How to get started
Did you know that a whopping 74% of consumers make purchasing decisions based on what they see on social media? That’s why brands are increasingly partnering with influencers to share, discuss and review their products.
Successful influencers don’t have to be celebrities, entrepreneurs, business leaders or people with extraordinary talents. In fact, they’re usually just everyday people who others can relate to.
I’ve been both a social media influencer myself, having amassed almost 1M followers combined on Instagram and Facebook, and have also been the one hiring influencers to promote my brand. I understand what it takes to be an influencer and what brands are looking for. In this post I’ll describe how you can be the next sought-after social media influencer.
1. FOCUS on one core area of expertise
The first thing to do is decide what you want to be known for as an influencer. The best choice is whatever you’re most passionate about or what can help set you apart from others. It’s important to have a clear focus for your page so when people come to it they know at a quick glance exactly what kind of content they can expect from you and benefit from.
If you think of your favorite social media influencers, they’re probably most known for doing one thing really well. Maybe they have great fashion, a rock hard body or give great advice. Or perhaps they’ve got great dance moves, are really good at makeup or just ridiculously funny. That’s because the best influencers appeal to a niche audience, which allows them to engage deeper with a targeted group.
Once you get established you can broaden the type of content you create, but in the beginning stay focused on one core area of expertise.
2. DECIDE on a platform
3. GET HELP with creating content
Do you really want to be an influencer but struggle with creating the best content? Get help. It’s important to know your own strengths and weaknesses. For instance, I’m great at recording videos, but I’m terrible at editing them. So I hired an editor who does all that work far better than I ever could. The best influencers all have content teams that help them.
Most people think hiring people is outside of their reach, but you can find talented people to work remotely at really cheap rates, especially if they believe in you. There’s lots great people out there to help edit photos, write captions, create videos and more. And you’ll learn a lot from the team you build to make you a better content creator over time.
4. PLAN your content
5. COMMIT to a consistent schedule
Consistency is key when it comes to gaining a following on social media. Even if your content is amazing, post once, drop off for three weeks and you aren’t going to gain any momentum. Over time your followers will come to expect and look for your content. Maybe you shoot for two videos a week, or posting blog posts. Set your goals and commit to a consistent schedule.
6. WRITE awesome captions
All posts are not created equal and sometimes the caption for your video or picture can make or break your content. If you look at some of the most engaging posts in the world, they usually have sentimental captions. A caption is a way to take your followers on your journey with you and let your personality shine. It’s what will make your followers feel like they know you and sets your content apart from others.
7. ENGAGE with your followers
Remember to consistently engage with your community. Respond to every single comment you get and learn from the feedback you receive. Don’t get hung up if you only got a few comments. Focus on how you can show those few commenters a lot of love and the numbers will grow over time. Engage with your followers and they will help you learn what is working and what isn’t so you can continuously get better. You’ll also build loyal, lifelong followers that supported you from day one.
8. BUILD relationships with other content creators
9. PROMOTE your content
If you’ve invested the time and energy in creating awesome content, it’s time to take it one step further and promote your content. How? There are a number of ways to market your content for a broader reach. You can use searchable hashtags in your posts, boost your posts if you have a budget, use social bookmarking pages or even join or create Facebook groups to share your content with. It’s the modern day equivalent of artists passing out their CD’s from their vans, except you’re laying in your bed behind a computer. Whatever you do, make your presence known. Keep getting yourself out there to promote your content.
10. KEEP GOING
Rome was not built in a day. And you will not become a successful social media influencer overnight. Even if you do everything right, there will be ups and downs and it will take lots of time to build your platform.
For every influencer that strikes gold and goes viral early on, there are many hard-working influencers that spend years building their platform and brand. You don’t want to be a one-hit wonder or have quick flash-in-the-pan success. Stay the course, create quality content and keep going. You will get there.