Becoming A Social Media Influencer
With the majority of millennials reporting being more influenced by bloggers than celebrities, it is no wonder people are flocking to the internet to find their fortune. The barriers to access are nearly non-existent, and the potential profit is practically infinite. What gives most people pause in pursuing this career field is thinking they could never gather the followers necessary to make a livable income.
The reality is, if you have just a few thousand followers on social media, you can turn your hobby into a stable income through monetization. Getting to the point where you can profit from your profile can be a long process, but it isn’t unattainable. There are some steps that every hopeful influencer should take to set themselves in the right direction for success.
Optimize Your Profile
If you are going to treat social media as a business then it is a good idea to switch to a business account. The major platforms have this option for free and it is simple enough to change your settings without losing anything from your existing profile.
This opens up many new options that do not exist with a personal account. For instance, Instagram gives businesses access to analytics tools so you can track user interaction with your content.
Next, you will want to make sure your bio section is squared away. If a person stumbles across one of your posts and is intrigued enough to look for more from you, they will likely want to know a little bit about who you are.
Your bio should serve as a brief and accurate representation of who you are. If you post about a specialized topic, your bio should state why you have the authority to speak about it. It is also a good idea to identify your general location so that potential collaborators will know what’s possible.
Something not to be overlooked is your profile picture. Depending on your platform, this could be a defining factor for your brand. Having a funny meme or goofy selfie may not be the right choice for your image. Pick something that is on-brand with how you want to be perceived because it could be used as a reason to dismiss you right off the bat.
What will probably be the most labor-intensive task is creating your own personal website. It may seem counterintuitive for someone operating on a social media platform to also need a website, but it brings with it many great benefits.
The bio on your profile serves as a great introduction for yourself, but a website will allow you to elaborate in greater detail about who you are and where your expertise comes from. It will also improve your chances of being found through search engine queries.
Having control over your own platform will give you greater independence from the corporation hosting your social media. Unfortunately, there is always the chance of being de-platformed regardless of your adherence to their community rules. By having an existing website, your followers will have a place to easily find you and get updates in the event it is needed.
Find your niche
When crystallizing your presence online you’ll be faced with the question of which arena to operate in. this is known as your niche. Choosing your niche will largely be decided by your existing experience, but that doesn’t decide everything.
Everyone has something unique to bring to the table which is why newcomers are constantly entering well-established markets with fierce competition and still finding success. In the business world, what sets you apart from the competition is known as your unique selling proposition. This is the reason why people will not only view one of your posts but will subscribe and continue following.
Your USP could be that you are a teenage prodigy skilled at investing, tracking your progress through different financial climates. Or you could be a physical trainer who offers training tips in a comical style.
The possible USP’s for niches are limitless, as are the possibilities for growth.
Properly utilize hashtags
Hashtags are the keywords of social media and if you are lackadaisically adding them to your posts without any planning then you are missing a tremendous opportunity.
You need to research which hashtags are trending (or beginning to gain traction) and figure out a way to work them into your posts. By proactively using hashtags to boost the optics on your posts you will be streets ahead of the competition.
Having custom hashtags for your post or brand may seem like a great way to get a buzz going, but it will likely have little impact on getting publicity. If no one else is using the hashtags you are creating then you aren’t alerting anyone to what you have to offer.
On that note, avoid using hashtags that are irrelevant to your posts. Just because they are trending does not mean they will help you gain followers. If a person sees your content has nothing to do with their search they will likely be turned off from the rest of the content you have to offer.
This type of hashtag packing comes off as a desperate and manipulative ploy for attention.
There will be challenges
There are no givens when it comes to employing these strategies and a large amount of your success will depend on your hustle. It takes consistent tenacity to build a fan base and earn their trust. This can be an exhausting endeavor if you do not receive the returns you were hoping for, but it can also be extremely rewarding if you stay committed.
On your ascent to success, and even after you’ve achieved some, your integrity will repeatedly be threatened. Poorly matched brands will approach you to piggyback on your labor. If they are not good fits for your image or if their product is not right for your followers it is going to require fortitude on your part to stay true to the vision you have.
It will also be tempting to oversaturate your feed with sponsors once you start getting those opportunities. Even if they are a good fit for your content, it will take restraint to say no to some of them. You do deserve to prosper after all of the hard work you’ve put in, but coming across as a sellout to your followers can be an impossible betrayal to overcome.