What’s an Influencer and How Do I Become One?

Once upon a time, if you wanted to turn yourself into a personal brand, you’d have to travel glamorous roads of fame and notoriety. Yet today, there’s a new path for people to turn themselves into a brand: social media. Becoming a social media influencer is one of the best ways to reach out to others and situate you as an authority over your passions.

In the last few years, innovative page owners have used social media as a platform to turn themselves into influencers of thousands of followers. Creating blog posts and entertaining video/photo content has been the go-to strategy for helping these figures to improve and spread their social reach. Today the path towards becoming an influencer is much more congested, but there is still plenty of opportunity for those with an authentic interest.

Creating content that you have a genuine passion for is the key to standing out in this oversaturated market. Without a niche it’s difficult to stand out as just another food or fashion blogger. Instead, market yourself as an expert on organic cotton or Italian wines! Below we take a look at how you can turn yourself into an influencer.

Build a Content Strategy (And Keep Me Posted!)

If you’re looking to become an influencer, you need to recognize that creating a significant online presence is extremely time consuming. You need to build a content strategy with regular content that your followers can connect to. Creating relevant content to your target audience is the key to developing a long lasting relationship with your followers.

How often you should post depends largely on your platform of choice. On Facebook, once you reach 10,000 followers, posting 1-2 times per day leads to the most clicks per post. On the other hand, if Instagram is your platform of choice, the top 55 brands post an average of 1.5 times per day.
Creating quality content will take up a lot of time, but it will help to forge you into a brand followers can engage with. Get some inspiration right here.

Niche Down!

As mentioned above, it’s essential to situate yourself within a niche if you are to command any influence. Positioning yourself as an expert, authority or icon within a certain industry will turn you from a popular page owner into a legitimate influencer.

On platforms like Instagram there are influencers specializing in every field you can think of. So whether you’re into fashion, travel, fitness or comedy, you need to have your own unique brand identity to stand out from other competitors in your field. Your aim is to differentiate yourself from the competition, rather that simply blend in.

Create a Persona

Though it’s important to express your passions in an authentic way, you need to create a persona if you want to be memorable. You’re selling yourself just as much as you’re selling any other idea or product. Marketing 101 dictates that you create an identity, which resonates with your target audience.

If you’re trying to reach Millenials or Generation Z it’s a good idea to play to their interests, e.g. if you run a fashion page you’ll want to come across as extravagant and market that persona on Snapchat (Where you could potentially reach 41% of all 18-34 year olds in the US).

Be Active in Your Community

If you wanted to maximize your gains, start communicating with your target audience regularly. Post articles on LinkedIn, reply to comments, find forums in your niche, and contact business owners who might be able to provide you with discounts or promotional offers to drive engagement.

Developing a network beyond your posts will help you to become a valuable member of your community. Reaching out to others in this way might help you to gain some new fans that will support you by sharing your content. Those shares will be valuable social proof down the line.

Build from the Ground Up

One of the most important things to remember is that not everyone is an influencer. Many popular social media figures fail to hold any real word influence. For all those that do, there are many users who are someone else’s follower. However, if you really want people to support your brand, it’s vital to build your social media presence on solid foundations. Moreover, don’t take it too lightly. Being an influencer is serious business – there are rules!

Picking a niche that you’re knowledgeable in, giving some thought to a creative angle to create content, posting regularly and producing an online persona will help you to create a brand that holds consumer clout. Ultimately, you need to provide something of value to your audience before you are to become an influencer. In the world of social media, influence is earned and not given.