With a market size projected to be more than I6 billion USD in 2022, the buzz in social media marketing has created opportunities that’s inspired many a social media user to aspire to become a social media influencer.
Unlike traditional media, in just about twenty years, social media has provided a level playing field where almost anyone can build their platforms and become who they want to be.
And over the years, a number of previously unknown people have used the social media to build up their brands through the ranks, as reputable social media influencers.
The fact that celebrities like Tiktok’s Khaby Lame, Gary Vaynerchuk of Vayner Media and even others like John Perry (Brodashaggy), Mr. Macaroni and the rest of them were able to use the social media to build their fame has inspired many others to aspire to become social media influencers.
Although becoming a social media influencer is not a piece of cake, it’s actually doable.
And in this guide, I’m going to show you how to easily crack the code and make yourself a social media influencer in the following paragraphs…
Identify Your Niche
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To become a social media influencer, one of the first steps you have to take is to identify the niche you want to target.
The reason is because there are a lot of niches, industry and areas of interest on the social media. Realistically, you can’t function in all the niches.
So, you have to choose at least one of the popular niches where you’ll be able to function effectively and then build your brand in that niche.
While choosing your niche, pay attention to the target audience in that niche, the kind of content they consume and the popular brands that are already in the niche.
While it is important to go for niches with a decent number of audience and followers, keep in mind that in most cases large audiences attract large influencers. So, the higher the number of followers in a niche, the higher the competition in that niche.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Niche
Your Geographic Location. In Nigeria and most parts of Africa for example, comedy is a very popular niche to build a career as a social media influencer but there’s also a massive competition in that niche.
Although there are some other niches with less popular competitions; in most cases, it takes a while to build a decent following from such niches.
Skills & Experiences. Again, while choosing a niche, consider your skills, experiences and talents. As a social media influencer, you’re going to be creating a lot of meaningful content and to make things easy for yourself, you want to create the kind of content that’s unique and easy to relate with.
In most cases this will demand you leverage your skills, talents and experiences to create relatable content for your audience.
Target Clients. To earn a living as a social media influencer you’ll need patronage from brands. For this reason, you also have to consider your target brands before selecting a niche or industry since some brands are industry specific.
Tip: Studying the page of an existing social media influencer that has with the kind of brand you want to build can be very helpful in giving you a better idea about how to get started.
To evolve a realistic niche create, a midpoint between your target audience and your targeted clients. In fact, as much as possible, focus on building an audience that will be suitable for your target clients or intentionally engage the kind of clients that will be suitable for your target audience.
This is very important as it can affect the outcome of whatever campaign you intend to deliver for a potential client.
Create a Strategic Plan
You can’t become an influencer without a strategic social media marketing plan that’s primed to get you right in front of your goal.
So, begin with thinking up a plan that will cover details like the kind of brand you want to create, the brands you’ll like to work with, the audience you want to build and the strategies you want to use in keeping them engaged.
You don’t have to be very detailed about everything from the on set but you must have a clear idea of what you want and plans on how you intend to achieve it.
Furthermore, you will need a combination of growth strategies that will also help you as you work on building your brand.
Choose a Target Platform
Whether your eyes are on Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook or YouTube, it’s possible to become a social media influencer on any of the social media platforms.
But, to create the best outcomes for your effort and to really attract the kind of businesses and audience you want for your influencer brand, you’ll have to choose the right platform.
And by right platform, you have to choose the platform that has the largest number of your target audience and target client base. This is the easiest way to build up your brand fast.
Of course with time, it’s okay to extend and build your brand on the other social media platforms, but it’s important you choose at least one of the platforms and focus your energy on building your brand and following on that platform first.
This is very crucial because in as much as you can find almost all kinds of audience on the popular social media platforms, some social media platforms will still yield a far better result than the others.
Take for example; if you want to target a corporate clientele and audience, you’ll be better off creating your brand on LinkedIn rather than a platform like Twitter or Instagram.
Same thing goes with a brand that’s targeting the Millennials and Gen-Z. If that’s your target audience, you’ll be better off on Instagram rather than going to Facebook and LinkedIn.
Knowing your audience and where you can get the best of them is very crucial if you want to become an effective influencer that delivers on results.
Create Meaningful Content
Social media thrives on content and engagement. To build outstanding influence, you have to create remarkable contents that will be loved again and again by your audience and target clients.
This is what will keep your brand growing.
Steps to Create More effect with your Content
Create a Wow Effect. For your content to be remarkable, it doesn’t only have to be entertaining, informative or educative, it has to have that “wow effect” that will set it apart. This is what people like Khaby Lame have done with their brands and it sets them apart. Find out innovative ways to add a unique dimension to your content.
Post in a Timely Manner. Beyond remarkable, your content will have to be coming in at a very timely manner. You need to know the current trends in your target industry and work on making posts about them at the right time.
Be Consistent. Again, there must be a level of consistency in your postings. Posting only when you feel like it or being inconsistent with your post will not get you the right results.
Know what works. Finally, you have to understudy your audience in order to understand the kind of posts they will like, how they want it posted and other kind of content that will drive engagement.
You can start this by studying the rate of engagements with each content you put out, their reactions, comments etc. With details from here, you can then work on producing content based on what your audience wants.
Engage your Audience
Engaging with your audience consistently is one of the easiest ways to become a social media influencer.
This is because, high engagement increases their likeness for you and your brand, extends your reach and gets you even more visibility on the social media.
So, beyond posting content, engage with your audience consistently. Reply and like their comments and get to interact with them from time to time.
Apart from your audience, you also have to engage with other people’s posts including posts in sub groups, forums etc. This is a good way to build rapport and also extend your reach as a brand.
In a nutshell, don’t just use auto posters to schedule your post and leave them afterwards, get over and build a real human interaction with your audience.
Promote your Content
With billions of people struggling to get heard, promotion presents a very powerful tool to become a social media influencer, faster and more easily.
Luckily, there are a handful of ways to promote yourself on social media. For example, depending on your capacity, you can use either organic or paid promotion strategies to boost visibility for your brand.
For organic promotions, you can use strategies like Content Marketing, Brand story telling, Hash tags, to promote your brand.
You can also use other thought leadership building strategies like writing a book in your area of interest, co-hosting events in your niche, getting interviews and media features.
For the paid promotional strategies, you can use Paid Advertising on the social media platforms, paid brand partnerships, sponsored posts or even Search engine advertising.
Regardless of the strategy you choose, keep in mind that the goal is to get your brand to as many people in your target audience as possible. And you can’t leave any stone unturned, as far as it is within your means and for your good.
PS: While doing all of this, avoid buying a fake audience. Try to be as authentic as possible. You want your brand to be seen in the right light by all means.
Network with Other Brands
It is possible to earn industry respect, up your brand game and become a social media influencer by rolling with the top social media influencers in your niche.
But you have to be very very strategic about this.
So, you want to start with reaching out to other influencers in your league. Whether upcoming or not, find ways to collaborate with them, do things that promote your brand and get your best stuff in front of their audience.
PS: Whatever you’re pulling together must be beneficial to them just as it is beneficial to your brand.
Reach out to other well-known influencers in your niche too where possible. Although it might be quite difficult to achieve this if you’re a complete new comer, you can start with finding ways to add value to these established influencers.
Instead of trying to force collaborations you can start with offering them your best product or services or find a way to work with them at discounted rates or for free. Your goal is to get them to promote your brand in return.
Also, you can reach out to your target brands. Let them know that you can promote their services either for free or subsidized rates (works well if you’re a beginner).
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a complete newbie or you’re already well known across the social media, anyone can actually become a social media influencer if that’s all they really want.
It all starts with knowing the kind of social media influencer you want to become, the brands you want to work with and then setting out a clear plan to work with. With all these in place, it becomes easier for you to get started.
Now, as I close, I want you to remember that even when you become a social media influencer, do not just stop at the social media, to get the best benefits for your brand, you’ll need to become more established.
So beyond your social media handles, set up a website and platforms outside the social media where people can know more about you as a brand influencer, read about your audience, see your portfolio and get to contact you directly. You can contact us to get you a decent website at a very affordable rate here.
Take steps to commit to building and growing your audience consistently. And finally, review your strategies and sort out what’s working, at regular intervals.
Now, it’s over to you! What’s your biggest challenge when it building a formidable brand as a social media influencer? Let’s read your comments.