Do you want to be paid for posting on your social media accounts? That is what an influencer does. However, the point is, how to get started with it and how much time it will take to make money as an influencer
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If you are a celebrity, or somehow famous, you can gain a mass following on your social media instantly. Not much effort is required. But, if you are a commoner, it will take efforts, time, and obviously, some money as well.
Benefits of Being an Influencer
It is the most asked question for any business or freelance activity. What will I get if I become one? This category of people reaps benefits in many forms. Let me summarize.
- Brand Sponsorship – Once you establish yourself as an influencer, multiple brands offer you partnership contracts. Here you have to promote or use their brands, talk about their brand, post your content in such a way that your audience should know about it.
- Vouchers – Companies or brands that will reach you for promotion may offer you special vouchers to purchase their products or services so that you can share your experience with your audience.
- Free Products – You can also get free products for personal use or unboxing and review. The audience loves to know about new products, are very curious about the unboxing, and reviews related content, mainly in the form of videos. You will get products as per your niche.
- Cash – You may also get direct money against a contract between you and your partner business.
- Affiliate Earning – Affiliate earning is a mostly used method to make money by the influencers. Normally after a review or promo of a particular product, its affiliate-embedded link is shared with the audience. If someone wants, can purchase via this link. Once you are a well-known influencer, your audience starts trusting you. So chances are high to earn with affiliate marketing.
Challenges Influencers Face
It seems to be a glittering life no? You just have to post something like a video on YouTube, or a picture on Instagram or FB, and money will start raining for you. But, it is not like that. Please do not get fooled by it. Just like any other business, you have to put legitimate efforts to build yourself on social media platforms. It also involves investment. So before jumping to the idea of being an influencer, I will help you understand the challenges a normal influencer face.
- Initial Investment – You need to invest initially for sure. For example, if you want to be a YouTube influencer where you have to post videos, you will need a video recording device with very good quality, a PC, video editing software, and a tripod to hold the camera. This is just an example. These requirements may vary from one niche to another.
- Competition – There are millions of people out there in the world who are already in this business. A million others who are working very hard to become an influencer. Therefore, you need to understand this. Why any company would hire a newcomer to promote its product? Initially, you might not get any such offer at all. That period is full of struggle and demotivating. So many people quit in this phase.
- Content – One of the biggest things to worry about is to create content differently. You just cannot follow any other’s steps to success. You need to create something on your own. Influencers have to keep learning new skills, they have to dig the internet for fresh information so that they can share with their followers. It is a very time taking and tiring process. You just cannot post random stuff on your social media account.
- Paid Content – There is a risk that brand promotions may steal your identity. Brands would ask you to promote their product as much as you can. But at the same time, if you bombard your audience with brand-specific content, you will lose it. So basically influencers have to maintain this balance because if you are more famous, more business will reach you but not every product is worth promoting. If a product is not of good quality, you might lose a big follower base within hours.
- Social Conduct – Influencers have to choose their words carefully. They just do not speak about anything. Your one wrong post can do huge damage. You might get trolled for nonsense reasons. This might affect your mental health as well.
How to become an Influencer?
I have mentioned a few of the challenges influencers would face normally. So if you have made up your mind to go with it then let us proceed. Let me guide you about things required to become an influencer.
1. Choose a Niche
In the digital world, you cannot achieve anything without following a specific niche. You can influence any business. Gadgets, fitness, coding, gym, dancing, singing, automotive, or name any other industry. You can find influencers in every business. Work on your interests and your knowledge around it. Know if you are passionate about it and then start working on it.
2. Social Media Account
Create Social media accounts on all major platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Quora, YouTube, etc. When you choose your niche, you will also know who will be your target audience. So put little research and energy to create content. Well-researched content will leave a great impact. Show your audience that you have a hold on this niche. Most important is to be consistent with social media posts.
The audience wants to see fresh content regularly so do not miss any chance. Please also remember that your face is your brand value. So be presentable to the audience. Try to follow a similar pattern so that your followers can feel more connected with you.
I will put some more pressure here. We can create social media accounts across all platforms. However, you cannot be successful on each platform. So you have to choose where you want to imprint your presence. It can be Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or any other channel. Please explore it to give your best shot.
3. Target Audience
You are posting on your social media accounts for the people right. That is your audience. But who is your target audience and why it is important to know it? Because this is a group of people who will make you an influencer. These people will engage with your posts. That is why it is important to know your target audience. Every social media platform has this dashboard kind of facility where you can see details about the users that came across your social profiles. This audience is divided basis certain parameters.
- Peak Time when people engage with your posts
- Their likes and interests
- Kind of posts they engage more on your account
You will understand the in-depth user behavior. Once you understand it well, create your content considering this audience. The more they find familiar stuff, the more they will engage with it. And it is where the algorithm picks your post and share it with more people.
4. Understand Your Competition and Collaborate
Always know your competition. Try to find out where they are at this stage, what is the strategy they are following, their follower base, business partnerships they have. This will help you in your strategic planning. You will know what you have to do differently.
Collaborating with other influencers in your niche is another advisable option. If an established person can promote you, you can get an instant follower base. So do not hesitate to ask for collaboration. You might have to pay for this sometime, which should not be much.
5. Promote Your Accounts
Promotion can be both, paid or free. Free promotion is where you can ask other influencers to promote your content, and you promote theirs in return. You can also do cross-promotion of your social media accounts like on Facebook you can share links for your Instagram and Twitter handle.
The paid promotion will cost you for sure. You can run ad campaigns and your account will be visible to a larger audience. There is no guarantee that you will get instant followers with this. But yes, you will get some for sure.
Please ensure to build an organic audience. If you buy followers, (which are bots actually), your account will see a steep fall in terms of performance. This will also affect your chances to get hired by other brands as well. So do not go for this fatal mistake.
6. Interaction with the Audience
This one is very important. An interaction between the audience and the influencer is highly recommended. When you answer their queries or questions, they will feel like a celebrity and fan kind of relationship. This is true. Revert to the comments, like the comments, and appreciate their gesture.
There is a psychological fact that when you address someone on such a platform where thousands of people are watching, that person will feel privileged and will be there with you for a much longer time. So do not miss any chance to interact with your audience. You can also start a schedule to go live and follow it.
7. Freebies or Giveaways
This is another well-tested and tried formula to engage more and more audience. You must have noticed, especially on Instagram and Facebook this practice is used frequently. Samsung offers giveaway for its every mid-budget segment mobile phones. To participate, it might ask you to tag your three or five friends. So you see the strategy here. If someone wants to participate then that person will tag his five friends to that post. So this proves to be a golden opportunity to gain more followers.
Try to think about different ideas to offer freebies or giveaways. And let it benefit both of you.
8. Check for Contract or Affiliate Partnerships
Here comes the money-making part. Once you have a good follower base, only then monetize your content. You can reach various brands as per your niche. This might take some time but you are most likely to get some endorsements for sure. This may not pay enough at the start but with time, you will be able to make your living as an influencer. Please ensure to promote quality products only.
I added this money-making part at the end. Why?
Because it takes time, to be settled. It takes time, as companies will first check your social media presence, reach, audience engagement on your posts, and the number of hits your posts are getting. So when you have enough followers only then go for promotional activities.
Pro Tips to become an influencer
- Stick to your niche
- Know your target audience
- Continuously adopt new skills and knowledge
- Put followers first
- Make a schedule to post and follow it
- Always post content on time
- Understand the importance of keywords
- Use keywords in your content
- Interact with your audience
- And, promote quality products only
How difficult is it to become a Social Media Influencer and Earn Money?
In the end, I would like to conclude with this. You do not have a large follower base, no worries. It will grow gradually with your efforts. What you can do, you can start with affiliate links in your social media posts. Even if you have a light fan following, few of them might purchase from your affiliate links. So you can start earning even with a smaller audience as well. Affiliate programs are for everyone and you can choose from famous players like Amazon for example. Nevertheless, to mention here, life-changing earning would need extensive efforts.