If you’re an avid social media user, there is a high chance you’ve come across an influencer or two during your time online.
Social media has become a mammoth part of everyday life for many. Instagram recently boasted hitting 1 billion monthly users, while YouTube has around 2 billion users every month. In fact, it is estimated by Famemass that almost half of the population is signed up to at least one form of social media!
Factor into this that these consumers are spending on average nearly 2 and a half hours every day scrolling through their social media feed, it comes as no surprise to see people finding a way to make a career through their social media presence.
Whatever social media site you choose to use, from the ever-growing-picture-sharing giant that is Instagram, to the huge video-streaming site YouTube, influencers exist in every corner of the internet. Plus, with some of the most well-known amongst them earning huge amounts of money per post, it is a profession that is generating a lot of attention.
From Zoella (Zoe Sugg) who charges almost £11,00 for one Instagram post to Cameron Dallas who can charge up to £13,000, it is easy to see why 1 in 5 British children strive to be an influencer in later life. (If that isn’t enough for you, see more about how much influencers can make in our post on the subject!)
Between the hefty paycheck, the opportunity to work with all of your favorite brands or businesses and the ability to have others actually listen to what you have to say, there are plenty of benefits to becoming an online influencer. But how do you do it?
This post will take you through everything you need to know about securing the UK’s most sought after job and what you can expect on your journey to being an influencer.
What Levels of Influence Are There?
While you may have a brief understanding of what an influencer is, it is important to understand that there are a few levels of influencer that you can fall under. This will mean that as you climb the ranks, you will have something to benchmark yourself against. These levels are shown below:
What Do You Want From It?
Before you start the process of raising your social media profile and attempting to become an influencer, it is important to set out your goals and decide what you want to get from it.
Many influencers decide which brands they would like to work with beforehand, as this will help them to research what type of content these brands usually put out and what types of influencers they usually work with.
If your aim is to get free products or sponsored posts, it would be worth watching existing product-reviewing content beforehand to get an idea of what works for other influencers.
Similarly, if your aim is to become an authority in a particular industry, see what others in this industry are posting about and start producing content off the back of this! Which leads us nicely onto the next step.
Choose a Niche
As much as we may like to think we are, it is impossible to be an expert in everything and this counts for influencers too!
Choosing a niche allows you to quickly become an authority on your subject, which will make brands and businesses take notice of you – and audiences who are interested in this subject hit the follow button!
In a social media age where content is constantly uploaded, at a rate of about 500 million tweets a day, your best chance of standing out from the crowd comes with choosing an area you are already an expert in.
For example, if you’re a well-traveled individual then why not try your hand at becoming a travel blogger? The best part is, choosing an industry you are knowledgeable and interested in will mean your content will come as genuine, which will help to boost engagement rates and also, it is more fun to create!
If possible, choose a less saturated market as this will boost your chance at brand sponsorship as well as getting noticed by users.
Choose a Platform That Fits
One key point to consider before becoming an influencer is what platform to focus on.
The best way to decide this is to consider what platform best suits your content. Fashion influencers tend to stick with Instagram, as this gives them an opportunity to showcase key products in focused images. However, with other industries, such as travel, it can be useful to run a blog or YouTube account which will allow you to create more in-depth content about your trips.
It is useful to remember that once you have gained a following on one platform, it is possible to branch into others, but sticking with one to start out with will allow you to confine and double up on your efforts.
Define a strategy
As with all good things, being an influencer isn’t easy!
There is more to becoming an online influencer than just posting content and reaping the benefits. To truly succeed, you will need a good strategy.
Doing some research into popular hashtags in your industry, whether this is through your competitors or popular posts by other influencers, will give you a good idea of what to put in your captions to start gaining attention.
Alongside this, coming up with a content calendar that defines how often you should post and notes down key events in your industry will ensure you have content prepared at all times. Deciding early on what topics you will cover will give you a good foundation to keep you motivated on harder days, ensuring you are always on-track to influence!
However, don’t have your calendar set in stone. Being flexible and adaptable are vital to becoming a successful influencer. If you notice a trend in your industry or growing amongst other influencers, it is useful to jump on that as quickly as possible. This will improve your chances of going viral, and expose you to a whole new audience!
Also, knowing what times to post to get the most engagement will also help you when trying to generate interest from other users, and posting consistently will help keep you on their radar!
To know when the best time to post, reviewing your analytic data which will help you pinpoint when your audience is most likely to be active. Most social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook and Twitter all have their analytics platforms to which you can access when you switch to business or professional account.
Engage Your Audience
One thing social media users love about influencers is how easy it is to communicate and engage with them. They’re more approachable than traditional celebrities.
Whether it is through Instagram story polls or quizzes, Q&A sessions on YouTube or replying to Tweets, engaging with your following will not only help grow your numbers, but it will offer a valuable insight into what content your audience wants to see. This, in turn, will help you tailor your content to your demographic and ensure much better results each time you post.
Why stop with your audience though? Engaging with other influencers and brands will help boost your exposure to their audience and vice versa! A huge part of being an influencer is engaging with others and mastering the skill of communication.