Monday, July 22

How to Become a Social Media Influencer: The Ultimate Guide

Wondering how to become a social media influencer?

Want to learn the secret recipe of how to become a social media influencer?

You’re in the right place.

But before we get into the nitty-gritty steps on how to become a social media influencer, we need to sort out the foundations.

What is even a social media influencer?

This question is being asked everyone and all the time, and still, people seem to have a hard time giving “social media influencers” a definition and description.¨

Social influence, which is not identical to a social media influencer’s characteristics, but very alike, since it has evolved from that definition, is per Wikipedia defined:

“Social influence occurs when a person’s emotions, opinions, or behaviors are affected by others. Social influence takes many forms and can be seen in conformity, socialization, peer pressure, obedience, leadership, persuasion, sales, and marketing. In 1958, Harvard psychologist Herbert Kelman identified three broad varieties of social influence.

Now, that’s not the absolute best definition of the term social media influencer so I’ll go ahead and give it a shot:

“A social media influencer is an individual who has established himself/herself as an industry leader and a go-to source for information within a particular and specific industry. The characteristic of  the social media influencer is that they have a large number of fans and followers on social media who turn to them for advice, tips, and ideas, which means that the influencer has the power to influence people’s actions, thoughts, and opinions, even to the point where they purchase something.

I am actually kind of proud of my definition. What do you think?

What is a social media influencer?

Many people aspire to become influencers on social media, and they do so for various reasons. Some people want to build a career from being an influencer, others want to share their passion for a niche, and others are hoping to get free samples and get paid to do promotions. And because more people than ever now are, and aspire to be influencers, the competition for becoming a successful influencer has obviously increased.

Back in the days, the number of people who shared their passion on social media was considerably smaller than today, and therefore, it is harder than ever to cut through the noise today. You need to be unique, have your own style, and produce much better content and much more value to your audience than anyone else is doing. And if you think you have got what it takes, continue reading!

How to become a social media influencer: Identify your niche 

Obviously, an influencer is a go-to source, an authority, and leader within a particular space.

It’s not someone who is all over the place and talks about everything from makeup to horseback riding.

A social media influencer is focused on one niche and industry, and this is something you need to do too to start establishing yourself as a social media influencer.

Not only is it crucial to find a niche just for the sake of becoming the top leader in that industry, but it is also crucial in order to attract the right audience.

If all your content is focused on makeup, then you’ll obviously attract people who are interested in makeup. However, if your content has no clear red thread, and your profile isn’t focused on a particularly nice, you’ll have a very hard time building your audience because people aren’t resonating with your wide spectrum of content types.

Therefore, you need to select a niche, and you need to stick with it.

But you shouldn’t just pick a niche, though. You need to pick a niche which you’re passionate about, have at least some knowledge in, and are interested in learning more about.

As an influencer, you are the go-to source within that niche, and while you maybe not have the expertise right from the word go, you need to have the interest in developing that expertise, because if you don’t, there’s a risk you’ll quit because you aren’t genuinely passionate about what it is you’re doing.

Lastly, if you’re focused on too many niches and topics at once, it will be hard for you to become an expert at once, because you constantly have to learn about many topics at once, rather than focusing on only one. Furthermore, you will have a much harder time appealing to people since you’re not just focusing on one niche. Therefore, you want to choose a niche and be consistent with it. That way, you can appeal to your target audience in a much better and much more effective way.

Pick social media channels

Now, I’ve talked about this quite a few times, but it is still a misconception that lives on.

There are obviously plenty of social media platforms out there.

And the misconception is that the more social media platforms you choose, the better results you’ll be able to generate.

That is obviously not true because the more social media platforms you decide to be active on, the more job it means for you, but it will also mean less job on each social media platform.

In other words, you’re spreading your efforts.

This is why you want to choose a few social media platforms and then stick to them. And if you notice that you can add new platforms to your list, without spreading yourself thin, then you can absolutely go ahead and do that.

But remember, some of the top social media influencers can be associated with one particular social media platform, and it is with the help of one specific social media platform that they’ve been able to establish themselves as social media influencers.

Take PewDiePie, for example. A social media influencer with the highest number of subscribers on the whole of YouTube. Sure, he has other social media platforms, too, but it is almost solely with the help of YouTube that he has been able to become an influencer.

This just goes to prove that you don’t need tens and tens of social media platforms to become an influencer. Sometimes, one is enough, because it allows you to dominate that specific platform.

Another thing you want to have in mind is the type of content the platform supports.

For example, if you’re great in front of the camera, then YouTube becomes a natural choice.

If you are great at creating amazing and inspiring pictures, Instagram might be a good idea.

If you can convey clever thoughts and ideas in a short and sweet format, Twitter might be for you.

This is why it’s important to first identify what you are good at, and what your talents are, and then find a social media platform which supports the type of content you can best convey your talents and expertise through.

Be hungry to learn and stay updated with blogs

As a social media influencer, you’re not only expected to have tons of information about the industry you’re in, but you’re also expected to be updated with the latest news and happenings.

This is why you need to stay updated with industry blogs in your niche, and read them daily.

Things can change quickly, and you as a social media influencer is expected to know these changes first.

To become better and better, and to increase your knowledge, consume as much content as you can. Read blogs, newspaper, watch movies, clips, etc.

Develop a content strategy

Now that you’ve identified which industry you’re going to be establishing yourself in, as well as what social media platforms you’re going to use, together with what content you’re best at creating, it is time to develop your content strategy.

Obviously, you’ve already come quite a long way since you’ve already answered the questions on what type of content you’re going to create, but now, you need to identify which type of content you’re going to produce on a more micro level.

For example, if you’re going to create makeup videos, are you going to produce guides where you take your audience through step-by-step, are you going to focus on products reviews, and so on.

If you are going to create different types, then write that down your content strategy, but try your very best to pick a few topics/ideas, because it is better to be very specific than throwing the net too wide.

When doing this, you obviously want to ask yourself what the audience have an interest in seeing.

The audience obviously has to find your content interesting, because if they don’t, you’ll have a hard time gaining traction.
So make sure that you actually produce content which your target audience cares about.

How to become a social media influencer: Share amazing and unique content

 The single most important thing as an influencer, and when you’re working to establish yourself as an influencer is your content.
Your content is your value proposition, the thing that you’re going to provide your audience to get them to follow and stay.
If you don’t have content as an influencer, you have nothing, (you actually do but it might not look like it from the outside), and as a result, it will be impossible to become a social media influencer.
Remember that there’s more content than ever being put out on social media, and therefore, gaining traction and cutting through the noise is more difficult than ever.
What does this mean?
It means that you need to share top-notch, high-quality content, and can never compromise on quality.
Only when you share better content than everyone else, you’ll become an industry leader.
The first step is obviously making sure you have high-quality content. This means no blurry pictures, well-disposed, beautiful images to look at, and so on.
The second step is making sure that the content you are actually putting out is valuable to your audience. The more value you can bring people, the more you’ll be able to stand out from the crowd, but also, the more people you will be able to retain and keep them following you.
Now, what is amazing content? And what content will bring your audience value? Well, begin by asking yourself what your audience is looking for on social media in the first place. Are they looking to be entertained? Are they looking for advice? Do they want information and valuable tips?
When you know the answer to these questions, you can adapt your content so that it gives your audience what they truly want.

Be consistent

Something that is crucial that you realize is that becoming a social media influencer won’t come overnight, nor is it easy.
Sure, the social media influencers you look up to now might live the most glamorous life that you aspire to live but don’t forget that the vast majority of social media influencers have been consistent and worked hard every single day for years.
Consistency truly is key here, and it can (and probably will) take several years until you start seeing some amazing traction.
Now, I am not trying to discourage you, but you need to know that the journey won’t be easy, but if you truly want to become an industry-leading social media influencer that is the go-to source in your whole industry, it will be worth it.
The fact that you should be consistent goes for many aspects of how to become a social media influencer.
 Firstly, and this is the most important part, is that you share content regularly.
Ideally, you should share at least one piece of content every single day.

Develop a personality

Developing and keeping the same personality is a crucial part of how to become a social media influencer, and the reason is that you as a person is the influencer.

You are your own brand, and your audience looks up to you.

Plus, developing a personality will allow your audience to resonate better with you and connect with you in a better way.

Because it is when you build strong relationships with your audience, and you engage with them that they’ll become most loyal, and you’re able to impact them deeply.

Therefore, just by developing a personality will allow you to stand out from the competitors, and be someone that your audience resonates with, and someone they remember.

Also, you need to make sure that the content you put out, aligns with your personal brand and personality.

Your content should be aligned and consistent, as this gives you a very own personal style and theme which people will remember.

Contact, partner with, and contribute to other sites and people

One of the best ways (and answers) on how to become a social media influencer is by contributing, engaging, and interacting with people who already are leaders in your industry. They don’t have to be influencers, but at least major players in the industry, for example, a blog, newspaper, influencer, etc.

You have probably seen individuals contributing to other blogs, newspapers, and publications, known as guest-posting.

Doing this has several benefits, but one is that you are able to showcase your expertise within a particular area in front of a new audience, and a larger audience.

By doing so, you showcase yourself and eventually start establishing yourself as an industry expert, authority, and influencer.

To be trusted that you have knowledge and expertise, you need to show that you have knowledge and expertise.
This is why you want to find the top blogs/publications in your industry and start engaging with them. Don’t go for the “ask” immediately”, but focus on how you can get to know them and provide them value.

Engage with your audience and build your community

As a social media influencer, the audience is the air.

The answer to how to become a social media influencer, and to be classified as one is that you need to have an audience of fans and followers. And if you are going to be a real influencer, you need to actually influence those individuals opinions, choices, and thoughts. After all, that’s what the word “influencer” means. A person who influences other people.

To have people look up to you, and to be able to impact people, you need to engage and interact with them on a regular basis.

Start building your community, and actively take part in the discussions. Respond to questions, engage with people who write to you, add your thoughts to the conversations, and share your take on things.

What you’ll find is that the more you engage with your audience, the more loyal your audience will be, and thus, the more influence you’ll have on your audience.

How to become a social media influencer key points summarized

  1. Focus on one subject/theme/line/industry/talent/hobby.
  2. Focus on one or a few social platforms (to begin with) but don’t neglect using multiple platforms to reach a bigger audience.
  3. Spend at least 1 hour a day engaging on that platform – show gratitude, build relationships.
  4. Provide value & focus on quality cotnent.
  5. Be consistent.

Becoming a social media influencer isn’t something that happens overnight. To establish yourself as an industry leader and authority in your space, it’s simply not enough to write “influencer” in your own profile bio. Instead, you need to continuously put out content that gives people a reason to follow you, and which allows you to showcase your expertise. Lastly, realize that establishing yourself on social media is something that takes time. Have patience, trust the process, and be consistent.

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