Who are influencers? Those are ordinary people that gained a massive following because of their knowledge and experience. Above all, they focus on building strong relationships that are built on trust and transparency. They don’t promote brands and products aggressively. They do so by wrapping them into engaging stories and providing followers with valuable information and actionable tips. In other words, they focus on delivering value to their following.
The big question is, however, how to become an influencer?
1. Choose your Niche
The first step you need to take is finding the niche you’re passionate about. You cannot be the jack of all trades. If you believe you can talk about basketball, fashion, traveling, and cooking at the same time, you’re wrong.
To be recognized as an authority, you need to choose your industry carefully and start building your brand image there. Most importantly, you need to be dedicated to your niche, understand how it works, and track how it changes over time. This is the only way to stand out as a knowledgeable, passionate, and credible individual. Your audiences will recognize and appreciate that. They will follow you, like and share your content. You can use that to increase your personal brand awareness and exposure across multiple channels, from your website domain to social media. Above all, they will come back to your online channels and seek your opinions and insights when making buying decisions.
2. Equip yourself with the Right Tools
To become an influencer and have consistent and quality communication with your audiences, start by investing in the right internet connection. If you’re still using the traditional cable internet, consider switching to fiber internet. Optic internet connections enable more consistent data sharing and are less likely to go down during the power outages.
As for your blog or website, invest in better user experiences. Choose the right hosting plan and content delivery network that will enable a faster page load speed. If you’re running your blog on WordPress, there are also many plugins that will help you increase website speed and optimize its performance.
You should also equip yourself with the right tools.
- For starters, invest in the right content creation tools. To create high-quality images for your blog and social channels, use tools like Canva.
- Ease.ly and Infogram are perfect for creating quality, interactive infographics.
- Animaker is perfect for those wanting to create whiteboard videos, explainer videos, how-to videos, etc.
- There are also many social media management tools, including Buffer, that will let you curate quality industry content and automate your content sharing practices.
- Content discovery tools like Buzzsumo and Alltop will let you stay on top of your industry and its trends.
- Also, don’t forget to keep track of relevant conversations. This is where social media monitoring tools like Mediatoolkit shine.
3. Have a Content Strategy
Relevant, fresh, authentic, and helpful content lets you position yourself as an authoritative online resource. Starting to understand the value of your content, people will come back to it to learn something new, hear the industry news, or find proven tips and answers.
When writing and promoting content, you need to find a perfect balance between different post types. This is where you could use the 5-3-2 ratio in your social sharing strategy. Namely, out of 10 content pieces you publish, 5 should be valuable content from other resources, 3 should be informative content you published yourself, and 2 should be posts about you. The idea behind this content strategy type is simple – no one wants to listen to you talking about how amazing or knowledgeable you are. Prove that. Create and curate relevant, intriguing, and authentic content that educates your followers and helps them solve real-life problems.
As for identifying fresh content ideas for your posts, apart from the tools I mentioned above, you could also use Google’s features like Related Searches or People Also that will tell you a lot about your followers’ browsing behaviors. Answer The Public serves a similar purpose – it shows actual questions your audiences ask.
There are many content types to create to build a name for yourself. Some of them are:
- Blog articles
- Comprehensive guides
- How-to videos
4. Create Tutorials on Social Networks
People who want to learn more about brands and make the right purchasing decisions don’t rely on branded ads anymore. Moreover, only 4% of customers trust celebrity endorsements. Instead, they turn to online reviews and insights, wanting to hear the opinions of people similar to them. They also search for online videos and tutorials to see whether the promises brands make in ads are applicable in real-life situations.
And, that’s exactly the kind of content you should create. For example, if you’re in a fashion or beauty industry, choose a few products from this vast market and create an informative how-to video. If the video is helpful and easy to follow, it will inspire people to replicate the project and share feedback about it.
Video tutorials on YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram are a perfect way to start building a personal brand and reach wider audiences. Once people see the value of your tutorials, they will start sharing them online. Such greater engagement will get you noticed by relevant brands in your niche and you will soon start getting collaboration proposals. When you start working with brands, never forget that this kind of product promotion should be natural. The idea is to deliver value to your followers and, at the same time, boost brands’ authority by showing their products in use.
5. Share Experience and Knowledge on LinkedIn
When building a solid personal brand in your niche, your goal is to prove your knowledge through insightful content and this is where you should rely on LinkedIn.
You could post valuable status updates on LinkedIn, where you would discuss the latest industry trends, encourage conversations, or share insights into certain niche topics. You could also create and publish articles on LinkedIn to bring value to your community and connect with the right people. LinkedIn is the largest social network for professionals, where you can also create new groups or join existing ones. The idea is to connect with other influential people in your niche and find potential collaboration opportunities. Participate actively by helping community members and sharing content, both from your blog and other valuable sources.
6. Build Relationships and Engage Followers
Putting yourself in front of the right audiences and getting them to follow you is just half the job done. The other half is building and cultivating strong relationships with them. There are numerous ways to do so.
For starters, when creating an article, a tutorial, or a guide, why not ask followers about their opinions. Motivate them to share their thoughts, problems, insights, and experiences with you in comments. You should also address their feedback properly. For example, never ignore their comments. Be they positive or negative, you should acknowledge them and respond to them professionally. Make your followers feel valued and heard.
Another amazing way to engage followers is to gamify their user experiences. For example, in a collaboration with a brand you’re promoting, you could host a massive contest on social. Ask followers to create user-generated content, answer questions, or share experiences to enter the competition and get valuable rewards. People love to compete and, above all, to be rewarded for their loyalty. So, this is a great way to grab their attention and take their relationships with you to the next level.
7. Track your Progress and Constantly Update your Strategy
Finally, creating content and building online relationships is not enough to become an influencer. You will also need to evaluate your progress. How do people engage with your online content? Do your posts resonate with them? What about the way you collaborate with brands? How effective are your campaigns? Most website analytics tools and social media channels provide analytics that let you monitor your progress in real-time. This way, you will learn more about your audiences, reach, engagement rates, content performance – anything that lets you focus on the right tactics and improve your strategy in the long run.
Is there anything you would like to add? We’d like to hear from you!