Anybody who believes the wide web of social media is a fad is #craycray. It is very much alive, and it is here to stay. If it was going to be lost in the mists of antiquity, tell us, will it have reached 1000 million active monthly users.
What does it mean?
Two things. One, any person can create and promote content to an audience that sweeps over oceans. Two, brands are hankering to get connected with that 1000-million audience.
What does that mean?
One thing. Anyone (with TnC) can be an influencer on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. All it takes is creating a personal brand online.
How To Become An Influencer On Instagram: Hacking The Holy Grail?
Who here knows of Huda Beauty? Go double-tap DYT’s last post. Who here knew that the woman behind it began as a lowly blogger? Retweet our last post. We’re betting our Manolos (jk, our boss doesn’t pay us that much. Yet.) the number of likes will be far more than RTs. Huda Kattan is just one of the many everyday people who used social media platforms to make a difference in their lives while influencing a hulking following.
Watching the meteoric rise of such people (and, of course, the expanding demand for Instagram influencers) has motivated many of us. So, if you are one of the souls who either want a piece of the pie or want a microphone for your voice, here’s how you go about becoming an influencer.
Step 1: Set Goal, Or Rather A Niche
First things first, stop thinking of it as being an influencer. That’s a short-term strategy. Think of yourself as an online brand who advocates what you believe in, which brings us to step 1.
Find your niche, i.e., something you’re passionate about and want the world to know. Why the emphasis on passion, because an online brand is an extension of you. It has to be true to your personality. Five or ten years down the line, you should be proud of what you’ve built.
So, set your goal and then hustle.
Step 2: Pick Your Poison
By that, we mean the right social media platform. Yes, the options are mind boggling but spreading yourself around will lead to half-baked ideas. Pick one (or two) that are apt to your niche. How do you do that? From Facebook to Tumblr, from Pinterest to Instagram, find the one that:
- Fits your personality.
- Resonates with your ethos.
- Has your kind of followers on it.
- Used by the industry, topic, brand, service you are going to promote.
In short, if you’re like Haley Dunphy and think, “I need Instagram to know there’s still beauty in the world,” then that’s your platform.
Step 3: Cement Your Foundation
That’s the content. Nothing, we repeat, nothing will gain you followers like good, quality content. It could be a simple photo or a 20-minute-long tutorial, the choice is open to you, but it has to have value. There is a tsunami of worthless content on the internet, to stand out, create stuff that makes people think “Huh, I didn’t know that” or “that’s good to know.”
Every time you’re about to hit send, tick off these points:
- Is the content suitable to your choice of social media? (No one’s gonna read a long a$$ post on Instagram, peeps.)
- Are you posting the content on the channel where your audience spends the most time? (You can’t preach to an empty choir.)
Amplify The Content
If it were easy, everybody would be hot (yes, we’re quoting Haley again). Why this time? Because she had it bang on. It is not as obvious as choosing a platform and then posting content. To be a true Instagram influencer (or any other), you need to be consistent, i.e., post frequently and regularly.
Why? Steady posts boost engagement rates and help companies pinpoint you as an advocate. One post a month and then 10 in a week doesn’t scream “good brand.”
What’s the trick, then? Pick a posting schedule, say 2 posts a week and then stick to it. Don’t set a wildly impractical number. It is just not possible to create good content every day of the week.
Step 4: Craft A Community
Someone, somewhere rightly said an influencer is only as good as their audience. Set about crafting a community and not mere following.
What’s the difference, you ask? A Brobdingnagian one.
A community is authentic and loyal. Each person in the community is one you can depend on. A following is, most often, just a large audience. It is the era for the micro-influencer – a person who has a small following but an engaged one. It means you don’t have to worry about racking up the follower number but creating a dependable community.
How do you build a community? By making little (and big) gestures like:
- Interact with people. When someone comments on a post, respond to it. If they ask a question, answer it. People love it when you communicate, even if it’s a simple thank you.
- Encourage the members to talk to each other and not just you.
- Support the members of your community. If someone launches their own platform, give them a shout-out.
- Like, share, and comment on the content of your followers. Make them feel “seen.”
- Lastly, collaborate with other creators. Partner with as many individuals or brands as possible either in the same field or an adjacent one. Let’s say your craft is hairstyling, then collaborating with a MUA is just the ticket.
Step 5: Share What You Love
To a brand, your audience is $. For your audience, your content is $. If you publish content which has no heart, followers will lose interest, and the brands will walk out of the door. It’s why sharing what you love is crucial.
Tell your community stories. Give them content with emotional value. Engage them with honest posts.
The audience of today is savvy. They can see through the BS and #sponsored posts in nanoseconds. While there is nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with promoting something you are paid for, it has to be trustworthy.
How does an influencer maintain their authenticity?
We’re glad you asked.
Let’s say; travel is in your bones. You open the DYT app, pick our brand campaign, add a great photo and then promote it through your online platform. This is an example of authentic promotion. Your community knows that you love to travel and so to talk about something that adds thrill to your holiday seems the obvious step.
Promote, advocate, earn, sponsor, endorse, encourage, or recommend. Do it all but keep it true to your reflection. And if you need a little bit of help, then Do Your Thng is your support. The app takes away the hard part of being an influencer. Instead of searching for brands, we hand-deliver them to you.
Once You Have The Power, Use It For Good
Establishing a personal online brand is no different than setting up a business. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes patience and labour. That said, it is only a matter of time before you start speaking in an outsized voice, a voice that people listen to, so use it for good.
There is power in social media and influencers who inhabit it. With power really does come responsibility. Go ahead, speak about your favourite lip shade, or stand against online bullying, just be sure you express for the better.