Social media has brought with it several lucrative careers that didn’t exist merely a decade ago. One of these is influencer marketing, which, up until the last decade, was reserved for celebrities.
In 2019 alone, the value of the global influencer market stood at a whopping $148 million with that number expected to double over the next decade or so. So, if you’ve been toying with the idea of becoming an influencer, there’s truly no better time than the present to jump in and get the show on the road.
What is influencer marketing? How much do influencers make? How do you even become one? Explore the answers to all these questions and more, in our ultimate guide to everything you need to know about this exciting career.
What Is an Influencer
At a very basic level, an influencer is an individual who has the almost-uncanny ability to affect the purchasing decisions of potential buyers. They are an authority of sorts among their niche followers because of the expertise and knowledge they possess on particular topics, and the unique relationship they have built with their followers.
At this point, you might be wondering – What is influencer marketing? To put it simply, this is a type of social media marketing that leverages product mentions and brand endorsements from influencers within their specific niche. Recommendations from them are the stamp of approval a brand needs to get potential customers to buy into their offerings.
Influencers can be grouped based on the size of their following, the level of influence they have, and the kind of content they produce. You could also classify them based on the niche in which they operate. So, an influencer who may not measure up in one category might be more influential when judged using a different set of criteria.
A frequently asked question by people looking to pursue a career in this field is – How much do influencers make? Well, it all depends on the level of influence you’re perceived to have. Here are some figures to put things into perspective:
- Individuals with 7,000 to 10,000+ followers can make up to $88 per post on average
- Individuals with 50,000 to 80,000+ get paid about $200 for every post
- Individuals with 100,000+ followers get paid on average $5 per 1000 followers they have
- Individuals with 500,000 to 1,000,000+ followers make around $700 per post on average
These figures are meant to serve as a guide, and prices will vary based on the influencer, advertiser, and niche in question. But, either way, you look at it, it’s a pretty sweet deal.
Step-By-Step Guide on How to Become an Influencer
If you consider yourself a creative and interesting person with the ability to tell a compelling story that’s bound to make anyone sit up and pay attention, then a career in digital content marketing may be just what the doctor ordered.
Besides, everyone is already an influencer in their own way. Every time you put up a post, photo, or video on social media, you spark opinion and initiate a conversation among the people who see it. You just need to scale up your operations.
Here’s what you need to do to become a social media influencer.
Step 1: Select a Niche
This first step involves choosing a niche that you’re not only interested in, but also have some level of expertise in, to establish yourself as an authority on the subject.
Since you’ll likely be spending a large chunk of your time researching topics related to the niche, it might as well be in an area that you’re passionate about. Pick between two and three interests but keep them all at the same wavelength.
Step 2: Create an Optimized Profile
The next step involves choosing your preferred social media platforms and creating optimized profiles for each. The rule of thumb is to concentrate on two channels at most and focus your efforts there.
Here are a couple of things you can do to optimize your profile:
- Switch to a business account to get access to a host of options
- Ensure that you create a compelling bio
- Add a profile picture and cover photo to establish your brand identity
Step 3: Get to Know Your Target Audience
Before you start creating content, you need to understand who your target audience is. It should be a specific group of people you intend to develop a strong connection with so that you build a solid and loyal follower base.
Social media platforms usually have built-in analytics tools that you can use to do a target audience analysis on your current followers to get insight into their gender, interests, geographical locations, and lots more. That way, you can deliver the kind of content they want.
Step 4: Create Captivating Content
Compelling content is at the heart of every influencer marketing strategy. The more you engage with your followers, the more likely they are to be swayed by your opinions and recommendations. Come up with a content strategy that focuses on producing the type of content that resonates with your audience based on their interests.
So, if you want to be a travel, fashion, and food influencer, for instance, your posts should only be focused on your specific niche. Mixing-in a bit of content from your personal life every once in a while, can go a long way in making you more relatable to your audience. That’s how you strengthen the connections you have with your followers.
Step 5: Be Consistent
Social media algorithms tend to give preference to accounts that post content frequently. This is especially the case for Instagram and Facebook if you want to make your profile more visible, although you can get away with posting twice a week on these platforms.
Twitter, on the other hand, is more dynamic and may require that you post daily to stay relevant to your target audience.
In addition to this, you also need to ensure that you identify the optimal time to post if you hope to reap the maximum level of engagement. For most platforms, this happens to be between the late morning and mid-afternoon hours in the middle of the week.
Step 6: Engage, Engage, Engage
Never ignore the comments and likes you get on your posts. Make a point to reply to them or simply “like” them to acknowledge that you appreciate your followers.
Pick a neutral topic of interest and ask a question to spark a conversation around it. This helps to build a strong connection with your audience on a more personal level.
Step 7: Collaborate With Awesome Brands
Finally, you need to let brands know that you’re interested in collaborations. You can state this in your bio and provide a way for interested clients to get in touch with you.
Alternatively, you can do your own outreach by messaging the brands you’re interested in working with, and table what you have to offer. Show them how a mutually beneficial relationship can add a ton of value to their brand.
If you’re just starting, consider working with an influencer agency that can connect you with top brands for advertising opportunities.
All Good Things Take Time
If you were wondering how to become an influencer, following the tips in this guide is a great starting point to get your foot in the door. With enough brand partnerships, anyone can turn it into a full-time career.
Simply identify a niche you’re passionate about, create captivating content, post regularly, and engage with your audience. Over time, your following will grow to a level where top brands will want to work with you. Put in the work and be patient. Good things are bound to follow.
Jump-start your career and speak to an influencer marketing expert today.