The Age of Influencers
Now, more than ever, we are living in an age of influencers. In years past, you had to be a well-known celebrity, politician, or leader to be considered an influencer. If you were just an average Joe, nobody paid much attention to you. The path to influence usually involved years of climbing social or political ladders. Then the internet, social media, and smartphones came along and changed everything. Now, anyone can build an audience and become an influencer. You don’t have to be famous. You don’t have to be good-looking. You don’t have to have access to the halls of power. You need to know how to create content that interests people.
The beauty of the internet is that it allows people to find others like them. It makes it easier to form “tribes” around narrow shared interests. And within every tribe, there are influencers. There are running, finance, gaming, knitting, coffee, business, mental health, beauty, vegan, keto, fashion, and spirituality influencers. Name a subject, and you can be sure that there are influencers. Of course, this does create a challenge. If everyone can be an influencer, it’s much harder to stand out. It can be challenging to cut through the noise and capture the attention of others. It can be hard to build an audience when many other people try to do the same thing. In this guide, we will walk you through the what, why, and becoming an influencer. You’ll discover a step-by-step process for finding your tribe, building an audience, and even monetizing that audience.
What is an Influencer?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of actually becoming an influencer, let’s ensure that we’re all on the same page regarding exactly what an influencer is. An influencer has a following at a high level and can influence that following to do specific things, such as purchasing products, attending events, wearing certain clothing items, and more. Celebrities who have millions of followers on social media are influencers. But you don’t have to be Kylie Jenner or Will Smith to be considered an influencer. Depending on your niche, you can be an influencer even if you have only 1,000 followers.
There are three types of influencers:
There are three types of influencers:
These are celebrities with millions of followers. These individuals can charge hundreds of thousands of dollars for sponsored posts on social media. Unless you’re a well-known actor or rock star, you probably won’t fall into this bracket.
2. Macro-influencers. These are individuals who, while not precisely celebrities, have still built up a sizeable online following. They probably have somewhere between 50,000 – 1,000,000 followers. With hard work and consistency, you can build this following.
3. Micro-influencers. These are regular people who have built up an audience in a specific niche and are known for their knowledge and expertise. Maybe they run a sizable online group or have a devoted following on YouTube. Typically, they’ll have less than 50,000 followers but more than 1,000.
Platforms for Influencers
Most people think about influencers in terms of social media, but the reality is that there are all sorts of ways to be an influencer. If you’re able to attract a following, you can be an influencer. Some of the most common platforms are:
1. Blog. Blogging is a great way to be an influencer because it allows you to share your expertise and insights in-depth.
- If you want to be an industry-specific influencer, blogging is a great way to go about it.
2. YouTube. If you can be engaging on camera, YouTube may be the right platform for you. There are influencers on every subject on YouTube, from makeup to mental health to spreadsheets.
3. Podcast. Podcasts are exploding right now, and if you can develop an exciting show that attracts a lot of listeners, brands will want to work with you.
4. Social media. Social media is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to being an influencer.
- It’s a blessing because there’s a low barrier to entry, and it’s easy to create content.
- It’s a curse because so many people use social media, and it can be challenging to stand out.
In recent years, there has been a resurgence in email newsletters. If you know how to build an engaged email list and write newsletters that others want to read, this can be an effective way to become an influencer. The point is if you can build a substantial following on any platform, you can become an influencer that brands want to work with.
You don’t have to be photogenic or able to speak eloquently. If you can command people’s attention and move them to take action, you are an influencer.
Some influencers, like popular YouTubers, have a vast audience. Others speak to a smaller, niche group, such as business influencers on LinkedIn. Some focus on being fun and entertaining. Others try to deliver valuable insights and expertise. The bottom line is that no matter who you are, you can be an influencer.
Benefits of Being an Influencer
There are several substantial benefits associated with being an influencer. If you build up a big enough audience, you can make significant amounts of money by partnering with various brands. But even if you don’t make much money, there are still perks:
- Build your reputation. If you consistently provide your audience with expertise and knowledge, you’ll develop a reputation as the go-to person in your industry. You also may get invited to speak at conferences, appear on podcasts, or do in-person workshops at companies that Attract new clients. The more you grow your reputation, the more people will want to work with you. You’ll be able to grow your business without having to hunt for new clients constantly.
- Connect with others. As an influencer, you can authentically connect with a large number of people. You can build meaningful relationships that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Becoming an influencer isn’t easy, and it takes a significant amount of work. But it pays off in the long run. Whether you want to become a full-time influencer or boost your career, it’s definitely worth the time and effort required.