April 25, 2024
Min Read

How To Become an Influencer in 7 Steps

Learn how to become an influencer in seven steps and how it’s different from being a content creator. Here’s everything you need to start this career.

Influencer shooting with a phone setup with graphic elements related to social media

Social media has become more than just a place to connect with friends or scroll through content. It has now started to be a platform for a new kind of career: influencing. 

Influencers — people on social media with lots of engaged followers — work with brands to promote and sell products. Here’s how to become an influencer, what to expect, and how it differs from standard content creation. 

What Is an Influencer? 

A social media influencer is a creator who can convince their followers to buy a service or product. They work on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, and they usually have large or highly engaged audiences who regularly interact with their posts.  

Brands partner with — and pay — influencers to promote products to their audience and encourage them to buy a product or service. This is also known as influencer marketing. 

Types of Influencers

Social media influencers fall into different categories depending on how many followers they have:

  • Mega Influencer — More than 1 million followers
  • Macro Influencer — 100,000–1 million followers
  • Micro Influencer — 1,000–100,000 followers 
  • Nano Influencer — Fewer than 1,000 followers

Brands tend to gravitate toward mega and macro influencers because they have more followers and reach the most users. However, there are still some companies that prefer to partner with micro and even nano influencers if their audiences are engaged and loyal. It all depends on the company’s goals. So if you’re in the early stages of building a following, don’t worry — you can still work with brands.

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Content Creator Versus Influencer

Creators and influencers both post social media content, but an influencer’s goal is often to attract brand attention or sell a product. They generally post a mix of both monetized and non-monetized content to engage an audience and persuade them to make a purchase or lifestyle change.

The average content creator doesn’t usually work with brands. They’re generally posting about their own lives or businesses. If you post on social media, you’re already technically a content creator — but the term usually describes people who make content not just to share their lives but to build an audience or post creative, informative, or artistic photos and videos. 

Image divided in two with a content creator using filming equipment and an influencer shooting content in front of a ringlight

A 7-Step Guide To Becoming an Influencer

If you’re ready to become an influencer, you’ll have to grow a large enough audience to catch the attention of a brand that wants to work with you. 

Here are seven steps to earn followers and start a career as an influencer:

1. Find Your Niche

A niche is a specific corner of a certain industry. Instead of just “women’s clothing” or “skincare,” niches might be “affordable yet funky women’s clothing” or “high-end skincare for acne.” Choose one you care about and can create content around. Your posts will be far more intriguing — both for brands and for followers — if you’re genuinely passionate and knowledgeable about the subject. 

Since you’re just starting out, you don’t need to make hyper-specific content, but it’s a good idea to experiment to see what works for you. You’ll have a better chance of building an audience with a specific set of interests and then working with brands they’ll respond to.

2. Choose Your Channels 

Establish a presence on at least two social media platforms. You can then cross-promote, telling your followers to find you on both. This grows your audience faster and lets you see how users engage with your content on different platforms.

Think about the type of content you want to make and what platform it fits best on. If you’re hoping to create in-depth book reviews, YouTube’s long-form format is likely your best option. You can then post shorter reviews or snippets on TikTok to help generate a following on both.

3. Create a Personal Brand

You’re more likely to build a loyal following if the audience easily recognizes your content — so make your content recognizable.

Maybe you’re a vibrant TikTok comedian, and using stickers, loud fonts and colors, and funky background music aligns well with the feel of your content. You might even use a signature audio or editing style so viewers know it’s you before seeing your username in the corner. These unique but consistent elements all indicate your personal brand.

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4. Learn About Your Audience

When you start posting content, you’ll have an opportunity to learn about your audience. Use each platform’s analytics to discover what posts people like most — including how long they watch videos for, which posts get the most engagement, and what time of day most of your followers are online and watching content. With this information, you can adjust your future posts to match their preferences, whether that means creating shorter videos or waiting until 5 p.m. to post when more of your followers are active. 

Comments also give you insights into how you’re doing as an influencer. Your followers might use that space to let you know what they’d like to see more or less of. Someone might also comment to tell you about a quality issue, like there was a lot of background noise that made a video hard to hear. That lets you know that reducing background noise and adding clear captions will help viewers understand and enjoy your content.

5. Be Consistent

Consistently posting holds people’s attention and shows social media algorithms that you’re an active account — both of which can boost your engagement. Although some platforms recommend posting multiple times a day, you can still prove that you’re an active account by posting consistently. For example, YouTube videos often take longer to make, so uploading once a week is realistic, but if you can post at the same time, like every Sunday, it helps show both your subscribers and the platform that you’re active.

Try to make a calendar and plan content ideas so you always know what to post and have time to work on it. You might even plan a series, like outfit compilations from the week every Sunday night, so viewers have something to look forward to. 

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6. Connect With Your Audience

Make personal connections with your audience by responding to comments. That way, they’ll build a deeper relationship with you — meaning they’re more likely to check out a product or brand you recommend.

You’re trying to turn your social media presence into a job, so show brands and potential followers that you’re a professional by keeping responses polite and ignoring negative comments.

Remember to stay true to yourself, too. You want people to form a genuine connection and keep coming back to your content, and being yourself in conversations is the best way to achieve that. 

Screenshots of an influencer’s post and the comments section showcasing the influencers’ replies

7. Collaborate

Collaborating with other influencers puts your content in front of new audiences. Joint posts bring that person’s following to your account, and they also get exposure to your audience. It’s a win-win.

When you’re early in your career as an influencer, you might need to build a larger following before collaborating with others. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t create connections. Instead of asking to collaborate, try recording content that mentions another creator or reaching out to tell them how much you admire their work. They might notice you and want to collaborate in the future.

Build a Strong Digital Presence With Captions

There’s no one way to become an influencer. However, creating content that’s true to you, connecting with your audience, and consistently posting high-quality photos and videos is what will help you attract followers — and brand attention. 

Captions can help you create studio-quality content so viewers notice your account and become loyal followers. You’ll edit faster with the power of AI and give yourself more time to create great videos that viewers and brands both love.

April 25, 2024
Min Read
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