The big goal for any solo brand or company is to become an influencer. While the term influencer is subjective, the ideas revolving around influencer marketing are alive and well. This form of marketing is something many people still talk about today.
In fact, it’s more or less the mainstream marketing tactic that many companies try to emulate. After all, it’s not subject to just a single person. With this in mind, here are some simple steps for you to hit that level regardless of if you’re starting out or are well-established.
Pick a Niche
Before starting the path of an influencer, you’ll need a niche. This niche needs to be on a topic that you interested in and that you know you can consistently create content about. It also pays to have some level of experience in that area.
If you already have a business, you’ve got a niche already of course. Still, it’s worth checking those aspects off if your content strategy is lacking.
As someone who wants to be an influencer, you’ll need to be open to doing research and posting content in that area. Because of this, you’ll need to make sure it’s something you love spending time on.
If you have multiple passions – as most people do – it’s okay to pick out two or three interests as well. Either way, you don’t want to go too wild. Keep it specific.
Optimize specific social media profiles
Once you’ve got your niche, you’ll need to get into the heads of your audience and figure out where those people would gather. When you’ve assembled a list, your task is to pick out one or two of these channels and to create profiles on those platforms.
While influencers are likely on multiple platforms, there is usually only one or two they are especially popular on. So starting out, it’s better for you to focus on specific channels.
So how do you optimize profiles? Well, here are some suggestions:
- Make it a business account. If you’re already on Twitter and Facebook and you’ve decided those two spots are where you will concentrate, you’ll likely need to make some changes. Fortunately, major platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have specific settings for you to create or switch to a business account. This is important because a business account provides specific features.
- Make an engaging bio. You don’t need to sell people immediately in your bio, but at least tell them enough to give them a good first impression. Get your bio to tell your story in an engaging way. You also want to include pertinent information like your full name, location, contact details, and areas of expertise.
- Have a good profile pic and cover photo. The last element is having a good profile picture and cover photo. These should help people identify your brand. The picture needs to be visible and of good quality.
Take time to Understand your Audience
Before getting to content, you want to understand your audience. Whether you are established or not, you want to get into the heads of the audience you want to attract.
What this means is understanding what sort of content will work, what words to use, and ways to sway people over to want to connect with you. This step is tough, as many people don’t always make those strong connections. They’re more focused on the collective mass rather than a specific group.
With this in mind, it’s worth paying attention to who is showing interest in what you’re posting once you get into it and adjust as time goes on.
What’s nice about that is most major platforms will provide detailed analytics so you can piece together who exactly you’re attracting and even what posts are working.
Create & post Content that is Relevant
Once you have a clearer picture of what content will work, you want to continue posting and ensuring the content is still relevant. What’ll help with this is to put together a content strategy that introduces a mixture of content.
After all, if you stick with images all the time, people will grow numb and bored of the content. You can keep it relevant by mixing it up and jumping between different bits of content that your audience will enjoy.
But when we think of content, one other question comes to mind: how personal should we be?
An influencer is someone you can relate to and this suggests having some connection with the person. This normally means sharing some personal details. While some influencers will add personal details into their content, others don’t.
It’s really up to you. But if you do choose get personal, don’t want to go too overboard with it. The key here is to keep the content focused on your niche. If your personal life intertwines with your work, then feel free to post about it.
When it comes to content, it’s worth thinking in a long-term perspective of what your strategy would look like. With this in mind, don’t make it too narrow.
While you don’t want your content to be too narrow, you do want to be is consistent with your posting. It pays to have a schedule and to cover frequency in your content strategy. As you might be aware, social media platforms have algorithms in place that favour those who are posting regularly.
The trick is to post at a time where your audience is going to be available. Knowing that time frame is really what will make you an influencer as you’ll get more visibility during those times.
Generally speaking you can get away with posting once or twice per week on platforms like Instagram, Youtube and Facebook. You may want to choose specific days and times to have your content on those platforms. It is worth looking at trends for best viewership days and times.
Engage with your Audience
Of course, when you start posting content, you’ll start getting some likes, comments, and even shares. The key here is during these times you want to be connecting with those who are engaging with your content.
What this means is never ignore their comments or their shares.
It’s generally a good idea to reply to comments and questions that ask you specifically. You could also like their comments to show appreciation. It is best to respond within a reasonable amount of time, at most two days. So no need to get the idea you need to respond immediately.
One other method of engaging with your audience is through posts involving questions or starting a conversation on a topic. These can build audience connections and solidify your position as an influencer.
Let others know you’re free to collaborate
The final step comes once you’ve grown a good audience that can provide some value to other brands. You don’t want to be doing this right out the door, but rather wait until you have content that’s getting regular engagement.
It’s during this time that you bring attention to your following, and let brands and the world know that you are an influencer and are open to collaborating with brands.
How you go about this is up to you but ideally keep it public and broad. What I mean by this is don’t just post it once and have that statement buried in the sea of content. Include this in your bio, or pin the post to the top of the page so visitors will see it.
Make sure to provide contact details so clients can come to you and connect with you easily.
Another method to consider is to do your own outreach and approach brands directly via email or through a chat. In those cases, you want to have a pitch template or script that you can use for various brands.
The road to an Influencer
The road to becoming an influencer can be long and difficult, but these steps have been tested time and again by others. Eventually, people who have followed these steps became influencers and you can get there too with enough practice and diligence.