What is an Influencer?
An influencer is someone who has the ability to convince others to buy products or participate in events through content creation and active engagement in an online community. The size of the following depends on the popularity of their community. Influencers in social media have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on a specific topic or industry.
Why does everybody want to be an influencer?!
Influencers are creators who share content on online platforms, building communities around topics and niches. A lot of Influencers get paid to create content to help promote products or brands. It tends to sound like the ideal job. Getting paid to talk and share things about products you love – talk about employment Utopia!
But is it too good to be true?
The truth is, making $20,000 to $200,000 per post is rare. In fact, you will need to be pretty famous to earn that kind of pay. It takes serious discipline and a lot of time. It’s a full time career in itself. But starting out it can be discouraging and expensive.
Pro’s and Con’s
Influencers are your content production. They specialize in creating content or ads that resonate better with consumers with the aim to increase your overall Marketing performance and conversion.
According to The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), anyone with over 30,000 followers is deemed an online ‘celebrity’, meaning that they must adhere to strict advertising rules and regulations. The authority determines the social media guidelines for those with a large following when it comes to ads and sponsored content. It is imperative that you make sure you know these guidelines and adhere to them.
What are key traits to be an influencer? A good influencer knows how to be seen. You have to be capable of building a large audience of followers who care about what you are saying. You also need to stay on top your social media knowledge, knowing when to post and engage, staying ahead of trends and even starting trends. Actively participating in your niche or community. You also need to be relatable, well informed and able to take the praise with the trolls.
How hard is it to be an influencer? The influencer market is very saturated and highly competitive, and you need to be different in order to stand out. Constantly creating striking content with the highest quality can be draining as much as it can be fulfilling. Being in the virtual spotlight isn’t always easy and as with all celebrities there are always people rooting for you to slip.
Here are a few reason NOT to be an Influencer:
Reason #1: You have to be ahead of the trends.
Building real influence takes time, and a big contributor to slow growth is having a trends only mindset. You need to stand out as much as possible. Yes there will be the odd cases where you catch a trend in it’s early stages, but that cannot be your only strategy.
Don’t quit that day job just yet. If you are in it for the money then I suggest you find something else. It takes time to cultivate a community that truly believes in what you are saying. These people trust your honesty when it comes to supporting products or events and more often than not that integrity can cost you. Also you need a relatively large audience to start earning money, and people do pick up on it when this is your only reason for being online.
In fact, the average payment per post if you have less than 2,000 followers is less than $50.
Reason #3: If you only want to be popular
Not all that glitters is gold, and it is not all love and adoration on the influencer side of life. You will find there are a lot of people who only focuses on taking you down a notch. So you have to be able to shake off the trolls and keep your focus. That tends to be difficult if your only reason for being online is to be liked by others.
Reason #4: Everything becomes work.
This changes from niche to niche, but the bottom line stays the same. You are always busy creating content. Every time I pick up a book, my subconscious immediately starts reviewing it, planning the images and adding the deadlines. It can suck the joy out of what you are doing, because it is no longer a hobby, but WORK.
Reason #5: Change of identity
You want to be someone else. Maybe you want to be more spontaneous and decide to portray yourself in this manner on your feed. Initially this might seem like a fantastic idea. But trust me when I say it will catch up to you. Introverts tend to suffer the most in this case, because social media has become the new way of socializing. Being online constantly has takes its toll. Don’t be something you aren’t, embrace what makes you unique and go with it.
But do you REAAAALLLYYY want to be one?
Is influencer a real job? Yes, being a social media influencer is a real career. This is because it provides people with a real job. People pay to be featured.
Can anyone be an influencer? Yes, but it takes time and a lot of work. It is important that you actually specialize in your niche. Study up, do a social media course. If you think you have what it takes, do the legwork. Plan your strategy. Develop your style. It’s not as simple as just posting.
How can I become an influencer?
- Pick a Niche. (Books/ Skincare/ Travel/ Food etc.)
- Optimize Your Social Media Profiles. Find out what works and what doesn’t.
- Get to know your audience. Know what appeals to them and what doesn’t. Create your content strategy accordingly.
- Relevant Content. Top quality relevant content is a MASSIVE PART of being an influencer.
- Be Consistent. Your followers will come to expect certain quality content and posting schedules. Your best route to success lies in being consistent.
- Engage, engage, engage. Respond to comments, like their posts and share the love. A lot of your growth lies in actively participating in your community.
- Let Brands Know You’re Open to Collaborations. There are several ways to do this, specific to different niches. But keep in mind you need to have certain things in place when you start earning.
Is it hard to become an influencer? Yes and no. It’s easy enough that anyone can do it, but it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to actually succeed. Find your unique voice and use it to establish a unique brand for yourself as an influencer.
All you do is work, work, work, work …
It’s not all selfies and freebies. Influencers have to genuinely influence the behavior of their followers. They need to have a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on their chosen niche. They have to be a continuous part of the conversation of the topic on their preferred social media channels and generate large followings of enthusiastic, engaged people.
At the end of the day, if this is what you want (to become a paid influencer) it will require a lot of initial work. Unpaid. So choose a niche you’re passionate about.
So before you start focusing on this as a career, make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.