Becoming an influencer is no easy feat. It requires dedication, commitment, and the willingness to take risks—but it can also be incredibly rewarding.
To get started and position yourself for success, you need to focus on developing your brand, building a community of engaged followers, and finding the right channels for your message.
To help you get started on your influencer journey, within this article, we’ll highlight a few of our favorite tactics for positioning yourself as an influencer and share some common mistakes that budding influencers should avoid.
Three Ways You Can Become an Influential Influencer
Becoming an influencer can be the start of an incredible journey. Imagine making thousands of dollars for a single Tweet.
Granted, most influencer journeys won’t start out that way. But, if you build the foundation and grow your legend from there, you can certainly make solid money on the side (or even as a full-time gig).
Develop Your Brand
The most important thing you can do when positioning yourself as an influencer is to develop a strong personal brand.
This means having a clear message that resonates with your target audience and solidifying your unique voice in the space.
This can be challenging. Many people have a hard time promoting themselves. But if you want to be an influencer, you need to first learn to promote yourself before any brand will hire you as an influencer.
You want people to know who you are and what value you bring to the table—so don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. A strong brand will make it easier for potential clients and sponsors to spot you from the crowd.
I wrote a book on the subject about a year back. It lays out the foundation for building your personal brand to position yourself as an industry leader and gain influence.
You can grab a copy here: The Business of Branding You: Invest in Your Personal Brand, Grow Your Career, and Gain Influence
Build a Community of Engaged Followers
Once you’ve established your brand, it’s time to start building up a base of loyal followers who will engage with your content on a regular basis.
Posting engaging content across all of your social media channels is key here; but just be sure not to overdo it.
Put together a plan, and post a handful of times each day on each channel you choose. The frequency of posting changes depending on the channel. There’s no steadfast rule, but staying within the scope laid out below will give you plenty of cover and keep you from overdoing it.
- Twitter: 5-10 Tweets per day
- Instagram: 1-3 posts per day
- LinkedIn: 1 post per day
- TikTok: 1-3 posts per day
- Facebook: 3-4 times per week
There are way too many social media channels on the market to list them all here, but you get the point. Determine the optimal posting frequency for the channels you target, and try to stay within that scope.
There’s nothing worse than bombarding people with too much content or posting too often. Aim for quality over quantity—your followers will thank you for it.
Find the Right Channels for Your Message
Finally, once you’ve built up a community of engaged followers, start looking at ways that you can reach out beyond this initial group.
Experiment with different platforms like YouTube, Instagram Stories or even podcasts; there’s no one-size-fits-all solution here so try different things until you find something that works best for you.
Keep in mind that each platform has its own unique set of rules regarding how often (and how much) content should be posted (as well as the post types) so make sure that you familiarize yourself with these guidelines prior to getting started.
@Nusr_et took his chef brand viral using Instagram, his chosen channel. With 50.1 million followers, he has amassed a massive following, and his profile makes him look more like a movie star than a chef.
Avoiding Common Mistakes Influencers Make
When it comes to becoming an influencer, there are certain mistakes that beginners tend to make over and over again–and if you want to get ahead then it’s important that you avoid them at all costs.
Avoid the numbers game
One of the biggest mistakes people make is getting caught up in “the numbers game”–that is, focusing too much on getting as many followers as possible rather than actually creating quality content that resonates with their target audience.
This kind of thinking will only lead to frustration in the long run because without good content no one will care about how many followers you have anyway.
Brands are looking to work with influencers whose following is actually engaged. You can have 50,000 followers, but if you get single-digit likes every time you post, brands won’t want to work with you.
Don’t miss out on valuable insights
Another mistake that people often make is not taking advantage of tools like analytics or social media management platforms to track their progress and stay organized.
Knowing what content performs well (and why) can help inform future posts and give valuable insight into what kind of content resonates with your followers most.
Similarly, keeping track of all your posts across various platforms can help ensure that nothing gets lost in the shuffle–which makes managing multiple accounts much easier.
Don’t act like a jerk
No one wants to work with a difficult, arrogant influencer.
Be kind. That’s good advice no matter what you’re doing in life, and it applies to influencer marketing as well.
Beyond the reach and engagement you offer brands, they also want to work with influencers who are accommodating, not stuck on themselves, and are easy to work with.
You don’t want to get a reputation as being difficult to work with or treating clients poorly. You may gain work at first, but that work will drop off as word gets around about how awful you are.
There are plenty of other influencers in the digital sea, so make sure you make it easy on the brands who choose to work with you.
Be Influential as a Budding Influencer
Aspiring influencers must have patience; building a following takes time and effort.
But by focusing on developing your personal brand, creating engaging content, building relationships within your network, and experimenting with various channels—you can position yourself as an influencer who stands out from the crowd and makes a positive impact on their industry.
Just remember—avoid common mistakes like overposting, being a jerk, or using irrelevant hashtags. Doing these things won’t help build your reputation as an influencer, and you’ll find your success takes much longer, or never arrives at all.
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