In recent years, increasing numbers of people have aspired to become influencers to make a little money from their social media presence. In theory, as long as you have an online presence and something to say, you could become an influencer too.
Ready to find out what it takes? We’re going to explain how to become an influencer in 2021.
Pick your platform
This is the important part: Where do you want to make your statement? There are quite a few social media channels now which you can choose from. We’re going to reveal the best social media platforms for your chosen niche.
This is a visual platform, so if you’re wondering how to become an Instagram influencer having a good eye for photography is essential. You will want to have good lighting and a quality camera that helps you to capture products, outfits, destinations and everything in between. If you’re not great at taking high-quality photos then Instagram might not be you – but this will all depend on what you’re promoting (more on that later).
One of the downsides to Instagram is that it has a billion users. While this is great for trying to promote products to people and actually having an audience, it does mean you have some stiff competition if they’re also trying to promote things to become an influencer. You can set yourself apart by having a striking feed with gorgeous photos.
- Instagram stories (short video clips which disappear after 24 hours)
- Instagram live (film videos there in the moment for your followers to see)
- Reels (short entertaining videos which are posted to Reels and your grid).
Check out our Instagram guide for more about making money on this platform.
TikTok has taken the world by storm and is quickly becoming one of the biggest social media platforms. Initially for karaoke-style videos, this video-sharing platform has now become the place to be for entertaining videos (just like Reels on Instagram). Whether it’s miming to famous songs or quotes or busting some moves to perfectly-choreographed dances – TikTok is the place to be. If you love getting creative and messing around making silly videos, this could be perfect for you.
TikTok is a great additional social media platform. You may notice that many social media influencers have more than one channel. They’ll use Instagram to post pictures, Facebook or Twitter for written posts and TikTok for videos. Consider getting a mix for your efforts.
- Live streaming
- Chance to add soundtracks
- Duet options.
While Twitter is great for reaching out to your favourite celebs, it’s also the perfect place to promote items and tag brands in them. If you’ve ever seen a post with #AD or #Sponsored on a tweet, it means a business has collaborated with the influencer on a campaign. Twitter is the perfect place if you want to use words as well as visuals – also known as ‘microblogging’.
One of the benefits of Twitter is that you can make short and snappy recommendations (now up to 280 characters). Such as: “I’ve just tried the latest hot chocolate for [insert coffee shop name]. Would really recommend it if you love all-things chocolate.” It doesn’t need to be too long, but by recommending things you think your followers would love, it can help cement your influencer path.
A Twitter influencer should always be on the ball with what’s trending for a chance to put a spin on the latest memes and trends. News, jokes and ideas often break on Twitter before anywhere else.
- Offers ‘microblogging’ (perfect if you don’t have a blog but have a lot to say without the need for photos or videos)
- Can post photos and videos
- Publish links to websites embedded in the tweet
- Fleets (similar to Instagram Stories, they allow you to share “fleeting thoughts” which disappear after 24 hours).
Picking your niche
Now you need to establish what you wish to become an influencer in. Do you want to become a beauty, travel or fashion influencer? You should pick something you have a keen interest in and you’re happy to speak about on social media every day.
Picking your niche is vital to the success of your brand. So, when thinking about fashion, as an example, you have:
- Fashion influencer (too broad)
- Affordable fashion (better)
- Affordable and sustainable style (A more specific and focused angle)
Really narrow down a topic that appeals to you and will have a target audience anda way to tailor your content.
How to become a travel influencer
Firstly, you need to love to travel. But, being a travel influencer isn’t enough. As with fashion, you should look to narrow it down. Do you have children and want to post about family-friendly destinations. Or do you always get the best deals and want to offer budget-friendly travel advice? Think about something surrounding travel and really find something unique about what you can offer.
Some things to consider when becoming a travel influencer:
- You don’t always need to be flying first-class around the world: Local attractions are still travel-related and you can highlight some amazing sites right on people’s doorsteps.
- Travel influencers don’t always get free travel: Especially at the beginning of your quest to become an influencer. You’ll need to build a big following and have evidence that people care about what you recommend.
- Don’t forget about other travel posts: Being a travel influencer doesn’t always require travelling. Think about accessories you can review, what’s the best suitcase, neck pillow, flight socks?
How to become a beauty influencer on Instagram
Once you’ve set up your Instagram page, you should change it to a business account if you wish to become an influencer. This is free of charge and gives you access to data such as how many people have interacted with your post, how far it has reached and the demographic of those who have seen it.
Beauty is a niche that works particularly well on this platform. Think about what content you want to create. Makeup tutorials or reviews are common, but how can you give them a twist? One beauty influencer tells true crime murder stories while doing her make up in a regular weekly segment on her page which she calls “Murder, Mystery and Makeup Monday” It’s a great way to build an engaged audience.
Things to consider if you want to become a beauty influencer:
- Be in the know: You should ensure you know what you’re talking about. Simply liking makeup isn’t enough and you should know the correct way to apply makeup and feel confident in instructing others how to do it. You’ll need to practice and have some patience!
- Have the right tools: As well as having great makeup, you should also have the right tools (like you would for any job). You want to ensure you’re reputable, so if your followers see you applying concealer with an eyeshadow brush, you may see your follower count dwindle.
- Regularly post: All social media influencers regularly post. You need to be able to commit to frequent activity or people will find their fix elsewhere. Ideally, you will want to post something every day and interact with other posts too. This means commenting, liking, saving and sharing other accounts’ content.
How to become a LinkedIn influencer
One social media channel which isn’t really highlighted as an “influencer” ground is LinkedIn. This is a place for like-minded professionals to connect and help develop skills and future career prospects. It’s a great place to voice motivational and inspirational content – or if you have something you can offer businesses as a consultant, for example. So if you’re a thought leader who enjoys sharing organic content, LinkedIn is the channel for you.
Benefits of LinkedIn:
- Demonstrate your knowledge
- Gain exposure
- Meet like-minded professionals
- Share business content and ideas.
How to become a paid influencer
With you niche and channel decided, it’s time to make money. Don’t quit your day job just yet; while you can make money using social media – it isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. Start it on the side first – and see it as a nice source of free money for following your passion at first.
If you’re wondering how to become a paid influencer lets us explain.
You need to stay on top of trends. Follow businesses and other influencer accounts on social media and read relevant websites to stay in the know. This will help you find the latest trends and must-have products to promote on your page. You should also research your competition. You will be able to see any brands they have worked with by looking for #sponsored or #ad hashtags or looking to see if the post says “paid partnership”.
You will want to be relatable and have fun with your content. This will encourage people to engage with your content. And just because you narrow down your niche doesn’t mean you can’t branch out sometimes. If you’re a solo traveller, you can add some fashion angles to your posts such as “how to pack lightly” or “three outfits for a city break”. Don’t give your audience the hard sell in every post either. People want a bit of entertainment on social media – don’t lose sight of that.
Reach out to brands
Once you’ve established a following of people who actually engage with your content, you can start to reach out to brands. You can get paid for sponsored posts or advertisements. Alternatively, you can get free products to promote as well.
Attend events and network
Attending events and networking is the best way to find brands to work with. Blogger events can help introduce you to the world and give you the chance to see which brands are willing to work with you.
Don’t accept all opportunities
We know that some opportunities sound too good to pass up on, but it’s recommended you only pursue those which are in line with your brand. For example, if you’re a fashion influencer, who happens to have a dog – you could accept partnerships for dog food but other pet products would look odd to discuss on your channel.
Becoming an influencer can open many opportunities and allow you to work with some of your favourite companies and as long as you do your research, find the best platform and invest time into growing your following, it can be a success – and a decent money maker.
Link to ‘how to get paid on Instagram’