Influencer marketing has grown in popularity and effectiveness as a method of online marketing. With millions of internet users every day searching for entertainment, inspiration, and product suggestions on social media platforms, it’s no surprise that marketers are leveraging the power of social media’s most famous faces for marketing. According to statista.com, the global influencer marketing market value was 16.4 billion US dollars in 2022, more than doubling since 2019. As the influencer endorsement industry matures, the number and value of influencer marketing platforms grow year after year, making collaborations between brands and creators more valuable than ever.
If you are reading this, you’re likely wondering how to become an influencer. In this article, we’ll look at what it takes to become an influencer and the measures you must follow to achieve success. Undoubtedly, the road to success is long and paved with many ascents. It is not easy to become renowned, let alone influential! Certain personal qualities and skills must be surely added to the mix. However, if this is what you want to do, I want to encourage you not to give up. Throughout this guide, I will provide you with some practical advice on how to base your work on social networks like Instagram, thereby developing a strategy that will hopefully lead you to being an influencer.
What exactly is an influencer?
An influencer is someone who can persuade people to buy a service or product by advertising, recommending, or utilizing it on social media. Typically, an influencer has built credibility in a specific niche. This person then uses his/her authority to reach out to a big audience on many channels.
According to Search Engine Journal, the top ten most influential people are:
- Cristiano Ronaldo, a Portuguese soccer player with 787 million followers;
- Leo Messi, an Argentine soccer player with 530 million followers;
- Selena Gomez, an American singer/songwriter with 499 million followers;
- Kylie Jenner, an American influencer/reality TV personality with 450 million followers;
- Kim Kardashian, an American influencer and reality television celebrity with 450 million followers;
- Dwayne Johnson, an American actor/wrestler, with 435 million followers on Instagram;
- Taylor Swift, an American musician with 408 million followers;
- Katy Perry, an American singer-songwriter with 395 million followers;
- Ariana Grande, an American singer, songwriter, and actress with 391 million followers on Instagram.
How to Become a Social Media Influencer
Here are our 20 tips on what you need to do if you want to become an influencer on social media.
1. Identify your niche
Determine your area of interest first. Is it fashion, technology, entertainment, health, or another topic? Carve out a niche within your passion to distinguish yourself from other influencers. If you want to be a fashion influencer, you may choose a subcategory such as streetwear, Gothic fashion, minimalist fashion, or vintage clothing. Determine who your target audience is first if you need help finding your specialty. Consider your ideal consumer’s wants, objectives, challenges, and ambitions when determining your target audience. Then, using that data, develop a buyer persona to identify the best niche to reach your target customer.
2. Select your platform
Once you’ve determined your target audience, you must select a platform (or platforms) via which to reach them. Instagram is one of the most popular platforms for influencers and marketers. Since Instagram has surpassed previous platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as the famous Snapchat, you’ve certainly heard stories about people making a living, if not becoming wealthy, by using this platform. Now what you want to know is how to become an Instagram influencer since you believe you have all the qualities to become renowned and well-liked.
That doesn’t imply Instagram is perfect for everyone, especially if your target demographic doesn’t spend much time on the network. For example, if you’re an influencer with a video gaming niche, Twitch might be a far better platform. Twitch is frequently used by video game players to watch content creators play their favorite games or stream their playthroughs. If your target audience is mainly made up of Gen Z, TikTok should be your platform of choice. You should also conduct research on other influencers in your niche to see which platforms they use the most. Style influencers, for example, are mostly found on Instagram or Pinterest. Entertainment influencers are most likely to be found on TikTok or YouTube.
You may choose the best social media site to post your content once you know which platform your audience and fellow influencers use the most. Remember, though, that the ultimate goal is to convince corporations to pay you to promote their products and develop content for them.
3. Take care of your profile
If you want to be an influencer, it appears to me that you must first take care of your profile to the best of your ability. I’m presuming you’ve already mastered all of the tips for using the platform of your choosing and its most popular tools. For example, for Instagram, the main profile components can be summarized in biography, username, and profile image.
Because these are the first aspects that consumers and companies see, you must upload an image that best represents you for your profile photo and write an appealing bio. Consider including hashtags in the bio text area of your Instagram profile so that people and/or businesses can quickly find you by searching using hashtags.
In terms of the profile photo, it is critical to select one that shows you at your finest, such as a close-up shot that shows you in an attractive light. The username of your Instagram account is also very significant since it is the name that will represent you on the social network and will be used by other users to find you on the platform.
4. Create content for your profile
If you want to become a social media influencer, you’ll need to start working hard on creating content. Determine the sector of reference first, and then begin publishing high-quality images on a regular basis on Instagram for example. If you have picked a reference area with established personalities, you will need to focus on developing your own personal style in order to gain recognition through the production of original content. You can shoot images with a professional camera or straight with your smartphone, then apply filters or do photographic retouching with photo editing software or apps.
The format and quality of your material will make or break your chances of being a successful influencer. Choose the format in which you will create your material. The structure should be possible on the platform you want to use, and it should allow you to offer relevant information while displaying your distinct personality. An excellent content strategy will provide your audience with a healthy mix of useful and personal information. Remember that people trust influencers because they are relatable and real.
According to the TikTok platform, 72% of its users find “normal creators” more intriguing than celebrities, so chances are in your favor. A good strategy is to use the 5-3-2 approach to establish the ideal content balance. The 5-3-2 guideline states that five out of every ten postings should be handpicked information from a source relevant to your audience. Three posts should be relevant to your audience and two should be personal posts about yourself to humanize your online presence.
Influencers are known for providing valuable information to their audience. This includes distributing stuff published by others that they believe will be useful to their followers. Sharing material from other influencers in your area will help you gradually gain their attention. As a result, reaching out to them and asking them to do the same for you will be a lot easier later on. When it comes to content quality, you should invest in equipment such as microphones, cameras, and lighting to provide your audience with stunning content that will keep them coming back for more. However, nowadays smartphones have fantastic cameras, so if you don’t want to invest in an expensive camera, you may capture your material on your phone. Simply use the front-facing camera to get the best image.
5. Make your content available to the public
No matter how good your material is, if you don’t get people to see it and interact with it, it’s not very useful. That being stated, it is critical that you carefully plan out when you will publish and distribute your material on social media. The optimum time to share material on social media is heavily influenced by the social media outlet you use.
It’s equally important to understand how to share your material on social media. Each social media channel has its own set of regulations and guidelines to follow.
6. Obtain a large number of followers
Once your profile is live and you start publishing your content, you will have to work hard to gain a significant number of followers. Followers are extremely important to show your worth to the companies that will work with you. Because popularity does not happen by accident, it is appropriate to provide you with some targeted advice on the finest tactics you can simply employ to build your follower pool inside the social network, in this case, Instagram.
Use hashtags to increase interaction with your postings
Instagram is mostly a visual social network, but when you submit a photo or video, you can increase interactions by using hashtags. Hashtags are simply labels used to organize published information. You can use up to 30 hashtags in a single Instagram post to boost its visibility. People who use Instagram run hashtag searches and will thus be able to see the post you produced.
Using hashtags is therefore critical for reaching your target audience and getting them to interact by commenting on the information you produce. The hashtags must be included in the post’s description and must be relevant to the subject or object depicted in the published photograph.
If you are unsure about which hashtags to use, you can utilize internet services or free programs that can tell you which are the most popular “labels” and which you can subsequently use for your post.
Other users can be commented on, liked, and followed
Another piece of advice I have for you is to interact with other platform users. Instagram is a social network that encourages user interaction through the use of likes, comments, and private messages.
You can also gain popularity by following other individuals on Instagram in order to get recognized by users who share your interests. Obviously, the people you follow may not return the “follow,” but following others is still a means to get recognized.
Consider connecting with other users by liking and commenting on their posts; especially use the comment tool to increase your visibility.
Make use of Instagram stories and streams
Another Instagram feature you can utilize to expand your followers and progress toward being an influencer in your profession is the utilization of all Instagram features, including Stories and Live Streaming.
The Stories, in particular, are concerned with the release of films and photographs that you need to talk about today; in reality, they disappear from your profile, feed, and messages after 24 hours, unless you add them to your profile as Featured Stories. You can increase your reach by including mentions of other users and hashtags.
Stories, as well as, and especially, Live Streaming, are wonderful Instagram tools for improving your interaction with your audience. Through the latter, you can present yourself in real time and communicate to the people who follow you about your passions and interests; in fact, it is a really engaging feature.
Broaden your audience
To become an Instagram influencer, you must have a large number of followers. As a result, another recommendation is to broaden your audience by publishing Instagram material on other social networks such as Facebook.
In fact, the Instagram app allows you to publish your content directly from your Facebook page or profile. You can also reach out to pals who have not yet subscribed to Instagram or who do not use the social network in this manner.
To perform this operation, you must first connect your Instagram account to your Facebook profile or page: tap on the button with the little man symbol at the bottom right to view your Instagram profile, then tap on the button with the gear symbol and tap on the word Linked accounts.
You must touch on the Facebook button in this section and then add your profile or Facebook page. You can also connect your Twitter or Tumblr profiles using the Connected Accounts option.
You will have connected other social networks to Instagram in this manner, but before publishing a photo on Instagram, you will need to manually authorize the sharing of the content on other social interaction platforms; this setting can be found in the preview screen for publishing a photo or video on Instagram.
7. Be true to yourself
Remember that sincerity is essential for becoming a great influencer. The vast majority of marketers believe “authenticity and transparency” are critical to successful influencer marketing. As consumers do by choosing influencers that produce genuine, engaging content. Being yourself is the best way to be authentic. While your content should be of high quality, you do not need to be flawless to be an influencer.
Don’t be scared to be fun or show off your sense of humor in front of the camera – customers adore influencers because they are more relatable and “real” than celebrities or corporations.
8. Maintain consistency
Your fans must be able to rely on you to constantly offer high-quality content. If you don’t, they’ll stop following you or even paying attention to you. Scheduling your posts with a social automation solution can help assure consistency. Rather than individually posting to each of your social media profiles, these tools let you compose, upload, and schedule articles in bulk.
9. As needed, repurpose content
When it comes to influencing, new and interesting content should always be prioritized, but repurposing information can be beneficial at times. Repurposing content is extremely useful when you’re short on time, don’t have any new ideas, or simply need to post something to stay on track. You can also repurpose material to extend the life of your posts on other sites. Repost your Instagram Reel to TikTok or YouTube Shorts if it performed well but might use extra views.
10. Communicate with your audience
Take the time to acknowledge and answer your followers when they leave a question or comment on your blog. That can make them feel important and as if you truly desire to assist them. It will also aid in the development of your friendship with them. Of course, not all comments and feedback will be favorable. As an influencer, you should expect to get bad feedback and criticism. Maintain your composure and confront them professionally.
11. Create an online community centered on your content
Building trust with your audience is key to your influencer’s success. Creating a community around your work is one method to gain trust. Make a forum for your audience to ask questions, interact with your content, and connect with others who are interested in your work or area. Some influencers create communities on Discord, Reddit, or other platforms in order to communicate openly with their fans. You may also organize live Q&As or create your own hashtag to communicate with your followers.
12. Make connections with other influencers
Collaborate with other influencers in your niche to increase your network and broaden your audience. Potential partners can be found through social media, online groups, or by visiting conferences and events. Having business cards to hand out to possible colleagues is also a good idea.
13. Stay informed
It is critical for an influencer to keep up with the current trends and hot subjects. So, follow other artists in your area on social media, keep an eye out for hot hashtags and challenges, and learn about the phrases your target audience is searching for online. You should also keep in mind that social media platforms frequently modify their policies, algorithms, and posting restrictions, so stay up to speed to avoid having your account become irrelevant or, worse, closed. Most importantly, you should become acquainted with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) laws and policies, particularly if you intend to collaborate with brands to advertise their products and services on your social media accounts.
14. Create a webpage
Whether you use YouTube, TikTok, Pinterest, or another social media network, your website should always be an influencer. Websites are wonderful for SEO because they provide a space for you to develop evergreen content with keywords that are geared to rank high in SERPs. You can develop content based on subjects and keywords that your target audience is looking for, attracting them to your website. Furthermore, a website allows customers to interact with you directly and purchase your stuff. It also enables marketers and advertisers to learn more about you and your content and contact you for potential partnerships.
Finally, the most crucial reason to establish a website is to secure a long-term home base. Social media platforms are always evolving. An app that is popular today may lose users in the future. Worse, a platform can fully shut down, erasing all of your content. A website that stores your company’s information, content, links, and contact information will help you stay relevant and grow as an influencer for years to come.
15. Make a media kit and pitch it to brands
A media kit is a CV or portfolio for influencers. An influencer media kit includes information about your work, accomplishments, audience size, and why businesses should collaborate with you. To find work, every influencer should have a media kit that they can send to marketing professionals, brand reps, and agencies. The design of the kit is equally as crucial as its content because you’ll want a design that reflects your individuality because personality is important. Media kits can also help you appear more professional. Many people start influencing and creating material as a pastime. A media kit demonstrates to corporations that you are not a hobbyist and are serious about your job.
The following items should be included in your kit:
- Your photograph
- A brief bio
- Your social media outlets, as well as the number of followers you have on each platform Engagement rate Audience demographics
- Website link Information about previous projects and collaborations
You may create a media kit with Canva or buy media kit templates on Etsy.
16. Keep track of your progress
This stage is critical, especially if you want to work with businesses on influencer marketing campaigns because this is one of the qualities brands look for in an influencer. Most social media platforms provide insights and metrics to track your progress, such as demographics, reach, and engagement rate, which show how fast (or slowly) you’re growing your audience. It will also reveal which content forms receive the highest interaction rates, allowing you to develop more of them.
17. Make contact with companies in order to collaborate
Once you have a significant number of followers, you can either sit back and wait for firms to contact you, or you can be more active and begin privately contacting the organizations with which you want to cooperate. To do so, you can contact these companies via their official website or via a direct message on the social media platform, explaining your readiness to begin a commercial relationship and why you believe you are a good fit in both circumstances.
18. Flag your paid content as sponsored
If you have met your objective and have been approached by a company to begin cooperation, be upfront with your followers and inform them that the content you published was sponsored by a company by using hashtags such as #ad, #sp, or #sponsored in the post’s caption. I’m sure your followers would appreciate your honesty.
19. Always be eager to learn and experiment with new platforms
As previously said, social media platforms frequently fall out of favor with audiences, so be prepared to shift when a platform loses traction. Keep an eye out for new social platforms and keep an eye on where your audience is tuned in. To be a good influencer, you must be sincere, organized, flexible, and willing to adapt to changing trends. Of course, you must provide high-quality content that demonstrates to brands and followers that you are serious about your profession.
20. Have fun!
Becoming an influencer is a long journey, and having fun is an important attitude to keep enjoying what you are doing along the way and pass it on to your audience.
That’s all. You’re more ready to enter the influencer market now that you know what actions to take.