The rise of social media has benefited a lot of people in various ways. Most notable are social media influencers who have made social media their source of income. These are social media users who have amassed a significant number of followers who love and admire them and have become digital celebrities. They use their influence to make money by advertising products and services for brands through brand endorsements.
Many brands collaborate with social media influencers since they have a strong enough online presence to influence the purchase decisions of their followers. Businesses usually choose influencers that have a similar target audience as their brand.
Social media influencers can make money from their followers through various means. Since they are popular, they can market goods and services and reach a wide audience. They may receive endorsements from brands or market their products or services. They may also make money directly from their followers through donations and gifts.
The amount an influencer has the potential to earn depends on the size of their influence, the trust of their followers, the niche they are focused on, and the kind of brands they partner with. You don’t have to have plenty of followers to make money as an influencer, even a small group of followers who love, support and trust you is enough to make you successful since a loyal fanbase is what you need to market goods and services and make money.
Types of social media influencers
There are different types of social media influencers and companies may prefer one to the other depending on their needs. The 3 types of social media influencers include:
1. Industry leaders
These are influencers that are known to have vast knowledge and experience in a particular field and are considered experts. They typically have a vast following online and companies utilize them to reach a wide audience.
For instance, a well-known certified personal trainer with a vast following can be considered an industry leader and may be approached by sportswear companies to promote their products
2. Content creators
These types of influencers post content on their social media accounts which are viewed and enjoyed by many. It may be written content, videos, podcasts, vlogs, graphic designing and so on. They consistently post interesting content which attracts viewers and followers.
Once they have sizable followers and have built a community around their niche, then they may gain more influence and can promote products and services that their viewers may be interested in.
Micro-influencers are social media influencers that have a small following in a very specific niche. They are usually those that regularly post about their hobbies and have garnered interest from the netizens.
As such, they have a sizable following made up of people who share similar interests. They typically have between 2,000 to 50,000 followers.
How to become a social media influencer
Becoming a social media influencer is a profitable venture that can earn you a lot of money. It may take some time to grow and achieve enough followers on social media to be considered an influencer, but with the right strategy, you’ll succeed.
1. Choose a niche
The first step to becoming a social media influencer is to select a profitable niche. Since you can’t possibly relate to everybody, you should pick a subset of people who have similar interests, which is your niche.
Pick a niche you are genuinely passionate about and possess knowledge in that you can centre your content around. It could be related to your job, your hobbies, or something you have a great interest in.
2. Choose the type of influencer you want to become
If you are already famous for being an expert on something, then you can confidently start your influencer journey as an industry leader. If not, then you should start as a content creator or micro-influencer and build your way to becoming an industry leader.
Industry leaders are the most influential and make the most money, so if you’re into the influencer business in the long term, becoming an industry expert should be your ultimate goal.
If you are willing to put in the time and effort to create content regularly for your social media account, then you can start as a content creator. If not, then start as a micro-influencer and post interesting content regularly.
3. Define your brand
To stand out from other influencers in your niche you need to have a strong personal brand. There has to be something you can provide your followers that other influencers in your niche cannot, which should be the basis of your brand.
Create a unique voice and personal angle that is consistent across all your social media platforms. Your message should be unique and relevant to your audience.
4. Select the right platform
There are several social media platforms, and each of them caters to different audiences and content. Instagram is ideal for visual content, YouTube for video-based content, Twitter for short and snappy updates, and LinkedIn for professional networking and expertise sharing.
For instance, if you have chosen food as your niche and would like to share cooking videos, then Youtube is your go-to platform, but if you’d like to post pictures of your pretty-looking and salivating meals, then Instagram is better. While you may still post on other platforms, your key focus should be your primary platform.
5. Create high-quality content
The quality of your content will determine how many people will follow your page after viewing. The greater the quality of your content, the more your following, so invest in creating high-quality content that resonates with your audience. Research what viewers in your niche like and centre your content around it.
6. Engage with your audience
Show your audience that you love and care about them by constantly engaging with them and demonstrating the same support they show to you. Encourage them to share their ideas and feelings with you by always replying to their messages, answering their queries and addressing whatever concerns they may have.
If possible, incorporate their ideas into your content and make sure to give a shout-out to them when you do. If they have specific requests, try as much as you can to comply with them.
7. Collaborate with other influencers
From time to time, reach out to other influencers in your niche and request collaboration. This will help promote your brand and reach a wider audience.
Since you are in a similar niche, you can provide feedback to each other that will help both your brand grow, and gain access to opportunities that you normally wouldn’t have.
8. Be consistent
Consistency is key to improving your online presence. Always remain fresh in the minds of your audience by posting regularly. Develop a content timetable to keep you on track and avoid procrastinating.
Always deliver content to your audience when they expect you to, as it will hurt your brand if you keep disappointing your followers.
The quality of your content also has to be consistent, it can improve but can never reduce. Let your audience know that they can always expect quality from you and never fail to deliver.
It takes time, effort, and persistence to become a successful social media influencer. It will not happen overnight and expect your growth to be slow at first. However, it does mean you should give up.
Stay patient, be true to yourself and let your personality shine while continuing to work on your content and following. If you keep at it, you will reach the ranks of the most popular and successful influencers in no time.