How To
14 min read

How to Become an Influencer and Build Your Brand

Soniya Khubchandani

August 1, 2022

"The rise of social media has led to a new type of celebrity--the influencer."

Being an influencer can open up many opportunities and lead to new experiences. It can also help you build your personal brand, attract customers, and earn additional income.

A recent Google study states that 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers relate more to YouTubers than traditional celebrities--and this is happening across all media types.

However, becoming a successful influencer is not easy. It takes time, effort, and a lot of dedication to grow your social media presence in your industry or niche. This guide is for you if you're ready to put in the work required to become an influencer.

Perks of becoming an influencer in your niche

An influencer is someone with a large following on social media who is considered an expert in their field. Brands often pay influencers for promotional posts, which can lead to a full-time income.

Being an influencer can offer you many benefits:

Earn money

As an influencer, you can make a lot of money. There are many ways to monetize your following on each social media platform, and there is no limit to how much you can earn. You can be sponsored by brands, run ads on your social media accounts, sell products or services, get brand deals through an agency, and even get paid speaking gigs.

You can also use affiliate marketing to make money by recommending products or services on social media platforms.

Alt text - Influencer marketing budget and earning
Source: Hostpapa

Some influencers make more money than actual celebrities. For example, with more than 2 million followers, influencer Alexa Collins charges $1,000 to post a sponsored Story on Instagram.

As an Instagram influencer, you have the potential to land major deals with brands and even create your products or services. Your options are endless!

Flexibility and work-life balance

Being an influencer means you can work from anywhere in the world. You're not tied to one location and can travel as much as you want. It gives you a lot of freedom and flexibility regarding your career. 

If you want to take a break, go on vacation, or move to another city, you can do so without worrying about finding a new job. You get to be your boss, set your schedule, and completely control when and how much you work.

Become famous

Being an influencer can get you a lot of attention from both fans and brands. You can become a celebrity in your own right just by being good at what you do and sharing it with the world. This can be a great way to get your name out there and attract even more followers. 

With the right amount of exposure, attention, and the right audience, you can turn your influencer career into a full-time job with all the perks that come along with it.

Get a creative outlet for your passion and knowledge

When you're an influencer in your niche, you share the latest information and trends with your followers. This is a great way to express your passion for the topic while helping others learn more about it.

As an influencer, you also have the opportunity to collaborate with other like-minded people and brands. This can lead to some amazing options you wouldn't have had access to.

Boost your professional career

Being an influencer in your niche can do wonders for your professional career. For one, it can help you network with other professionals in your industry. Additionally, it can be a great way to showcase your knowledge and expertise to potential employers or clients. So, if you're looking to move up in your career, being an influencer is a great way to get started.

Enhanced credibility and reputation

The people around you will recognize that your ideas are trustworthy and worth listening to when you are an influencer in your niche. That's why they're more likely to believe what you have to say. By becoming an influencer, you can establish yourself as an essential voice in your personal and professional lives.

Access to opportunities

As an influencer, you have the inside track of your niche's latest information and trends. Being on top of industry trends helps you build a loyal following in your field. In addition, brands know that their products are more likely to succeed if promoted by someone with an established following, so they often reach out to influencers for product testing or promotional offers.

Increased brand awareness and reach

As an influencer, you can significantly increase the reach of your personal brand. The more valuable and relevant your content is to your audience, the more likely they will pay attention to it. This awareness can lead to increased traffic on your website or blog and higher engagement with your social media posts. In turn, this can result in more opportunities for collaboration and partnership down the road.

Early access to products and features

When you're an influencer, companies are often eager to get your feedback on their latest products or features. This allows you to be one of the first people to try out new things and offer your insights to others. It can be a great way to stay updated on industry trends and get first-hand experience with innovative new products. 

By sharing your opinion about the product or service with your audience before it becomes widely known, you can get an edge on the competition.

Free gifts

Many companies offer free gifts to influencers in exchange for reviews or mentions. This is especially common with smaller brands that can't afford to pay you but still want your help getting their name out there.

It's great to get your hands on expensive items without spending money. Of course, you should only accept freebies from companies whose products you genuinely like and would recommend to your followers.

Key steps to becoming an influencer

Choose your niche and audience

Choosing a niche is the first step to becoming an influencer. It's essential to select a topic that you are passionate about, as this will allow you to create content that engages your audience. 

You can always expand into other topics after establishing yourself as an expert in one area.

To do this right, think about who would be most interested in your content and why they might be interested in it. What problems do they face that you can help solve? 

For example, if you're a mom, your audience might be other moms who want to know about the best products for their children or how to juggle work and motherhood.

Once you've got a clear idea of your target audience, ensure you're speaking their language and using the words they use when discussing their interests.

Pick your content platforms

As an influencer, you need to be strategic about the platforms you use to share your content. You should consider which platforms will allow you to reach your target audience and where you can best showcase your skills and expertise.

Tips for choosing the right platform for your content

1. Consider where your target audience spends their time online. If they're active on Instagram, that's a good platform for you to focus.

2. Think about which platform will allow you to best showcase your talents and skills. If video is your strong suit, then YouTube or Instagram Stories could be great options for sharing your content.

3. Choose a platform that aligns with your brand identity. For example, if your content is more visual and artistic, then Pinterest or Instagram could be a good fit. On the other hand, blogging or Medium might be a better option if you're mainly sharing written content. 

4. Think about how much time you want to spend creating content. Answer questions like: Would I prefer to write long-form posts? Or would I instead create shorter videos? 

Create your content strategy for each platform

After choosing a platform, it is time to create your content strategy. Whatever you choose, your goal should be to share content that will entertain, inform or inspire your audience. You can do this by sharing original blog posts or photos or by curating other people's content.

The most important thing is to be consistent and active so that your audience knows they can rely on you for great content. Every social media platform has its personality and culture, so it's important to tailor your content accordingly.

For example, if you're sharing content on Instagram, ensure your photos are high quality and visually attractive. On Twitter, focus on creating short but powerful messages that pack a punch. With Facebook, post longer-form updates along with images or videos whenever possible.

Finally, don't forget to build your profiles on each platform. Make sure to include a link back to your website and some keywords that describe what you do.

Let's take an example of a digital space influencer, Neil Patel. While Neil Patel has over one million followers on his YouTube channel, he is still active on other major social platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram.

According to Neil Patel, "Each channel has a different audience (and audience size) expecting different content. While I enjoy my time on certain channels more than others, I don't play favorites when engaging with my audiences. I do my best to show up everywhere."

Creating a solid presence on social media takes time and effort - but it's worth it! Make sure that whatever you share is relevant to your brand and audience.

Maintain a website or blog

Apart from a social media profile, you should have a website or blog as it is a great way to showcase your work and connect with your audience. A website allows you more flexibility in design and content, making it more engaging for readers.

Tips for maintaining a successful website or blog:

  1. Regular updates are critical; aim for at least 1-2 new posts per week.
  2. Ensure the content is well written and informative.
  3. Use images, infographics, and videos to break up text and add visual interest
  4. Promote your site through social media channels and email newsletters
  5. Offer something of value to readers, such as freebies, competitions, or exclusive content
  6. Write an "About Me" page to build trust and credibility

A successful blog to build your personal brand takes time, effort, and dedication to produce quality content regularly. However, the rewards - attracting new readers and engaging existing ones - are worth the investment.

Create and post relevant content

Posting relevant content helps you build a following of people interested in what you have to say. If you produce quality, informative content that speaks to your target audience, they will be more likely to follow you and share your work with their networks. This can help expand your influence and reach potential customers or followers who may not have been exposed to your brand or message.

Tips for creating your content

  1. Keep your content fresh and relevant to your niche audience to help attract new followers and keep the attention of your existing ones.
  2. Post regularly, but don't overwhelm your followers with too much content at once. A good rule of thumb is to post 1-3 times daily.
  3. Take advantage of social media platforms that allow you to share longer-form content, such as blog posts or videos. These can be a great way to showcase your expertise on a specific topic and get people interested in learning more from you.
  4. Organize a social media contest or giveaway, a great way to generate buzz about your brand and attract new followers.
  5. Don't be afraid to share other people's or brands' content that you think would interest your audience.
  6. Use hashtags and other tools to help people discover your content. This is especially important if you're trying to reach a new audience that might not yet be familiar with your brand.
  7. Make sure the content you're sharing is high quality and engaging. No one wants to read (or watch) something boring or poorly made—so put some time and effort into creating great stuff!

Experiment with different types of content to see what your followers respond to best. You might find that they prefer infographics, lists, or quick tips over longer-form articles or videos.

To use social media effectively to promote your brand or business, ensure you regularly create fresh, relevant content.

Be consistent and authentic

You must create a consistent and authentic brand to succeed as an influencer. People will only trust you if they see that your actions consistently reflect what you say. Here are some tips to help you do this.

How to stay consistent with your content

  1. Be yourself. Don't try to be someone you're not. People can see through inauthenticity, and it will damage your reputation as an influencer.

  1. Have a clear vision for your brand. What values do you want to represent? What kind of content do you want to produce? Once you know what person/brand you want to be, stick with it! Consistency is key when building trust with your audience.

  1. Don't be afraid to show your flaws – we all have them! Being authentic also means being vulnerable, so don't shy away from sharing the less-than-perfect parts of your life with your followers. This will only make them trust you more.

  1. Be generous with your content. Give away as much valuable information as possible, and don't be afraid to share other people's content if it will help your followers somehow. The more helpful and informative you can be, the better!

For example, Nusair Yassin, better known as Nas Daily, committed to uploading a 1-minute video daily for 1000 days on Facebook. As a result of his commitment and consistency, he garnered 12 million followers.

Being transparent about who you are and your motivations will naturally gravitate people towards you as someone they can trust.

Engage with your audience

The next step is to engage with your audience. This can be done by replying to comments, liking and sharing their posts, or tagging them in your relevant posts. 

Engagement shows that you are interested in what they have to say and care about connecting with them on a deeper level. It also helps build trust between you and your followers.

Savi and Vid from Bruised Passports take time to respond to every comment from every follower on their Instagram posts—a practice that has helped them attract an army of over 1 million loyal followers.

How to keep your audience engaged and loyal to your brand

  1. Asking questions that encourage conversation in your posts and on social media.
  2. Leaving comment threads open so people can share their opinions.
  3. Replying to comments, likes, and shares with a thank you or something meaningful.
  4. Hosting live Q&As on social media.
  5. Create polls to get feedback from your followers.

Network with other content creators in your niche

Networking with other content creators allows you to collaborate, share ideas, and learn from one another. Additionally, it can help you grow your audience by exposing you to new people who may be interested in what you have to say.

When networking, be sure to add value to the conversation and build relationships instead of simply trying to promote yourself. Don't be afraid to approach influencers who are much more successful than you – they may be willing to help drive your growth.

Also, focus on quality over quantity – it's better to have a few strong relationships than many superficial ones.

Alternatively, if you see someone with a large following who isn't quite as successful as the top-tier influencers in your field, don't be afraid to reach out and offer them some advice or tips – they may be open to helping you grow in return.

Decide on your monetization strategies

Kylie Jenner sells her products 
Source: Instagram

The next step is to decide how you monetize your following. There are many ways you can earn money as an influencer. You can sell products or services, work with brands as an affiliate or ambassador, give paid speeches or workshops, collaborate with other influencers -- the list goes on. 

The important thing is to find a monetization strategy that works for you and your audience – don't try to force something that isn't a good fit.

For example, if you have a small following of highly engaged fans who are passionate about your content, selling products may be a great way to monetize your influence.

On the other hand, if you have a large but less engaged following, you may have more success with an affiliate strategy. The key is experimenting and paying close attention to what works best for your audience.

Let brands know that you are open to collaborations

If you want to work with companies as a content creator, the first step is letting them know you are open to brand collaborations. You can add a note in your bio or contact brands directly. The key is to be clear about what type of collaboration you are looking for and what value you can offer the brand.

Brand partnerships
Source: Instagram

You can also use brands' products in your posts. As a result, you will be able to attract the brand's attention and increase your chances of being featured.

If you can offer value and align with the brand's values, you will be more likely to land a collaboration. Remember that brands are looking for influencers who can help them reach their target audience, so make sure your pitch is tailored to their needs.

Get listed on different influencer directories

Getting listed on different directories can help you reach a broader range of potential collaborators. This will help you build many partnerships and grow your brand. Make sure that you join directories in the same niche as your content.

Being listed on multiple directories gives you a better chance of being seen by the brands you want to work with.

Include all relevant information about your blog or social media channels when creating your profile. You should also list any specialties or niches that you specialize in. Including keywords will help brands find you when searching for influencers to work with.

Before creating your profile, take some time to research the different directories and find ones that are a good fit for your blogging or vlogging niche.

Get feedback from your audience

As an influencer, you have a unique opportunity to connect with your audience on a personal level. You can leverage this connection to get feedback from your audience that can help improve your content and grow your following.

You can get feedback by asking questions in your posts, conducting polls or surveys, or holding Q&A sessions. Be sure to take the time to read through all of the responses and look for patterns or common themes. Then use this feedback to improve the quality of your content and make it more engaging for your audience.

Getting feedback from your audience also helps you understand what type of content your audience enjoys and finds helpful. It will also give you insight into how your audience views your brand and whether or not they are open to certain types of content. You can then use this information to create future content that will appeal more to your audience. and give you ideas for developing new content.

Take the time to connect with your audience personally, and you will reap the benefits of feedback, engagement, and loyalty.

Build a team to support your work

As your business grows, it's essential to have a strong team in place to support you. In a small business, the owner often takes on many roles and is responsible for wearing many hats. As you grow, having others who can take on those functions is essential.

Having a dedicated team in place will make it easier to keep your processes up-to-date and efficient.

What to know when building a team to support your brand

  1. Give your team a clear view of the business. They will be better able to help you if they understand what's important to you and, therefore, what is essential to your business.

  1. Clearly define roles and responsibilities for each member of the team. Everyone needs to know who does what so there are no gaps in coverage. For example, who will take over their duties if your account manager is on vacation for two weeks?

  1. Set expectations to communicate with your team. If you're only checking in once a month, it can be hard for them to get things done. Ensure they have all the systems they need to do their job effectively.

An effective team is a crucial ingredient to any successful business. By clearly defining what each person should do, you can ensure that your team can work together effectively to help your business achieve its goals.

Leverage technology to streamline processes

Technology can help you automate processes, stay organized, and improve efficiency. Streamlining your processes can free up time to focus on more important tasks.

How to use technology to be more efficient

  1. Invest in a wide range of technology tools can help you with process automation and organization. Do some research and invest in the ones that will work best for your business.

  1. Train your team members and ensure they all know how to use the tools properly to take full advantage of their capabilities.

  1. As your business grows and changes, review and update your processes and update them as necessary. This will ensure that they remain effective and relevant. 

  1. Good documentation is essential for any business process. It helps ensure consistency and accuracy and makes it easier for others to understand how the process works.

Track your progress and optimize

The final step is to track your progress and optimize. This will help you see what influencer campaigns are working on, identify improvement areas, and ensure that you are on track to achieve your goals. As an influencer, you can track your progress by measuring your impressions, engagement, and reach. You can also track how often you are mentioned or shared and the size of your audience.

Tips for tracking your progress

  1. Use Google Analytics to track your website traffic and see how users interact with your site. This will help you understand the most popular content and where people are coming from.

  1. Check your social media analytics to see how often you are mentioned or shared and the size of your audience.

  1. Keep an eye on comments and reviews to get feedback about your products or services.

  1. Use surveys and polls to get direct feedback from your audience.

  1. Use influencer marketing tools to track your progress and compare yourself to other influencers in your industry.

  1. Stay up to date with the latest trends and technologies to ensure you reach your audience where they are most active.

By paying attention to your analytics, you can better understand what is working and what isn't. You can also tailor your content and social media marketing strategy more effectively.

Final thoughts on becoming an influencer

As social media continues to grow in popularity, influencers are becoming more and more important in digital marketing. To be successful as an influencer, it's essential to understand what it takes to be one. Following these tips will help you become an influencer in no time!

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