The most asked question of this generation is going to be “how do I become a social media influencer?”
Why do so many want to be a social media influencer? The reason for that is simple.
Influence is now everything as the world turns to social media platforms to spend the most of their attention on.
Attention is the new currency and social media influencers have it and are selling it.
So becoming an influencer is of the utmost importance for many people who believe they have something to share and want to be known for it.
But how to go about it is now a big question. Not only is competition growing, more people want a taste of influence and social authority, but also the game moves so fast that the question is hard to answer.
However, a general strategy has been formed and utilized by many now-influencers. Let’s explore that strategy.
First of all what exactly makes someone an influencer
In my opinion it means you have the ability to dictate the personal choices of other people. Your content and presence in the world influences them some non-zero amount. Follower see, follower do.
If someone is influencing you it is very likely they are giving you value in some way as well. Value and influence often go together. Value comes in many different forms.
That’s why influence often means authority. I’m talking about knowledge not government organizations. Your knowledge and experience is your authority.
You become influential because you know your shit and people listen.
That’s why it’s possible for anyone to build influence because with passion and direction, you can build knowledge and experience which leads to natural authority in your niche/industry.
That’s why influencers often come from very small niches to start because they wanted to be #1 in their category first and then expand. When you are first it is easier to claim authority in a niche because no one else is doing the same amount of work as you to discover the answers that the niche bring with it.
Almost all influencers have a strong creative side. That is really what separates them from a brand who has no soul.
Brands who have great culture and soul have no problem expressing themselves on social media and do quite well.
But brands who often lack clear intent (but may be profitable) always require help telling their story.
When you think about it… all art is story telling.
The world’s current creators are just telling their story through social media and expressing themselves creatively. People can’t see the art in it all. The truth to it.
We all make art everyday and we love it and we want to make more of it! We celebrate the social media art form.
And don’t forget, this may be the glory days. Even though the internet is quite mature it is still open to disruption as most industries now are.
So If you stick it out long enough and and you have some creative talent, which means you tell good stories, you start to receive some tremendous opportunities from brands who are trying to access a similar audience but don’t have the creative ability to do so.
They need your influence.
But lets be honest too, you might need their money. Not every influencer has a clear path to monetization. Sponsorship works well with a lot of people.
So we have a great trade off.
The best thing is that a lot of these relationships between influencers and brands can be born out of a mutual intention. Both the brand and influencer want the same thing. This is where powerful marketing can occur and often a lot of benefit for the community as a whole.
Figure out who you are
One thing I see in every influencer I know or have observed from afar, is that they really know who they are and what they stand for.
If you haven’t started, or even if you have and want to go back and reclaim the truth of who you are…do it.
There is absolutely no shame in going back, saying “fuck it”, starting again and living your truth.
Figuring out who you really are is such an essential step when entering the social media networking world.
So much of how we connect via social media is through content. Articles, blogs, videos, snaps, stories, photos, tweets. It’s all content we create with our phones and computers.
We publish because we want to share what we’ve learned, what we’ve experienced. what we’ve seen and even what’s happening live in the moment.
For some people it’s travel, for some it’s psycho analysis, for some it’s meditation, for some is self-discovery, for some it’s being alone – you have to figure out what you need to do to clear out all the noise.
The biggest thing I see about people who may be destined to be influencers but are still struggling to build a following is the lack of confidence in who they really are. They are waiting to become something better before they start sharing their story.
I think one thing that really helps is to have some conviction for your beliefs or get new ones. You have to stand for something and be able to preach that to your following. That’s a big part of the influence.
We often look at the economics on influencer marketing because its a commodity but what about the life choices influencing that is happening. People resonate with others who are really clear about their beliefs and values, paralleled by interests, and that is where the following is truly made. Connecting through shared values.
Can you sum yourself up in a neat and tidy tagline? If not try to find more clarity, maybe narrow your offering, and you might find yourself resonating with your audience more. It’s a bit of a silly way to think of yourself, but most brands do have compelling tag lines so it’s something personal brands should adopt as well.
Have an intention to help others aka bring value
Knowing who you are and having an intention goes really well together.
When you know what you are all about it often leads to clarity of action. You know what you want to do because your intuition is kicking in with all the added clarity.
Setting a big intention is the best thing you can do. A long-term goal. A mission for some.
Some guiding light as you go down the path of life to keep you in the right direction.
Most influencers are quite entrepreneurial. Which means its easy to get distracted by other people’s success. Which might take you away from your original mission.
Having a clear intention really helps prevent that and stay the course. Winners play the long game. Smart winners just get there faster. It’s never really luck.
And the second part of it is to bring value with your intention. If your intention is to become a millionaire that will often lead to failure.
Your intention needs to be rooted in value. Without value there is little influence.
Yes, some people are influential because they are already wealthy, but that wealth came from value at some point. Some people are fortunate to be born into wealth from previous generations but that’s the breaks.
In the context of social media and content creation value comes in the form of education or entertainment.
Let’s be real, entertainment is just as valuable to people as is education if not more.
So don’t ignore your ability to just be purely entertaining content. Your selling the drug of escapism. Perfectly fine.
I know when I talk about authority earlier it makes it seem like you need to be an expert. In this case you need to be an expert at keeping people’s attention through what you say, how you act and tell your story.
They don’t want to learn from you, they want to learn about you.
Authenticity is your golden thread here.
Another key aspect of bringing value through social media is you have to be unique. Copycats never beat the original.
There has to be some reason for people to pay attention to you more than others. You have to actually respect the reality of the demand for content.
If you are creating content that lacks demand then you won’t gain a lot of influence. You have to serve the needs of the market now.
Reality check for some right here.
We need lots of entertainers and plenty of educators. But not 100% topics are profitable unfortunately because not enough people care for it.
There has to be a cross-over between passion, unique value and a lively marketplace where people are talking.
That’s another great synergy with it all is that sharing an authentic life is very unique and often valuable. Instagram stories and Snapchat are very powerful for this. Youtube vlogs too.
If you know who you are, then you know you are a one-of-a-kind. If you are trying to be just like someone else it gets tough.
Too many people wait to be something else before they start sharing their story. Once they get this much money, or this look then certain way, or have this equipment, then they can start.
They overlook the value of the underdog and personal achievement.
Every great story has the hero overcoming some obstacle. If it was all smooth sailing no one would want to watch.
Besides, perfect is subjective.
Make content, a lot of it
If you are going to be an influencer you are going to have to become a content producing machine. At least on one platform, if not all of them, if you want to gain more traction.
I know some people have gone big even with very little posting but they already have a lot of leverage. There are tons of people who had no access to leverage until this decade and need to go through this process.
They couldn’t just go audition in LA in 2002 because they lived in Minnesota or in Manila. It wasn’t practical.
Now, you don’t need an audition because anyone can get their own show.
But that doesn’t mean the show doesn’t have to be made.
What I would tell someone just starting out is to create pillars or topics of content with their niche:
First, publish a blog or a vlog on that topic with a keyword focus. Then make that keyword focus a bit of theme for a few days or a week.
Then tweet about that topic and engage others about that topic. Share the content.
Post on IG and Snap stories that the content is available for consumption.
Get in the rhythm and then look for ways to add new content or repurpose old content.
The great thing is that it is free to post on social media and there is no limit. You want to balance output with reader satisfaction. Quality certainly matters and can’t be overlooked. Posting crap gets you nowhere. It’s better to produce less and be better. Great content always ranks better in algorithms so look to go big in whatever you produce.
But keep in mind that a daily dose is all someone often wants from their favorite influencers and content crators. Just a shot of insight from this influencer and that one. A few tips to help them in their day to day.
Share and promote your work
It’s very rare that you can merely post your work online and sit back while followers and buyers roll in. Networking is a big part of it. So is having content that is worthy of social shares.
But first and foremost you have to be your own biggest fan.
This is applies to everyone. It’s so easy to put other’s on a pedestal while we crap on ourselves. Stop doing that if you are and want to build social clout.
Be your biggest fan. Love your own content – or else why should someone else?
That’s the biggest problem, a lot of people create stuff without intent, without passion and without value and then expect something to happen. Too many disconnects.
High value content doesn’t always have to be pretty. Just look at Drudge Report. Ugly af. But it brings a lot of people value.
If you are networking and engaging consistently alongside making great high-value content, sharing it should be easy and contextual.
A lot of people could start winning a lot more right here by simply promoting their work more passionately and from a place of value.
One of the big values that you can bring to people is simply consistency. They need to know you are going to show up next week.
A lot of people realize that content creators don’t get paid in the beginning and that they can disappear anytime. So they dont’t invest in them. But over time if consistency is there so is the engagement from the following.
Most of us have seen this first hand that when we slip for a few weeks so do the number of impressions. Cause and effect right.
Make sure you don’t set enormous task lists that lead to paralysis. It can easily happen as a social media networker and/or content creator.
Collaborate with others
One of the smartest things you can do all the way up the social ladder is collaborate. Being able to expose yourself authentically with an entire new audience can be game changing.
Start looking for other influencers or up-and-comers who have similar reach as you and offer them some value. Its quite likely they can give something back but don’t expect anything. These are relationships that need to be built anyways, so look for opportunities to bring value which leads to bigger exchanges later on.
You definitely need a lot of patience as you grow your circle of influence. But influencers have always played the long game and brought insane value for long periods of time.
So patience is required. Dedication and commitment is required. The notion that growing as a social influencer needs to be dismissed. These people are always hard workers but that makes sense because they have purpose and intention.
A lot of people haven’t found their purpose so they don’t have anything to work hard on. That’s why you should make sure you find your true purpose, who you really are and set an intention that’s in alignment with all of that.
It is surprising that when we reverse engineer the social media influencer game we find patience, hard-work. consistency, self-realization and helping others at the core of it?
I truly think anyone can become an influencer. And who wouldn’t want it?
Influence only comes with impacting a lot of people in a positive way. People don’t trust you until you bring them value and show up.
I guess being a social media influencer is bit like a status symbol but it’s almost always well earned due to its nature of being value oriented and chosen by the market itself. So I say celebrate it!
If you are doing big things people should know about it.
When you think you are ready join our network as a Virtutis Influencer and let our team help you achieve your mission.