Hey Gorgeous RWs!
This week I have several influencer campaigns going on for various clients and honestly – I love seeing the content. I love working with influencers because it means that I get to connect with some awesome people and see some new creative ideas.
In my position, I work primarily with micro-influencers, which means that on average, they have between 15-30K followers. That being said, the more specialized you get, the less followers you need, and the more you can charge.
A question I get asked a lot is ‘how do I become an Influencer?’. Well, it’s both harder and easier than you think. First of all, this is primarily directed at those of you who want to be considered a micro-influencer. I prefer this level of influencers because it allows for better engagement IMHO. Secondly, please know that this is not a guaranteed formula – these are things that have worked for me in the past as well as things I look for when sourcing potential influencers for a campaign.
- Find your niche…Be yourself:
Authenticity is key!Decide what kind of influencer you’re going to be and then build your brand around that. Remember, if you want to be an influencer,you are the brand, and that brand is your business. So, if you want to have a lifestyle blog for healthy moms, I wouldn’t suggest partnering with a brand like KFC.
The biggest mistake influencers make when they are first starting out is to take every deal that comes at them. This can lead to difficulties for a number of reasons. First, if all of your content is a brand partnership– you look inauthentic, your audience will stop engaging and brands won’t want to work with you. Second, if you take on a partnership without doing much research first, you may end up in a contract that doesn’t allow you to use your own voice or work with other brands.
When choosing what brands to work with ask yourself these questions:
– Do I/ would I use this product IRL?
– Are the values of this company in line with my own values?
– Does the content fit in with my overall content strategy? Will my community benefit from this product/ knowledge?
If you answer ‘no’ to any of these questions, move on. Not all campaigns will be for you, and that’s okay! When I’m looking for influencers, I don’t want to see a million sponsored posts that all contradict each other, I want to see how my client’s brand fits into your life (bonus if you already use it!)
- Have a content strategy and choose your channel:
Why is a content strategy important? Because it keeps your content consistent and stops you from uploading a selfie just for the sake of putting something up. Try to plan your calendar a month in advance with spots allocated for spontaneous posts or branded content.
A major help when creating your content calendar is to use a social media planning tool like Planoly. Their basic free plan is more than enough when you are first starting out and it will not only remind you to post, but allow you to maintain the visual aesthetic of your brand as well. Honestly, you don’t need anything fancy – you could even use a paper calendar to help you figure out what to post and when, but you do need a plan.
I use a combination calendar when I make my rough plan and then input my content, copy and creative into Planoly.
Also important, know where your audience is. If you’re growing your following on Instagram, don’t post to Facebook or Twitter first, in fact I would suggest picking one channel and publishing your content exclusively through there. If you end up with a request for long form content, use your blog and drive traffic there from your primary channel. As a general rule, Instagram and blogs are the top platforms for influencers since they are all about beautiful content– but Tiktok, Reddit and even games like Fortnite are all becoming widely accessed platforms.
- Be consistent in putting your content out:
In order to be an influencer, you actually need to post! A big question I get is ‘how much should I post?’ and in reality, there is no cut and dry answer. Rather than focusing on how much to post– focus on what you are posting. If you post five selfies in a row, your followers will feel spammed and they will not want to engage with you or your content… BUT if you post five days of unique, inspiring content that adds value to the lives of your audience, they will be happy.
What you want to avoid is posting inconsistently. If you have three exciting events happening all in one weekend, but nothing for the next two weeks – consider holding off on posting all at once. This is where having a content strategy comes in handy! Coupled with your social media planning tool – you’re good to go!
- Grow your community and engage with them:I cannot stress this enough – you must get good at community management. Community is QueenTM . Respond to comments in a meaningful and engaging way. It is not enough to slap an emoji on your reply and call it a day. Make your community feel like they’re your friends, build trust and maintain that relationship.When I am looking for influencers, I rarely look at how many likes a post gets, but rather, will look at the types of comments they are getting and how they respond. The whole reason I hire influencers is because their community already trusts them. In reality, I am not paying you to create beautiful content, I can do that on my own, I am paying for your network and the trust of your fans.Remember when I said that authenticity was key? This is where it comes into play. No one wants to be marketed to, and more importantly, they are unlikely to try something new unless someone they know and trust urges them to do it. By being authentic, you grow trust in your community and that is what makes me want to hire you.The best way to grow your network is to find other people like you and engage on their page. Show them some love and they will give it back. Don’t wait for the followers to come to you.
Side Note: Never ever (like never) buy your followers – I will find out.
- Have a good mix of content:Have I mentioned the content calendar yet? Seriously. Use a content calendar.Unless you are super niche (think eye makeup influencers) make sure that you have a diverse mix of types of content on your calendar. Between, solo shots, family shots, dynamic, video and branded content – you want to mix it up to maintain the excitement and authenticity factors of your feed. If you only post selfies, your followers will get bored and they will stop engaging with your content.
Being an influencer isn’t all flat lays and free stuff – it’s a time consuming job – between content creation, sourcing partnerships and community management, you have to put in a lot of effort to grow your brand and following. If you half-ass it, you will likely get nowhere… always go full-ass! If you feel that you have something of value to share with your community and you enjoy using social media –then go forth and influence!
If you’d like to chat more about being an influencer leave a comment below!