Being an influencer on social media is an absolutely booming business. It looks simple enough, but there is so much more than just taking photos and video if you really want to make a career out of it. It can be a bit complicated if you aren’t sure where to start.
Good thing you’re here because this is a good place to start. Read along to learn more about what it means to be an influencer, and what you can do to start your path towards becoming an influencer.
How to Start: Be Authentic
When you’re just starting out, there are a few aspects of being an influencer that you should really focus on to set yourself up for success. One of the most important aspects is knowing your audience. Your audience will be determined by what your content and brand are. This is one of the reasons why it is so important that what you create and share is authentic to you. You don’t want to get into influencing and then run out of content ideas, or realize that you don’t connect with your audience because you started out creating content that wasn’t really you.
If you stay true to yourself and keep your content authentic, then your audience will be made up of like-minded people with who you can connect on a personal level. That will make knowing your audience fairly easy once you get into the groove of interacting with them.
Another important part of being an influencer is staying true to your image and sense of self. This ties into pretty much every part of being an influencer, because it is such a key component. If you stay true to yourself, then the content will flow well, and your followers will be able to tell that you are authentic. If you twist up who you are to fit what you think the market wants, then not only will you eventually run out of content ideas. Your audience will be able to tell. Even if you have some of the most amazing content out there, if it doesn’t ring true to your audience, you won’t get very far.
Choose Sponsors That You Actually Like
In the same vein of remaining true to yourself, work with a brand that you actually like. When you get the opportunities to create sponsored videos, always do your research into the company. Make sure that you agree with what they are selling and what their mission statement is so that you only partner with companies that are inline with your own goals and beliefs.
You should always remain focused on being as honest with your followers as possible. You don’t have to tell them everything, but everything you do say should be truthful. If you lie about something and get caught in it, it could tank your following. So even if the situation you are talking about isn’t ideal, tell the truth.
You don’t have to share your entire life online. If you decide to talk about something, be truthful, but if you decide that you want to keep your private life to yourself, and just share a portion of it with the world, that is completely okay. You may end up feeling pressure to share more and more to stay relevant, but if you end up sharing more than you feel comfortable with, that is just another way of compromising your authenticity.
Learn From Others
Another very important thing you can do is listen to the people who are already influencers to learn what works for them. In writing this piece, I reached out to one of my personal favorite influencers (although she wouldn’t call herself an influencer), @thatgracegirl. I asked Grace for overall information on how she became an influencer and what she would recommend for people who are trying to make it in the world of social media influencers.
In her own words, here is what Grace had to say about her journey in the world of social media and influencer marketing.
“I started my blog as a creative outlet while I was at university, and (thanks to the acne I’ve had since I was 13) it turned into a documentation of my skincare journey, which then evolved into a portfolio of writing which I used to kickstart my career as a beauty editor. Instagram is just one outlet where I communicate this passion (without having had a brief on what to write!). As for advice for aspiring creators, I have <10k followers on Instagram but 160k readers on my blog, so I strongly believe that you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket!”
Grace’s words show that there really are many paths to becoming an influencer, and as long as you stick with what is authentic to you, you’ll be on the right track. As you move forward, you’ll learn from experience about what works for you, what type of influencers you can follow for advice, and what kind of influencer you really want to work as.
Find the social media platforms that work best for you. Maybe you’ll be an Instagram influencer, or maybe you’ll find that Twitter is where you were meant to be. Over time, you’ll increase your brand awareness and find your niche target audience in social media influencer marketing.
Overall, there isn’t a straightforward path towards becoming an influencer, because there are so many different types of social influencers out there It all depends on who you are, what you love, and how you create on social media. The main thing that you need to stick with is staying authentic. Be authentic with yourself and your audience. With a little bit of persistence, you will find your place in the world of influencers.
Don’t expect to get a million followers on Instagram overnight, because it simply doesn’t work like that, but if you work hard, stay true, and find a way to really connect with people, you’ll be alright.