Working in this industry for many years now, I’ve been able to see the behind-the-scenes of many Influencers and their businesses. I’ve seen some do it incredibly well, I’ve seen some do it somewhat well, and I’ve seen some struggle.
You see, it’s one thing to be an Influencer, but it is another thing to be a truly successful Influencer. Being successful in this business comes with a lot of traits + skill sets that are surprisingly hard to find in this industry. But the size of your audience doesn’t matter here and I feel like that is the best news of all. You don’t have to have a million followers to be successful. I’ve seen smaller influencers (let’s say 50k followers) be much more successful than some influencers with over 500k followers.
Here are the keys to being successful:
- Be on time. I can’t tell you how much of our job is just tracking down content and insights. And I always think if we as managers have a tough time, the agencies or brands are feeling that x 10. I’ve seen this time and time again that the ones that are on-time, follow direction with creative (i.e. make sure to use the right hashtags, etc) and go live on time, are the ones that get rebooked the most. They stand out big time in this industry and I’ve seen them often be more successful.
- Create high quality content. At the end of the day, a brand is still asking you to create an ad for them, so high quality content will always get you paid more and booked more often. As easy as I know it is to snap a photo with your iPhone, a good quality camera or hiring someone to shoot your content makes a HUGE difference. It isn’t even just with the image itself, but with the effort that goes into your caption as well. Give each opportunity your 110%.
- Get creative with sponsored content. Gone are the days of holding up a product, snapping a photo with it and seeing it do well. I mean, I suppose some can make that happen but for most, it isn’t that easy these days. I think this is why I like TikTok, because it’s video content and forces you to get a little more creative. Someone that does a great job with this is @angelarosehome. She incorporates a paid partnership into a project she does and by the time she talks about the partnership, it just flows together so incredibly well that it never feels in your face at all. She basically creates a lead up to it, which is so smart. Whichever way you go, I just think the ones that really perform well AND maintain great engagement are the ones that get creative with a sponsored post, create a genuine trust with their audience and can speak to the product like they know what they are talking about.
- Create your community and engage with them like crazy! The community you create online are your people. They are there because they connect with you somehow. Nurture those relationships like crazy, create relationships and frankly, tune the rest out! Specifically during the last several months I know so many influencers that after speaking out about something they care about they receive a message from a follower saying “I can’t even handle following you anymore.” And you know what, GREAT. That is not your person anyway and Lord knows we can’t please everyone, nor should we ever want to.
- Find your theme. I don’t necessarily think you have to find one specific niche (I mean, that is great, but it isn’t the only way), but figure out what your main themes are and then make sure it TRULY aligns with who you are. For instance, if you like talking about home, motherhood and food… yes you can talk about all of those things! But be consistent. Find what it is that lights you up to talk about and stick to it. That doesn’t mean you can’t sprinkle in travel, but you get what I’m saying! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen an influencer go YEARS without growth, only to change their course, come into their own/start talking about what they deeply want to and then they grow like crazy.
- Hire help. Remember you are a brand. Your own, personal brand. Get a team to support you, hire out tasks that aren’t your strong suit or the ones that take up a lot of time and know that no matter who you are, you can’t do it all yourself. Hiring out some assistance can and will take your brand to the next level, so don’t give into the fear!
I hope this was helpful! Remember, no matter how big or small, we are all influencers in some way. Remember, be a good influence.