Believe it or not, a lot of marketers – and younger professionals – often ask me this question. So here you go, my advice on how to become a social media influencer, and following the advice below, actually make some money from it.
Gone are the days when you have to leave the comforts of your home, talk to other people face to face, and work in a physical office to earn money. Because of the advent of technology, you can now make money through the Internet—and a classic and one of the newest examples of doing so is being a social media influencer. More and more people and businesses are now considering social media as a necessity rather than just a pastime, which makes it easier and faster for you to earn money. But what does a social media influencer do and how can you actually make money from it?
What Really Is A Social Media Influencer?
In case you didn’t know, a social media influencer is a person who has the power to affect another person’s buying decision based on their online presence. They have this effect on people because of their knowledge, skills, or experience in a particular niche. Bloggers, celebrities, and industry leaders are considered examples of social media influencers. More often than not, products or services endorsed by influencers will be patronized by their audience should they have a need or desire for it. If a particular blogger swears about the benefits of a certain makeup brand, some members of their audience might have a tendency to follow the recommendation and buy the product. Having these kinds of influences can be powerful influencer marketing tools, especially for new or small businesses.
Being a successful social media influencer can be a great way of earning side income in your free time because you can basically work wherever you want, whenever you want. You are not obliged to report in a specific schedule because you’re your own boss.
Social Media Influencer 101: How To Become a Social Media Influencer
Working as a social media influencer can be very attractive for many. Because most social media platforms are easy to navigate, working as a social media influencer can be a piece of cake. But keep in mind that you’re not the only person who wants to earn from this industry. Usually, a lot of people have been earning money as a social media influencer for years and have been successful in their careers. If you want to experience the same or an even greater amount of success, take note of the following tips on how you can become a social media influencer:
1. Find your niche.
Influencer marketing is a diverse market. You can find people who are experts in fashion, automobiles, and gadgets, among others. They’ve spent most of their lifetimes mastering a specific niche and use their knowledge to educate the online community. If you want to do the same while earning money, find your niche first. The niche you choose is crucial as this makes or breaks your success as a social media influence.
To make sure that you actually have the interest and motivation to work as a social media influencer for the longest time possible, pick a niche that’s up to your alley. If you have a knack for DIY projects and crafts, publish content that can help the online community start their own business by selling handcrafted products. Don’t provide content for automobile maintenance if you no idea about cars and how they work.
The more passionate you are about your niche, the easier it will become to both create great content and consistently publish content over the course of weeks, months, and even years.
2. Choose your social media channel.
To be a successful social media influencer, you should decide what social media channel to use. Because there are a lot of social media channels available today, it’s important to choose the right one because it can make or break your chances of engaging with your target audience and earning a profit. To help you choose the most suitable social media channel, take the time to ask the following questions:
- Who is your target audience?
- What social media channel is your competition using?
- What type of content will you create long-term?
- What is the easiest type of content for you to create?
- Where do the recent social media trends point to in terms of trendy social media channels?
It’s hard enough to create content – don’t overstretch yourself. Find the one or maybe two (for A/B testing) social media channels that make sense and stick to them!
3. Develop your content strategy.
Creating a reputable name as a social media influencer can be challenging at first, but it can always be done. Aside from carefully choosing a niche, you should also learn how to develop a content strategy. You need to choose a content medium that can educate your target audience about a specific niche while letting your personality and expertise stand out. Usually, social media influencers use articles, pictures, and even videos as part of their content strategy. One rule of thumb to follow during this process is the 5-3-2 principle.
The 5-3-2 principle means that in every ten posts in your social media, five should be valuable content that is written by another person (preferably someone who is a social media thought leader in your chosen niche), three are informative content that you wrote on your own, and two of these posts should be about yourself. This principle is a great strategy that can perfectly balance your target audience’s need for educational information while letting them know more about your personal side. Letting your personality shine in your content can help you create a brand and authority in a specific niche.
There are many other rules out there – including the 9-1-1 rule that I preach, but your posts should always be on-topic and incorporate the content of others to give your audience a wide variety of content to consume and not come across as being merely self-promotional all the time.
4. Distribute your content properly.
No matter how informative and innovative your content is, if no one actually sees it, all of your efforts will be useless. This is just one of the reasons why you should know how and where to distribute your content properly. Here are some tips to help you out during this process:
- Stick to one theme per social media channel: Each social media channel is commonly used for a specific reason. Instagram can be used to market products and services through pictures, while Twitter, in 280 characters, is usually composed of text bursts. You can use different social media channels for different content, but make sure that you have the time to update all of these channels regularly. Using different social media channels that will only go stale can adversely affect your name as a social media influencer.
- Customize your message: Although you’re posting the same content in different social media channels, it’s best if you exert time customizing them. You want your target audience to feel that they’re actually appreciated and valued, and aren’t being bombarded with spam messages having fake news and myths. Targetting audience without spamming and irritating them results in the true value of influencer marketing and its benefits.
- Optimize your posts for mobile: If you want to succeed as a social media influencer, you should always consider that not everyone will use a desktop computer when they’re browsing the web. Because of the advent of technology, a lot of people are now surfing the Internet through handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets. For you to reach out to all of your target audience, make sure that all of your content is still accessible regardless of the device used.
How Can A Social Media Influencer Make Money?
Different people work as social media influencers for different reasons. While some of them are after convenience, others are in it for the money they can make within a short period. Yes, you read that right: social media influencers can make money even if they’re only using their social media profiles. To paint a clearer picture, here are some ways a social media influencer can easily monetize their online presence:
1. Sponsorships or sponsored content
One of the easiest ways to make money as a social media influencer is through sponsorships or sponsored content. If you have a million followers, you will get paid simply by posting content representing a particular brand or business. Depending on the product or service being endorsed, the influencer can simply post a picture wearing a product of the brand or visiting the business establishment of the sponsor. Celebrities who have the most number of Instagram followers typically use this strategy to earn money.
2. Produce high-quality content for brands
Content is king when it comes to social media marketing. Gone are the days when businesses will only market their products and services to their target audience; today, they need to publish content that can help their target audience realize how their lives will improve once they patronize a brand’s offerings. If you think you’re passionate enough to write different content for a specific niche, invest in high-quality content. Once you’re able to gain a strong online following, brands and businesses will soon reach to you so you’ll write articles or blogs to represent them.
Similar to articles and blogs, webinars are also a great way to make money as a social media influencer. Instead of writing content, a webinar will require you to record videos and discuss a particular topic. For instance, if you have years or decades of experience in business, you can monetize your knowledge through webinars.
4. Affiliate Marketing
This goes without saying!
Why not take what you have learned and coach others on your process?
Consulting is like coaching but for brands with different objectives that might require more of your time for hopefully a greater income.
7. (Digital) Product
Once you become influential, you can monetize your community by promoting a product to them, whether it is your own digital or physical product.
Don’t have a product? Try dropshipping products made elsewhere instead!
The above are only a few to get you started. If you’re looking for more ideas, check out my post on How to Make Money on Instagram.
You’ll Reap What You Sow
Although working as a social media influencer is convenient, remember that you will only succeed in this career if you exert a lot of time and effort in building your brand, gaining credibility in your chosen niche, and getting your audience’s trust. Even though you’re just working in front of a laptop or desktop computer, you still need to be patient with the clients you’ll have, work on exceeding their expectations, and practice time management.
This is a post written by me on behalf of one of my many marketing partners. All opinions are 100% mine.
Hero photo by Diggity on Unsplash
How To Become A Social Media Influencer FAQs
Nano-influencers with less than 10,000 followers can earn between $30,000-$60,000 a year while micro-influencers with 10,000 to 50,000 followers can take home between $40,000-$100,000 per year, according to a Vox report. However, bigger influencers like Cristiano Ronaldo earn an estimated $47.8 million/year just from paid-Instagram posts.
Influencer marketing is a big and diverse market. Hence, if you want brands to notice you and be successful, you need to carefully find a niche that you are passionate about, choose the social media channel you will use, develop your content strategy, and distribute your content properly.
There are four types of social media influencers based on follower count, but there is no scientific rule. Mega-influencers are those with more than 1 million followers, macro-influencers have followers ranging between 50,000-1 million, micro-influencers have 10,000-50,000 followers and nano-influencers have the smallest follower count with less than 10,000.
To become a social media influencer in 2021, you will need to work on gaining real followers on your chosen channel. While follower counts play a vital role in influencer marketing, there are other factors that are also critical for you to be a successful influencer such as the quality of your content and authentic engagement with your audience.
Yes, anyone can be an influencer. However, being an influencer takes a lot of passion, creativity, and time. To be an effective influencer, you must find a niche you love and create content about it to tell the world. Moreover, being authentic and genuine builds reputation, trust, and value to your audience.