Becoming an influencer sounds quite nice doesn't it?
Influencer marketing is hot right now and to become an influencer is even hotter. One of the key appeals for brands is the fact that influencers come with their own loyal social media following, creative ideas and insight into target demographics.
The authenticity and trustworthiness of an effective influencer provides them with the capacity to persuade customers to buy a product. Brands are often too big and too distant to create the same personality-driven connection with customers.
And this is where you come in. So how can you become an influencer?
1. List your Passions
First off, figure out what you want to talk about and the type of brands you want to attract.
Find a niche that you're passionate about and feel that you can add value in. Once you position yourself in a certain area, it'll be easier for brands to see what you're all about and what you represent and how you'd contribute.
An estimated 20 - 50% of consumer decisions being influenced by word-of-mouth recommendations, and that's exactly what influencers have become - trusted brand ambassadors, giving personal endorsements of products.
Being passionate isn't something you can fake, so really dig deep and find your niche, so you can come across as authentic.
2. Create a List
Now it's time to start researching. Once you've picked out your passion, you need to find companies and brands that'll be receptive to your message.
Compile a list of brands that you can gradually get in touch with over time. Once you've done the ground-work and feel confident that you've professionalized your personal brand, you can reach out to brands you'd like to collaborate with.
It's important that you put some hard work into your pitches, as first impressions matter and you need to convince brands that you can add value to their offering.
3. Craft Your Content
The next big thing is content. We all know how important content is, let's face it - you're told it enough.
Well *shock horror* content is super important for building yourself as an influencer too.
Become an authority or a thought leader in the area of your passion and be confident in creating content that offers different perspectives or something interesting.
This content is what you'll use to build a following and to demonstrate to brands that you've got something cool to say about a subject.
You can also bring brands that are on your list into your content and focus on some of their products or services.
A year ago I walked up to one of my favorite brands called Clear. They always have a smile and get me through the x-ray lines in less than 5 minutes at their airport locations. I do really love Clear (and they aren't paying me to say that). I approached the Clear check-in and lifted my phone camera, hit record and the rest could not have been scripted any better. The best part? It was real life. What happened next turned into a fantastic customer service live video that received over 4,000 views, was featured on their many social pages and this customer service person ended up getting a promotion. Hit play and take a look.
4. Use Social Media
It goes without saying, but you need to prove your social media prowess and show you can be a digital asset to any brand.
The folks over at Twitter tell us that 49% of modern day consumers look to social media for purchase advice, so being able to use social media effectively is a big advantage.
Basically, you need to be visible - but don't just broadcast on Facebook Live for the hell of it or tag people in tweets every other second. Provide value and engage with your audience. You don't want to come across as a pain in the ass.
If you're saying things people want to hear and making meaningful connections with your audience, then you'll become known for all of the right reasons.
Get involved in conversations, find out what questions people are asking and topics people are talking about in your area. Share often and try to help other out on their journeys.
Having a strong, core following with certain demographics is attractive to brands, and if you can bring that to the table, fantastic.
5. Combine Digital and Human-to-Human Networking
It's a really good idea to get out and about and chat to people at networking and industry events too. You can make some strong connections and build relationships with people at events, so have your business cards at the ready.
This can lead to more influencer marketing opportunities in your niche area and you can collaborate with others.
Make sure you're approachable and your authenticity will shine through. Use your unique personality to engage with people and make contacts.
Once you've linked up with some fabulous contacts; follow up with them online. Drop them a personalized video, a phone call or a private message on LinkedIn to keep your relationships moving and to check in from time to time.
Staying visible and approachable means that people will come to you and you can share the work you've created with them.
Engage, interact and build meaningful relationships with your audience and peers, so that you can show brands that you have a strong following and a valuable contribution to make in your niche area.
This post originally appeared on Bryan Kramer's blog.