One of the fastest growing ways to make money online is to become a social media influencer for a popular internet marketing niche. With the market growing at exponential levels, there is no limit to this industry. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t even have to be famous to be an influencer. You just have to be good at influencing others on social media. For example, many people generate a full-time income by promoting brands to their followers on large social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Snapchat. The key is to connect with your target audience, build a loyal following, and most importantly learn how to influence them in a unique way. Here are several important tips that will help you succeed.
Pick a Good Niche To Target
While it might be tempting to try to promote several niches, you should only select one. That’s because brands want to work with influencers that have a following as well as a close connection with their audience. The best way to do that is by focusing on one market. Therefore, when it comes to succeeding at influencer marketing, the first step is to pick a profitable niche that your audience will be interested in buying. Here are some of the most popular internet marketing niches:
- Health and Wellness
- Fashion / Streetwear
- Travel / Lifestyle
- Creative – D.I.Y Art
The catalog of various niche markets that exist goes on and on, these are just some of the more popular examples. When selecting a category to indulge in, keep in mind that it should be something you are interested and passionate about. That way, you will see self drive and internal motivation to create the content within the niche market. Take a look at your favorite influencers and see what niche they pertain to, what products they’re promoting, and how they’re influencing their followers (and yourself).
Once you select your niche, you will want to analyze your competition. You don’t want to promote something that is already oversaturated with influencers, because there might not be room for you. Remember, you want your niche to be profitable for you to promote, otherwise you will just be wasting your time.
For example, if you have a general interest in cosmetics and beauty, it would make much more sense to find a niche category within this overhead topic of ‘Beauty’ to target. You could build your personal brand to stand for something powerful such as “Vegan Cosmetic Products” and only make content using the industries’ leading vegan cosmetic products. Once you grow a following doing so, you can begin working with the smaller brands that are making products for consumers who share the same interests you do! With these products, you can begin influencing your followers to show interest in the brand, purchase the products, and have the same vegan cosmetic make-up look as you. It’s as simple as that, just remember to hone in on a specific niche and make it your whole brand identity in order to become a brand deal generating influencer.
Stand Out from Your Competition
The only way you will become a successful influencer who gains a large, loyal following is by learning how to stand out from the crowd. Don’t be afraid to try a different approach when it comes to social media marketing. What workers for one influencer won’t necessarily work for you. See what people in the space are doing well, and try to understand why. Make sure to test out different avenues of content production and posting and understand over time what works best for you and keeps your followers engaged.
Another way to stand out from the crowd is to establish yourself as an expert in your chosen niche. For example, when promoting a brand, share personal stories about your experiences with the brand. Give examples of how its products or services have created value for you. Try to tell those stories in a way that connects with your audience. The only way that you can succeed at influencer marketing is if your audience trusts you, as well as seeing you as an authority in your niche.
Select Your Social Media Platform
One of the most important decisions you will have to make as an influencer is choosing a social media platform to promote your niche on. The reason you should start by only choosing one social media platform is so that you can put all of your time, effort, and energy into building a large audience on it. Once you gain a large audience, you can expand your outreach on other platforms. Unfortunately, picking the best social media site to start with can be tricky. First you will need to identify your target audience, then research which social media platform will be best to reach them.
We have seen great audience growth on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok for niche interests. With complex algorithms implemented in Instagram’s ‘Explore Page’ and TikTok’s ‘For You Page’, followers are shown content that pertains to their niche interests. Once you can tap into a specific niche, you can begin building content for members of that niche, which will in term lead you to growing your audience on that platform.
Create a Plan of Action
Influencer marketing requires creating a successful plan of action to grow your audience and promote social engagement between you and your audience. Here are a few examples to boost your exposure:
- Start a blog and publish regular posts to keep your audience interested in returning.
- Make entertaining videos that your followers will enjoy watching and share with others.
- Create an email newsletter with engaging content, a well as special offers and promotions for your subscribers.
- Keep up with the trends and participate in trends when they initially break. Be ahead of the curve.
- Use the analytics tool within your profile to see what time of day your followers are most engaged with your content and make sure to post during those times.
Without a plan, you will find yourself just posting random content to avoid the thought of being forgotten by your audience.
Create a Content Calendar
When it comes to being a successful social media influencer, consistency is key. That means you need to regularly create content to share with your followers to keep them interested and engaged. A content calendar can help you stay focused on publishing fresh content on a regular basis. This can be as simple as setting up a Google Calendar and setting a schedule of when you’re going to post, and where you’re going to be posting. With that being said, you must be able to create the content before it is posted. Many creators and influencers create their content in advance and have a scheduled roll-out date for the content. This allows them to continue making content without the feeling of needing to rush anything to get it out, because there is a bank of content waiting to be published in an order that is described in a content calendar. Furthermore, a content calendar will help you generate new ideas for promoting your niche.
Focus on Your Audience
As an influencer, audience engagement must be your number one focus. That’s why you must always do your best to connect with your followers. Take the time to respond to comments and direct messages. It certainly doesn’t hurt to go into your comments and like them all. This will prove to your followers that they have a true connection to you, and they will be more likely to look at you as someone they feel like they know rather than another person online. Think about how it felt when you left a comment on someone’s page who you respected and they liked it. Return that favor to the audience you are building, maybe one single click of a ‘like’ will make someone’s day. When you begin to grow, it is important to show responsiveness and an understanding of what your followers are saying. By responding to their comments, liking posts on their page, and engaging back with them you show your true self. Later down the line when it comes time to promote products to your audience, they will listen to you and trust your word because of the credibility you’ve built.
Analyze Your Audience Engagement
Since audience engagement is essential for successful influencer marketing, you need to track key metrics that can tell you how well your promotional strategy is doing. For instance, all of the major social media platforms offer analytics data that can provide you with key audience engagement insights such as:
- Number of visitors.
- Number of views.
- Number of likes and shares.
- Changes to the number of your followers.
You can use that data to analyze the popularity of your content with your followers. If you try something new and the response is great and you see an outlier in the number of shares, comments, and likes, you can confidently say that what you tried out has worked in your favor! Always keep up with your analytics and track what is working for you, what is standing out amongst your other posts, and what is doing just alright. Becoming familiar with analytics is a key attribute to the success of an influencer. When brands begin to reach out regarding potential collaboration and deal opportunities, many of them will request to see your daily and weekly insights, along with analytics on particular posts.
Collaborate with Other Influencers in Your Niche
Even though you will have competitors, it doesn’t mean that they have to be your mortal enemies. Look for opportunities to collaborate with other top influencers in your niche. Start by building relationships with other influencers on internet marketing forums and social media groups related to your niche. Many times there will be different chat groups on platforms like Discord, GroupMe, and even within Instagram themselves where influencers will gather to collaborate, communicate, and expand their network. Once you establish a good, trusted relationship with another influencer, see if you could work out an arrangement where the two of you occasionally share each other’s offers with your respective audiences. If you are located near another influencer within your field, reach out and set up a time to get together and create content with one another (socially distanced in these times, of course).
By posting with other influencers in the same industry, you can cross promote one another. The followers you have that are unaware of the other influencer will begin to follow them, and vice versa. This exercise has been executed since the beginning of time for influencer marketing and shows great proof of concept in collaboration tactics.
How Influencers Make Money Online
As mentioned earlier, people become influencers to make money online. The way you do that is by attracting a paid sponsor: a brand that pays you to promote their products or services. For example, one of the most common ways that you can earn money from sponsors is from paid posts. That’s where a brand will pay you to create posts about their offers. You can also get paid to review products or services. Some brands will give you a flat rate to post their product and tag it, while many others in the product based industry can give you an affiliate link where you will be redirecting your followers to a purchase page where you will then get a set commission for each sale generated. Below is a break down of various types of ‘Social Media Brand Deals’
- Brand 1 will pay you X amount of money for one, or various story posts, all including their hashtag and tagging the brand. Most times a ‘swipe up’ will be inserted.
- Brand 1 will pay you X amount of money to post a single photo including their product or service and tag them. A hash tag provided by the brand will oftentimes be included in the caption of the photo along with another tag.
- If you make videos about products in your niche, you can expect Brand 1 to be paying you X amount of money to talk about their product in your video. You will likely be asked to provide a link to the product in the description of the video.
- If you have a large audience on an app that incorporates music into the content being posted, you can contract deals with music artists where Artist 1 will pay you X amount to dance to their song, or include their song in a video.
- Once you grow a mass audience, larger brands could reach out to you and want to bring you to a shoot location where they will pay you X rate for a campaign where you will be featured in their posted content across socials. You will most likely be reposting this content for your own followers to see as well.
Attracting Paid Sponsors
If you want to make money online as an influencer, then you will need to form partnerships with brands willing to become a paid sponsor. Once you have at least 10,000 followers, reach out to some digital marketing agencies to see if they can connect you with any brands in your niche. You could also find paid sponsors by searching social media sites to see who other influencers are promoting. When it comes to the amount of money you can earn from a paid sponsor, that’s going to depend on many factors like your niche, the brand, and the number of your followers. Obviously, if you have more followers, you can earn more money.
It is very important to have your contact information shown in your bio of your social media pages. Brands are going to come across your page and want to reach out, and the most professional way is by email. By adding a line “For Business:” followed by your email address, brand representatives know exactly where to go to send you that pitch and get you set up on a social media campaign.
If you think you have what it takes to start getting brand deals, you may find great interest and excitement to know that we are accepting new Influencers onto the Glewee Platform. You can apply here and will be reviewed by our team for acceptance. Once on the platform, you can begin connecting with brands and setting up new campaigns!
In short, influencer marketing might be a popular way to make money online, but it’s by no means easy. You will need to have a large, loyal audience of at least 10,000 followers before any brands will likely want to become a paid sponsor. In the meantime, you need to focus on growing and engaging your audience. Create good content that they will enjoy and find valuable. Take the time to learn more about social media marketing.