Influencer marketing has become one of the hottest trends in the digital world today. Brands seek out influencers to market their products on Instagram. Kids have become influencers on YouTube. They put out viral videos that millions of other kids watch. But, how do you become an influencer?And what exactly does it mean to be an influencer?
Let’s define influencer. Usually the images that come to mind are those of Kardashian, Beyonce, Taylor Swift or other celebrities. While they are influencers, you don’t need to be a mega-star to be one. Or a cute five-year-old.There are hundreds of micro-influencers, who are subject matter experts in a chosen niche. They have built a following and reputation as a thought leader in a certain subject matter. Consumers want to know what they think about an issue. Dave Ramsey and Farnoosh Torabi, for example, are influencers in the area of personal finance. They are recognized as thought leaders on all topics related to money. Chiara Ferragni is an influencer in the world of fashion. She started blogging in 2009, before the social media explosion. Her success inspired the first ever Harvard study on influencers.
Being an influencer in your industry gives you the visibility you need to break away from the competition. You gain the power to sway public opinion, expand the reach of your brand marketing, build trust, and of course, improve your bottom line.So, how do you become an influencer? It Takes Time
You will not become an influencer overnight. It requires commitment and dedication to your passion. Even celebrities did not become famous overnight (in most cases). You need to produce a lot of content that is broadcast across multiple platforms and mediums. All of this requires time and staying power.
Here are 6 Tips to Help You Become an Influencer
- Choose a Niche. To be an influencer you need to be passionate about a subject matter or industry. You can’t be passionate about everything, so you need to identify a niche area of expertise. Focus and dedicate yourself to your niche.
- Select Your Channels. Even though 93% of influencers are on Instagram, this does not mean that you should automatically choose this social media channel. You need to go where your audience is. You’ve established your niche, now who is your audience? Are they young people? Older? Business executives? Entrepreneurs? What kind of content are you producing? Some social media channels are more accepting of a diverse range of content, whereas others are more limited, such as Instagram. Once you have your answers, you will know which channels to engage.
- Share your expertise. Your website and social media channels are the obvious vehicles for sharing your content, but to truly develop yourself as an influencer you need to blog, produce podcasts, create infographics, videos and slideshows, conduct webinars and write white papers.
- Curate. Share content in your area of expertise that comes from other thought leaders in your niche. Share about general industry developments, or new research and scientific studies in your sector. Your followers will appreciate the fact that they can come to you to get the latest news.
- Engage your followers. Don’t just throw your content out there. People want to know that you’re real and approachable. Reply to all comments on your blogs and social media channels. Make it personal, not just a canned response.
- Be Consistent. If you are looking to become an influencer, you need to be a trusted voice. The best way to build trust is to be consistent. Your followers need to know that they can rely on you to follow through on what you say. If they visit your channels and nothing is there, they will eventually stop following you.