The term influencer is something we hear all too often, but not always in the right context. While many people think being an influencer is about having a lot of followers, there’s quite a bit of science to it, especially in building an organic following. And if you’ve been trying to become a voice for your community or industry, there are a few considerations you should make with your brand. However, that’s why we’ve compiled a few helpful tips for you to get started. Check them out below:
Start With Your Principles
If you’re looking to become an influencer brand, one of the biggest components is first knowing what exactly gives you the authority to influence. After all, most people aren’t just going to follow someone just because they say they’re an influencer, as there has to be some sort of component to their brand or image that others will look at and want to gravitate towards. A big part of that starts with your principles, which can be one of the hardest things to showcase, but also the most significant drivers to becoming a successful influencer.
Your principles are going to drive what makes your brand authentic, which is a critical component as to why someone is willing to follow you; in fact, according to Vision Critical, 63 percent of consumers prefer to buy from brands that they perceive as authentic, which can be much easier to showcase than you might imagine. If you haven’t already, start listing out your brand principles and why they’re important to your overall mission, highlighting what separates your brand from the competition. This exercise is about getting your brand principles on paper to guide you moving forward.
Know How To Build A Foundational Audience
With your principles established, a significant part of building an audience is having a foundation already set. As we’re building your following organically, it can not only hurt your brand to pay for a bunch of followers but decrease your credibility (and authenticity) as well. Don’t be intimidated over this, however, because as noted by AdEspresso, approximately 80 percent of Instagram users follow at least one brand, which means you don’t have to fake the funk too much to gain a following.
A good place to start is with reaching out to your friends and family to start following you, giving you at the very least, a base that’s authentic to you. It might not be a bad idea to hire an agency that can provide authentic Instagram followers and organic traffic. As you build your base, it’s also important to genuinely engage with other pages and accounts beyond just generic copy-and-paste statements like “nice pic” or “follow me.” Remember, spam will cheapen your brand and account, which is why even if you’re commenting back and forth on one page with 140,000 followers, that’s much better than trying to spam 140 1,000 follower pages as you’re still gaining visibility in a more genuine way.
Give Yourself A Value
With an audience in place, it’s time to start considering putting a price tag on your following. While this might sound like something only the top-tier accounts can justify, there’s no reason why your base can’t come with a cost too. Believe it or not, the return on influencer marketing that companies receive is significant, because as noted by the Digital Marketing Institute, for every dollar spent on influencer marketing campaigns, an average of $6.50 is seen in return. Even with accounts around 10,000 followers, that could mean a significant paycheck is well on your way, as long as you know who to go after for advertising as well as how much to charge.
Take a look at your audience and first ask yourself what type of customer segment it is. For example, if I have an account with 20,000 followers that’s widely popular with the health food scene in my city, then going after restaurants or health startups in my area would be advantageous, especially since I can justify my 20,000 as primarily local customers who an estimated amount (let’s say at least 500-1,000) will visit a store. The more you’re able to calculate an ROI and provide case studies, the better, as that means for the amount of success you’re able to generate other businesses, the more your following will increase, as well as the higher amount you can charge moving forward. At this point, your account is more than just a regular social media page, but a fully-blown advertising platform, so treat it as such in being focused on growth.
Keep Consistent With Your Efforts
Finally, with your influencer marketing in full swing, it’s important to stay consistent with your efforts to ensure that your business stays growing. Not only will this help in increasing the overall followers you’ve generated, but in keeping your profits up too, because as noted in Inc, brands that are consistently presented receive 23 percent more revenue, which goes for your influencer campaigns as well. Yes, as you’ve built a media platform, it’s time to start thinking about expansion, which comes with putting the proper steps in place to ensure that happens.
If you haven’t already, invest in the proper software and equipment you’re going to need for influencer marketing, including a social media management platform, photo editing software, task managers, and even small business accounting software. From there, start planning out your brand aesthetic to keep it consistent, as well as create a calendar of posting (hopefully mixing between paid and personal) for campaigning. The goal here is to have a process that can be repeated over and over again while still holding quantifiable feedback to improve upon future campaigns. At this point, you’ve been able to turn your influencer brand into a business, which as long as you stay consistent, will bring you success for a long, long time.
What are some strategies you’ve utilized as an influencer to build your following? Comment with your insights below!