Influencer marketing is an important marketing strategy that continues to grow. It is no longer limited to a select few businesses or agencies, but has become a marketing channel accessible to all brands.
As of 2021, the global influencer marketing market value had more than doubled since 2019, standing at around 13.8 billion U.S. dollars.
More brands recognize the power of influencer marketing and seek out influencers who can help them generate meaningful connections with their target audience.
That means more opportunities for influencers – for you – to make money!
If you're looking to become an influencer, you've come to the right place. In this article, we'll go over the steps of becoming an influencer one by one. Keep reading to begin your journey to becoming an influencer.
Table of Contents
- Is becoming a social media influencer the right choice for you?
- Ask these questions before you decide to become an influencer
- How to get started as an influencer
- How to brand yourself as an influencer
- How to establish authority as an influencer
- How to work as an influencer
- How to grow and remain popular after you’ve become an influencer
- How to get paid as an influencer
Is becoming a social media influencer the right choice for you?
Becoming a social media influencer sounds like a great career choice – let’s find out if it’s really the right one for you.
Are you excited about making a difference?
If you become an influencer, you have an opportunity to leave your imprint on the world. You decide which causes to support, be it sustainable brands or charitable businesses. You can use your influence to spread your positive values to the world.
Would you love to have a community of people who rally around you?
If you have no problem standing in the spotlight and taking responsibility for your loyal followers, becoming a professional influencer could be perfect for you.
Would you like the financial freedom of working for yourself?
To not be tied down by rigid work hours or office dress codes, or having to stay in one place all the time?
Becoming an influencer can allow you to turn something you are passionate about into a career, basically getting paid to make content about something you enjoy.
Sounds like a good plan! That’s the promise that becoming an influencer holds.
Ask these questions before you decide to become an influencer
Of course, all these benefits do not simply appear because you’ve decided that you’re going to do this.
Understand that if you become an influencer, you are turning yourself into a business. If you are serious about earning the benefits, you have to be serious about the work, too!
So, before you start, please ask yourself the following questions:
Are you willing to do what it takes?
As an influencer, you’re going to have to do a lot of tasks:
- Creating your strategy
- Dressing up
- Filming your content
- Writing captions
- Scheduling your content
- Engaging with your audience
- Promoting and managing your brand
- Networking and reaching out
and much more. All this will take you a lot of time!
Are you willing to make that investment?
Will you have the patience that’s required to grow your brand?
Again, it will take time to grow your followers and build up an empire – your piece of the web – as an influencer. That’s where you’ll need the patience to keep executing your strategy and keep publishing, even when your audience is not yet as big as you want it to be.
Do you have the passion and motivation to keep serving your audience?
If you want to be an influencer who is successful long-term, you need to find a way to stay motivated – you owe it to your followers.
You can do this if you have passion for the topic you’re making content about and you genuinely want to help and entertain the audience.
Ask yourself: Is that you?
What will it take for you to make enough money to be able to make this a full time gig, or at least a solid side hustle?
Be realistic and set a sensible goal – and you won’t be caught off-guard later when the numbers don’t match what you were hoping for right away.
The influencers we’re working with are making on average at least CHF 200 per sponsored post.
(This is if you have several thousand engaged followers who love you, and you manage to connect with brands who feel that your content is a good fit.)
Now you can do the math and see how much work it would take to make the income that you’re aiming for. Of course, as you grow your reach and your authority, you will be able to command higher rates.
What type of influencer do you want to be? Nano, Micro, Macro, or Mega?
In influencer marketing, bigger isn’t always better.
Brands are starting to see the value of smaller influencers – they have higher engagement and the trust of their followers.
This means that even as a smaller influencer, you will be able to get brand deals that make you good money.
“The findings of four experimental studies show that micro-influencers (those who have 10,000 to 100,000 followers) are more persuasive than mega-influencers (those who have more than 1 million followers) because endorsements by micro-influencers (versus mega-influencers) bestow higher perceptions of authenticity on the endorsed brand, which ‘rubs off’ from the perceptions regarding influencer authenticity.” https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00913367.2021.1980470
The different sizes of influencer you could become are:
Examples: Adela Smajic in the Beauty/fashion, lifestyle and travel niche. Alayah Pilgrim in the sports, health and fitness niche. Carlo Janka in the sports, outdoors and family niche.
As your following grows, more opportunities will come in, but it will also take more time and effort to manage your brand.
Examples: Kevin Lütolf in the fashion and technology niche. Zoë Pastelle in the fashion and entertainment niche. Zeki aka Zekisworld in the comedy and automotive niche.
Over 1 million followers.
These are typically actors, musicians, and other A-list celebrities.
Your content might never get you into this category (and maybe you don’t even want that), but if you do, hey, good luck! Also, you might make up to $1 million per sponsored post!
Have you answered these questions to clarify what lies ahead on your path to becoming an influencer on social media?
Then you’re ready to get started!
We’ve created this roadmap to help you on your way, and to get you to the point where you can call this your job! Maybe you’ll even end up working with us in the future. Let’s dive into your journey.
How to get started as an influencer
Find your niche
We recommend that when you start your career on social media, you pick a niche. It makes sense to narrow down quite a bit.
What does that mean?
Especially in the beginning, you want to be known for your work in a specific space. That way, your audience will associate you with this space as you post more about it.
People are more likely to follow you if they know what to expect from your content.
Focus and fine-tune your niche, and it will be much easier to grow your followers and be seen as an expert in that niche.
Now, what niche should you pick?
Passion & Knowledge
If you have an existing passion – maybe even a good level of experience and skill – you could pick that to give yourself a head start and be more motivated to create content around that niche.
Popularity and Monetizability
From a business standpoint, it makes sense to find a niche that is trending or at least growing steadily and in which brands are willing to spend money to advertise.
We have compiled ten of the most popular and profitable social media niches for you below:
- 1. Technology
- 2. Fashion
- 3. Health & Fitness
- 4. Food & Cooking
- 5. Business & Making Money
- 6. Lifestyle
- 7. Beauty
- 8. Parenting
- 9. Pets
- 10. Travel
Find the one that aligns with your interests and knowledge, is popular and monetizable, and has an audience that you could engage with long term.
Choose the right platform to start
Which platform should you become an influencer on?
We recommend you start on just one platform – preferably the one where your audience spends the most time – so that you can focus and grow your following most effectively.
Of course, you can expand your business later and join multiple other platforms!
Try to understand who your audience is first:
- Which age group are you targeting with your influencing campaign?
- What’s their average income level?
- What’s their gender, percentage-wise?
- What’s their family situation?
- What are their hobbies and interests?
- Which circles and communities are they in?
The answers to these will guide you towards the platform you could start out on. As an example, if you’re in the knitting niche, you could start posting on Pinterest. If you’re a gamer, start a Twitch account. Model trains, Facebook. Etc. This information changes over time, and there are many factors to consider in selecting the right platform.
Following is a quick snapshot of which platforms make the most sense for you to be on as an influencer, depending on your niche:
Widest adoption among all demographics, but is trending older, and a wealthier audience. Good for niches that have a middle-aged audience.
Good for more intellectual niches such as writing, business, and self-improvement.
The #1 platform if you want to become an influencer in the world of business and money making.
Mostly female audience. Perfect for arts & crafts, among others.
A very visual platform that is perfect for many niches, including fashion, travel, food, and pets. The audience is slightly younger.
Has the youngest audience. But the platform is now also becoming more interesting for older generations. Best if you are focused on your specific audience, and you are able to capitalize on trends.
Prepare your profile
After you’ve picked your niche and the platform you’re going to start out on, you'll need to create and optimize your social media profile.
Switch to a business account
If you want to be an influencer, you should upgrade to a business account because it gives you a lot more possibilities – namely for analytics and monetization. You can create a business account in the profile settings of most networks, such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Create a fantastic bio
When someone visits your profile, the first thing they see is your bio. You want to make sure you’re making a great first impression!
Your biography should explain your narrative in a compelling way. It should also include all relevant information about you, such as your full name, address, phone number, and areas of expertise.
Add a profile pic and banner/cover photo
You should also include a profile photo and a cover photo, as these are crucial components of your own brand identification.
People frequently recognize a social network profile by its profile photo, so choose one carefully. Also, make sure your face is visible, and the photo is high quality.
How to brand yourself as an influencer
What is your influencer personality? You should be able to pin-point the qualities and characteristics that set you apart from others in your niche on social media. People like to follow someone who has a strong and interesting personality.
It doesn’t mean you have to invent a new personality for yourself.
Ideally, you authentically express what’s interesting and special about you. Of course, with social media, you will want to emphasize the most compelling aspects of your personality, but you should never be fake.
Simply go more into what already makes you special naturally.
Your personal brand
You also want to be thinking about creating your personal brand. This means you take your influencer personality and your angle on content and turn it into a recognizable brand.
How do you create your personal brand and make it stand out?
- Convey a similar vibe with images and videos: They are created in a similar way, use the same filters etc.
- Purposely use your own, consistent color scheme in your profile and your marketing materials.
- Have your own way of talking and addressing your followers in your content and captions – brand tone is consistent
- Have a special name for your followers
- Create a logo and slogan that people recognize instantly
- And most importantly, your personal brand is telling a story – one that is compelling and resonates with the audience.
Here’s what Antonella Patitucci, Actress, Presenter, Coach and Content Creator, had to say about how important it is that you tell stories as an influencer:
“The value is in telling your own story and putting emotion behind it. Give the product a face so people can relate. Share your unique story and opinion. A product alone is a picture, but with you and your story, it’s like a movie.”
We couldn’t agree more. So start telling a unique story, and you will start creating a strong personal brand for yourself that people will want to follow.
How to establish authority as an influencer
You’ve picked your niche, you’ve thought about your branding… now it’s time to build your expertise!
Your goal should be to become an authority on the topic you’re making content on.
You want your audience to look up to you, trust what you’re saying about the topic, and follow your recommendations.
How are you going to build your authority?
Study your niche
Start by researching everything that’s out there on your niche on the internet to get a good overview of what you’re going to make content about.
Subscribe to relevant podcasts. Read any available books and print publications around the topic.
Establish your web presence
In addition to your social media profile, consider setting up your own website as well.
This will give you another chance to advertise your personal brand and show off your portfolio.
It’s a signal that you are a professional and will give you even more authority as an influencer.
Start networking in your industry
Go to conferences. Reach out to other influencers in your niche. Communicate, find peers and mentors, and collaborate with others.
Not only will this make you an insider with even more knowledge about your niche, it will also increase your status
How to work when you’re an influencer
Now, how do you go about your daily work as an influencer? How do you know what to post, when to post it, and how often to post?
To keep up with creating content and to make sure that you have an awesome social media profile that keeps growing, we recommend that you first create a content strategy.
Your content strategy
First, establish a posting schedule. Decide how often you’re going to post in order to keep your followers engaged – while not burning yourself out. Keep in mind how much time creating just one social media post can take!
Then, decide on the types of content you’re going to be posting regularly. This can, and maybe should, be different types of posts on different days. Depending on the platform, you have the choice between:
- Videos (short-form, long-form, stories)
Finally, the content topic:
What topics are you going to cover? What angle are you going to take with your content?
Note all these things down in your strategy document. Now you know exactly what to post each week.
Study your analytics
Executing on the publishing strategy you just created is a great start – but it’s not everything.
You should also learn from each post you make. Do this by studying your analytics. With a business account, you will have access to those statistics.
- Each week, look at how your posts have performed.
- How many people saw your post?
- How much did they engage with it?
- How many likes did it get?
- If it was a sponsored post, did it resonate with people?
- What could you do to make even better content next time?
How to grow and remain popular after you’ve become an influencer
Apart from your short-term strategy, be prepared to stay on top of the game in the long term.
How do you do that?
- Nurture your community. Do this by running special campaigns, like challenges, surveys, and giveaways; fun initiatives that keep your audience on their toes and excited about hearing from you.
- Know your audience intimately. Keep studying your followers. What are their goals? Their deepest desires? What makes them tick? Know all this… then try to satisfy those desires with your content!
- Stay ahead of trends. If you always keep your personal brand relevant to the times, you won’t have to worry about people becoming bored with your content and unfollowing. On the contrary, you will keep them engaged with fresh stuff and your following will only keep growing!
- Always engage & be present. You should treat your followers like your tribe, maybe even like a second family. This means you’ll always be there to reply to their comments, answer their questions and offer support.
“It’s easy to get blinded by vanity metrics such as big numbers of views and followers. It’s not about the number of followers you have. What matters is the quality of the connection you make with your audience.” - Marvin Sangines, Personal Branding Advisor at Kingfluencers
How to get paid as an influencer
We saved the most exciting part for last:
How you’re going to get paid and hopefully at some point make a full-time income as a social media influencer!
In most cases, this will mean that you’re going to be working with brands and promoting their products in your content.
How are you going to find those brands?
The first option is to make a list of brands you would like to work with. Then research their marketing department and email them about working together.
The other option is to apply to an influencer marketing agency, who usually has a large network of brands they work with. They’ll take on the work of contacting the brands that are the right fit for you. This should be at no cost to you, because the agency will get paid by them and not you. It’s a good option if you want to spare yourself the extra stress of having to find and pitch brands, on top of all the other tasks you have to do as an influencer.
How much will you make?
Anywhere between CHF 200 and CHF 10’000 per post. Obviously, expect to start on the low end of that scale if you just started your influencer career.
How many followers do you need to start getting paid?
This differs, depending on your niche and other factors. We usually advise you to build your brand to at least 2500 followers and then apply for your first brand deals.
Let’s do it!
Is being an influencer worth it?
We say absolutely yes – now that you know what goes into becoming one and how to do it, you can decide if it’s for you.
Keep in mind that getting results is a process that takes time and effort. As a result, you shouldn't expect to become a social media influencer overnight.
However, if you continue to follow these guidelines, you will be able to become an influencer and earn money doing it.
We wish you good luck on that journey!
To keep up to date on the newest influencer marketing information and trends, sign up for the Kingfluencers newsletter or reach out to us anytime.If you’re already over 2500 followers and think you have what it takes, you can apply with us as an influencer here!
Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing