Influencer marketing has become a new way for brands to reach a targeted audience. It involves brands reaching out to people that have large social followings and then paying them either with cash, products or freebies to promote and provide exposure to their audience.
The reason why influencer marketing is so popular is say if you have a niche account, ie travel (such as my personal account @mikecleggphoto), most of the followers are interested in travel. This means this account can post pictures of a destination or something travel related and it might give ideas or provide inspiration to those followers. This can be very appealing say to tourist boards, travel services and brands selling travel products.
If you’re keen to also become an influencer then keep reading. Here are tips on how to become an influencer along with some insider tips.
Create a blog
A blog is a great asset for influencers. It’s something you would truly own and have complete control of. Unlike social channels which constantly change according to that platforms strategy. When creating a blog consider using WordPress which powers a huge portion of the world’s websites and is easy to use and get your blog up and running.
Inside tips: Try and post as frequently as possible, but only high-quality content. Setting realistic monthly or weekly targets will help with this.
Instagram is one of the best platforms for influencer marketing. This is due to the huge global user base, which would also include people with every kind of interest. Instagram is also fun, easy and quick to use and has lots of great features, such as permanent posts on your feed, the ability to go live, as well as temporarily stories.
Insider tip: Post on Instagram regularly and consistently. Also, follow similar accounts for inspiration. You may also be able to connect and make some good friends this way.
Use other social channels
The more social channels you have the easier it will be to grow as a whole, and also make it clear to brands that you can provide good exposure and return on them working with you. As well as this the more channels you have the more you can use these social channels to get traffic to your blog. And if you’ve managed to monetize you’ll end up making much more.
Insider tips: Too many social channels will make you burn out as you’ll struggle to run them all, so consider trying different ones and seeing what works best for you and brings the most return. Some you can just automate such as Bloglovin and Twitter so your posts are automatically shared.
Grow your following
Growing your following is one of the most important parts of becoming an influencer. Because without followers you can’t promote products or services, or inspire people to visit destinations. Growing a following is now not as easy as it used to be and it will take time, patience and persistence. You should also learn some basics of photography so as to take higher quality photographs.
Insider tip: If you’re hoping to work with hotels you will probably need at least 10,000 followers for them to even consider you. This is based on information from a meeting with a high profile hotel chain. Don’t give up though if you’re struggling to get to that number. Just keep trying and also enjoy what you do.
Don’t cheat/buy followers
You should definitely not buy followers. Decent brands can tell and also look at your engagement, not just your follower count. If brands think you’re buying followers you may lose future opportunities to work with them.
Insider tip: Instagram and Facebook now also regularly delete fake accounts. So if you did decide to buy followers they make be fake and those numbers may go down shortly afterwards.
Interact with your followers
It’s important when becoming an influencer that you interact with your followers. Such as replying to comments, being modest and giving inside knowledge and tips where possible. Don’t be cocky, boastful and always respect your followers as they look to you for inspiration.
Be true to yourself and keep your integrity
Remember if you’re hoping to become an influencer that you should never sell your soul and promote brands, products or services which are low quality, have a bad reputation, or are completely unrelated to your account. If you do do this then you run the risk of losing followers and your reputation. Instead only work with brands you truly believe in. You will also be able to add a lot more passion to your channels which will show and be a lot more enjoyable.
Insider tip: No matter how much money you are offered it’s best to resist the temptation. Such as I was offered a large sum of money to promote a gambling site, and as I don’t want to promote such things I of course said no.
Working with brands
When you get big enough to work with brands you may either get contacted about collaborations/opportunities, or you may have to reach out to brands as well. Remember to always be polite and professional and don’t be over boastful. Hotels, for example, can get 20+ requests per day from influencers, so you need to make yourself stand out. You should also send your stats, media kit (if you have one) and examples of any previous brands you’ve worked with.
Some collaborations with brands may involve going on destination fam/Instagram trips. These can provide incredible experiences. Often such trips can involve a group of other influencers/Instagrammers which allows you to also make friends and connections. Travel related influencing is my favourite kind of influencer marketing as it is of course all about travel and destinations.
Insider tip: Always carry business cards with you so as to grow your connections. This may bring many future opportunities.
Although some people don’t like the idea of influencer marketing I can say with confidence that if done well it works. As someone who is an influencer and is also someone often influenced by others, it is an extremely powerful way to market.
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