Building a personal brand and becoming an influencer is a dream for many people. According to IZEA’s Influencer Aspirations report, the influencer sphere is growing. Our survey of almost 1,085 social media users found 44% of those ages 18-29 are currently social media influencers or aspire to become one. If you are one of the many social media users who aspire to become a social media influencer, here are some helpful tips to effectively market yourself as an influencer and help you get started on your dream career.
How to market yourself as an influencer
Develop your brand
You’ve been sharing photos and videos online, but you’re not quite sure how to turn that into an influencer career. The first and most crucial part of your journey will be developing your brand. Thinking of yourself as a personal brand is a top priority. This will help you look at your content with an unbiased eye, share authentically and set yourself up to work with brands in the future.
The first piece you’ll want to focus on when developing your personal brand is your niche. While you don’t have to be strictly tied to one subject, it is essential to know your focus on any platform. You want people — including marketers — to come to your profile and understand who you are and what you post about quickly with just a glance. Add your niche to your bio on each platform, including Instagram or TikTok.
Take it a step further and narrow your focus. If you’re interested in sharing fashion, niche down on that topic. Maybe you’re a petite blogger with a knack for finding the best athleisure. This doesn’t mean you can never share anything outside of that, but your focus will be on athleisure and will draw an audience that’s interested in petite style.
Once you’ve discovered your niche, you’ll want to consider how you’ll provide value. If we’re using the same example of petite athleisure fashion, maybe you’ll want to share clothing from all different types of brands and price points so everyone can find something they love. You can share brands that are inclusive to all sizes, including petite, or share try-ons on your Stories with new pieces you’ve found. Find the ways that you can provide the most impact to your audience and make sure you’re including that in all of your content.
Make your brand consistent
When looking at your social media platform, does it visually show who you are? On YouTube, consider how your thumbnails look on your channel. Make sure they are consistent in style, tone and content. You’ll also want to be sure you’re consistent across your platforms. Are your profile photos the same or similar? You’ll want to keep your usernames as similar as possible, making them simple and easy to find.
Find your ‘why’
To be fully set in your brand, identify your core values. These values and motivation will be what keep you going when audience growth slows or what keeps you firm when negotiating with brands. Think of what’s most important to you when creating your content. If you are vegan, for example, you will want to work with brands with cruelty-free products and create content that reflects that view. Find what’s most important to you and stay within those values throughout your content creation journey. Remaining authentic is essential when you aspire to become an influencer.
Choosing the right social media platforms for you is of utmost importance. You want to make sure you keep creating content consistently. If you love creating and editing videos, YouTube may be the best platform for you. If you love photos and short-form video content, then TikTok and Instagram may be best for you. Don’t feel like you need to be on every platform right away. That can take away from your goals as you work to build your audience. Focus on one (maybe two) platforms at a time and put your all into it to build that following. From there, you can shift to other platforms or use those to promote your primary platform.
Join IZEA’s Marketplace
Once you’ve chosen your social media platform(s), you can utilize influencer platforms like IZEA’s Marketplace. Set up a profile no matter how big or small your audience is to get started in finding brands to work with. Once you’ve got content on your platforms (which we’ll talk about next), Marketplace will start pulling in your analytics, which will help you collab with brands using the platform.
Create high-quality content
The next most important thing you’ll need to do when becoming an influencer is, you guessed it, create quality content. While that may seem simple, this is where identifying your brand comes in handy. Since you know your niche and your values, it’ll be easier to create content around those things. What would that viewer want to see within that niche? What value can you provide?
Creating high-quality content helps you catch the eye of brands now and in the future. Tag brands you love even if you’re not working with them, and share how much you love their products. Show brands you are an engaged brand advocate.
Make sure you’re also posting consistently. If it’s helpful, you can create a schedule or content calendar to keep you on track to posting consistently. Choose days and times you’d like to post. No matter what platform you’re working on, try to stay on schedule while still creating quality content that people are excited to see.
Engage with your audience regularly
Creating content isn’t just about creating a beautiful photo or a funny video. Engaging with your audience is a crucial way to stay authentic, build a community, grow your audience and increase their trust in you. Respond to comments, answer your DMs and consider audience suggestions when setting your content calendar. Engaging with your audience will only ever help you as you continue to grow your brand.
Network with other influencers
Finding other creators you can connect with will make the journey much less lonely. Look for influencers around the same stage as you and reach out. You can start interacting with their content or even DM them to start a conversation. You never know what might come from a friendship with other influencers. Find a local influencer you can meet up with to help each other create content, or find an influencer Facebook group online. There are many ways to connect with others online, but you have to be willing to reach out.
You can also collaborate with other influencers and share each other’s channels when you’re doing a similar video on YouTube. You can create content together or help one another out. Not only is this a great way to connect with other influencers, but it also gets you in front of their audience, who will probably also be interested in your content. This can help both of your platforms grow much quicker.
Becoming an influencer takes time, effort and passion, but there’s still plenty of room for social media creators online. If you follow this guide, you’ll be on the right track to becoming an influencer in no time.