Influencer marketing has survived the wild ride of 2020 as an established and thriving advertising path. Whether you approach this road determined to build a lucrative career or content to sustain a fun side gig, you can understand how to not only navigate it, but potentially become an IM star with the following steps:

  • Select your niche
  • Build a professional profile
  • Grab the audience with content
  • Finesse that content
  • Collaborate
  • Listen
  • Diversity your channels

Select Your Niche

The easiest and most important step is to follow your passion. Become knowledgeable about a subject of genuine interest. Devote as much time as you possibly can to learning everything you possibly can about this niche and whatever makes it special. The goal is to become a trusted and go-to source of information to your audience and post content that has been crafted in your own signature style. Post regularly and frequently.

Build a Professional Profile

Create an attractive and engaging social media profile/s. Tell your personal story in a brief biography that conveys your passion and captures the attention of potential followers. This description is one of the first things that they will focus on and hopefully connect with immediately. If you choose to set up a business profile, this would give you the ability to run ads, promote your posts, gain insight into your audience, and most importantly – track your results. A serious professional influencer is also equipped with a media kit. It is a toolkit of reference information that is needed in dealing with business partners. Reliable and real-time data and statistics should be an integral part. Invest some time in finding a dashboard of metrics that is easy to access and manage. Your media toolkit may include:

  • A brief bio that reflects your personality and interests
  • A description of services that you can provide
  • A pricing list for your services
  • Examples of previous influencer marketing campaigns
  • Testimonials
  • Data/statistics that include audience insights, number of followers, and engagement and conversion rates from previous campaigns

Grab the Audience with Content

The most fun part of your job as an influencer is creating content and then posting that finished product. Your naturally high interest in your subject coupled with your high level of enthusiasm about representing it should organically translate into high engagement with your audience. To really hook your audience, you will want to establish a regular posting schedule. Commit to posting a few times a week or even a few times a day. Whichever schedule you select, make sure that it is realistic. There are platforms, such as Hootsuite, Buffer, Planoly, and Loomly, that allow creators to develop the content in advance and set dates and times for it to be posted automatically.

Finesse Your Content

Once your knowledge has poured out into a form and your content cake is baked, do not forget the icing on the cake – quality control. Ensure that your materials are polished with attention to:

  • Correct spelling, grammar and word choice
  • Photos with punchy captions
  • Photos taken in optimal lighting and resolution, edited with built-in filters and special tools, if available
  • Overall look and feel
  • Signature style

Hashtags are a must to improve your impact. They allow your content to be found by other users and expand your reach. Selecting relevant hashtags within the search volumes of “10,000 to 1 million” would maximize the potential to appear in top posts. One AI-powered tool for hashtag selection is HashtagsForLikes. It can scan your profile and recommend hashtags. You can also enter a hashtag on the platform, and it will show performance.

Collaborate

Be a good partner. Collaborate – with businesses and with other influencers. Businesses appreciate the extra effort in planning and carrying out influencer marketing campaigns. Making additional posts beyond the minimum requested and providing feedback about how to improve the performance of the campaign demonstrate effort and interest in its overall success. Cultivating a positive relationship with a business will build goodwill. Repeat business, further recommendations, and increased popularity are all benefits of applying incremental initiative however possible. Likewise, make a concerted effort to maintain constructive relationships with other influencers. Take advantage of opportunities for group campaigns. By embracing collaboration, your reach and visibility will be enhanced.

Listen

Be a good listener. Distribute content to your audience and interact actively. “Talk to them, talk with them, and talk about them.” Go the extra mile, not just for business partners, but also with your audience by getting involved in discussions where you add value. Specific examples of ways to bond include:

  • Acknowledge comments to your posts and reply to them quickly
  • Return in kind by liking and commenting on followers’ posts
  • Include a call-to-action in captions
  • Post at times when you can statistically maximize engagement
  • Host giveaways and contests
  • Create polls in Instagram Stories
  • Follow similar personalities and interact with them

There are no shortcuts here. Authentic connections and organic growth are ideal. Avoid self-promotion to irrelevant groups and paid followers. Paid followers are not truly engaged, and artificially high follower counts could damage your credibility.

Diversify Your Channels

While you may have a favorite platform, it is wise to diversify your communication channels. Try to expect the unexpected (such as having an account blocked or an entire platform disappears), and be ready to pivot. Explore backup plans for interacting with followers. Your research may even lead you to online communities in previously untapped sources. Remember to cover your bases in mainstream ways. Create and cultivate your own website or blog. Keep Facebook in mind. The number of Facebook groups has surged, and businesses are interested in advertising to these special interest groups. And Instagram Stories has obviously become incredibly popular and can be an ideal platform for gaining a following as well as added visibility through reciprocity. Use techniques like inserting hashtags, locations, an outbound link with a “swipe up” option, and tagging others. In summary, the road to success with influencer marketing centers around consistently creating high-quality content and actively engaging with your audience. We have covered several of the best practices for making your presence stand out. Be willing to go the extra mile to differentiate yourself, and you will see results!

REACH Influencers is the world’s first marketing platform focused on connecting micro and nano influencers to businesses. Follow us on social to learn more about how you can build your influencer marketing strategy.