Thanks to the advent of social media, monetizing your passion is easier than ever. Becoming a renowned influencer is one way to make this dream happen.
More and more people are taking the opportunity of turning their passion, pastime, and fortes into a fulfilling business. And if done right, this could be one heck of a profitable business.
For these reasons, interest in the influencer market has increased by 90X since 2013.
Now, if you too happen to be a connoisseur of some sort, this blog post will show you how to let your talents shine most profitably. Here’s what you need to know about becoming an influencer in 2021.
You cannot be a successful influencer if you do not market yourself right. Optimized influencer marketing may be your key to becoming the next sensation, whether it’s in your community, state, or beyond.
Influencer marketing saves businesses the trouble to first locate and then earn the trust of their target demographic. All that businesses have to do is approach the influencer with the right following and enter into a contractual agreement with them to collaborate and promote their products.
This kind of promotion is highly targeted and yields greater sales conversions. This is why, according to a study, around 86% of businesses used influencer marketing in their sales process in 2017.
One of the reasons why influencer marketing has become so effective is because of the change in consumer trends.
The audience no longer trusts celebrity endorsements as they did in the past. They no longer believe the wealthy and famous who mostly do not even use the products they promote.
People are now flocking towards endorsers who are from their peer groups and who appear passionate about what they sell.
Influencers are more connected with their fan bases as opposed to traditional celebrities. And the way most of them can gain traction on social media is by revealing glimpses of their everyday personal lives with their fans. This allows the audience to connect with them on a greater level.
Because an influencer’s life is accessible and not mysterious like that of a celebrity, audiences are able to build a relationship of trust with them.
This is why even micro-influencers can gain traction and a following which monetizes profitably and offers them a sufficient lifestyle. Here are some of the best influencer marketing platforms in 2021.
Let’s dive deep into the various perks of being an influencer.
The perks of becoming an influencer are many. First and foremost, free stuff!
Most companies will assess your social presence and offer a compensation package that is appropriate. As an influencer, you’ll have the chance to send a counter-offer. Getting free products to have a first-hand experience is a must. Just be patient on the delivery; setting logistics up can be a pain for the account managers.
While many people simply marvel at the idea of becoming a source of positive inspiration for others, becoming an influencer is a good way to promote your business.
Influencers have an enormous impact on customers’ decision-making. One study revealed that influencers are now one of the most trusted and effective sources for converting sales.
Influencer marketing allows you to gain visibility for your business at a fraction of the cost that traditional marketing requires. You have the opportunity to work with renowned brands and create sponsored posts that bring you extra revenue. Take each opportunity to promote your brand in association with the sponsor.
Plus the general euphoria of connecting with a larger audience and networking with people who love you and your content makes influencing a worthwhile career.
Given the perks of an influencer career, it is no surprise that the market is so saturated. The biggest downside to becoming an influencer is the competition.
It’s just not possible to stand out from the crowd with mediocre content anymore. Behind the glam of most renowned social media influencers are dedicated handwork and persistent effort.
Not only must your content be catchy and interesting, but you must also have a solid strategy to market this content.
Influencers must also be very careful with the product they endorse and the brands they work with.
The entire premise of influencer marketing is erected on genuine endorsements made by people with whom the audience connects and resonates. If an influencer fails to bring that to the table, they will fail to influence and make the impact they were hoping for.
It is much easier for an influencer to lose repute and followers than TV celebrities if they fail to show transparency in their endorsements.
You must be careful not to bombard them with sponsored content and disengage them with fake endorsements.
We’ve already established how the life of an influencer is more than just the glamour and glitz you see on the surface.
Continuously standing out from the crowd and putting out highly entertaining or value-based content can be mentally and physically taxing. Also, gaining sufficient influence requires patience.
Very few people have had the luxury to hop on the “viral” bandwagon. Typically, it takes some time to build an online presence, gain visibility, earn trust and establish a solid reputation.
That being said, here are a few considerations to make when opting for this career.
Being an influencer is not just about looks. Even if that gives you a head start, it will be your personality that will keep the ball rolling. And it doesn’t mean you have to fake a persona. In fact, most people can see through an act and dislike it.
You will have to dig deep inside and bring out that relatable and marketable person that people would love to see. Never mind whether the person is quirky and fun or knowing and humble.
Are you the type to generally be at the forefront of every hot trend? Do people come to you constantly for guidance? Do your friends and family look up to you for support, derive, and inspiration? Have you a knack for discovering, creating, and manifesting ideas?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then chances are becoming an influencer is the right career for you.
Being an expert at something does not guarantee success, but it’s a good starting point.
If you’ve been able to do that in your little circle, it shouldn’t be all that difficult to do it big time.
The best and most powerful influencers are the ones who know when to say “no”. And trust us when we say it won’t be easy.
When whole stashes of cash are being thrown at you for exaggerating your admiration for a brand or a product, it is easy to compromise your morals.
Even the most successful influencers have made this mistake and regretted it later. For influencers just starting, bad endorsements could be a career-ending move.
You must learn to value your judgments. This means you should keep an eye out for good vs. bad endorsements.
If you think you have the strength to not compromise your morals in the face of some real financial opportunity, then you’re guaranteed to score long term.
Like it or not but influencers who have an eye for aesthetics, as well as some real skills with the editing software, are in for a lead. For many, matching the aesthetics of their content with the overall vibe of their personal brand can be a tedious process.
If you’re one of those people whom the thought of heavy editing and careful aesthetics tires out, then this might not be a good career for you.
We’re not implying that you must have top-notch tech skills. That being said, editing and aesthetics are part and parcel of an influencer’s career.
People who can’t help being perfectionists with their content and genuinely enjoy upgrading its quality and aesthetics are more likely to succeed in this career.
The social network is not for everybody. Many shrink at the thought of putting their every move out there for the world to see.
If you can scroll down your social media posts and remain unfazed by people’s opinions, then you’re on the right track.
Many people feel vulnerable leading a public life. Other than public opinion, there is also the constant temptation of comparing yourself to other influencers. Both can be daunting for those who place too much premium on what others think.
But if you are the type to only take the good out of something and leave out the bad, then this may be a good fit.
If you can take people’s criticism in your stride, perhaps find a good inspiration or two in what you see instead of making debilitating comparisons, you’ll enjoy being an influencer.
There are primarily two ways influencers can market their content and create a following: blogging and social media. Each type of marketing is used and tailored for different audiences and business purposes.
Below, we dive into both and see what it takes to succeed with each kind of marketing.
Social media has revolutionized the entire marketing spectrum. It’s accessible to virtually everyone and has the power to direct huge online visitors to your business.
There are various social media platforms, some more popular than others. YouTube and Instagram are two of the most commonly used platforms for influencers. The reasons are the great space for content creation and various mechanisms to boost engagement rates.
There are two things influencers love doing the most. Creating aesthetically appealing or informative content, and engaging audiences through that content.
Instagram and Youtube are two social media platforms where influencers can achieve these goals the best.
Instagram allows you to post stories, engage your fanbase with eye-catching photos and establish your brand’s look and appeal.
YouTube offers influencers a chance to dive even deeper into audience engagement. With YouTube, you can publish any number of videos on virtually any possible topic.
Once you’ve established a following, you can begin dropping Call-to-Action links and direct your following to your websites and blogs.
Another emerging platform that influencers can’t get enough of is Tik-Tok. Unlike YouTube and Instagram, Tik-Tok is mostly for entertainment and gaining visibility.
Influencers can also maintain their visibility on other popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. However, your time on any of these will be heavily influenced by the nature of your chosen niche.
For example, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are immensely popular with digital marketing and tech influencers.
On the other hand, lifestyle influencers are better off with Instagram and YouTube.
Nowadays, many influencers are using webinars and podcasts as an outreach tool as well. Here’s a list of some of the best webinar platforms which can greatly assist influencers.
The majority of marketers understand that it is not easy to fit the entire story of their business in a tweet or an Instagram post.
Owning a website and blogging is a viable way to direct, nurture, and guide audiences towards your goals.
No one is doing this better (or teaching it) than Adam Enfroy.
Blogging gives you the space and platform to make your unique voice heard. It also helps in establishing you as something of an expert in your niche or industry.
This is the place where you can unleash your inner thought-leader, experiment with ideas, and guide your followers along your sales conversion funnel.
One of the best ways to direct followers to your blog is by dropping a link in your posts that directs them to your website’s landing page.
Most bloggers have also mastered the art of SEO to perfection. They have learned how to make on-page and off-page tweaks to their websites to help them land somewhere at the top of a search engine page.
Influential bloggers have been in the industry for some time and the trend continues to be hot.
Moreover, businesses can also use these tools to find influencers related to their industry or niche.
So you’ve examined the odds of becoming an influencer and are convinced that this lifestyle is for you? Perfect!
My #1 suggestion for you: Find a mentor, take their course, then put all your focus into mastering it. There are hundreds of courses training this stuff, but I’ve filtered through the garbage and created a list of successful affiliates that I trust to teach their methods.
The following part of our post will describe in detail the necessary steps you need to take and the inside tips that will help you become a successful influencer.
Ever heard of the saying “Jack of all trades and master of none?” Yeah, you shouldn’t do that here. Having a clear niche will put you on the fast track of becoming a micro-influencer.
Research shows that micro-influencers generate two times the sales as paid ads do. They also have a 37% greater customer retention.
It is a human thing to be enamored by experts instead of generalists.
To be a successful influencer, you must pose yourself as an expert of one kind or another. The significant part about this career is that there is virtually no limit to what your niche could be.
From beauty vlogs, luxury and travel lifestyle, to animals, businesses, and relationship consultants, you take what you are great at and go with it.
While choosing a niche will give you an advantage in the competitive world of influencers, there are no hardcore rules here.
If you are unsure what you are “great” at, start with what you are considerably good at and know how to pull it off. Trust us when we tell you that most influencers become experts along the way. They learn and grow with their audiences.
Also, you do not have to hold on to the same niche forever. When in doubt or simply in the mood to experiment, you can always switch things up.
Once you’ve decided on a niche, you must decide on the platform best fit for your niche. This is because each social media channel is tailored for a particular audience.
There are several social media platforms to build your online presence. The most popular being YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Certain social media platforms work better for specific niches. If you want to be something of a fintech expert, Facebook and LinkedIn should be your priority.
For most digital marketing businesses, Facebook remains the most popular marketing strategy. According to a study, up to 94% of marketers use Facebook worldwide.
On the other hand, a beauty vlogger or a health expert would be better off with Youtube and Instagram.
Instagram and YouTube are designed for intense visual appeal and the former even allows you to create a business account. On the other hand, Twitter and LinkedIn are more informative and primarily tailored to networking and growing your leads.
While you can always mix things up later, we’d advise you to take things one at a time, at least in the beginning.
Just as it is important to choose the best marketing platform for your career, you must also take time to understand your audience and target demographic.
What kind of content is your target audience looking for? What solutions are they seeking? Are they here for entertainment or to be informed? Is your target demographic composed of independent decision-making adults, or do you have a younger fanbase?
Understanding your audience is integral to putting out relevant content that helps you create an impactful social media profile.
One way to understand your audience is by engaging with the community, responding to the comments, and holding virtual or onsite fan meetings.
The closer you get to understand the impulses and whims of your audience, whether they are on Tiktok, YouTube, Snapchat, etc., the quicker you’ll get to your goal.
Once you’ve understood the needs and wants of your target audience, it should become easy to generate relevant and value-based content.
Whether you are a blogger or a social media influencer, you wouldn’t get very far without catchy value-based content.
This especially applies in the case of educational content delivered in the form of blogs. People turn to blogs or tutorials to access high-quality content and direct answers to the questions they are seeking.
The same goes for content that you post on your YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok. Your content must resonate with the needs of your audience. This may be hard work but is doable.
The gateway to conversion is providing value to your conversations.
Once you start getting more subscribers or followers, you must keep them engaged.
There are several ways to engage your audience. Posting fresh, highly entertaining, or informative content is one of them. You should never be gone too long, given the fickle attention span of today’s digital audiences.
At the same time, influencers like to engage their audiences by throwing fan meetings, giveaways, holding contests, etc.
Keep your audience on their toes, and they'll always want to come back to you.
There’s a stage in the career of every successful influencer where they have finally attained a sizable following. It may not be the Kardashian level following, but the followers are loyal and persistent.
When you get to this level, brands will start to reach out to you to promote their products on your channels when you get to this level. These are sponsorships. Alternatively, you can reach out to the brands first whose products or offerings align with your niche.
YouTube and Instagram Influencers get paid by brands for promoting their products, but the payment largely depends on an influencer’s following size.
Influencer marketing is big and getting bigger.
Just because a brand does not reach out to you first, do not assume they don’t want to work with you. Take the initiative to reach out.
In the overpopulated world of influencer marketing, it is easy to get overshadowed. Reach out to the brands first and let them know that you own the right target audience for their business.
Most businesses would love to have an influencer simplify the identification and promotion process by taking the products directly to their fan base.
Social media can be a very flimsy place. Trends evolve with viewers’ evolving tastes and so must your business and content strategy.
It would help if you learned to place yourself at the forefront of all that's trending. One way to do this is by optimizing your content.
This means using hashtags with each of your Instagram posts. YouTube also offers content creators some commonly used tags for greater visibility. Video titles on YouTube with the right keywords can also speed up YouTube's algorithm and help with ranking.
When it comes to your blogs, you can use on-page and off-page SEO for optimizing your content. Creating meaningful and valuable content, introducing highly targeted keywords, and generating backlinks for your blogs are some of the ways you can optimize your content.
A highly optimized strategy can make your influencer career much easier and faster to scale.
Here’s a list of some frequently asked questions for a quick roundup.
An influencer is anyone who can influence people’s buying decisions. These are people with a large following and they can affect others’ purchasing decisions by inspiring them and earning their trust.
Can anyone become an influencer?
Anyone can become an influencer but certain traits can set successful influencers apart from their less successful counterparts. These traits include a marketable personality, eye for detail, good social media skills, etc.
The road to becoming an influencer is not easy. The industry is heavily saturated and you must learn to constantly stand out from the crowd.
The requirement to become an influencer is to have the right mix of talent, personality, and passion. An influencer should be, first and foremost, influential. He or she should have a catchy personality, be a thought leader, and must juggle these with great content creation.
You can start off being a micro-influencer with at least 10-50k followers. From here you can scale up to become a macro/ mega influencer with an average following of one million and beyond.
Create and publish value-based content. Address the needs of your target audience through this content. Constantly optimize your posts and take care to boost engagement rates by posting consistently
To become a paid influencer you must at least have a following of a micro-influencer. Once you get to this level, you can begin approaching brands for sponsorships, marketing collaborations and paid promotional campaigns.
YouTube does not come with any stringent qualifications for who can post videos. To become an influencer on YouTube, all you have to do is start creating and posting video-based content. The more often you post, the greater your chances of gaining traction.
The road to becoming an influencer is not easy but it is certainly doable. All you need is the right mix of relatability, uniqueness, and inspiration and you are well on your way to becoming an online sensation.
So, do you have what it takes to be an influencer and make money off your passion? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.