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How to Become an Influencer: A Guide To Digital Success

Being in the influencer era, you realize the power one digital voice can have over an industry. Trying to be that voice takes extensive effort, knowledge, and persuasion.

Influencing isn’t as easy as grabbing a camera and discussing your day. It’s about distinguishing yourself from other media voices and offering relevant and entertaining content in your chosen niche.

The good news is that being an influencer isn’t exclusive. You can learn how to become an influencer through careful strategy, content planning, and audience engagement.

Once you’ve established a credible voice, you can monetize your efforts through brand collaborations and affiliate marketing.

An Overview of Influencers: A Primer

Influencers are a textbook definition of a gig job. They operate independently by posting content from a social media platform catered to their niche audience. In most cases, the posts are made to influence their viewers’ purchasing decisions.

The job may also involve formulating educational content from your expertise. For instance, several doctor social media influencers use their knowledge to educate their viewers.

Influencers come in all forms, from an Instagram model advertising sunscreen to a YouTuber posting videos about a haunted house experience. Their posts are meant to sway their audience in some way.

How Much Do Influencers Make?

Influencer salaries aren’t one-size-fits-all. It depends on your industry, follower count, and your overall quality. For example, a micro-influencer with 10,000 to 50,000 followers can rake in between $40,000 and $100,000.

They can earn their money through various mediums including

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Brand Ambassadorships
  • Merchandising
  • Subscriptions
  • Donations
  • Sponsored Content
  • Tipping
  • Live Events

Besides that, rates differ. Some influencers may charge $100 for a sponsored advertisement per 10,000 followers.

If you’re judging by posts, the worldwide average is around $165 per Instagram post. The most you can make is approximately $1,804.

Young female influencer vlogging her summer vacation

TikTok-wise, you can earn a higher sum averaging between $181 to $4,370 for every video post. These numbers primarily depend on your follower count.

What You’ll Need to Become an Influencer (& Associated Costs)

Before starting your influencer journey, have these tools ready.

  • High-Resolution Camera: These can range between $800 to $3,500.
  • Lighting Equipment: Depending on size, it can cost $30 to $300.
  • Tripod: They can go for $30 to $70.
  • Editing Software: Each software has its subscription plans. For example, you can expect to pay a monthly $24 for the video editing platform Adobe Premiere Pro.
  • Microphone: Whether podcasting or video recording, microphones offer a high-resolution sound that can cost around $100 to $500.
  • Marketing Tools: Optimization, driving traffic, and email marketing are all essential to increasing your engagement. It can cost up to $145 monthly to tick all these boxes.
  • Web Development: If you’re building a website, there’ll be domain and development costs, averaging about $300 per month.

How Much Does it Cost to Become an Influencer?

After combining the costs of being an influencer, you can expect a one-time $960 to $4,370 payment for the physical tools. Monthly payments can average $470 and higher.

For instance, you can incorporate the labor costs of hiring a:

  • Professional Photographer: $350 per month
  • Web Developer: $300 per month
  • Graphic Designer: $200 per month
  • Content Writer: $0.10 to $1 per word.

Is it Hard to Become an Influencer?

Being an influencer is not a job for those with anxiety. Building an influencer brand, consistently posting quality content, and attracting new followers require creativity and extensive efforts.

Influencers are always after the next trend. Otherwise, they bite the dust of irrelevance. Standing out and offering regular posts is critical for brand networking and monetizing your work.

Otherwise, you won’t reap the high-income benefits of being an influencer.

How Long Does it Take to Become an Influencer?

An influencer career isn’t always guaranteed. It can take around six months to a year to witness brand growth. You’ll need at least 1,000 followers to gain influencer status.

How to Become an Influencer in 10 Steps

From specific niche targeting to content creation, becoming an influencer involves multiple steps.

A young male influencer recording a video at his house

Step 1: Create a Business Plan

The 2 Types of Influencer Business Model | How we create income as influencers

Before pressing record, you should take a step back to evaluate the business requirements of being an influencer. Take the time to develop a comprehensive plan filled with your budget, goals, ideas, and content.

Approach being an influencer as a business venture. You’ll want to understand the metrics needed to measure your success and create a solid benchmark.

Identify the tools you’ll need to create your profile, such as Canva, Adobe Premiere Pro, and other platforms. Create a sheet with all the startup costs required, including the subscription to these plans.

Step 2: Target Your Niche

Can’t pick a NICHE? Do THIS instead.

After gaining a rough idea of your business model, it’s time to select your niche. In most cases, you likely already know what to pick since it could be a passion, hobby, or a topic you’re well-versed in.

Either way, choosing your niche will help you recognize several metrics, like your audience’s demographic and psychographics. You can identify their general information, like age, location, and income.

Your target niche will also have shared values, interests, and beliefs. That said, picking the right topic will help you establish authority.

You want to pick a subject you can create multiple videos about. That’s why we highly recommend choosing a niche you’re passionate about and articulate in, whether it’s cooking, beauty, tech, or gaming. That way, you’ll build a steadier audience base from your credibility.

Besides that, some influencers target two niches. For example, YouTuber Jamie French has a series called “Makeup and Movies,” targeting beauty and film.

Step 3: Pick a Platform

Identifying your target audience’s demographic and psychographics will help you determine which platform to pick. Over 60% of TikTok hosts Gen Zers, whereas Facebook has a much lower 32% of the age generation.

If your niche targets a younger demographic, you’re better off focusing your efforts on TikTok. Another factor to consider when picking a platform is your skill level. Are you better skilled at creating video content, images, or podcasts?

In this case, YouTube would work exceptionally well for videographers, while Instagram can capture your photo-taking aesthetic.

That said, be sure to limit your platforms to two. Otherwise, it could become more challenging to manage all accounts at once.

One of them will likely generate little following. You can experiment and see which platforms perform best for your content and skill.

Step 4: Build Your Knowledge

Building your niche knowledge is essential, whether you’re an expert or passionate about it. Not only will it allow you to hone an authoritative voice, but you’ll also catch up on all the trends.
You can gather information from various mediums, like books, journals, online courses, and podcasts.

Other formats could suit your niche better, such as networking with other experts and attending influencer events.

Step 5: Construct Your Influencer Brand

In this step, ask yourself, what distinguishes me from other influencers discussing the same subject? What do you want your audience to think of when they see you?

It’s all about leaving an impression. You can associate yourself with a particular aesthetic, color, speaking style, or font.

Step 6: Formulate a Content Strategy

Divide your content into ideas for each post. You can then work more in-depth on each topic as the time comes for publishing. Speaking of which, grab a calendar and set up the dates for the days you want to post.

It’ll decide the frequency of your posts and workflow. Afterward, create deadlines for every topic. You can reserve Mondays for critical topic discussions and Fridays for live-streaming Q&As.

Step 7: Optimize Your Social Media Platforms

Optimization will allow you to build a base audience. You can start by switching your social media accounts to business profiles. If you don’t want to do so, create a separate account for your influencer title.

Afterward, optimize your bio. Think of it as a first impression of your influencer brand. Be clear about your niche and write your full name and professional contact information.

Next, add a high-resolution profile picture and cover image. Your display image is what your audience will remember you by, so make sure your face is clear. 

Step 8: Post Content

As an influencer, your top priority is creating engaging content. It should invite your niche audience to view your posts and updates. Even though you’re making original content, it should appeal to your viewers’ comments.

Lending a listening ear to them will push your profile forward and give you a higher following. Besides that, check your content strategy plan and adjust it according to your followers’ comments.

Choose a posting style. For instance, you may add snippets of your personal life to establish a deeper connection with your followers. Others prefer keeping their private lives off social media and posting content devoted to their niche.

Whichever option you pick, it should align with your brand collaboration goals. You want the sponsored content to fit with your posting flow.

Step 9: Stay Consistent and Engaging

You want the algorithm to work in your favor by posting regularly. You can optimize your upload schedule to get the most engagement. That may include afternoons of midweek days.

You can research your chosen platform further to get a more accurate answer. For example, one of the best times to post on YouTube is Saturday between 6 to 9 PM.

Step 10: Collaborate

After settling into your influencer account, it’s time to look for collaborations. You’ll also want to understand affiliate marketing, especially if you have a blog. These channels are your money makers.

You can clarify to brands that you’re open to collaborating in your bio and offer your business contacts. You don’t have to wait for a brand to contact you. Take an outreach step, contact brands within your niche, and give them your pitch.

We suggest creating a template for these outreach pitches to contact brands more seamlessly. It should detail your advertising method and offer examples.

Reasons to Consider Becoming an Influencer

An influencer recording a video about fashion using a cellphone camera

Being an influencer comes with its perks, such as the benefit of a work-life balance.

  • Getting Recognition: Sharing your work and expertise and getting praise can be highly rewarding, especially when brands send you products to test.
  • Inclusive: Influencing isn’t limited to a specific demographic or psychographic. Anyone can get into the influencer career.
  • Creating a Difference: Influencers hold an authoritative digital voice. A successful influencer uses their power to become a positive role model.
  • Full Autonomy: You don’t have a boss looking over your shoulder asking about your KPI metrics. You get unlimited creative freedom.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Followers Do You Need to Be an Influencer?

The minimum number of followers you need to be an influencer is 1,000.

Is it Hard to Be an Influencer?

Influencers struggle with creator burnout and become demotivated to consistently meet their posting schedule. Think of being an influencer as owning a brand. Maintaining it takes lots of time, effort, and strain.

Similar Gigs to Check Out

If the influencer marketing gig isn’t right for you, you can check other similar positions. 

  • How to Become a Brand Ambassador: Your sole job is to endorse a brand through social media platforms or word-of-mouth techniques.
  • How to Become a Model: Posing for the camera and cat walking across the runway for luxury brand names might be more appealing to you.
  • How to Become Famous: Fame can come in various mediums. Whether you want to feature on a reality TV show, crush a world record, or post a viral video, fame is right around the corner.

Wrapping Up

An influencer title doesn’t come easy. It involves brand partnerships, quality content creation, and most crucial of all, putting yourself out there.

Building a mass following requires your listening ear. Engaging with your followers is essential. You also want to follow a routine posting schedule optimized for your social media platform.

Once you gain traction, brands in similar niches might approach you for their marketing needs.

Let us know what you think in the comments below and don’t forget to share if you liked our post.

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