Can you remember a world without the internet? If you’re older than 50, you might say “Yes.” The way of the past included forms of communication and correspondence like letter-writing and telephone calls. Present times (and, it’s logical to assume, the future) are all about social media. People text, they chat, they FaceTime and blog. They vlog and Snap and all sorts of other digital means of instant correspondence. People long ago would be shocked at the ease with which a person can communicate with someone across the world in a matter of seconds. In the first part of this series, we talked about ways to make money as a social media influencer online.
Welcome to Part 2. Today, we’ll discuss what you need to do to establish yourself as a social media influencer. It’s really the first step toward making money online. You must build a popular platform to drive traffic to your posts so that people will share them. Sometimes they’ll share your post. Other times, they might share your profile url. Either way, people who like what they see in your posts and videos help you establish yourself as an influencer by sharing YOU with others. In order to start earning money, you have to first build a following.
You won’t make money if no one is visiting your accounts
You don’t have to have millions of followers to turn social media influencing into a successful means for generating income online. In fact, some influencers have smaller platforms with under 5,000 followers. But, they’re good at what they do, so they’re able to rake in some cash. The bottom line is that there have to be people following you, watching your videos, reading your posts, etc., to make a profit. How do you build a following?
First, you need to establish yourself as an expert (or, at least, knowledgeable) in a specific topic category. Do you love to cook homemade, nutritious meals? That can be your niche! Are you great at fixing things to save money and avoid new purchases? Share that knowledge on social media! The sky is truly the limit when it comes to available topics. You should choose something that’s interesting, that serves a purpose or fulfills a need or entertains people. Also, choose which social media platforms you’ll use. Most influencers use multiple platforms, such as Instagram for daily posts and YouTube or Rumble for videos. Additional options include Gab, Twitter, MeWe, Facebook and more. It definitely takes an everyday effort to build a following, so you need to stick with it.
Quality, fresh, relevant content sets the stage to make money online
People want to enjoy their time on social media. If they’re going to become your follower, you’ll have to give them a reason to keep coming back. Your content needs to ALWAYS be updated! Nothing chases people away faster than posts that haven’t been updated in more than a week. Also, if you expect brands and marketers to pay you to advertise their products and services, THEY will also expect fresh, relevant content every day.
The topics you write about might change and evolve as time goes on. Or, you might choose to focus on a single idea. Either way is fine, as long as the content you’re producing is interesting and relevant to your target audience. Quality content is undoubtedly one of the most important factors toward establishing a strong presence on social media. It’s the key to building a following so that you can make money.
Once you attract an audience, you need to engage them
When a brand or marketer is searching for influencers to partner with, they always take a close look at the rate of engagement on the influencer’s posts. Through content and your own interaction, your goal is to build a loyal and engaged audience. Are people commenting on your posts? Do they click through the links you provide? Are people sharing your videos, posts and profile? The higher rate of engagement you have, the more desirable your platform becomes to people who are willing to pay you to be a part of it!
Network, network, network
Whether you’re just starting out or have been building an online presence for several years, it’s important to be part of an influencers’ network. Think of a network like a hub. The network can help match you up with brands and marketers whose products and services are a good fit for your platform. Networking is a way to connect, not only with other influencers but with companies who will pay you to partner with them.
To do a LIVE or not to do a LIVE — that is the question
Many social media influencers use LIVES as a way to make money. It’s absolutely NOT for everyone, though. Doing LIVES requires a great bit of improvising. It’s you. You’re LIVE. Whatever happens, happens. For some influencers, this works to their advantage. For instance, if a influencer’s niche is life hacks for moms with lots of kids, she might do a LIVE of herself packing school lunches. Half way through the video, several of her kids might blast through the room, chasing a dog. Will it ruin the LIVE? Hardly! Most viewers will find that it makes the influencers more relatable to their own daily life.
On the other hand, what if you’re super awkward in front of a camera? Perhaps you don’t really enjoy speaking off the cuff or engaging your audience without planning and structure. In this case, doing LIVES might not be the best choice for you. You could, however, get someone else to do LIVES for you! A partner. If you don’t have a partner and don’t like the idea of doing LIVES, you should try to incorporate videos of some sort into your game plan. Your audience wants to see you. They want to feel like you’re part of their life.
Let’s re-cap ways to establish an online presence to make money as a social media influencer
There’s no set plan for how to become a social media influencer or make money online. That’s part of the beauty of it all. You can use your own creative thinking skills to develop a unique platform. Most popular and successful (as in, making money doing it) influencers have several things in common. If you want to follow in their footsteps, keep these things in mind:
- Choose a niche and a target audience
- Establish a presence on multiple social media platforms
- Provide quality, fresh, relevant content every day or, at least, several times per week
- Engage your audience so that they feel connected to you and want to be loyal
- Network with other influencers and with brands, marketers and affiliate programs
Do you dream of launching your own business by becoming a social media influencer? This post (and the first post in the series, which is linked at the beginning of this one) will hopefully help get your wheels turning and provide you with a basic guideline to get started! We wish you much success!