In a short time, influencer marketing boomed from a fringe market into a multi-billion-dollar industry. Even though obtaining visibility on social sites has also grown more challenging, new social media stars still appear regularly. Influencers gain their popularity because they can deliver stories that engages audiences. That’s exactly the sort of content that businesses want to represent their own brands. If you believe that you’ve got stories to tell, you can set goals and make a plan to establish yourself as an online authority.
Become an Online Influencer in Seven Steps
With your goals in mind, you can include these seven action steps in your plan to develop yourself into an influencer:
1. Pick a Niche
You need to select a niche that truly interests you. If you plan to succeed, you’ll need to stick with this niche for a long time. If you want to radiate authenticity, you need to find topics that keeps you engaged. Of course, most people have several interests. If you need to choose, you might start with the kinds of topics that are likely to be the most popular and profitable. Later, once you establish yourself in a good niche, you can always use your platform to branch out as you see fit.
2. Optimize Social Site Profiles and Platforms
Once you’ve decided upon your chosen niche, you should figure out which social sites will give you the best chance to grow your audience quickly. Sometimes, you’ll have better results if you establish yourself on one or two social marketing platforms before you branch out much to others. You should research typical social site’s typical audiences.
For instance, LinkedIn works well for professional and B2B marketing while Pinterest captures the attention of shoppers and homemakers. You can uncover plenty of marketing statistics about the larger social sites. On the other hand, you might just check out your competition to see where they’re thriving. On the other hand, some influencers say they make more affiliate revenue on some sites and more advertising revenue on others. Your platform choice may also depend upon your main business model.
3. Understand Your Audience
You should probably spend some time researching your potential audience before you commit to various social platforms. If you’ve chosen a niche market that you’re interested in, you may already have some understanding of your potential audience members already. Before you produce any content to serve to this audience, you should make certain that your understanding of your audience lines up with the current reality.
To get started, you might rely upon a couple of good tools that can help spark your own inspiration:
- BuzzSumo: This tool will give you good information about the most popular content for given topics and keywords. Because of this, it can also show you the most powerful influencers in your niche. You might view these influencers as competition, but you may serve yourself better if you can connect and cooperate with them. Remember that a rising tide lifts all boats.
- Google Trends: Google’s free tool will show you what people search for on this major search engine. For instance, let’s say you’re interested in T-shirts. A quick search will tell you that the popularity of that term has waned somewhat over the past year. On the other hand, the popularity of Kobe Bryant T-shirts has increased.
4. Create and Post High-Quality Content
Naturally, you will want to develop yourself as an influencer by establishing your own unique brand. At first, you might try riding on the coattails of established influencers in order to gain visibility. In fact, you might consider current influencers in your niche and figure out how you could add additional value to their work. Then create that value and reach out to them and let them know about it. Also, don’t be shy about adding a helpful description and link to your content in their own comments section, where their audience will see you.
Of course, the kind of content you develop may depend upon your platform, niche, and preferences. For instance, you may want to develop shorter videos for Facebook than you would for YouTube, based upon typical engagement times for people on either platform. In addition, you should look for an angle that’s likely to generate interest.
For instance, one video influencer promotes his historical-artifact shop with period-specific cooking videos. He started with period-battle reenactments and almost accidentally discovered that people liked the cooking videos more. You should develop content to support your clearly designed goals and then make sure you know how you can measure performance.
5. Keep a Consistent Content Schedule
If you want to name one trait of most successful influencers, that would be consistency. You can use tools like HootSuite and Buffer to automate your posting schedule; still, producing a steady stream of content can challenge new influencers. Still, your consistent schedule will help you draw an audience and give you data you can use to measure your success. If certain angles or social sites have proven more successful than others, you will know how to adjust your content plan.
6. Engage With Your Audience
It’s worth mentioning that the entire point of social platforms is to encourage sociability. You don’t need to reply to every comment; however, you should always try to reply to sincere questions and relevant observations. If other influencers stop by to comment on your content, even if it’s plainly just to drop a link, see if you can reach out to build a relationship with them.
7. Let Brands Know That You’re Open to Working With Them
Sometimes, the easiest way to begin earning income by promoting brands is to join an affiliate program. For instance, you might use a particular product in a demonstration and let your audience know that they can purchase it by following the affiliate link in your profile. If that’s not an option, reach out directly to companies that you could feature to introduce them to your social platforms and ask for sponsorships. You can also connect with brand representatives online through platforms like LinkedIn. Once you grow your audience, you’ll probably find that companies will start to come to you with offers.
The Advantages of Developing Yourself as an Influencer
Establishing yourself as an influencer takes effort. In turn, you could gain fame, help worthy causes, promote quality businesses, and sometimes, even get rich. Whatever your own goals, document them in order to develop the strategy to make it happen.