If you’ve ever wondered how to become an influencer, you aren’t alone. Influencer marketing is on the rise as consumers and social personalities can now get paid to review brands to their audiences, promote glamorous lifestyles, and receive free products and services. This can include the luxury of complete wardrobes and travel accommodations. Millennials and GenZ rely on these everyday people to provide valuable information within their realm of expertise. Companies are increasingly setting budgets aside to capitalize on this growing field of marketing. In 2017, over $2.1 billion was spent on influencer marketing on Instagram alone. The demand for social media influencers is anticipated to increase, especially for micro-influencers with less than 100k followers.
Inevitably, more people are looking to explore the world of influencer marketing. Despite the glamour, influencers are free agents who must create content that is both intellectually and aesthetically pleasing. They perfect the process of publishing and promoting content online and learn how to monetize their content. While the role is creative, it is also data-focused. As consumers grow more selective about who they follow, it is impertinent that influencers provide value, remain authentic, and indulge in the continuous task of having a robust and engaged following. Let’s learn more about how to become an influencer in 2020.
First, define your brand, niche, and audience. Your brand should have a unique, consistent voice that reveals to the audience what you want them to know about you. A successful influencer finds a niche, a subject in which they are an expert and are passionate about. Journalists and thought leaders in a variety of industries have successfully crossed over into influencer marketing by consistently providing valuable information in their niche. Your brand should speak to who you want to appeal to.
Next, choose your social media channel and develop your content strategy. Your voice should reflect the sponsorships you hope to receive, even in the beginning. Consider blogging, guest posts, and curating content from other thought leaders and similar accounts when developing your content strategy. For influencers hoping to build an audience using career, job, or academic-focused content, LinkedIn would be a great platform. For influencers seeking to post video or photo-based content such as tutorials, sponsored endorsements, or other content that might relate to a brand or product in a variety of industries, Instagram would be the platform of choice.
Now, you must organize your content so that it is published efficiently. Content scheduling allows you to schedule ahead and prepare in case of unexpected distractions. Your content schedule should have a month’s worth of pre-planned content; this document can can ensure your content is consistent and also track your performance and engagement. Have you ever wondered the best times to post on each social media platform? The answer varies with every social network and the type of audience being engaged. According to an article on the best time to post, “Facebook and Twitter both see high engagement at 9 a.m., whereas one of the best times to post on Instagram is 5 p.m. LinkedIn caters to B2B audiences, with an ideal posting time of 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Pinterest sees high engagement as late as 4 a.m. With many businesses facing a growing global audience, varying time zones have become a growing concern, especially when it comes to the best times to post.”
After you’ve created your schedule, it’s time to focus on your followers. Find 50 similar accounts and make them your besties! Get from behind your device and make friends face-to-face. You can host and attend events, or even take a social media class to apply to your new platform. Hundreds of articles are published to blog.hubspot.com to help influencers and brands perfect their reach and engagement. Another site that provides valuable tips for marketing and content creation is www.clearvoice.com/blog. It also helps to learn how to pitch yourself, your metrics, website visitors, and engagements effectively to companies you’d like to pay you for your social media posts. Speak at conferences, be a guest on a podcast, and position yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Just keep in mind that it takes time to see success from influencer marketing, as most influencers report years of hard work before landing contracts. You must be willing to build relationships over time, and not just digitally.
How to Become an Influencer on Instagram
Since 93% of social media influencers focus their content on Instagram-simply because it delivers the best results, you may be wondering how to become an influencer on Instagram specifically. The steps above apply, but here are a few tips for aspiring influencers that are specific to Instagram. Media agency owner and influencer, Kris Ruby, provided a summary of the Instagram influencer’s job description, as she explained the role to be all-encompassing, demanding and ever-changing. Aspiring influencers on the Instagram platform should expect to consistently seek out Insta-worthy moments, coordinating and previewing opportunities for the location, brand, and experience, as well as coordinating the actual photo with the publicist rep. Hashtag and tagging research, formulating an engaging caption for highest visibility and interest, as well as ensuring the photo is consistent with the rest of the feed is important. Instagram influencers must follow all legal guidelines, and apply with brand guidelines without overly staging the promotion. It is also important to review analytics and engagement metrics to determine which content is performing better. Lastly, these influencers are usually responsible for the editing of their own photos, sometimes having to narrow down the selection from 1,000 photos to one final post.
Instagram recently launched a paid partnership feature as a result of the Federal Trade Commission getting serious about influencers and businesses that violate its requirements. For those who want to learn more about how to become an influencer on Instagram, it is impertinent to learn about this tool as it helps influencers disclose when a post is sponsored and helps businesses collect insights about how these campaigns performed. When a business is tagged, they can view the engagement through their Facebook Page Insights. Businesses can also approve or disapprove any sponsored content before a tagged post is published. The FTC’s main concern is that any paid sponsorship is disclosed by the influencer and the business, as it is not the responsibility of the platform.
How paid partnerships are priced is dependent on the number of followers or the celebrity status of the influencer. In 2017, Selena Gomez was the highest paid influencer with the most followers, charging $550,000 per post. Now, Kylie Jenner is rumored to have taken her place as the highest paid influencer, charging $1 million per paid partnership post. Macro-influencers, with followers ranging from 200,000 to 2 million also have hefty fees, but considerably less than Gomez and Jenner. The average sponsored Instagram post is $300, but some influencers have made $30 per post while more successful influencers have raised the price to $25,000 per post. If you feel you can’t stand out in this over saturated influencer market, think again as companies are realizing the power of normal people promoting their products. Micro-influencers can be seen as real friends, whose advise is more trustworthy. You can aim to get sponsored on Instagram with 0 followers by knowing your audience, posting consistently, and pitching to brands you want to work with. After you’ve solidified and mastered your brand, hashtags, and geotags, tagging the brands you want to partner with, emailing, or even direct messaging them can provide you opportunities you once dreamed of…or never even considered.
How to Become an Influencer
Influencers are the credible voice of this generation. Although everyday people, these consumers have positioned themselves as experts in their respective industries, earning the trust and attention of hundreds of thousands of follows, followed by contracts that pay real money. As an influencer, you can use your voice to share information relevant to your passions, or help your peers with purchasing decisions by reviewing products. While it may look like glitz and glamour from the outside, influencers can attest that they are required to be “on” 24/7 to cater to their brands, promotions, and audiences. Becoming an influencer means defining and redefining your niche, and ensuring that every piece of published content further reinforces and establishes your personal brand. If everyone knew how to become an influencer, they would be working RIGHT NOW to build their platforms, hoping to gain traction and income in just a few years. 2020 is upon us and it’s time to land your dream job- establish yourself as a thought-leader and target your audience with your brand as a social media influencer.