Social media influencers are becoming more and more common as businesses lean away from traditional advertising and toward a more social approach. They rely on subject matter authorities whose taste and preferences can influence their followers and shape buying habits. Being an influencer can be a great gig—typically, companies offer sample products to try and promote, and may even help sponsor and document larger projects. But before you can become an influencer, there are a few things you need to know. Check out these tips and tricks for becoming a social influencer!
Pick your medium
The first thing you'll need is a primary means of reaching your followers. Maybe you write a blog. Maybe you create video tutorials. Maybe you run a podcast. Whatever you choose, focus on a medium that suits your skills and preferences, since you'll need to spend a significant portion of your time dedicated to creating and honing your content. Even though you'll also be reaching out to followers on different social media platforms, this main platform will give you the most freedom to create and post what best suits your message.
Build your following
Once you've started creating content, it's time to start building your following. The biggest thing that sets influencers apart from content marketers is that your main goal is to promote yourself and your experience as much as your content. Take the time to engage with existing conversations on social platforms, answering questions and making recommendations. Promote your own content when it adds to the conversation. Keep close track of the number of followers on your different platforms, the number of people visiting your website, and the size of your email mailing list. These are valuable metrics when it comes to pursuing sponsor companies.
Team up with other bloggers
A great way to help expand your reach as a new influencer is to team up with other sewists with an online presence. You could write a guest blog, work together for a sew-along, or invite them to appear on your podcast. This will encourage their fans to check out your work as well, so make sure there's plenty for them to explore once they start browsing your site.
Establish yourself as an expert
Imposter syndrome is real. You may not feel like an expert, but keep in mind, if you're an experienced sewist, you already know much more than the average beginner. You've got a lot to share! So stay confident. You don't need to know everything there is to know about sewing, and as long as you're still learning yourself, you'll always have something to talk about!
Have an opinion
People want to know what you think! If you think that sergers are overrated, tell your followers why. If you think there's a better or easier way to accomplish a particular technique, explain how it works. In order to become an influencer, you can't be shy about promoting what you think is best. At the same time, there's no need to be argumentative. Being an influencer is about forming and cultivating relationships, not alienating your followers.
Don't wait to be approached
Sponsor businesses are busy! Don't wait for your dream partnership to come along. Make the effort to reach out and show these businesses how they can benefit from working with you. Be genuine in your approach—if you already use or prefer a given company's products, don't be afraid to let them know! And be clear and concrete in what you're proposing, what you have to offer, and what you expect in return.
Make it easy for partners
As you begin to become more established, you may find that you'll need to go looking for partners less often. Save yourself some time by creating a guide for companies interested in working with you, so that by the time they reach out, they'll already have a general idea of the conversation you'll need to have.
Know what you need
Are you happy to work for complimentary products to review? Do you want sponsorship for a larger project? Maybe you want the ability to include affiliate links on your website and earn a commission on the products that you sell. Whatever compensation you hope to receive, know what it is and you're willing to negotiate on.
Double check regulations
Every time you post about an item you received for review, or work on a project sponsored by a company, make sure that you properly disclose the affiliation. Different platforms have different requirements for what's considered proper disclosure. Just adding '#ad' typically doesn't cut it! Make sure you're upfront about the relationship and that the opinions you're putting forward remain your own.
Always be true to yourself
One of the most critical points when working as an influencer is that even though you're partnering with other businesses, it's ultimately about you: your opinions, your expertise, and your personal recommendations. Don't be tempted to compromise that just to win over a partner business. Your followers trust you to have their best interests at heart, and honest influencers tend to come across as just another customer rather than a paid spokesperson. If your followers can relate to you, they'll listen to you, which is good for both your partner businesses and your own work. Stay authentic, and you'll soon be on the road to being a top influencer!