How to become a social media influencer in South Africa

The revolutionary emergence of social media has provided ordinary people with an easily accessible platform to voice their opinions and become thought leaders in their areas of interest. These thought leaders are often referred to as influencers. They tend to be well-connected individuals and are perceived to be influential and in-the-know in certain topics. Their followers, on the various social media platforms, look up to them for advice, knowledge, direction and opinions.

For many brands, the use of influencers has become one of the most effective strategies to drive brand messages in subliminal ways. Instead of pushing their own message, brands can leverage the ‘attracting power’ of online influencers to get their message to the consumer.

In developed countries, such the Unites States and the United Kingdom, influencers are making lots of money. Some people end up leaving their jobs to become full-time influencers. In 2015, Business Insider reported that one of the most popular YouTube channels, PewDiePie made about $7.4 million. Converting this amount into Rands, that’s closer to a whopping R100 Million depending on the Rand/Dollar exchange rate. In SA we have people like Boity, Kefilwe Mabote, Karabo Mokgoko and Tshepi Mvundla just to name a few, who have become formidable influencers in their own unique ways.

We at believe that by following the 6 guidelines below, you can become an influencer in your area of interest.

1. Identify a topic or area you are most passionate about

In the famous words of Georg W.F Hegel “Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion”. To be a phenomenal influencer, you need to be passionate about the topic/area you want to be influential in, whether it’s sports, fashion and lifestyle, cars etc. If you are not as passionate you won’t do great and your followers will pick it up.

2. Choose a platform to share your thoughts

There many platforms that you can use to communicate your passion on. You need to choose the one(s) that will allow you to reach your audience effectively and efficiently. You can have your own blog and presence on social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. This is, however, dependent on the type of content that you will be producing.

3. Be consistent

In the influencer marketing space, consistency is vital. If you don’t release content on a regular basis, your audience will forget about you (Out of sight- Out of mind).

4. Provide value

Give your audience a reason to consume your work. There are various ways to provide value, whether you want to entertain, educate and inform your audience or simply just to share on your inner thoughts. The choice is completely yours.

5. Network

An African Proverb states that “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others”. This is true to becoming an influencer, engage with those that are already in the space to broaden your reach and scope. Also find a way to add value to what they are doing.

6. Be patient

Like any other thing worth achieving, you need to have patience. It takes time to build an audience. Again, if you are passionate about your chosen topic/area it will be easier for you to be patient.

I hope you find this guideline useful to start your journey as an influencer and make a positive impact in people’s lives. Please leave your comments below and as usual don’t forget to share! Don’t forget to in-touch with @PatOnBrands on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.