Being an influencer seems like a dream life. You get to be at the leading edge of all things new, fun and exciting in your field, and you get paid for it all.
As 21st-century jobs go, it is right up there with the best.
Kinda makes you wonder how you can land such a sweet job, right?
Well, a lot goes into being an influencer, and in this article, we take a look at what it would take for you to be one.
What is a social media influencer?
A social media influencer is typically someone with a big following that brands collaborate with to market their products or services.
Influencers exist everywhere, from fashion and fitness to tech, online gaming, food, and many other niches.
Some industries don’t attract the same fame that others do, but you can bet there are individuals in those industries getting paid to help brands expand their reach.
The most famous influencers can be found on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. According to Elle Australia, Eleonora Pons was the highest-paid IG influencer of 2021, setting brands back an average of USD 180,000 per post.
Logan Paul rounded out the Top 10 list of influencers charging around $80,000 for a post. Check out the complete list of the highest-paid Instagram influencers for 2021 below.
Types of Influencers
The upper end of influencing is the most alluring, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be an influencer until you’re raking in five-figure paychecks for a post.
You can still be an influencer with a small following. A massive following is nice, but what matters most is your ability to influence. And, if you can do that with as little as a thousand followers, that makes you an influencer.
Here is the gauntlet of influencer status you’ll have to run if you want to reach influencer god status.
- Nano-Influencer: 1000+ followers
- Micro-Influencer: 10,000+ followers
- Mid-tier Influencer: 50,000+ followers
- Macro Influencer: 500,000+ followers
- Mega-influencer: 1,000,000+ followers
What it takes to be an Influencer?
If you’d like to realize your social media influencer ambitions, here is a straightforward 5-step roadmap to achieving your goal.
Find your niche
Every influencer has a domain they specialize in, at least in their earlier days they did. Once you’ve built up a reputation and everyone knows you, you can start spreading your wings and influencing at large, but you should start with one field.
Pick a niche you’re passionate about that you will be committed to sharing content on regularly.
You can pick anything from sports, fitness, beauty, fashion, tech, food, and countless other things.
Whatever your thing is, you’ve gotta love it and be prepared to get others to share your passion for it. At its core, this is what influencing is about, it’s about moving others to love what you love.
Influencers spend their lives in front of people so whatever you choose should be something you’re comfortable having people see you do a lot of.
Set up your social media profiles
Once you know the niche you want to be influencing, setting up your social media profiles will be your next objective.
TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube are the prime influencer territories, but you can try your hand at all the other social media platforms. If you’re not heavy on visual content, Twitter is a great place to build your social media rep as a writer or thinker.
Your social media profiles should be optimized and ready to make a strong impression.
86% of young people say they would consider influencing as a career, so there will be competition and you have to find creative ways to stand out from the sea of wannabe influencers.
You should have high-quality attention-grabbing profile pictures and awe-inspiring descriptions that show how unique you are, what you stand for, and why you are attention-worthy.
Profiles are just the tip of the iceberg, though. What will be most influential in setting you apart is the content you produce.
Post quality content
Your journey to influencing begins in earnest once you’re posting content. Your content will determine whether people follow your lead or treat you like every other social media page.
People are influenced by individuals they admire and want to be like and by people doing the things they wish they had the courage or the ability to do. Your content should make you that person.
Posting influential content is something of a science. Once you understand the fundamentals, you’ll be on your way to being an influencer.
How to post impactful content
Understand your audience
The first step to posting influential content is understanding the audience you want to influence.
Study and observe your target audience. To post content that’ll move them, you have to know the trends they follow, the way they communicate, and what motivates them.
Once you understand your audience’s interests, creating content they relate to and feel inspired by won’t be so difficult. You won’t get it right overnight, but if you keep at it you’ll begin to understand what works and what doesn’t.
Unless you’re an absolute pioneer, chances are there are influencers influencing the same people you want to reach. Follow them, study them, and emulate them. Immerse yourself in what they do, then put your own spin on it and improve wherever you think their size or popularity has made them lose relatability.
If you do this long enough, you’ll carve an audience for yourself that relates to you and wants to hear from you.
Stay top of mind
The second element of you sharing influential content is consistency. Posting quality content regularly will help your audience grow accustomed to seeing you on their timelines and hearing from you.
If there’s one thing you master on your path to influencer status it should be consistency. Social media users have such low attention spans that if you don’t find a way to stay top of mind you’ll be yesterday’s news before you’ve even had your moment in the spotlight.
A content plan and posting schedule will help you manage when and how you post content so that your audience never has the chance to forget you. You should aim to post at least twice daily.
Three to four times would be better but you don’t want to overwhelm yourself early on and end up posting mediocre content.
If you’re on more than one social media platform, Hypefury can help you effortlessly share your content without you having to manually post to each account. The cross-posting feature is designed to help influencers manage their content sharing and expand their reach without wasting their precious time on menial tasks.
One thing you have to remember about influencing is that you’ll have to make some investments into your craft. From props to gear, you might have to finance all of that for yourself in the early days.
Even big influencers invest loads of money to make sure they produce the best content. Mr. Beast, one of the highest-earning YouTubers, spends close to USD $4 million dollars a month on content, but it won’t cost you nearly as much to start your influencer journey.
Engage your audience relentlessly
Influencing is only possible if you have an engaged audience that loves to connect with you. If you’re posting quality content, then all you have to do is engage back when people like, share, and comment on your content.
If you reciprocate your audience’s engagement, you can expect to get more of it because there’s nothing fans love more than being acknowledged by their favorite social media personalities.
Spend as much time as you can engaging with your fans as possible. Putting in that time will be vital to creating an audience receptive and open to your influence. If your fans feel at any point that you think of yourself as better than them, you’ll find yourself posting into the ether.
Brands need to see that you have the potential to drive consideration before they partner with you. Having an audience eager to share your content and connect with you will go a long way toward making you an attractive prospect for brands that want to reach members of your audience.
Let brands know you’re open to Influencing for them
Once you’ve done all the groundwork and you’ve developed an engaged audience, the last step to you becoming an influencer is letting brands know there’s a new influence in town looking to reach people for them.
The most passive way to do this is by letting everyone know you’re an “Influencer” and that you’re open to collaborations in your profiles, but you can take it a step further and reach out to brands directly to put yourself on their radar.
Reaching out to brands you think are a match for what you offer via DM, email, or tagging them on a post are great ways to get yourself noticed. It’ll also let the brands know that you’re proactive, aware of the value you bring, and capable of making things happen.
If you have an engaged audience, tagging brands you want to work with can work out brilliantly if your fans respond by letting the brands know they’d love to see you work with them. After all, influencing is all about moving your audience to do things. And, if you can get them to help you land influencer gigs, you’ll well and truly have arrived as an influencer.
Being an influencer looks like it’s all fun and games, but you shouldn’t underestimate the effort it takes to make it happen.
You won’t become an influencer overnight, and there’ll be a lot of work and patience required on your part, but if you can do it, you’ll deserve every second of the influencer life.