Influencers are everywhere and so is influencer marketing. The concept became popular in 2016 and has been continuously growing since then. Be it generating leads or driving high sales, every business small or big counts on Influencer marketing as one of the marketing strategies. As we go in-depth about the steps that are required to care your niche and become an influencer in your industry. You must know a few things like Who is an influencer? How to become an influencer in your industry?
An Influencer is someone who shares valuable, knowledgeable and credible information which is relevant to people’s interest. They have the ability to influence people with their choices and opinions. An influencer has high chances of influencing people as they have a huge base of followers. Below is what Wikipedia has to say about influencer marketing.
Working with influencers work great but there are a few pitfalls to avoid while running an influencer marketing campaign. But, what about actually becoming an influencer? Believe it or not, but anyone can become an influencer provided they must have the skill of connecting with people and pursuing them to purchase a particular product or service. YouTube creators are considered to be one of the top influencers in the business.
Influence marketing experts have foreseen the demands of social media influencer, especially the micro-influencers (influencer with less than 100k followers) will increase in 2018 as more and more people want to become influencers. Here we will be following some steps that will help you in becoming an influencer in your industry.
So let's get started with this…
#1 Find your industry and your niche
Finding a niche is one of the basic and important steps of your journey as an influencer. To become an influencer, it's essential to choose your industry and niche carefully. This very first step will be followed by several other steps. After that, you have to choose an area of expertise as per your interest, want to work and wanted to be known for.
Get a niche that is relevant to the industry and you’re passionate about. When finding your niche, you have to Identify the wants, needs, challenges, goals of your ideal reader and then create a semi-fictional representation for your ideal audience. Having a specific niche to work on is very important as most of the social media influencer have started their journey by posting contents and that sets them apart from others.
#2 Use the "First Principles Thinking" approach - Advocated by Elon Musk
Elon Musk in an interview told that people use two kinds of approaches. He further said that:
• The first is the analogy approach, where people decide things based on the incidents happened in past. This further explains why people in the same industry behaves the same way, does the same things, talk about the similar topic, and when it comes to publishing and promoting content, they use similar formats within the industry.
• The second is the “First Principles Thinking” approach is advocated by Musk himself, as decisions were made on objective fundamentals, instead of decisions that were based on past events- success and failures.
Musk himself follows this approach, and many others have also followed this approach which has led them to open up several other possibilities, where the approach forced them to disregard the status quo and that is how they get to thinking differently.
The same way this second approach can be applied to you and your content that will set them apart from the regular ones. The audiences are ready and actively looking for reading new, different and exclusives content.
#3 Choose your social media channel(s)
Choosing the right social media platform and niche for your targeted audience is very important. We will tell you why it is important. Suppose, the platform you are focusing your content on is not working, this will simply mean that your ideal audience is not spending much of their time on that platform. So, you just have to be on the right social media.
How to become an influencer in your industry if you don't know where your target audience is and where do they hang? Currently, Instagram is seen as the social media channel where most of the social media influencers are focussing on and having their content there have shown the best result to them.
Check this statistic of a Marketing Professional.
Almost 93% of the social media influencers focus on Instagram, and the similar trend was seen in 2017. You can also see the percentage is high in the previous year before. This stats also show that the year 2018 will again see Instagram as a platform with the highest percentage.
This statistic surely suggests Instagram as the top platform, but this does not mean that the other platforms will not work for you. The thing here is that the audience must be on other social networks as well. Try any of the social media platforms and get to choose the right social media platform by asking yourself a few questions like Who is your target audience? Who are the other influencers in your niche? and What type of content will you be creating? The answers to these questions will let you know on which social media platform your audiences are on, and you can move further with it.
#4 Develop your content marketing strategy
A quality content with an appealing format will get the audience to read your content and appreciating your content. The format of your content has to be the one which delivers valuable information but with your voice and personality, it should show unique and different content balancing it with the right amount of valuable and informative content. Such personal content strategy will be a good pitch to reach to the target audience.
Posting interesting, relevant content to the right audience is how to become an influencer in your industry. You cannot do it without it. There is an effective content strategy which is the 5-3-2 principle which you can use while publishing contents on your social media. With this strategy, you can post 5 valuable content written about someone else, then post 3 educational and informative contents written by you, and then post 2 contents about yourself.
Postings contents that you think your followers will find useful will be a big part of influencing people. Content should be grabbing readers attention with valuable information and in the process, the readers will slowly build their trust with your information. Also, make it a point to tell your readers to reach out to you for more valuable information current as well in the future posts as well, this way you can get started to slowly influence your audience.
Coming up with topics is one of the content strategies to work on. To help yourself with the topic content you should be trying out these resources:
♣ Google-related Search Keywords which are available at the bottom of your Google searches.
♣ Answer The Public will give you a list of comprehensive questions which have been commonly asked around your chosen keyword.
♣ Quora will give you a range of different question surrounding your selected keyword. Quora’s suggested questions are explicitly from the problems or challenges of individuals of the Quora community itself.
#5 Distribute and promote your content
There is a saying: Content is KIng / Promotion or Distribution is Queen. You need to spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% promoting it.
The content which you have created should reach the audience by distributing it to them. The broader the audience, the better. To ensure all the contents are distributed properly, carefully plan out where you will be publishing and distributing your contents on social media.
Be effective when you distribute your contents to social media platforms. Different social media platforms will have different situations, terms and conditions, so you will need to have your contents posted accordingly. Covering up the guidelines of all the social media platform there will be a vast, so you should research on the best time and way to post on your respective social media.
However, there are these general rules which you can apply while distributing your content:
♣ You will need to stick to one theme per social media channel
When your followers get a glimpse of your post, they will automatically know it is your post by looking at the theme. Having the same theme for all your posts will help your followers in identifying your posts, take and use this chance to show diversity in your content with no risks of it not being viewed.
You can also categorize the types of content you want to publish with one theme, and this will give readers a show of the different content that may come up to meet their need.
♣ You will need to customize messages within your contents
The same content can be posted to as many social media platforms as you want to, and you should consider customizing your messages with every post. This way the audience who reads your post they will get a personal understanding of your content. There could also be a chance of your readers feeling spammed with posts, which will lead to the end of being a social media influencer, but with customized messages, this will not occur.
♣ You will need to optimize your post for mobile reading
A source from eMarketer showed that the average person spending more than three hours of their time on mobile devices. Out of this 3 hour, 80% of the time is spent on social media, so this explains why you need to make your posts look attractive on the mobile as it would look on a desktop.
#6 Grow your network
How to become an influencer in your industry without a large network? The base of followers on your network should be expanded.
Some of the ways how you can grow your network are mentioned below:
♣ Blogging- With work expert under your own credit, we would suggest that you can grow your own network of followers by blogging. We suggest blogging because there is one fact about social media which you should know and that is, the space of social media network will never be entirely yours and if there is any misstep from your side, your social account will be taken down and so you will lose all of your content and followers at the same time.
Blogging can help you relate to other influencers in your niche as well as those related to it. Blogging will help you get discovered, grow your follower base and business. Includes share buttons of social media networks in your blogs, so that readers can instantly share your blog posts with their social media network.
♣ Sponsored post- In the case where you have a budget and you want to have a premium content offer on your blog. There is a recommendation by Justin Morgan, where he says to promote your posts as a sponsored post and have self-introductions and offers made in them.
♣ Guest post- Networks can also be expanded by creating guest posts where you can establish your own credibility and reliability with the readers. Guest posts, when featured on reputable site, will help you establish an authority, and at the same time get the attention of other prominent influencers in your niche who might be willing to collaborate with you.
#7 Connect and engage with your community
Connect with your followers in such a way where you can engage with them, acknowledge and responds to them with comments on your posts. This way you will build a relationship with them where they will feel valued and also see your sincerity in helping them.
When you make comments on your posts, it has to be all professional. As an influencer, you will have your share of comments to make, be it positive or negative. Your comments should have a fair share of both needed criticism and agreements when addressing the point of concern.
#8 Gather data, track results and evaluate your progress
You must check how much hold you have on the market as an influencer. Know how much progress have you made in influencing, as this is especially crucial when it comes to collaborating with brands. You will be judged by brands on your progress as an influencer if they are looking to partner with you.
The progress insights like progress on demographics, reach, engagement rate, etc can be tracked, and most of the social media channels provides analytics on how the audience is being built upon.
By checking the progress, you can see which content get the most engagement, and with this information, you can put this as a foundation for all the forthcoming contents. By analyzing your data, you'll be able to tweak and optimize your content for the future. A mix of data and influencer marketing is a perfect way to grow your business.
#9 Keep up-to-date with trends
Social media updates keep on coming up and you will need to keep up with them, their updates and their terms and conditions in order avoid any kind of penalization.
There is this FTC guidelines and policies that you will need to know and familiarise yourself with, especially when your social media account is looking to do a collaboration in promoting other brands products and services. Be very particular about the rules and do not violate them.
FTC has become more vigilant with their check on accounts in keeping up with the guidelines, as the strategy of influencer marketing is highly proving itself in the market, where it is being used as brand and partner influencers.
#10 Consistency is the secret
Consistency is one main need to sustain your work progress. Stay consistent and use the tips above and we can ensure you that you'll become an influencer in your industry. Delivering your content on a regular basis and with consistency, as your followers will also be expecting and depending on your post. Delays in your posts can cause a shift in your followers to another site, and with time this will decrease the followers lean on your content posts if consistency is not shown.
eClicher, Buffer, Hootsuite, AgoraPulse are resource tools that can help you schedule your posts and keep you consistent in posting. With these tools, you don’t have to manually publish your content on social media, as this tool itself will create, upload, and schedule post in batches. There are so many tools you can use to automate your marketing campaigns.
Yes being a social media influencer is not something that can happen overnight, so you will have to show patience as well as consistency in your work and in your post.
So, how to become an influencer in your industry?
Marketers are leveraging their business with influencer marketing as influencers have helped them in getting purchases done. Becoming an influencer looks very interesting and so you can also become one. However, becoming a social media influencer might sound like a big thing, but that’s not. Instead, when you become a social media influencer you will see yourself landing up to more significant opportunities and responsibilities.
Indeed, becoming an influencer is not as hard and difficult as it sounds. If you follow thoroughly our 10 steps and apply our techniques to your niche, you will become a thought leader and an influencer in your niche. This will improve your personal brand of course and more importantly you'll be able to use influencer marketing to grow your projects and businesses. This will give you a new tool without having the need to pay for influencers.
Subscribe to our newsletter! Join us on social networks!