Did you know that a social media influencer with more than 1 million followers can make more than $250,000 per year? That seems like a pretty luxurious paycheck for posting photos and fielding comments.

But, the truth is building a fan following and your brand online takes dedication, self-belief, a strong business sense, and a lot of hard work. If you have dreamed of leaving the corporate world or growing a side hustle online, social media channels may be the next and best place to earn a living.

But, how can you grow your social media following? What does it take to create a lucrative brand partnership?

And what do you need to know to make it today in a saturated online environment? Read on to discover the top social media tips.

What Is a Social Media Influencer?

A social media influencer is a person or entity that creates content across social platforms to entertain an audience, gain a following, and encourage engagement. Through this engagement and audience interaction, a social media influencer can leverage advertisement income or brand partnerships to receive payment or compensation. For example, a social media influencer with a large following on Instagram may be approached by a well-known brand.

In exchange for an Instagram post, reel, or story mention, the brand will pay the influencer a wage to promote their business or product. The social media influencer often acts as the bridge between brands or products and the public. That’s because influencers have a high level of power and authority to influence or persuade follower purchasing behavior.

While magazines and editors continue to publish the latest fashion or lifestyle trends, influencers have the advantage of posting content with increased frequency and immediacy. This can help them attract a more current and devoted following than traditional media.

Influencer Marketing

Social media influencers cover a range of niche markets and interests. For example, beauty influencers tend to focus on makeup, hair, or skincare. While food influencers focus on kitchen goods, recipes, and food facts.

Depending on the influencer’s key demographics and preferred brand partnerships, they will use particular platforms to reach their audience. Some of the most preferred social media marketing platforms today include:

  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • YouTube
  • Personal websites
  • Blogs

Influencers constantly have to stay abreast of new technology and platforms to reach up-and-coming audiences and maintain relevancy. Influencer marketing involves sales, business, and extensive social media training.

How To Become an Influencer

So, do you think you have what it takes to grow a following, influence behavior, and work with some of the most well-known brands in the world? To become an influencer, you’ll have to think big.

Find Your Niche

You can’t serve everyone and every interest. To become a successful influencer, you need to find your niche and speak to a particular audience.

In a large pool of influencers, how can you stand out in a particular field of interest? Stay hyperfocused and appeal to a specific audience.

Success Working With Brands

For example, fashion influencer is a broad term. Are you particularly knowledgeable about women’s clothing? Do you enjoy handbags?

Or, perhaps do you have a background in fine jewelry? When you specify your niche or interests, you can create tailored content that appeals to a particular follower. In turn, these specific brands and businesses (like fine jewelry companies, for example) will be more inclined to work with you.

Choose Your Platform

Which platform is best to grow your following? That depends on your niche, audience, and business goals. Instagram continues to reign supreme in the influencer world.

If you don’t know where to get started with your account or how to grow your following, check out these ways to make money on Instagram. However, up-and-coming platforms like TikTok are also of value. For certain industries like travel or food, video platforms like YouTube are essential.

But, when it comes to creating quality content that is SEO-optimized, a traditional blog may be beneficial. Blog posts allow you to share captivating content that is informative and engaging. Over time, your posts and articles can attract audiences and establish your authority on a particular subject.

One Focus

When you’re starting out as a social media influencer, you may be tempted to launch multiple platforms or test out different approaches. While it seems intuitive to cast a wide marketing net, this can hurt your brand and confuse your audience.

In the early stages, try focusing your time and energy on one platform. Once you establish a following and routine, you can conduct market research to understand where else you can connect with your audience and make a digital marketing impact.

Engage Audiences

To make it in the social media influencer world, you need to continuously inspire and engage audiences. That means creating high-quality content time and time again. Think brilliant photos, funny or interesting videos, witty blog posts, and much more.

Gaining and Growing Your Following

Many social media influencers are only as relevant or important as their social media following. In fact, to earn a living as a social media influencer, you need a significant number of followers to attract brands and businesses. That’s because the higher the number of followers, the more likely a brand is willing to take on a chance on your account to promote their product.

Higher followers tend to signal a higher return on investment. Here are some marketing tips to gain and grow your following.

Consistency Is Key

Digital marketing experts can’t seem to agree on the magic number of times per day or week an influencer should post on social media. Some experts say one high-quality post per week is enough. While others urge influencers to post as often as possible.

Depending on your schedule and ability to create quality content, post as it feels natural and possible for you. For example, if you work a 9 to 5 job, posting every hour isn’t likely. Instead, focus on the one quality post per week to get started.

But, whatever your posting schedule, practice consistency. Your followers will soon expect content according to a certain timeframe. Getting consistent sets expectations and creates a foundation to steadily gain more followers.

Utilize All Platform Features

Do you use Instagram reels or stories? Have you tried your hand at creating engaging TikTok videos? Utilizing all platform features increases your chances of audiences finding your content, visiting your page, and ideally giving you a follow.

These “extra” features are a great way to stay relevant beyond the grid. For example, your daily coffee break or morning commute may not be worth a post but they can certainly take off in your stories and give followers a dose of your everyday reality. This creates connection and engagement.

Support Your Community

To gain a following, you need to support followers and other influencers. This creates a sense of real engagement and community online. Reach out to other influencers or attend community events to share marketing tips, best practices, and content ideas.

Supportive influencers help each other by encouraging their followers to give their friend accounts a follow, too. Create a strong influencer community and watch your follower count soar!

Make Followers Feel Special

Followers need to feel validated and appreciated. After all, they take the time and effort to visit your page, follow your account, and compliment your content. The least you can do is thank them for their efforts and engage when possible.

How can you do this? Reply comment or pose thoughtful questions.

In your stories or videos, get creative will polls or question boards to ask for follower feedback around what content or topics they prefer. This also helps drive your account and provide quality content that your audience expects and wants.

Stay Authentic

Remember your market niche? Don’t forget it. Stay authentic to your influencer brand and identity.

But, most importantly stay authentic to who you are and show your voice. While brands may try to influence your content or request specific verbiage, it is crucial that you continue to deliver the content and quality that your audience initially fell in love with. This ensures you will continue to gain like-minded followers and maintain the audience you worked so hard to develop.

Be Open To Change

The social media landscape is constantly evolving. As an influencer, it is your job to stay up-to-date with market trends and be one step ahead of your followers.

You can stay authentic to your brand and vision while embracing new ways of working or new platforms. For example, new technology can open your business to new audiences.

Gain a Social Media Following and Grow Your Brand

Becoming a social media influencer is no easy task. But, once you have earned your following and attract audiences, you can begin working with brands to grow your business. Remember that influencing centers around inspiration and curation.

Create consistent content, stay authentic to your brand and vision, and show appreciation for your followers. If you manage all of this, you’ll watch those follower numbers steadily increase as your business takes off.

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