If we were to ask ourselves, what qualifies as an influencer, what would be a suitable answer be? Is it the number of social media followers you have or video views or likes. Most people would think of people with thousands of social media followers.
But this barely scratches the surface!
While social media plays a big role in reaching an audience, it is nowhere near enough for anyone to become a full-time influencer.
Social media, blogging, and Youtube videos play a huge part in becoming an influencer. But they are merely tools to help a person or a brand surface amongst millions of others.
In truth, successful influencers are well-connected, drive for impact, have active minds, and are trendsetters. What really defines a true influencer is someone with a business-oriented mindset to lead sales. Basically having the audience and the ability to convert visitors into buyers.
How can anyone fulfill all these requirements?
10 Things you have to do to become an influencer
The aim of this article is not only to help you get traffic and an increasing number of followers, fans, and views but to actually give you some tips on how to have a meaningful impact on your audience.
If you are picturing people flexing a Rolex in front of a Porsche or a fit couple showing off their six-packs on a beach, it is not the kind of influence we have in mind. The true meaning of an influencer is more complicated and more business-oriented. You have to convert visitors into paying customers.
Real influencers do three important things to do this:
- Satisfy search intent online by answering search queries
- Inspire others to take action
- Give a meaningful message through informative content
Through these steps, influencers provide valuable information for online searches and thereby influence someone to make a purchase for a third party they represent. Because at the end of the day, an influencer’s job is this:
Here is a list of ten things you must absolutely consider to grow your influence and your name as a brand in order to generate leads and make money.
Narrow down your Niche
The very first and perhaps the MOST IMPORTANT thing to consider is to look at your influencer career as a business. It requires a good marketing strategy, a business model to overcome competition, and an expert level of knowledge in your niche.
Filter what you’re good at and the value proposition you can offer your visitors so they keep coming back. If you love cooking, provide great recipes. If you are into fitness, promote healthy living tips and standards that would help people.
Whatever you choose to pursue, make sure that it is narrowed down to specific categories. If someone were to visit your website, talk to you, or click on your social media page, they need to understand what you’re all about in seconds.
The average time spent on something by an internet user is the equivalent of a hyperactive 8th grader with the attention span of a goldfish. So make sure that every second count!
Here is a cold truth. The glamorous life of an influencer is never as easy and fulfilling as their messages portray. A lot of hard work goes into the process of earning and maintaining influencer status. The behind-the-scenes can be extremely grueling and lonely work.
Furthermore, based on experience, the beginning is always the hardest where the rewards are minimal for a lot of effort. First-year is always the most difficult. You reach out to others for collaboration and they will ignore you. You build content and barely get any attention.
But trust us! Persistence is the key! Why and how?
If you have your own website or Youtube channel, you will see little growth in the first year. The algorithm behind these search engines basically takes time to recognize the content you provide and start showing them to random internet browsers. It usually takes several months before Google or Youtube or any other search engine to start ranking your content, displaying it to searchers.
If you persist for several months, that is when your channel, website, or profile will start to grow. (As long as you continuously provide new quality content.)
This first year is basically there to filter out all spammy, lazy, or low-quality content providers. Search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Baidu want the best quality content for web browsers. By showing that you persistently provide good quality content, the algorithms behind these search engines will boost your work to rank better and appear more often.
“Giving” is the best marketing strategy you can use
Think of it this way.
If someone were to offer you something for free, you’re skeptical in the beginning. But upon a closer look, knowing you have nothing to lose, you accept something given to you for free. If the product or service has some sort of benefit or appeal to you, you will remember the name of the person who offered it to you. And you’ll tend to come back for more.
This simple strategy is extremely efficient in building followers if the product or service value meets customer needs. Whenever you offer something for free, it is regarded in most cases as a kind gesture. And it can get people to sign up, follow or like your work.
This is why we’d like to take this opportunity and give you three of our free books to help you boost your influence.
Build a website to appear in Google searches
Building your own website opens doors to myriad possibilities. The biggest advantage is that people can find, interact, and sign up to you. A website is perhaps the most powerful marketing tool for any influencer where you can insert all details about you.
If you need help, we have a free book to help you build, design, and market your website on a budget. Basically, all you have to pay for is the hosting fee, which ranges between $3 to $8 dollars a month.
Video is King
On top of having a website, you need to expand to providing video content you can publish on platforms like Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, or your personal website. People nowadays prefer video content over articles. According to Impact, 75 Million people in the U.S. alone watch online videos every day.
Video content is becoming more popular amongst many search engines and has higher engagement and more shares on social media.
If you want some help with Youtube video marketing, we have yet another free book to help you out.
Now we finally turn our attention to social media!
How should you optimize your social media profile to its maximum capacity for outreach?
Having a Business Page for Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and Instagram are more important than ever before. If your content is attractive and pragmatic, people will like, share, and comment.
The aim is to create engaging content or stories that your audience can relate to or find valuable info. Every comment or share you receive boosts your post’s visibility.
Linkedin is my favorite. It is particularly good since every like is the equivalent of a Facebook share, giving your post more coverage.
Be aware of the different niches that get promoted on these social media platforms. Make sure that you focus your energy on the right social media platform.
Don’t overuse the ones that fall short of your audience’s interest. For example, don’t use goofy videos for Linkedin, or very technical stuff on Facebook. (Unless you have a very techie audience.)
- Facebook: Entertainment, fun, hot topics, cooking, travel, social issues and politics debates.
- Linkedin: Business, economics, investment, career, university
- Twitter: latest news, updates, opinions, feuds, political opinions and disputes
- Instagram: travel, fitness, food, nude images
Should I pay for Social Media impressions and followers?
Paid content on social media performs alright.
It gives a grand boost one can hope for… as long as you keep paying. Unlike with websites, paid content on social media gets clicks instantly. This is their business model. As long as you pay, your posts get a lot of impressions and more clicks than you’d ever get without paying.
My suggestion is to try certain Facebook Campaigns to a certain point. But don’t overdo it.
After receiving a few thousand likes or followers, you should stop pumping credit. Having a few thousand likes on social media is a good indicator for many visitors that you have an existing audience. But make sure that the audience is engaging and that they give some likes, comments, or shares.
Otherwise, a page with thousands of followers receiving no interactions might appear deceiving.
Construct and join online communities
Create a Public Facebook or Linkedin Group and start inviting people you know. This way you can build an audience by yourself without needing any technical knowledge. In the beginning, it will be your social media connections.
Later you can create an email campaign through your website, where people can sign up. (See, another benefit for a website.)
If you don’t want to bother with building a website or engaging in an email campaign, for the time being, it is completely fine. In that case, you can resort to asking your friends to invite their friends to join you. Given that you provide some sort of value for them, the word will spread faster.
An alternative way to build your audience is to join communities, both in real life or online. This is an easier way to engage with people by applying to someone else’s community, like a popular person/organization or an influencer’s community. You can comment or share your own thoughts with like-minded people.
In the end, if you’ve provided some sort of value to this community, you can share a link or info about your own business or yourself.
Pinterest deserves special attention
Pinterest is by far the best social network and deserves special attention. Why is that?
Because pins last for a very long time on Pinterest dashboards. The average lifespan of a pin you share on Pinterest lasts a thousand times longer than any other social media channel. According to the CEO of Pinqura, Pinterest clicks keep coming all the way for 30 days and beyond.
This way, you have a much higher chance of finding followers, repins, clicks, and saves on Pinterest.
You can also create a business account in minutes and keep track of your audience and engagement. This will give you a clear understanding of which pin you’ve posted performs the best.
Pinterest is just awesome! 😎
We have mentioned earlier the difficulty of collaboration. But it’s not impossible. You just need to reach out to the right people who are on the same level as you. And you need to make a clear value proposition if you want to reach out to them.
You have to provide some sort of value to the collaborator to work with you. Start out with an email that admires their work.
If you get a positive response, you’re on the right track and you can pitch your skills and plans to them.
Optimize your content
We have saved the best for last.
How can you understand what people want? And how can you avoid falling into a pit of competitors clawing at each others’ throats for likes, followers, subscribers, and influence?
This is important if you have a website or any kind of online business.
There is a technical way to solve this problem through data research.
The best way to look at this is to research certain keywords that you want to involve in your content. I’d recommend using Ubersuggest because it is free and easy for starters to see what people search for online and the rate of competition.
Simply enter a specific word that you’d like to see what the search volume is and SD (SEO Difficulty) which shows how competitive your keyword is on a scale from 1 to 100. The higher the SD, the more competitive it is.
If you want to be an influencer chef and you see a keyword like “healthy pancakes” you can see how many people search this term in Google, by looking at Search Volume. You also have to keep in mind that SD has to be low, otherwise, there is no point in providing any content on healthy pancakes if you are a beginner.
Almost everyone wants to be an influencer. The perks are just too tempting. However, the illusion of this glamorous lifestyle brings a lot of competition. After all, it is a business. And your name or artist name is a brand that you have to promote just like any business.