It’s 2020 and online ads are no longer enough to attract customers’ attention. Wherever you look, there’s another dedicated website or a social media page a competing business has created to take over the throne of being the industry leader. Customers, on the other hand, are tired of the filler content with little to no value. In response, the market has enabled the rise of influencers, a unique profession that benefits all those involved.
On one hand, there are brands that need genuine support of someone with access to their target demographic, with the aim to expand their visibility and reach, while on the other, there are people with a unique lifestyle that matches specific brands’ values. By promoting those brands and putting their products or services in the spotlight, an influencer can earn a truly luxurious living and transform theirs into a lifelong career. To become an influencer, however, you need to take a strategic approach and treat this like a business endeavor that it is.
Choose a specific niche
Considering the number of fashion influencers that are considered truly relevant and, well, influential, it’s no longer enough for you to simply label yourself as a fashion influencer. You need to have a clear vision as to what makes your style unique, how you use fashion to express yourself, and what kind of values you appreciate in fashion brands. Do you aim for eco-friendly names in the industry, those with minimalist design, or a brand that develops colorful and artistic garments? It depends to a huge extent where you get your mojo from. Only if you are able to connect with what you put out yourself will your reader be able to feel a legit value and connection with what they are reading.
In any scenario, you need to choose not just the industry, but the narrow niche within which you can define your own personal brand as an influencer. Much like when you’re starting a business that sells products or services, you need your own value proposition. It is that value proposition that is something unique that makes you stand apart from other influencers in your niche. It means researching your competition thoroughly and getting to know your target market better over time. It has a trickle effect in the sense that it helps you refine your own message and voice. Differentiation is a key factor in the world of influencers, and it’s vital to discover and define that uniqueness and authenticity as early as possible.
Make sure you’re always connected
Among the several key tools that any influencer needs to succeed, the one main prerequisite is a strong, reliable internet connection – we told you it’s not that complicated! Without a steady access to the Internet, you won’t be able to keep a consistent posting schedule, let alone engage your audience through comments and live-streaming. Thanks to the latest leaps in technology, influencers can actually use fiber optic internet as the more stable, reliable option that also provides speed and security.
A fiber-based connection will give you the consistent connectivity that will allow you to post, comment, share, live-stream, and engage with your followers at all times. Add to that, you’ll be able to post images and videos in HD quality, which will elevate the experience and engagement levels for your social media pages. What’s more, you should invest in a professional camera or a smartphone that can create visually-striking images worthy of social media. Get acquainted with your gear and essential tools so that you can improve the quality of your content over time – it might seem like a rather technical perspective, but being an influencer is so much more than striking a perfect pose.
Ensure your presence on specific networks
Instagram might be the staple influencer hub for fashionistas and fitness gurus, but gamers, for example, thrive on YouTube. That is not to say that either network isn’t suitable for any of the listed categories, because each influencer can find a way to make the most of all available social platforms, provided that their audience spends their time there.
And that is your main factor to consider: where is your target audience? That’s how you’ll define your own influential presence and create profiles and pages on those specific platforms. Do some research to find out the most promising social platforms where your target audience spends most of their time, and then determine how active you should be on those platforms. That will help you spend time where your audience is, and not waste your precious hours crafting entire strategies for a network that’s not relevant to your industry.
Invest time in your content strategy
Although it may seem at first glance that your favorite influencers post spontaneous photos at any given time and share content without a specific agenda, the opposite is true – influencers can only succeed if they have a tried and tested content strategy. Learn from the best and you’ll be able to grow your reputation by adapting your content and posting schedule to your followers’ preferences and needs.
Depending on when they are most active, what kind of content they enjoy the most, and what elicits the highest levels of engagement, you’ll be able to refine your strategy over time. Have ample content ready for every week and month in advance, and update your content at predetermined times. Keep an eye on industry-specific trends, and you’ll always have enough material and relevant subject matter to engage with your audience. Plus, when you know what’s trending, you grow your own potential to anticipate trends and create trends with your own hashtags over time.
Network with the right brands
The final, but no less important step in your strategy should involve the brands you collaborate with. While you might be tempted to accept any offer that comes your way – you should choose your brand sponsorships and affiliations with exceptional care. Make sure their values match yours, do your research, and always aim for long-term collaborations, not just one-time sponsored posts. After all, it’s not just about the success of their promotional campaigns, but also about your professional image.
If you care about the environment, and you’re a fashionista, you want to build long-term bonds with brands that aren’t synonymous with fast fashion, but that invest in sustainability initiatives in their manufacturing, sales, and the like. If you’re about equality, working with a sports brand means that you should aim for someone with a focus on diversity and inclusion. Associating yourself with the right brands means that you protect and grow your reputation as well as theirs.
As you’ve noticed, this is certainly not a career one can build overnight, so it’s crucial that you devote time and creativity into your strategy to earn your spot in the world of influencers. Above all, measure your progress and look for innovative ways to evolve your influence, so that you can expand your brand collaborations and build a community of like-minded influencers. Only with a long-term strategy and plenty of dedication can you expect to transform your social media presence into a lucrative career, and these steps are here to help you achieve just that.
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