7 minute read
Starting from scratch: The road to becoming an influencer
Updated on July 8, 2020 by John Trogdon
The amount of clout or influence you hold online and your reputation can feed off of - and disrupt - each other. Your online influence will determine how much trust people place in you and is an important aspect of any reputation management strategy. This includes brands as well, since brands typically want to work with people who have large followings and engage with their followers on a regular basis.
Influencers have established credibility online because of their large audience and reach on social media. They have changed the ways brands market online and are proof that just about anyone can gain a following and promote products within their niche.
But how do you start from scratch on your road to becoming an influencer? A huge part of reaching the coveted influencer status is to build your online reputation. Give people a reason to follow you on social media by making sure that what they see about you online is positive.
Here are our top 10 tips to help you strengthen your online reputation on your way to becoming an influencer:
- Know your passions
- Be yourself, but be unique
- Choose a platform to specialize in
- Do not make things up as you go along
- Make sure your content stands out
- Share content consistently
- Master the art of self-promotion
- Work with other bloggers and influencers
- Always engage with your followers
- Analyze statistics and learn from them
1. Know your passions
Think of what you are passionate about and make a list of all your passions and things you can create content about and for. There are a variety of categories you can choose from, such as travel, makeup, book reviews, fashion, etc.
You can look at people who already blog in your niche, and decide how you can approach the subject with your own spin or flavor. The aim is to stand out with something unique that people can easily relate to - this will help you to rank higher in search engine results. It is also important to develop your reputation on various platforms, and to engage how you can work collaboratively with brands.
The idea is to analyze the content that your followers enjoy. Choosing a topic you are passionate about allows you to create engaging content that goes beyond simply sharing a photo or a video. In time, you will be able to sustain high-ranking content and keep your users updated on the latest trends and attract new followers.
2. Be yourself, but be unique
You will find many people who do what you do, but don't let that discourage you. Rather use that information to find something unique that you can offer your followers. Perhaps, if you are into beauty, you can find unconventional ways to engage your users through DIY face masks or unlikely ingredients for a smoothie.
Many people try to enter the influencer market by imitating established bloggers and this is a mistake because offering the same thing as someone else is simply unoriginal. Try to always find a unique angle to stay relevant and ensure that your subscribers always have something new to look forward to.
3. Choose a platform to specialize in
It is impossible to ace all social media platforms. So you need to choose a platform that works for you and your niche. Analyze the social media platforms that are popular with marketers and businesses and you can make use of its popularity with ease. Usually, image-based niches like makeup and fashion work well with Instagram, while text-based themes can work well on Twitter or Facebook.
There are also various platforms to consider, like YouTube for video content and Pinterest for DIY projects. Ideally, you need to research where your users are likely to go looking for content related to the niche you are targeting.
You need to establish a focus in your content planning, and ensure that your content is regularly updated to match trends and current events in your niche. As you continue to post engaging content, your status will improve and you will rank higher for it. At times, your niche or topic may grow on unexpected platforms, so you need to analyze engagements to choose which platform you will frequently update on.
4. Do not make things up as you go along
Create a clear social media strategy and pre-plan content at least a week in advance or a month if you can. Simply sharing content off-the-hip is not sustainable; you need to keep users engaged by drafting a clear social media plan.
Once you have a plan in place, you can use scheduling tools to keep content running and ensure that you are consistent in updating your content. Your consistency in updating content ensures that your audience is optimally engaged. The more positive content that is ranking, the better your online reputation, and the more likely people will be to follow you on social media.
You always need to have something to post, so a content plan allows you to keep your social media account engaging. A content plan also allows you to decide when and how often you will post. This will make it easier for you to manage your time effectively, and decide on the content that is likely to engage your users.
5. Make sure your content stands out
What makes great content? This question can be answered by carefully analyzing what appeals to your audience. In your content planning, ensure that your posts are well written and that the written content corresponds with a selected image or video clip.
Never leave your followers guessing what you are talking about or addressing in your post. Practice good writing and invest in good tools that make your posts stand out, from add-ons to grammar editing software. If you are struggling to create content you can always hire a professional writing service to help.
6. Share content consistently
We cannot stress this enough! Consistency is key to gaining a good following. It is not always good to be spontaneous. Rather, schedule an exact time on the same day to release content. This way, your followers know to visit your page every Monday at 9 a.m. for new makeup tips, for example.
This allows you to establish a good rapport with your followers because they know when to ‘tune in’ and to also be sure that they are not missing out on anything. This gives them a good reason to subscribe and look forward to new content to ensure that they do not miss out on anything.
7. Master the art of self-promotion
If you lack the confidence to talk about yourself and why your content is worth signing up for, then you are probably looking in the wrong place. Create something that you are confident enough to stand on the top of a hill and shout about!
Also, you need to be able to sum up your chosen theme or specialty in a single sentence or short paragraph. This allows you to pitch yourself to potential collaborators and sponsors. Your content might be great, but your promotion is what brings people to your page and you need to be a ruthless marketer and pull out all the stops.
8. Work with other bloggers and influencers
This is an amazing way to get to know other people who do what you do and to engage a new audience. Collaborating with other brands allows you to tap into a different market while retaining your current market.
You can approach an established influencer with a deal that shows them what they gain from a collaboration with you. Remember to be bold and confident. For instance, you can do a series of interviews with people who are influencers in your niche and this will draw both of your followers.
9. Always engage with your followers
Never let the number of followers you have ‘get to your head’ and never ignore positive feedback and questions in your comments - your reputation depends on it! Address feedback immediately. Engaging your followers is important because it shows that you are invested in their experience of your content.
It also allows brands to trust you as someone who will engage potential customers and answer any products they may have about their product. Engaging followers also makes them feel special and appreciated by you.
10. Analyze statistics and learn from them
Your stats are the backbone of your brand because they tell what is working and what is not. They also give insight into your audience and allow you to create content catered to them - their age, background, etc. This creates room for you to create content that resonates with them.
Influencer marketing has become a viable form of digital marketing and uses the influence that individuals have on their following. Influencers who enjoy a large following can easily create a sense of authenticity when it comes to advertising products on their page.
To win the trust of followers and potential sponsors, you need to maintain a positive reputation online. These tips are just a starting point to build your social media following. Remember to do your own research on how to grow your social media following to this level as well. Being an influencer is clearly not an overnight process but each step is worth it.