Brands are always looking to work with social media influencers, they are at the fore-front of the people and are more often than not – a way for brands to expand their reach and drive sales. Across a wide range of industries, there has been a rise of influencers, across all social media platforms. What started as a side-hustle for some, many people have now quit their jobs to become full time influencers.

According to the Influencer Marketing Hub “Influencers on social media are people who have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on a specific topic. They make regular posts about that topic on their preferred social media channels and generate large followings of enthusiastic, engaged people who pay close attention to their views.”

how to be an influencer

If you ever thought about being an influencer, here are 5 easy steps that you can take:

1. Find your passion

The first thing you need to figure out in order to be an influencer, is finding your passion. This will determine what your niche will be. Creating content on a topic that you are already passionate about will ensure that you are consistent and you will not find the work boring or tiring.

Having a passion and knowing about the topic will help in your credibility as an influencer, your followers will trust you – because you know what you are talking about.

If you are passionate about the topic, you will have fun coming up with cool content. Whether its DIY’s, all things hair, beauty or fashion, cars or even finances.  

2. Choose your social media platforms

Once you have selected your passion and niche, you will need to decide which social media platform you will be most active on. Although many influencers have profiles across all social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Tik Tok – it is important to cement yourself on one of the platforms.

This way you can focus on one or two platforms and grow the following. Spend a lot of time perfecting your profile.  

Find a profile picture that best suits you and that will make it easier for your audience to find you. Make sure that your bio lists al the important information about you and what niche you are in.

3. know your target market

There’s no point in creating a great profile and perfecting your content when you don’t understand your target audience. What do they want? What kind of content do they watch, what are they saying in the comments? You need to listen to your followers and give them what they want to see. Things like age, demographic, location, occupation and social media behaviour can make or break your career as an influencer.

By knowing as much information as you can about your followers, you will be able to know when to post and what kind of content to post more of. The point is to get as much interaction from your followers as possible. Especially when you start working with brands and getting paid to create content.

All the platforms have a way to read the insights and analytics, Make use of that information to your advantage.

4. Content, content, content

Content is key! Not only do you need to produce compelling content as an influencer, but you also need to be consistent in your posting. Posting regularly will ensure that you stay top of mind to your followers. Also, social media algorithms will pick you up often as well.

Make your content fun and engaging, videos as well as static images. Do not be a one trick pony. By diversifying your content, you will make sure that your followers are not bored. It will ensure that your content not only gets liked, it will get shared as well.  

Make use of scheduling apps and software that will make it easier for you to post your content. You can shoot and create a months’ worth of content in a space of two days and schedule them to go up throughout the month. This will save you time and resources.

5. Let’s talk brand partnerships

Many people believe that you need to have millions of followers in order to work with brands. However, that is not true. With as little as 500 followers, anyone can work with brands as long as you show your value.

What brands care about is not just numbers, but engagement. It matters more that your followers engage with the content on a regular basis than the number of followers you have.

Engagement is important, make sure you are responding to comments left by your followers, thank them for compliments and do giveaways to thank them.

When you are comfortable and confident in your influencing, you can approach brands and show them how well your profile does. Sell yourself to them for possible collaborations.

Nomakhaya Makhaya

Nomakhaya Makhaya is a B.A. Journalism graduate.

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