One of the best platforms that have been most rapidly emerging is Instagram! In today’s post, we are going to discuss how to become a social media influencer on Instagram!
With the rise of ad blockers, DVRs, and streaming music we don’t see as many ads as we used to; which is why influencer marketing is now the most effective form of advertising. Influencers have a loyal following, authenticity, and trustworthiness making them so effective in persuading consumers to buy a product.
You know who the big influencers are. Chances are that you follow them on social media and watch their exotic vacations, their great clothes, and their fabulous lifestyles. Who doesn’t want to work from home, make a ton of money, and get lots of free stuff?
So how do you become an influencer anyway?
Find Your Niche:
Grab a pen and list your passions. They don’t have to fit in the normal categories, like Travel, makeup, reviews, etc. Take Kylie, an Australian Pop Singer, for example. She’s into music: Now she has a popular YouTube channel with millions of followers, where she teaches people how to make people dance for her music. She’s even got her own brand. Whatever your passion is, go for it!
Do Something Unique:
How many unsuccessful “lifestyle” bloggers are out there? Chances are that you have a friend who’s tried it. They have the passion for fashion, food, and travel but they couldn’t get a following. Why? Because they’re like everyone else. Be different than your competition.
Pick Your Channels:
You can’t possibly be successful on all channels. Pick one channel to focus on and maybe two more to be active on. The popular guys who didn’t have a Twitter or Facebook page for years. They found their engagement was highest on Instagram, so they put all their energy into growing that channel. Focus and grow.
Create A Social Media Strategy:
Don’t just wing it. Plan out your content. Make a list of the content you want to create for the next three months. Decide how often you are going to post. When will you post? Be consistent.
Create Great Content:
This is where you’re going to spend most of your time. Make sure you create the best content you can. It’s your brand. And don’t be afraid to invest your money. If you were starting a business, you’d invest money, wouldn’t you? If you’re serious about this, you should buy some good equipment.
My favorite podcasts come out on the same day and time every week. Your content should be the same way. I post new articles on my blog every day after 8 P.M in Kranthi. You need to give your audience a reason to subscribe. If you don’t create new content, on a consistent schedule, why would they need to subscribe? They’re not missing anything.
You spent all this time creating content, but what good is it if nobody sees it? Remember, it’s 20% content creation and 80% promotion.
The quickest and easiest way to grow your audience is by working with a bigger influencer than you. Remember, there’s more in it for you than the bigger influencer, so you’ve got to help them out to make it worth their while. I figured out this trick with my Forbes articles. If I interviewed big influencers, and let them promote what they wanted, they would share the article and it’d get a ton of views.
Engage with Your Audience:
This will be easy at first because won’t have a big following. Respond to every comment, follow people back, etc.
Look At The Data:
What content is working? Who is your audience? Look at the analytics. Most platforms will give you the data but if they don’t, just look at what posts are getting the most likes and comments. What does your audience look like? Are they old or young, male or female? Create the content that is resonating with them. Finally, ask your audience what they want to see more of. Trust me, they’ll tell you.
How do you Transition your Personal Page to a Business Page?
This first step is optional. Many influencers like to switch to a business page because brands will look at you more seriously when you reach out to them asking to work together. Also when you switch to a business profile you are able to see your stats (audience demographics, impressions, reach, etc.). Also, Instagram just dropped its Branding Tool this week so brands can keep up with the insights from their creator’s content. Soon, every creator will be required to approve this tool on their business page so certain brands can keep tabs on their work.
In order to have an Instagram business page, you first have to create a Facebook business page. When you are setting up your Facebook business page, you’ll have to choose what type of page it is (blogger, community, etc.). Once you have created your Facebook business page, log into Instagram and turn on your business profile (your Instagram business page will be connected to your Facebook business page). Now you’re all set!
How many followers do you need before influencing?
The first goal I give people who want to become Social Media Influencers is to get to 1,000 Instagram followers. I have written a few blog posts that talk about how to gain followers; you can check out by staying up-to-date with Kranthi. 1,000 followers combined with posting high-quality photos, a great bio, and maybe even a website (if you are a blogger or youtube), will show brands that you would be a great fit to influence their products. Your next goal is 5,000 followers — this will make you more appealing to brands and they will be more likely to give you awesome products to feature! For a long-term goal, definitely, aim for 10,000 followers. Once you hit 10K, you will be able to start getting paid for posting for brands (you can definitely get paid before 10K, but it’s a lot harder), and you are also able to have a swipe-up link in your Instagram stories which is something that brands look for as well!
How do you find brands to work with?
If you have fewer than 10,000 followers, normally the best way to find brands to work with is by contacting them directly. You will want to directly email them from the contact information they have on their Instagram page. One way you can find brands that work with Influencers is by joining a community or a pod in order to network with other people in your niche. Take a look at the type of products they are influencing and talk to other people working in the influencing community. You can also email some small shops that you love and ask them if they would be interested in collaborating. A product exchange or offering to do a giveaway in exchange for the free product from the brand is a great place to start. Once you have a large following, you can also apply for campaigns on marketing networks — a third party that connects bloggers with large companies!
How to Become an Instagram Influencer and Start Earning Money Now
Leading brands know that social media influencers are amazing to work with, which is why influencer marketing has exploded in the last couple of years. But how do influencers actually make money?
For many, “influencing” is their full-time job and is often made up of a few roles including content creation, community engagement, photography, design, public speaking and more. As it’s a fulltime gig, influencers obviously need to monetize their platforms and earn an income.
Here we explore 9 ways that social media influencers can leverage their skills, expertise, and influence to make money from multiple revenue streams by supporting brands in their digital marketing.
One increasingly popular way for influencers to make money is e-products, as they are relatively cheap and easy to produce, and can scale rapidly online with seamless distribution. E-products can be anything from an ebook, downloadable travel guide or workout program, to a one-page meal plan or organizational template.
Digital products give influencers the opportunity to create something tangible that they can distribute and sell to their network to earn an income from their knowledge, influence, and expertise. Another way influencers can make money from digital products is to co-create content with brands, either by selling advertising and editorial space to them or by being commissioned specifically to create content.
Podcasting is another great way for influencers to distribute their content, connect with their audience on another platform, share content conveniently and ultimately earn an income from their influence and public profile.
Podcasting can be a relatively low cost to produce, once you have the right setup and equipment, and like radio can drive revenue a number of ways – the most popular are charging podcast subscribers a small fee to download and listen.
Like podcasting, webinars can be a cost-effective revenue model for influencers and content creators. A webinar is essentially a seminar conducted over the internet and is usually for an educational purpose to provide information in an engaging, tutorial-style format. Webinars can either be live, or they can be pre-recorded and shared across video, blog and social media platforms.
To earn money from webinars, influencers can charge consumers to access the content, collaborate with a brand to produce the content or use the format for lead generation. Scrunch is the smarter way to find, connect with and manage influencers
One of the main long-term partnerships an influencer can be involved in is a brand ambassador program, either in collaboration with other influencers or solo. Brand ambassador roles could be for a week, a month, a year, or indefinitely, depending on the campaign budget, requirements, deliverables and exclusivity provisions. Typically, brand ambassadors are employed by the brand when they are naturally a good fit and align well with the brand and the target market.
Brand ambassadors can be big-time influencers and celebrities, or they can be more local, micro-influencers, depending on the goals of the campaign and the brand.
Social media sponsored posts
While brand ambassadors are typically long-term partnerships, sponsored social media posts are more of a groundswell approach to building brand awareness and exposure. This is by far, the most common way for influencers to make money, especially when they are starting out.
A sponsored social media post is when a brand engages an influencer to create content featuring the brand (it could be one post, two posts, or a series of posts) and share it with their followers. There are many forms of sponsored social media posts, from sharing the brand owned content, developing unique imagery, promoting a new product, launching a new brand or generating exposure to a new target market.
Be aware though, that when you are exchanging money and other forms of payment with a brand, there are disclosure regulations and guidelines in most countries and territories.
Sponsored Blog Posts
On the same note, influencers can monetize personal blogs and websites to collaborate and create branded content. Blogs are great because they are in-depth and allow influencers to share more detailed information with their community than is possible over social media, such as detailed product reviews. Not only does blogging help influencers make money from their creative, content writing, photography and distribution platforms, it also benefits brands with click-through links that take consumers directly to products and services, getting them closer to a conversion than a social media post.
It’s important to note that not all blog content should be sponsored or designed to sell a product – a good influencer will have a mix of organic content and branded collaborations and will be transparent about sponsored content.
Beware…. when influencers work for brands that they are not aligned with purely because there is money on the table, their credibility, authenticity, and relationship with their audience can be severely impacted. Sponsored blog posts must be a genuinely good fit even when there is monetary incentive!
A unique way to create revenue in collaboration with a brand is to co-create a physical product, collection or range. We see this type of influencer monetization across every niche, from fashion capsule collections and co-branded beauty products to food, fitness, travel and health products.
Influencers make money by co-creating content and receiving a commission on all sales, or a flat fee for the partnership (like an ambassador program), depending on the agreement. A commission-based model works well for influencers because it allows them to potentially maximize their income if the product is successful, and they don’t have to outlay any costs upfront!
Like commission-based arrangements, affiliate marketing is where a referral partner receives a percentage of a sale if the sale can be attributed to their post or content. This is a great way to ensure influencers receive income for their work, and it’s also great to help track the success of an influencer engagement. Affiliate marketing is typically on a pay-per-sale, pay-per-click or pay-per-lead model.
For brands, it’s a good way to objectively measure how much influence an influencer actually has, and for influencers, it’s great to earn an income from the brands and products you generally love, support and naturally endorse. Affiliate marketing generally won’t be an influencer’s only source of income, as it is not reliable or steady, however, it is a good way to earn incremental revenue.
Photography, Copywriting, and Creative Direction
In addition to monetizing their influence and social networks, influencers can monetize their personal skills, whether it be photography, copywriting, creative direction, strategic consulting, styling or content creation. Influencers are typically business-savvy creative who have used their skills to create a personal brand that ultimately drives revenue. So, brands often work with influencers by hiring them as freelancers.
If you’re a social media influencer and want to start monetizing your influence, get ready implement all the tips mentioned above! Stay tuned with Kranthi to stay up-to-date with social media arenas!