A long time ago, before the dawn of TikTok, viral memes and mass internet consumption, children wanted to grow up to become astronauts, movie stars, or even princes and princesses. Nowadays, many people have a slightly different ambition: to become an influencer.
Several studies have shown that this is now a dream career choice for young people in particular, and more power to them. Influencers not only get to do a fun and creative job building communities and inspiring others, but can earn some serious dollar too.
It’s estimated that influencers make anywhere between $10 (£8) to $10,000+ (£8,000+) per post, with the industry baseline believed to be $100 (£8) per 10,000 followers. Some mega influencers (those with one million plus followers) earn millions of pounds a pop — for example, Kylie Jenner, is believed to charge $1.2 million (£960,000) per Instagram post.
With all that in mind, how do you actually go about becoming an influencer and reaping these rewards? Well, as a marketing agency that regularly uses influencers as part of our campaigns, we’d like to think we know a thing or two about the subject. Here is our step-to-step guide on how to become an influencer.
Step 1: Nail down your niche
Most influencers have a niche. Whether it’s home cleaning (like Mrs Hinch), beauty (like Addison Rae) or fitness (like Simeon Panda), having a set focus makes it much easier for you to grow a community of people who trust you. As the saying goes: a jack of all trades is a master of none, so the first step to becoming an influencer is working out what you want to specialise in. In order to do so, we recommend asking yourself the following questions:
- What am I passionate about?
- What subject do I know the most about?
- What content would I actually enjoy creating?
Step 2: Create content pillars
Content pillars refer to the three to five topics you will consistently produce content on. For example, say you’re a fitness influencer, then three of your content pillars might be workout tips, motivational quotes and client testimonials.
Creating these pillars makes it much easier to plan your content schedule, including creating a content calendar. This prevents you from scrambling to produce things at the last minute, which is hardly ever a good idea in life, let’s face it.
Step 3: Pick your platforms
Working out your content strategy goes hand in hand with deciding which social media platforms you use — after all, these will be where you’ll post your content, making them the lifeblood of your venture.
Which platforms you pick depends on factors such as your target audience and your budget. For example, TikTok has a younger demographic than Instagram, while Twitter is easily the cheapest platform to promote your content on.
Step 4: Optimise your profiles
Optimising your social media profiles lets others know that you’re open for business, while also making your pages more palatable to visitors.
Two of the main ways to optimise your social media profiles are to create a business account and update your bio. The former shows brands that you’re a potential partner, while also adding more contact options to your profile. Whereas updating your bio to explain who you are and what you do works sort of like a pitch, again helping to make your account more enticing.
Step 5: Create content
By this stage, you’re finally ready to start actually creating content! Woo hoo. Whether it’s videos, blogs, podcasts or something else, this content needs to be original, valuable and authentic. Some other useful tips include harnessing the power of hashtags and boosted posts to improve your content’s reach and gain new followers.
Consistency is key to creating content as an influencer, though do bear in mind that different platforms have different recommended post rates. For example, it’s advised to post between three to seven times a week on Instagram, but send one to five tweets a day on Twitter.
Finally, be sure to perform social media analytics to see what works, and what doesn’t to help you going forward.
Step 6: Build your community
Building a community is essential to becoming a successful influencer, and the key to doing so is interacting with your followers. So, always respond to comments and DMs, while embracing things like user-generated content, giveaways, competitions and hosting in-person events. It’s also a good idea to collaborate with other influencers to help attract new followers too.
Although you want to create as large a community as possible, do bear in mind that having quality followers is just as important. This will give you an audience that trusts your recommendations, buys products you recommend, and follows you on other platforms.
Step 7: Network, network, network
While you may be lucky and have them come to you, you’re likely going to need to put yourself out there to earn brand collaborations. Some useful tips to this end include:
- Use influencer marketing platforms to get connected with brands looking for influencers to promote their products.
- Create and send media kits to brands. This should include information on things like your profile details, past campaigns and audience demographics.
- Get in touch with PR firms, who can act as middlemen in setting you up with brands.
Speaking of which, Pitch is a first-class PR agency with significant experience in influencer marketing. We have a number of popular influencers on our roster, and are always looking for new individuals to add to the list. We can help take your influencer career to the next level, so, once you’ve established yourself (with the help of this guide), be sure to get in touch with us to see how we can help you.
That point also rounds off our list — good luck in your venture, and we hope the above tips help speed up your path to success!