By Diana Morose
Alongside the rise of social media came the rise of social media influencers. These users have a reputable following from their knowledge of a specific topic and can socially influence their followers, whether it be new trends or products they’re paid to promote.
The art of influencing has been around for longer than you might think. From popular ancient Roman gladiators promoting wine and oils on the side, to advertisements like Pepsi’s 2004 gladiator commercial featuring the iconic trio of Beyoncé, Britney Spears and P!nk, influencers have stood the test of time and adapted to many societal advancements. Now influencing has mainly shifted over to platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube sparking the careers of well-known influencers today like Emma Chamberlain, Addison Rae, and MrBeast.
"You can really tell someone’s influence when they wear a makeup look or clothes, and they start trends and inspire people," said media sensation Kim Kardashian.
Influencing has come a long way to being a genuine career path where there can be weight behind what you say or do and what you choose to promote. Nowadays, the path has become more and more common, but what are the steps to get there?
The Buccaneer has got the answers.
1. Find Your Niche (Audience)
The first step to becoming an influencer is figuring out what you are going to influence. What are you interested in covering? Whether it be related to fashion, fitness, lifestyle, etc., it is important to figure out what audience you want to attract with your brand.
2. Build Your Brand
Build your social media presence. It is important to build your personal brand so that it becomes recognizable to a broad audience. Figure out what your social media layout is going to look like, along with the impression you want it to give. Will it be completely professional and formal, do you want to seem relatable, quirky, or mysterious? Figure out what it is you want people to think when they come across your platform for the first time.
3. Consistently Post Relevant Content
Consistency is key. Figure out a consistent schedule to post your content. It can be difficult to build a following without constantly posting on your platforms. The more consistent you are, the more likely people are going to be able to recognize you and your brand, and steadily build up the engagements you receive on posts.
It is important to keep content relevant to what your audience followed you for to begin with, suddenly posting something out of character for your established brand can possibly result in your current followers disengaging with your content.
4. Engage With Your Audience
It is important to engage with your audience. Interacting with your followers helps you to understand them and the broader community outside of your audience. Liking a post or replying to a comment sent to you is important to establish a connection with your followers. Keeping the conversation going helps raise the engagement on your post and keeps you at the center of the conversation.
5. Brand Reputation
Building a name for yourself and your brand is very important. Differentiate your brand from other influencers within the same market as you. The reputation of your brand is important for networking and making connections with other influencers and also working in collaboration with brands and gaining sponsorships.
There is more work to becoming an influencer than meets the eye. Some may see influencing as only having to take pictures or making low-effort content, but the work ethic of steadily producing new and innovative content, engaging with a large audience, and keeping track of your social footprint are just a few of the things that make becoming an influencer a challenging, yet rewarding career choice for the social media savvy.