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    How To Step Up And Become An Influencer

    To a small business, influencers represent powerful marketing opportunities. They can extend your reach far beyond what your company could currently achieve. However, influencers don't always have to come from outside the business. Becoming one yourself has numerous benefits, from developing your personal brand to boosting the company's brand.

    Today we have with us a successful digital entrepreneur (Co-founder of Ready2Social), and Instagram influencer, Stefano Pedretti (@stefanopech), who will share with us a few ways you can work your way up and become an influencer:

    1.Create a Community

    The power of an influencer lies in their community, represents their sphere of influence, and is what you would be looking for when choosing one to represent your small business. It's also what you need to develop when seeking to become an influencer yourself.

    That means finding people who share your interests in the industry. Unless you've already got a name for yourself, you're not going to do this organically. You need to go out there, find people, and follow them every day until your following is big enough to generate organic growth.

    2.Share Their Posts

    Finding people is one thing, but keeping your community together will involve giving them something of value. The good news is, it doesn't necessarily have to come from your mind. People love great content, regardless of its origin. Sharing great videos or articles not only reminds your followers that you exist, but it cements your account in their minds as something that provides value.

    You should also share content created by your community. Nothing generates loyalty faster than acknowledgment. Just make sure that whatever you choose to share deserves to be shared. Putting up poor-quality content on your account reflects poorly on you.

    3.Create and Share Content

    While sharing other people's creations can get you far, nothing builds your authority and following quite like having original content. Even something as simple as producing your own blog can work wonders for your reach, but it doesn't have to stop there. Producing videos and podcasts means your followers can digest your content in whatever manner they desire.

    Whatever form you decide to take, make sure that it remains within your personal brand. Deviating from it may get you more hits, but it also dilutes your image, which can affect your current community negatively, resulting in lost followers.

    4.Engage Your Community

    Your community is like your small business's consumer base; you need to engage them to keep them sticking around. That will make you a true influencer and loyal followers out of your tribe. If they ask you a question, respond. Ask them questions and reply to their posts, even if you're not the primary audience.

    In short, have conversations with them. An influencer doesn't throw crumbs at people to make them follow. They're part of the community, someone who is part of the discussion rather than a silent observer. Get in there, and they'll reward you with loyalty.

    5.Use the Largest Platforms You Can

    While a small business should ideally focus on a single social media platform at first, you should take the opposite approach if you want to become an influencer. Focusing on one will have diminishing returns, to the point that organic growth will dwarf any manual effort to find followers.

    At that point, it's best to start looking to other platforms. Breaching them can be difficult, but can be made significantly easier by collaborating with other influencers. Inviting them to a podcast or writing a guest post on their blog can give you an in to a larger world.

    Becoming an influencer can open opportunities that your small business would not have had otherwise. It even makes it easier to work with other influencers, as your authority and standing will say that you're one of them and that you understand the struggles and challenges they face daily.

    It's not an easy process, and it will take time, but it's one that can result in tremendous gains for your company.