How to Become a Social Media Influencer and How to Earn Money as One
In this global and competitive environment, many people are keen on growing their influence on social media for many reasons, including personal ones.
Why are people interested in becoming social media influencers now more than ever before?
Besides earning money from it, social media has brought tremendous changes in today’s culture and society as a whole.
It’s connecting people on a massive scale, fragmenting the media, and breaking down communication barriers.
Did you know that globally, there are over 2.5 billion mobile social media users, with 1 million new active users added daily?
A social media influencer is a big part of the shift.
Making Money as a Social Media Influencer
- Marketing firms are eager to collaborate with the top talent in social media assuring them of access to experiences and people usually reserved for celebrities.
- Entrepreneurs are expanding their influence to grow their businesses and move into other territories with the help of influencers.
- Aspiring business leaders are increasingly using social media and influencers as a means to fast-track their professions by attaining a ‘thought-leader’ status.
These are just some of the reasons why making money as a social media influencer is a real possibility.
Who Exactly is A Social Media Influencer?
A social media influencer is a person who uses various social media platforms to express their point of view about specific products or brands, as a result influencing their dedicated audience.
An influencer’s concept is simple. The influencer is an ‘ordinary’ person who represents the general public, candidly discussing and reviewing products and forging a relationship of trust with their followers.
An influencer has the power to affect the purchase of a product by reviewing it across different platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, among others, effectively using their position of power, leverage, authority, knowledge, or authenticity in the industry to engage with their audience.
That said, being a social media influencer has its pitfalls.
- It’s not possible to achieve success overnight.
- You have to commit a lot of your time into the whole thing if you want to get it off the ground.
Adweek magazine predicts that by 2020, the influencer marketing will become a $10 billion industry.
This ever-growing market can be quite crowded, but it isn’t impossible to break into the influencer market and make an impact.
How to Become A Successful Social Media Influencer
Here’s what to do if you want to become a successful social media influencer.
1. Identify Your Niche
Whatever you decide to talk about, it’s got to be different.
It also has to be something you’re genuinely interested in and you have to tell it in a new, fresh, and extraordinary way.
Finding the right niche is vital for success.
You need to choose a topic you’re passionate about otherwise you’ll not stick to it.
Pick a specific niche topic.
Let’s say you’re interested in becoming a fashion blogger but you’re also keen on budgeting.
Instead of trying to get your audience from an already saturated market, why not go ahead and focus on “being fashionable on a small budget.”
Even better, narrow the niche further and blog about affordable office fashion.
Once you identify your voice, stick to it.
2. Build Your Brand
Why should people be eager to follow you?
Because you’ve become a voice of authority in your niche.
The more your blog becomes niche, the more targeted your audience will become.
That’s good for building your brand. You’ll stand out from the crowd than if you were just talking about a topic in general.
3. Unify Your Presence
Figure out the platforms you wish to engage with.
It’s best to understand the social media platforms before you start strategizing.
For instance, what’s the ideal time to post on Snapchat? Traffic on Snapchat is highest from 10 pm to 1 am.
You could also research on: how do I get a lot of views on YouTube? By producing compelling content and promoting your videos on various social channels.
Focus on platforms that you’re 100% confident with. Then, build your brand on them and post regularly.
Next, be consistent with your branding.
Ensure your handle names are all the same, you’re creating the same experience for your audience across the multiple platforms, and you have bios that are easily identifiable.
4. Grow Your Audience
How do you do this?
- Genuinely show an interest in the conversations
- Spark up discussions
- Reply to comments
- Be a guest blogger on different influencer sites
- Meet other influencers and become part of blogger communities
These are a few of the things you can do get a community of ardent followers.
5. Showcase Your Personality
As a social media influencer, your greatest asset is your personality.
Your audience will have a deeper connection with you when you’re relatable.
Is humour your thing? Find a way to bring that out. Perhaps you’re quick-witted? Then, try using hashtag puns more often.
You are your best version when you’re yourself. People will want to follow you because of that.
Discuss things in a way you know is true to yourself.
Honesty is vital. That way, you’ll gain the trust of your audience as an influencer.
Here are two videos you may enjoy if you want to learn more and get a couple more perspectives on getting started.
How to Earn Money as a Social Media Influencer
Now let’s turn our focus to how social media influencers can make money.
1. Sell Your Own Products
Influencers can create a product and sell it to their followers. There are influencers that insist this is the best way to generate revenue. You build your own brand that you control and you keep all the profit.
These products can be physical or digital. Gretta Rose Van Riel has had great success with her own line of physical products.
Others prefer digital products like video courses and ebooks as they are scalable (selling to a thousand takes the same work as selling to one). There are also many tools that make the process completely doable by a single person.
2. Affiliate Marketing
This is when a person with an audience becomes a marketing partner with a person or company with a product to sell. In this case, the influencer joins the producer’s affiliate program (through their site or through a network like Share-a-sale).
Then the influencer creates content about the product and posts this content with their affiliate link. This affiliate link takes a reader to the product while notifying the seller that the influencer has earned the commission should a sale follow.
3. Sponsored Posts – Join an Influencer Network
These networks are designed to connect brands with influencers. This is a method for getting paid for sponsored posts.
Brands and marketing companies also use these networks to find influencers in a certain niche. And some networks let you choose brands that you’d be willing to promote.
A few influencer networks include:
And a place to start for micro-influencers:
As usual, be sure to follow due diligence and research the networks that you believe are the right fit for you.
Patience, consistency, and long-term commitment are all ingredients of a successful social media influencer.
When you focus on building your brand and building a relationship based on trust with your audience, success and money are sure to follow.