An influencer is a social media celebrity who has a definite influence over their fan communities. The influence of social media is all the rage right now. Brands want to partner with them to expand their reach and increase conversions. Followers of influencers, on the other hand, look forward to expert advice and guidance from them.
With the popularity of influencer marketing, it’s only natural that people become more and more curious about how to become influential.
However, building and maintaining a community of loyal followers is not as easy as it sounds. This requires consistent effort on the part of the influencer. Before we discuss some helpful tips on how to become influential, let’s take a closer look at the concept of social media influencers.
Who is really an influencer?
In simple terms, an influencer is a social media personality with a large number of loyal and active followers. Most influencers share friendships with their fans.
Fans, in turn, often regard these influencers as role models and follow their recommendations. In fact, influencers are often perceived as influencers or experts in their niches. Wondering why they are so influential?
With the availability of social media, influencers can form personal connections with their followers. Unlike traditional celebrities, their lives are not shrouded in mystery. Instead, influencers often open up their personal lives to their followers. This is exactly what helps them build friendships with their fans.
The most significant factor that differentiates influencers from celebrities is that the former add their own unique and authentic voices to their content. This helps them gain the trust and loyalty of their followers. In fact, 70% of millennials say bloggers have more influence than celebrities.
Key benefits of being an influencer
Digital marketers and brands have realized the importance of collaborating with influencers. The biggest benefit of influencer marketing is that it gives marketers direct access to a loyal fan base.
It also eliminates the need for marketers to identify and target the right audience. This painstaking task has already been completed by the influencer. This is why 86% of marketers use influencer marketing.
And who doesn’t like being able to influence the lives of others and their decisions? In fact, social media influencers are the most effective and reliable source of driving change. This clearly indicates that influencers can convince their followers.
Main challenges the influencer faces
Many people today strive to become influential. For many, this seems like a lucrative career and life choice. Yet behind all the glitz and glamor of an influencer’s social media profile lies a load of hard work and patience.
Building and maintaining a loyal following on social media isn’t an easy walk. This is getting harder as more people try to be influential.
Thus, earning the trust of your followers is a painstaking task. It takes an ongoing effort on your part to make your content authentic and grab the attention of your audience.
And as an influencer, you must be extremely careful when collaborating with brands. Your subscribers become loyal through the personal and honest contact you add to your content. Bombarding them with sponsored content can damage your reputation as an influencer and rob you of your followers.
If you’re still tempted to live the life of an influencer, read on to learn how to become an influencer.
The life of an influential person is the envy of many. What we often overlook is the persistent effort they have to make to live luxuriously and glamorously.
The truth is, there is no simple answer to the question of how to become an influencer. However, there are certain steps you can take to steer your efforts in the right direction.
1. Define your niche
If you want to be an influencer, you cannot expect to be a jack of all trades, a master of none. It is imperative that you choose a niche that matches your image.
An easy way to choose your niche is to assess your strengths and weaknesses. Pick a niche that allows you to showcase your strengths and hone your skills.
Choosing a specific niche will help you optimize your audience and tailor your content according to their preferences.
Typically, when deciding how to become an influencer, you can choose one of the following categories:
- fitness, etc.
You don’t need to limit yourself to just one of these categories. You can combine two or more of these niches. Make sure the individual niches overlap with each other. For example, you can combine travel and lifestyle, beauty and fashion when choosing your niche.
You don’t have to stick to these established and well-known niches. The key is to add your unique voice to everything you do.
So, feel free to experiment and choose the niche that allows you to show your strengths as well as your quirks.
2. Choose your platform
As an influencer, you need to have a strong online presence. However, this does not mean that you should use all social media platforms and distribution channels. Depending on your niche, some platforms may be better suited to your content than others.
For example, if you’re a fashion blogger, Instagram will perform better for your visual content than other platforms. In fact, 93% of social media influencers prefer Instagram as it provides the best results. However, that doesn’t mean that you should focus all your efforts on Instagram if your niche doesn’t match the platform.
If you choose to use multiple social networks, make sure you customize your content for each channel.
For example, digital marketing guru Neil Patel uses Twitter extensively to promote his blog posts and other content. This is obvious given that most of its target audience (entrepreneurs, marketers, content creators, etc.) likely visit this platform frequently to get meaningful content.
While it is recommended that you choose the platform that best suits your content and target audience, you shouldn’t ignore other distribution channels. Instead, you should strive to acquire a basic working knowledge of other channels so that you can use it in the future if the need arises.
3. Prioritize your content
Quality content is perhaps the most powerful answer to the question of how to become an influencer. It’s critical to publish unique and authentic content that resonates with your audience.
In fact, this is the only way to get the audience’s attention to your content. Regardless of the type of content you create, it must be meaningful and valuable.
Depending on your niche and distribution channels, you can choose from different types of content such as blog posts, photos, videos, podcasts, etc.
It is imperative to add your signature voice to every piece of content you create. This is what sets you apart from other people who are also trying to figure out how to become an influential person.
Do you want to know how to do it? Let’s figure it out with an example.
For example, photographer and lifestyle influencer Katie Stauffer gained widespread notoriety by uploading a video of her 2-year-old daughter Mila to Instagram.
What set her content apart from other similar Instagram pages is Mila’s dialogue and mature acting skills. Today, Stauffer is followed by 4 million dedicated Instagram users who are eagerly awaiting Mila’s next video.
It is extremely important that you find a unique quirk or trait that sets you apart from other influencers in your niche.
Once you’ve identified this Unique Selling Proposition (USP), incorporate it as much as possible into your content.
In addition to making your content stand out, it will also strengthen your image as a source of influence. It is advisable that you also integrate this USP into your advertising content.
4. Listen to your audience
An effective way to ensure your content gains traction is to create content your audience wants.
If you want your content to resonate with your audience, you must deeply understand your subscriber community.
Most social media platforms have an analytics section that can give you meaningful insights into your target audience. You access audience demographics such as gender, geographic location, occupation, online behavior, and more.
Also, you should pay close attention to the social media comment section and blog posts. This can be a goldmine of fresh content ideas that your audience wants to read and watch.
You can also run social media polls and ask your followers to tell you all about their preferences and concerns.
If you’re wondering how to become influential and excel at it, the answer lies in using the right hashtags wisely. Your content only becomes valuable and meaningful when it reaches the right audience.
An effective way to make your content more visible is to add relevant hashtags to your social media posts. This is especially useful for people who are just starting their influencer journey and need to expand their audience.
Identify the most relevant and popular hashtags in your niche. Then use them in your posts so that your content is visible to an entirely new audience that may not have been aware of your existence.
When using hashtags, you must be careful not to fill up posts with unnecessary ones.
Besides using popular hashtags, you can also create your own unique hashtag to expand your reach even further. Encourage your subscribers to upload content to their profiles using your branded hashtags. This will popularize your hashtag and raise your followers’ social media awareness.
6. Stick to consistency
Posting high quality content on a regular basis is one of the most effective ways to keep your audience engaged. When you deliver good content on a regular basis, it creates a sense of anticipation among your audience.
This, in turn, increases audience engagement and increases reach. It is advisable that you create a timeline for all content that you plan to publish in the next few months. You can also create a weekly or monthly episode to grab the attention of your audience.
For example, influencer Nas Daily promised to upload one 1-minute video to Facebook every day for a thousand days. People started following his Facebook page to see if he was delivering on his promise.
He kept his promise, with the result that he amassed 12 million followers and influenced many lives around the world.
However, you need to make sure that the quality of your content never suffers in an attempt to maintain consistency. If a situation arises where you cannot deliver content on the suggested date, please let your followers know. Convince your audience that you are working on content and it will be available soon.
When you run out of quality content, you can use the Stories feature on Instagram and Facebook. You can upload simple pictures to show your audience a workspace or living room.
It can help your audience engage and help you stay connected with them without spending hours perfecting your video.
7. Collaborate with other influencers
When you’re starting out and still wondering how to become an influencer, partnering with someone famous in your niche can help. It gives you access to their fanbase and allows you to involve them on your social media profiles.
You should be able to offer something useful to another influencer to encourage them to work with you. If the big influencers seem out of reach, you can even partner with micro-influencers who have small but very active fanbases.
8. Build your website
If you ask someone how to become influential, they will most likely give you a lot of advice about content strategies and social media.
Few will tell you what impact a website can have on your reputation as an influencer. However, anyone with a remote knowledge of marketing and branding knows how important a website can be.
So why is your website important? As your fan base grows and when you have millions of people with you, many people will be tempted to do a quick Google search on your name to find more about yourself. A well-designed and fully-functional personal-website builds trust in your image and helps build the trust of your target audience.
Plus, having a well-designed blog section on your site further strengthens your authority in your niche. It also improves organic search traffic to your site, thereby expanding your reach.
9. Run contests with rewards
A successful influencer with a dedicated community of followers always supports them.
One of the most effective ways to increase audience engagement is to run a contest on the platform. In addition to engaging your audience, it will also help establish your expertise on specific subjects in your niche.
Another smart way to improve engagement is to announce rewards. Typically, you offer your followers a reward in exchange for likes, comments, and posts on your posts.
Contests and giveaways help you reach a wide audience and grow your followers.
You can partner with other influencers or brands in your niche to make them more effective.
Make sure you clearly state the rules, deadlines, rewards, etc. And announce the winner at the promised time.
10. Keep in touch with your audience
Most platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube allow users to trigger updates and share them in real time with their followers. You can use this to your advantage and give your audience a chance to see behind-the-scenes action at an event or party. It makes your followers feel closer to you and strengthens their loyalty.
You can also chat with your followers in real time. This is an extremely effective strategy for stimulating engagement. At the same time, it also allows you to get a clear idea of what your audience likes or dislikes from you. Make sure you notify your subscribers in advance of the session.
11. Chat with your fans
As your audience grows and more people start to appreciate your content, they will likely leave their feedback in the comments.
Responding to every comment can be a daunting task. However, it is advisable that you answer as much as possible. The response on your part confirms the trust your fans have placed in you and makes them feel more connected to you.
Alternatively, you can also report any exceptionally positive feedback you receive. This makes the sender feel rewarded and strengthens their faith in you.
As an influencer, you should value your followers as much as they value you.
12. Ask yourself if you are ready to become an influencer
The answer to the question of how to become an influential person is not easy. It can take months of hard work and patience before results appear.
The key is to find your unique voice and use it to create a unique image for yourself as an influence. Identify the specific niche and distribution channel that works best for you.
Plus, any seasoned influencer will tell you the importance of creating authentic content that engages your audience.
You should also strive to maintain a personal connection with your followers. Only then can you build a loyal and motivated fan base that trusts your recommendations.