Every month, there are over 20,900 global searches for ‘how to become an influencer’. Thousands are dreaming of careers in social media and many are succeeding in making influencing their followers their full-time job.
There are over 35,900 influencers in the UK alone and while it might seem like a luxurious lifestyle, there’s often a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes. So how exactly do you become a successful influencer?
Lickd spoke to two high profile social media experts to find out exactly how to become an influencer, including the equipment you’ll need, tips on getting started and why you need to pay special attention to brand collaborations, time management and fake followers.
The equipment you’ll need to become an influencer
- A smartphone
- Social media accounts
- Editing software (if you want to produce video content)
- A killer soundtrack for your video content, which you can get from us at Lickd!
- A clear brand
- A strategy – what do you stand for and what do you want to post about?
We spoke to Estelle Keeber, founder of Immortal Monkey, a support platform that helps businesses with their online presence, and blogger, actor and influencer, Urszula Makowska, who has amassed a following of over 25k on her Instagram account, @urszulala.
How to become an influencer: Top tips to get started
1. How to go from zero to hero
Unless you buy an account with lots of followers – which we definitely don’t recommend – everyone starts off the same, no followers. Estelle says,
“Even people with 5 million followers started with zero. What you need to remember is that EVERYONE has influence, no matter how small.”
There are lots of different ways to gain followers, and you need to find what works for you. A helpful way to start is to think of ways to make your content unique and how it would add value to people’s lives. It doesn’t matter whether that’s breath-taking photography or super useful houseplant care tips, as long as it keeps people coming back for more. Urszula comments,
“If I had to choose one thing that I wish I knew before, it would be how important it is to build press coverage and get your name out there!”
2. Tap into your target audience
One of the first steps in building a following is getting to know who your target audience is so you can understand what sort of content they are going to want to see. Urszula says,
“You need to understand your target audience and what resonates with them. You need to spend time researching their demographics, lifestyles, etc.”
3. Smarten up your socials
Having a solid social media strategy is more than just choosing a nice colour palette. You need to make sure all your content is aligned, from copy to how you format your feed, even down to what time you post.
“Create content curated to your audience and you will begin to build your brand identity and voice. It’s not always a quick process, but with time you will see the effects of your hard work.”
Estelle adds that it’s crucial to:
“Make sure that your social media feed is consistent with your brand and message. This doesn’t just mean having a good insta aesthetic.”
Find your niche and consistently deliver top quality content that your audience will enjoy.
4. Wise up on brand deals
You and your followers should love and respect the brands you work with. Taking brand sponsorship opportunities just for the money is a quick way to alienate your following – especially if you know they don’t align with your audience’s interests.
Estelle advises anyone thinking of becoming an influencer to:
“Think about the amazing brands you love already and would like to work with. Write them down. Start tagging them in your posts and make an effort to engage with them on their socials too. Only endorse things that you feel are inline with your values and the message of your brand.”
5. Be authentic
It’s corny but it’s true: you are the only one of you and that’s what you have to offer the world. Estelle says,
“Make sure you share the real you. As much as people love a good filter we love real life too. That is what will help you build your following! Show gratitude to your following…each and every one. THEY are the people who will keep you in work!”
6. Never stop learning
It’s a constantly evolving industry and spotting new trends and beating others to them is how you can really disrupt the space and make a name for yourself.
Lickd’s latest case study shows how a killer soundtrack can help increase all key YouTube engagement metrics when using popular, claims-free songs instead of standard stock music.
“Invest in learning about creating content, videography or your chosen platform.” says Estelle.
Things to watch out for
Brand collaborations are a great way of getting your name out there but there are a few things to be wary of. Estelle warns to watch out for “brands who want you to pay them. Always be clear when working in collaboration that both parties are aware of what is expected.” It’s also important to make sure you clearly reference paid for partnerships on your social channels when you are working on a collaboration with a brand.
This one is key if you want to make a long term career as a content creator, as you’ll want to make sure you have a good life-work balance.
“I would say the biggest challenge is time management. I manage a lot of brand collaborations from Revolve to PrettyLittleThing and sometimes it’s overwhelming. It’s good to manage your time and plan ahead. I enjoy being my own boss! I get to be creative and do what I truly love.”
It’s really important to make sure your following is authentic, after all this will help with your engagement. Estelle says,
“Don’t focus on the numbers. If a brand wants to collaborate, they want to see engagement, not just a good following. (Buying followers is so 2018.) Don’t be tempted to get involved with automated engagement. My inbox is filled with it. ‘We can help you gain followers, want 10000 likes?’ IT DOESN’T WORK!!”
So, if you’re planning on becoming an influencer or content creator, the key things to remember are; have a good plan and stick to it, stay true to yourself and establish who your target audience is.
Now you know how to become an influencer, get a killer soundtrack
Last but definitely not least, make sure you have a killer soundtrack to match your content. Lickd’s latest case study proves how important this is. With the right soundtrack, you can improve engagement and make a real connection with your followers. Read more about fitness YouTuber, GrowingAnnanas’ case study results here.
Lickd, get claims-free popular chart music for content creators. Sign up now and get 25% off your first track!