In today’s society, people prefer to hear about product and service recommendations from ordinary people like them who they view as more knowledgeable, credible and authentic. This new trend has led to the emergence and growth of Social media influencers. Influencers are ordinary people who have earned peoples trust and can be so powerful that they can recommend what to do, what to buy, which movie to watch, and where to travel on vacation by simply sharing their personal experiences in real-time. Despite being an expert in his or her field, people view these people as their peers, unlike endorsed celebrities that can be viewed as biased.
Becoming an influencer can be one of the hardest jobs ever, hence we come up with a number of steps that can help you get started on your influencer journey. There is a total of ten steps, but we will cover only five steps in this article and discuss the rest in the next insert. It is important to note that it is, however, a long, winding journey and you will need to be patient as you work towards becoming an influencer.
- Find your niche market
Before hopping on to the journey of becoming an influencer, one needs to find their niche market. With your clearly defined target audience, you then come up with a persona based on your target audience’s needs, wants, challenges and goals. That way you are able to create content that your audience will relate to because you know where they stand and where they are trying to be.
- Use the First Principles Thinking Approach
Instead of basing your decisions on other people’s past successes or failures, you need to emphasis on studying your objectives, fundamentals and make your decisions sorely on that. This will open you up to other possibilities and other approaches by ‘forcing’ you to disregard the status quo and think differently. This alone will set you apart from the rest of the other influencers in your niche and allow you to bring something new and fresh to the table for your target audience.
- Choose your social media channel
Just because you love a certain social media channel does not mean that it will work for you and your content. You need to research and pick a social media channel that aligns with your content and a channel where you find your target audience spending most of their time. For example, if you are targeting millennials, it is known that they spend most of their time on Instagram and Pinterest. If you are targeting professionals and businesses, you find them on Linked in and Twitter. Another approach is considering the channels being used-by other influencers you share the same niche with. You can use this to open doors to collaborations and widen your reach since you share the same target audience. The format of your content should also be one of your determining factors when selecting which channel to use, whether it is video, pictorial or text.
- Develop your content strategy
A good friend of mine once told me that the format, quality and authenticity of your content will make or break your chances of successfully building yourself as a social media influencer. The format that you decide on using should not only deliver valuable information but it should be able to express your personality as an influencer and shout out to your target audience- ‘LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD’. Part of creating what we would like to refer as ‘juicy content’ is giving your audience the right balance between personal content and informative content to help you create just the right amount of trust with your audience.
Consider using the 5-3-2 principle as the best approach in trying to create that balance:
5-> Valuable content written by someone else
3-> Educative and informational content you created yourself
2-> Posts about your personal life
Some of you could be wondering, why post other people’s content on my page right? The one thing you have to know is that influencers are known for being able to provide valuable content to their audience, whether it’s their content or other people’s content. This will also help you slowly capture these writer’s attention by constantly seeing you post their work and will make it easier for you to ask for a favour or collaboration later on.
After discovering their target audience, most influencers have a hard time trying to create content but here are a few tools you can use to generate relevant content that will keep your audience on the edges of their seats:
- Google related search keywords
- Answer the public
- Post your content strategically
A lot of social media influencers suffer from inconsistency when it comes to distributing their content. As an Influencer, you should come up with a calendar on when and what time you will be publishing and distributing your content on your social media channels. Secondly try to stick to one theme per social media channel as this will give your audience a clear picture of who you really are, what you do and what you stand for. This will also help keep your page sleek and on point. Thirdly, customizing your content is also key when trying to earn loyalty from your audience because it makes your content feel personalized and not feel like spam content. Even when posting the same content on two different social media channels, always make sure you take your time to customize it for that channel and make sure every post caters for your follower needs.
That’s it for part one of this article on how you can kick start your influencer journey. Stay tuned for part 2!