way to make sure you’re posting while the audience is most interested on each website.
Some of the most popular social media scheduling tools include:
Boost your influencer status
We discussed this briefly earlier, but if you really wish to increase your influencer status, you must diversify the types of content you produce.
Let’s take a look at the different options available.
Blogging is a term that refers to the act of Before the advent of social media, this was the initial method of influencer marketing, in which influencers (or “bloggers”) collaborated with advertisers, products, and services through supported posts such as how-to blogs, listicles, reviews, showcases, and more. Blogging makes for more in-depth content than a social media caption, whether on your own blog or as a guest writer on someone else’s.
Podcasting: Over the last few years, podcasts have exploded in popularity as a way for people to listen to material on the go. Influencers will use them to partner with companies, develop their experience, and expand their audience. Only note to keep the episode schedule and topics consistent.
Webinars: Webinars are popular with audiences because they provide a convenient, location-independent way to consume useful information that helps them solve a challenge or accomplish a goal. They’re fantastic for establishing your authority in your field and enhancing the importance you have to your audience.
Online courses: You’ll undoubtedly have a lot to tell about your favourite niche as an influencer, including sharing your expertise, insight, and advice. Creating an educational course about a subject that is relevant to your target demographic helps you to have high-value content in exchange for something — whether it’s newsletter followers, company sponsorships, or monetary rewards.
Speak at trade shows/conferences: Seeing you speak as an expert on a subject at a trade show or conference can be the greatest raise of influencer status. This is a significant achievement that immediately establishes you as a “expert” in your chosen field. It not only causes the customers to sit up and take note of the value you have, but it also encourages advertisers, prospective buyers, and other prominent people to learn more about you.
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Monetize your influence
Now that you’ve heard about the different ways to increase your influencer status, let’s look at how you can be paid for your influencer work. Fortunately, there are many ways to profit from your power. Bear in mind that until the customer is ready to pay for information, they must first be persuaded that the content is valuable and therefore well worth the money.
Follow this step-by-step guide to effectively monetize the audience.
Step 1. Members need to feel like they are gaining
Elite status refers to those who enjoy perks that are either not applicable to all members or are available for a fee. Elite status encourages members to access the content on a regular basis and rewards them for their continued commitment.
Data of high value: There is a lot of free material on the internet, but if you’re going to charge for something, it better be worth it. To put it another way, they need facts, advice, or resources that they can’t get anywhere. Information that assists a target group in overcoming their greatest pressure point and thereby improving their lives is often considered extremely useful.
When someone agrees to buying a deal, they don’t want to be rejected or treated poorly. Give all of your members VIP care by reaching out to them regularly, promptly responding to their questions or remarks, and supplying them with added value, such as free services.
Opportunities to connect with other members: Humans want to feel like they’re part of a community, and as an influencer, you have the opportunity to help people feel like they’re part of something bigger.
Exclusive access to the site’s owner/director: Everybody enjoys exclusive content, particularly when it provides a behind-the-scenes view or insider access to someone’s life, work, or other interests. This also provides participants with the benefit of having a direct line to you. You may, for example, have a private channel (such as Slack or WhatsApp) where these participants will ask for your advice anytime they need it.
Forum for members only: A members-only forum, on the other hand, offers you exclusive access to an active dialogue with other members. This fosters a feeling of belonging and elevates the content offering to greater heights.
Step 2. Create your paid content model separate from your free content model
You don’t have to choose between paying and free content models when it comes to content creation. The goal is to provide both to your audience, as this helps potential customers to learn more about you, your experience, and the value you can provide before making a decision.
Influencers usually approach this in one of two directions. You should do the following:
Continue to provide free content on your site, but create a members-only forum with exclusive posts, training calls, webinars, and other perks.
Continue to have a free blog, but also charge for knowledge materials, books, and courses so that your audience can buy specific content if needed. We’ll go into this in more depth later.
Step 3. Find the right paid content model
The following are three of the most popular paying content models:
Paywall: This approach limits access to content to people who have paid for it, allowing only users or customers to see the material or services.
Specific transactions: Instead of paying a single price for several pieces of exclusive material, each piece of content (such as an eBook, webinar, whitepaper, or online course) should be bought individually.
Metered content: This approach allows users to access content for free when they hit a certain threshold, such as the amount of time they spend on a website, the number of articles they read, or the number of downloads they make. This allows users to read a sample of the material before choosing whether or not to pay for full access.
Step 4. Paid content to monetize
1. Live webinars are an excellent way to broaden the audience, collect leads, demonstrate your experience, and demonstrate the value you can provide.
Starting with a free live webinar is highly successful, as they are simple to build and draw a wider audience, and you can then repurpose it in a variety of monetized ways. Among them are:
Links to individual replays may be purchased for a small fee. Audience participants may be unable to attend a live webinar due to their time zone, or they may find the webinar so useful that they wish to view it again later.
Selling access to a webinar membership: If you produce a lot of webinars per month or year, selling a paid webinar membership that allows subscribers immediate access to them when they’re published is a fantastic idea. Remember to provide member-only benefits, such as access to a private online network or a direct line of communication. Monthly or annual subscription plans are available.
2. Online courses are a perfect way to package all of your knowledge on a specific subject and sell it to your target audience at a high price. The course could be emailed daily or weekly, or it could be delivered via an online course portal or a password-protected section of your website. Online courses can include digital tools such as videos, eBooks, worksheets, and more in addition to modules.
3. Downloads in digital format. You can also build and sell links to your images, eBooks, digital printable, whitepapers, and other digital tools. It’s also a great way to get consistent monetary value for your knowledge, even if the pricing isn’t as high as access to an online course.
You can also sell your digital downloads via a pay-per-download network, which pays you based on how many unique downloads your content gets from users.