How to Become an Influencer
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Making money online is not a get-rich-fast venture. But, you can get rich once you get set up with a lot of followers and create a niche. According to Fox Business, the average influencer makes between $30,000 to $100,000 per year, and some make $1 million per year. If you have only a few thousand followers, you could make up to $60,000 per year. The most important thing is to pick the right niche and adequately optimizing your social media profiles.
Your niche depends on your knowledge, the audience and collaborators willing to work with influencers. All of the pieces of the puzzle must fit together smoothly for you to become successful at becoming an influencer that makes money.
Select Your Niche
Find a niche that you not only love to write about but one that many people want to know about. You’ll have to be able to constantly and consistently create content for the niche, so choose wisely. Your niche should be something you are passionate about, and should be something you know a lot about. A niche could be anything from crafts to something you do for a living. However, when you select your niche, you also have to think about your audience. More on that later.
Once you think you have a niche, think about what you can write. You’ll have to produce content on a consistent basis – preferably at least twice per week. If you choose a cooking niche, will you be able to provide articles and photos every week? Or, if you choose a craft niche, are you able to produce a different craft often enough to keep your readers engaged?
Once you select your niche, create a blog and start creating content for it. You can start this step first, as it will take some time for the other steps – and you want the blog to have quite a bit of content before you send it out to the public.
Optimize Your Social Media Profiles
You can use your own social media profiles, or you can create new profiles in the name of your blog. It’s best to keep your social media platforms limited to one or two channels. Setting up a business account on your social media platforms gives you many more options. Also, make sure you create a bio that will attract people – the bio is often the first thing that people see when they land on your profile. Also, be sure to add a profile picture and a cover photo.
Part of setting everything up is creating a brand identity – use your cover photo to display your brand identity via a logo or other brand-identifying photo. If you are going to optimize more than one social media platform, use the same cover photo and profile picture on all sites so that people can find you on all of the platforms with a glance at your profile picture.
When people search the internet, they seldom look past the second page of search results. You should know how search engine optimization works. If you use a blog as one of your platforms, you need to get it to the first page – or at least the second page – of the major search engines. SEO, backlinks and traffic help to get your blog where it needs to be. If a potential collaborator searches for you, you’ll want your platforms to come up near or at the top of the search engine results. You’ll get more interest in collaborations if you’re at the top of the search engine results.
Understand Your Audience
We mentioned knowing your audience when selecting your niche. To become a successful influencer, you have to know your audience. What age group is interested in your niche? More men than women, vice versa, or both? White collar people or blue collar people? Lawyers? Bankers? Retail workers? Construction workers?
When you know who to target, you will know how many people – in theory – that you can reach. For example, in 2010, the United States had 112,806,642 people between the ages of 18 and 44 but only 81,489,445 people between the ages of 45 and 64. You’ll reach more if your niche targets people in the 18 to 44 age group.
To create a strong connection with your audience, you have to target the right group of people. For example, if you create an influencer account for rap music, you probably won’t attract many people over 50 years old. If you targeted a rap music blog to that age group, you probably wouldn’t be very successful.
Once you figure out who would be most interested in your niche, you have identified your audience. Don’t forget – it’s not just age-related. Look at several demographics. You can start building a loyal base of followers once you determine which demographic has the most people who might be interested in your niche.
Once you create your social media accounts, you can use built-in analytic tools to see what interests your current followers have. You can use those same tools to target those who might have an interest in your niche.
Create and Post Relevant Content
The most crucial part of becoming an influencer is creating content that draws your audience. The content must be relevant to your audience’s interests; else, you won’t be a successful influencer. And, the more you engage people, the more successful you will be. This means that any recommendations you make have to be true – don’t write reviews of a product just to write a review. Make sure you try that product first.
If you write bunk, you are going to lose your audience because they can’t trust what you write to be true. Don’t forget the old adage that word of mouth is the best advertising you get. That works both ways – if people love your stuff and they trust you, they’ll tell their friends. If they find that what you write isn’t true, they’ll tell their friends 10 times faster than if they did trust you.
Decide whether you should keep your posts all business or mix in personal posts here and there. This depends on your niche. For example, in a food niche, you might review restaurants that you visited, but you might also review a recipe that impressed you. However, if your niche is more about financing, you might keep it all business. Personal content that mixes in with your niche helps to keep your posts more relatable, which then strengthens your bond with your audience.
Be Regular and Consistent
Whether you post on a blog, social media platforms or both, make sure you post regularly and consistently. Create a schedule to follow so that you make sure to create time to write posts. Many social media platforms have algorithms that give preference to people who post on a regular basis. Frequent and regular posts ensure that you have increased visibility. If you choose to post daily or weekly, be sure you have enough content to keep that up.
Engage With Your Audience
Always check your social media every day. One of the worst things you can do is to ignore your audience. People will start liking your posts and commenting on them. Reply when you can. If you don’t have a reply, ‘like’ their comments to show that you have read your followers’ comments. It also shows that you appreciate people commenting on your posts.
Responding to comments is not the only way to engage your audience. People get bored with the internet if no one interacts with them. You can keep engaging your audience, especially on days you don’t post an article or review by posting questions on your social media. Not only is this a good conversation starter, but you’ll find out who has mutual interests and may even give you fodder for your next post. Finally, when you react to people, they are more likely to continue reading your posts.
Let Brands Know You’re Open to Collaborations
Once you have everything set up and a few weeks’ worth of posts ready to go, you’re ready to announce your presence to the world. Declare yourself as an influencer who has an interest in working with other brands. When you create your bio, tell people that you are an influencer interested in collaborations. Have a place on your social media accounts and your blog with your contact information – make sure you put it in a place where it’s easy to find. In fact, it should be front and center, so people do not have to search for a way to contact you.
You can also message brands you are interested in collaborating with to send them a pitch on what you can offer. You can also use influencer platforms to locate brands that may have an interest in working with you. Tagging brand names and mentioning them in your posts also attracts new collaborations.
Keep in mind that becoming an influencer is a process that takes time. And, a lot of effort. You won’t see results immediately – you have to keep plugging away at it. Eventually, you’ll notice that you have more followers and with those followers come more collaborations, which is where you make your money.