I’m willing to bet right now that if I opened up Instagram on your phone, one of the top posts would be from a tastemaker. There are just too many out there, covering topics like food and fashion to travel and entertainment. According to Forbes, your average influencer can earn anywhere from $50,000 per post if you have over one million followers to $150,000 for those with over seven million followers.
Make no mistake; this is a big industry and one that you could breach into as a new business idea. While it’s going to require some practice and patience, the payoff could be well worth the effort, living a lifestyle based on what you love to do anyways. And even if you second guess that you aren’t popular enough or could never get the followers, it’s not as hard as you think to be a local or regional tastemaker. Here’s how:
Discover Your Voice
If you’re ever going to become a tastemaker, one of the first steps you need to take is discovering your voice. This isn’t just the words or tone you use in a post, but the genuine place where your taste comes from. Being successful on social media requires a sense of honesty, as well as being able to deliver to your audience a consistent message. Even though this might sound easy, it can actually be much more of a challenge than you’d think.
In scouring through a lot of the famous tastemakers on Instagram or Twitter, you’ll notice a certain pattern in the topics they approach, as well as the style they have. While it’s usually similar in the sense of the actual photos (I.E, shopping at a noteworthy store, trying a new restaurant, etc.) where the variations between them lie is going to be the aspect you need to study the most. After all, tastemakers, while performing the same job function across the board, vary tremendously in terms of their voice. And the best way to find yours is just to start posting.
Showcase Your Day-To-Day
While you’re not going to become an overnight sensation just by adding a few hashtags to your posts, it is essential to start posting more regularly. This includes showcasing anything from the coffee shop you visit in the morning to buying a new pair of racing skis. Doing so will get you in the habit of developing your tone, aesthetic, and interests.
I’ll note that it’s alright if your pictures don’t turn out perfect your first go around as it’s a part of the learning experience. Try to read some guides on Instagram photography, including how lighting works, the proper way to use filters/edits, and most importantly, how to compose a photo.
Once you have an aesthetic down that you can execute consistently, start tagging your photos with the businesses you’re at, as well as the location. Believe it or not, this can be an excellent foot in the door to start conducting sponsored posts, as well as showcase to competing businesses that they want you in their store as well. And finally, utilize hashtags to the best of your advantage to draw more followers/likes to your photos. All of these tips will help you out tremendously in getting started, with the next step coming with building influence.
Make Some (Powerful) Friends
How many times have you ever clicked on someone tagged in a photo and gone to their page? Perhaps even followed them? Quite a bit, right? This idea of social proof actually has some scientific evidence to it, because as Nielsen Research notes, people are 84% more likely to trust something that comes from a trusted source they’re close with. And if you’re trying to become a tastemaker, it’s crucial you start linking up with other influencers as well.
Before you just start following and cold calling those you admire in your industry, you first have to provide value to them as well. People aren’t just going to co-sign you because you asked, especially considering that their reputation plays a huge role in their success as well. Instead, try to focus on how you can build yourself up to a similar level on your own.
Study up on your industry and try to discover what you consider the next big trend, then reach out to the companies that are innovating. Being ahead of the curve is everything as an influencer and something you should aim for too.
Despite the groundwork, being a tastemaker is one of the most fun jobs you could have. Which begs the question: what industry do you want to make an impact on? Comment with your answers below.