Micro influencers create powerful word of mouth to small groups. They don’t have the followings of a Kardashian, but they’re much cheaper and can still reach enough people to make a difference in product sales.
One day you might get to 300k followers too; but to become an influencer, you have to start with one.
Start as the expert among your friends and peers.
Work toward being the expert in your city and state.
Then become an influencer from there.
2. Create a Content Strategy
Once you have a niche, it’s time to build your content strategy. Content strrategy can be a vague concept, but for the purposes of this post, we mean things like publishing cadence, tone and voice of the author, and content elements (text, graphs, etc.).
For my content strategy, I have strict goals I set for myself to create a set amount of social posts on each network while maintaining blog quality and working on side projects. I also made sure I use the same conversational tone and voice in my content (can you tell?)
Not terribly hard right?
Once you’re armed with this information, you can select your channels.
3. Select Your Channels
There’s no wrong answer for which social channels to be on and avoid.
Facebook is the most popular, with 94% of marketers using Facebook worldwide as of January 2020, followed by LinkedIn with 76%.
Facebook is by far the most popular, with 61% market share in 2016. But that dropped from 65% in 2015, and other social channels still have validity.
While I enjoy my time on certain channels more than others, I don’t play favorites when engaging with my audiences.
Where you can network with Justine Ezarik is at technology trade shows like CES, the Webby Awards, the Streamys, and several other events. You can follow her social accounts to see which events she attends.
Event marketing is a big trend and being able to boast influencer attendance is huge.
Why not make it a priority for marketing yourself?
Get off the couch, get out the house, and get to major events related to your niche. Or, even easier, attend online events, which are becoming more popular in the post-Covid world.
You can start your search at the Trade Show News Network for listings of trade shows around the world in every industry.
5. Participate in Off-site Forums
Becoming popular on one social network does have its advantages. For example, in 2020, the most popular YouTubers earn more than a billion dollars a year from advertisements and sponsorships.
Not all of us can be that lucky. The rest of us have to venture outside social media and participate in forums, comment wells, and other online discussions so we can boost our following.
Every discussion you can be a part of online enhances your reputation, influence, and connections.
6. Create a Website or Blog
Conversations don’t end on social media.
You’ll always have more to say than can fit in a tweet or Instagram post.
With a website or blog, you have a place to direct your social followers as you gain them.
Be prepared to lead your followers into your well-designed conversion funnel, starting by including a link to your blog in your social media posts. A link to your website or blog can actually increase your audience engagement on social media.
And it goes without saying the longer blog content needs to provide even more value than a social post to get clicks.
7. Provide Value to the Conversation
If you’re not providing value to the conversation, you’ll never reach the ears of anyone influential.
To become an influencer, you need to be the person people are talking to each other about.
If you can impress people enough with your knowledge and conversational value, they’ll sell everybody else on you.
Then they’ll tell two friends, and so on…until you become an influencer!
8. Stay Ahead of Current Events
There are two types of content, evergreen and topical.
Evergreen content stays forever relevant, such as an article about a historical event.
Topical content is hot right now, but will soon be forgotten. Basically, everything happening today.
When writing a blog post, I’d stay as evergreen as possible since you don’t want to have to update your content constantly. But on social media, staying informed about current events is the key to being shared.
The Lafayette Company’s Ellen Carmichael’s biggest tweet of 2017, for example, combined the 2016 presidential election with the 2017 Super Bowl.
Using these timely images created a brand win for Carmichael by appealing to Super Bowl fans who remember the election.
Staying topical is how you go viral on social media.
You can use tools to stay on top of social media trends. You can also set a Google News alert to monitor the entire Internet for specific keywords and phrases.
Do what you have to do to stay current.
9. Understand All Channels
Even if you don’t use a particular social media channel, if you want to become an influencer it’s still important to understand who does.
I’m not a big user of SnapChat, for example, but I understand its 250 million+ (mostly younger) users can’t be ignored.
For example, here is a chart showing best practices for posts you can share on each channel during the Holiday season:
While minor, these differences make a world of difference in determining whether you’re a hero or a zero in your industry.
This type of chart helps you prepare posts to schedule in advance.
10. Stay Authentic and On-Brand
Going back to the Super Bowl, it’s an interesting event. Why? Because brands have made the commercials as anticipated as the actual game. Many come through with epic TV spots that tell their brand story.
The takeaway: it’s important to be authentic and stick to your brand voice to become an influencer.
The more knowledgeable and well-rounded you are, the easier it’ll be to gain influence.
17. Automate Posts
Automation is the latest marketing trend, and it’s easy to see why.
You gain efficiency and speed, along with valuable data.
There are plenty of free tools to automate social media posts and let you schedule your content in advance using content calendars.
This is how professional publishing and social agencies work.
For example, PowerPost can create a powerful content calendar across social, blogging CMS platforms, and more.
Whatever you use, be sure to automate posts so you have a steady stream of content.
Also, keep in mind blog posts can automatically be set up through the blog CMS to promote on social media channels.
Whatever you use, be sure to automate posts, so you have a steady stream of content.
Also, keep in mind blog posts can automatically be set up through the blog CMS to promote on social media channels.
18. Follow Influencers and Give Shout Outs
To be an influencer, you need to know other influencers.
Who you’re following is almost as important as who follows you.
To expand your influence, you need to show people they’re influencing you as well.
On Twitter, there’s a hashtag group called #Teamfollowback that believes in reciprocating every follow.
I don’t go that far, but I do try to follow other influencers to engage their audiences along with mine.
Many influencers also love giving shout outs to followers, fans, and subscribers.
Shout outs make people feel like they’re personally contributing to the community. They incentivize participation.
And last, but certainly not least, is the data we’ll need to quantify all this work.
19. Quantify Your Efforts With Data
Each social media site will show your impressions and audience engagement numbers.
It’s usually on the front page.
This only shows half the picture of your real influence, however.
With a website and Google Analytics, you can see the rest.
We can tell which social channels are getting clickthroughs to our site and how many people are converting from there.
Once you understand how many posts it takes to generate a conversion, you’ll be able to calculate an ROI for your social media efforts.
This isn’t the only benefit of being an influencer.
Like I said at the beginning, you can influence other influencers and drive the conversation.
Just be sure to use your power for good.
How to Become an Influencer
19 Strategies That’ll Help You Become an Influencer
Become an Influencer in a Niche Field
Start small; pick a niche topic and become an expert in that. Over time you can expand your influence.
Create a Content Strategy
Decide how often you will post, what your tone will be (casual versus professional, for example), and what elements you’ll use in the content you publish.
Select Your Channels
Decide which social media channels to focus on.
Network Within the Industry
Get to know other experts in your industry by connecting with them on social media and attending industry events.
Participate in Off-site Forums
Expand your reach by participating in forums, comment discussions, and other online discussions.
Create a Website or Blog
Create a blog to give followers a place to get to know you better and to show off your industry expertise. A blog can also give you more engagement data to show marketers who want to pay you for ads and endorsements.
Provide Value to the Conversation
It’s not enough to just put out content. You need to provide value to your followers by providing content that is new or offers a unique perspective.
Stay Ahead of Current Events
Stay abreast of what’s going on in your field and share about it on your social channels. If people can look to you for breaking news in your industry, it will go a long way towards helping you become an influencer.
Understand all Social Media Channels
Figure out what channels are most relevant to your industry and focus your efforts there.
Stay Authentic and On-Brand
Tell your brand story often to engage and grow your followers.
Respond to Comments
When people comment on your social media or blog posts, take the time to respond. People will be more likely to follow and interact with you if they feel like they know you.
Engage With the Community
Maintain a presence outside of just your own channels. Start conversations, tag other influencers, participate in Facebook groups, etc.
Consistently Publish Fresh Content
Publishing fresh content keeps and grows your follower list and pleases the algorithm Gods.
Listen to Criticism
By listening to and incorporating criticism, you can become a better influencer.
No matter how big you get, stay humble. Arrogance is a turnoff and could cost you followers and sponsorships.
Research New Topics Daily
The best way to stay on top of industry trends is to set Google alerts. You should also spend time reading industry blogs. If you subscribe to any industry newsletters, spend some time reading those as well.
Make your life easier by creating your posts in advance and schedule them to be posted automatically using tools like PowerPost.
Follow Influencers and Give Shout Outs
Get noticed by other influencers by following them and tagging them in your posts. If you can gain their trust, they may be willing to reciprocate. This could make some of their followers follow you in turn.
Quantify Your Efforts With Data
Use the analytics tool most social media channels provide to track your followers, engagement, and other data. These figures can help you gain sponsorships since they help prove your influencer status.
Influencer marketing is the latest trend in digital marketing because social media influencers are now able to quantify their audiences.
What started as a hobby for many has become a big business, and influencers like PewDiePie often outearn celebrities, politicians, and other prominent professions.
I’m an influencer today, but I wasn’t always.
Everyone starts at square one with no followers and nobody knowing who they are.
It’s the steps you take to build a following that ultimately determines how influential you are.
If you’re interested in growing your brand and want help doing so, reach out. I have a team of experts who can help you reach your influencer goals!
Who are the most influential people in your niche?