Have you been staying up at night fantasizing about becoming the next big social media influencer? The new dream job is to take expertly curated photographs in breathtaking spaces, dressed in beautiful clothing and get paid to do it. While many photographers, models, business leaders, and experts alike dream of surpassing the 10,000 followers mark and living the highly sought-after influencer life, the reality of making that happen is harder than it looks.
What is a Social Media Influencer?
In a nutshell, a social media influencer is someone who is a normal, everyday person, with a large online following, that uses social media platforms to captivate those audiences and sell services, products and ideas. One study concluded that Instagram influencers are the sixth most effective tool in impacting peoples purchasing decisions. Why? Well, with over 800 million active monthly users on Instagram, if you can make it to influencer status, you can have a huge impact on product and service sales for brands. Some influencers charge upwards of $25,000 for a single Instagram post. But it isn’t as easy as it looks. Here are five essential things you need to have if you want to become a social media influencer:
You need to already have a huge online following
Before you go emailing your favorite brands for sponsorship and partnership, you need to show that you are already influencing the people around you. The best way to do this is with numbers. The oft-agreed upon ‘follower number’ to be recognized as an influencer is 10,000 followers online. The catch? You need more than followers and likes. Engagement, that means REAL people making REAL comments on your posts is essential to demonstrate your value to the brands you are approaching.
You need to have a niche
The mere fact that everybody wants to be a social media influencer means that the market is saturated with generalists, and the real success stories are coming from people that cater to a specific niche market, and do that authentically. Find what you are so deeply passionate about and write, post, share and engage with that topic every single day. This passion comes through in the images and the copy you share, and a passionate person with a niche is the first step to influencer status.
You need to be a content-making machine
Despite the popular belief that influencers just hang around in cool restaurants sipping on lattes and posting about their sponsored shoes, this is a real, hard and time-consuming job. Every influencer is required to produce content – and a lot of it! Content includes photos, videos, stories, and copy. Content is platform specific, which means that these influencers need to develop a new story for each platform based on its target audience and purpose. Moreover, these influencers need to stay informed on the right hashtags to interact with and need to be constantly engaging with others online. This is a full-time job in itself.
You need to stand out in the crowd
What do you have that is remarkable? Unique? Usual even? Take these core qualities that you believe are special to you and valuable to your audience and share them with the world in a consistent and regular manner. That means crafting a solid brand strategy around design, content, call to action and photos (professional photography is essential). Once this is established, start consistently posting under these guidelines and watch your followers increase.
You need to have presence offline as well
Many influencers also run their own companies, see clients every single day, teach public lectures or classes, create search engine optimized blogs, write books, publish articles and speak on radio programs and television shows. Resist the temptation to get locked behind your computer screen and get out there into the world. Tell your social media handle to everyone that you meet – these people will become you most authentic, real and engaging fan club online.
If you are already exhausted just learning what it takes to become an influencer, there is another way. Many (most?) influencers hire social media marketing agencies to help with their initial strategizing and even to take over their posts. Call Skyfall Blue today to learn how we can help your social media influencer dreams come true!