How to Become an Influencer
Being an influencer can be an exciting and entertaining job, as you are essentially paid for things you already enjoy doing. Whether it’s fashion, travel, fitness, or food, there’s almost certainly a niche out there for you.
If you’re savvy with social media, love being the centre of attention, and know-how to market products, there’s nothing stopping you from embarking on this exciting and glamorous career path. Find out how to get started today as a successful influencer.
What does an influencer do?
If you’re wondering how to be an influencer on social media but are unsure where to start, keep reading. Your daily tasks may change depending on what industry you’re working in and the type of content being produced. However, some core elements tend to reappear for most people in this profession.
Usually, social media influencers will feature or recommend products in their content. This could be in the form of a fitness instructor featuring an item of particular clothing, protein shake, or gym equipment brand in their videos or pictures.
This content will be shared on their social media profiles or through dedicated marketing materials distributed by the company. Some choose only to be an Instagram influencer or Facebook influencer, while others prefer to use all social networks and social media channels when posting relevant content.
A brand or company may offer a partnership rather than just paying you per sponsored post or on a one-off basis. Often, brands can hire ‘ambassadors,’ who will exclusively use and promote a brand’s products. This is a form of influencer marketing but can be a good choice for those who’re looking for a more stable form of employment.
Also, micro-influencers, or macro influencers, can leverage relatively small followings of between 10,000 and 100,000 with a high engagement rate to market niche products to specific communities or subcultures. This can be a good option for someone with a strong personal brand who understands their key demographics and has access to value collaboration opportunities with other content creators.
Sometimes, the number of followers can be less critical if an influencer has a lot of outreach posting about something they’re passionate about that allows them to make personal connections with their audience.
How much does an influencer earn?
Now that you know the basics of how to be a social media influencer, you might be wondering how much money you could earn whilst being one. As your financial value to brands as an influencer is based solely on your social following, earnings in this profession can vary widely. Even if you’ve made a significant amount of money during one period, this may fluctuate wildly during your career.
One survey from Hype Auditor found that influencers with smaller followings on Instagram earned around £2137 a month (around £25,000 a year). Meanwhile, the same survey found that ‘mega influencers’ could see earnings as high as £11,050 a month (around £132,000 a year).
Ultimately, it’s difficult to put a precise figure on influencer earnings, as you’re likely to be paid one-off fees or sign short-term contracts with brands. Some influencers only make a commission when audiences use codes or deals that are attached to a marketing campaign, so you may find it challenging to calculate your regular monthly or yearly salary when you’re starting out.
Building long-term brand endorsements and sponsorships and brand deals is one of the best ways to establish a reliable source of income as a full-time influencer. It’s also worth bearing in mind that influencers are often sent free products, and some choose to think of this as a form of payment or a key benefit as to why they are pursuing a career as an influencer.
What qualifications are needed to become an influencer?
There are no formal qualifications needed to become an influencer and no set template to follow. However, some formal qualifications would be helpful to anyone thinking about beginning a career in influencer marketing.
As most influencers use social media platforms as their primary promotion tool, getting a Social Media Management qualification or exploring different online courses in Social Media Management can be a great idea.
By taking a course like this, you can get to grips with good social media management principles and build a firm foundation that you can support without any outside help. Courses like these can help take your posting game to the next level, as you’ll be able to edit, produce and schedule high-quality content that brands will be keen to get involved with.
Meanwhile, as you’ll essentially be advertising products for companies, getting a solid understanding of the best practices around advertising and Digital Marketing could boost your career significantly. Knowledge in this area will allow you to establish a solid content strategy across your social media accounts and set up your own influencer marketing campaigns that produce excellent posts that appeal to your follower base.
Communicating and drawing conclusions from data provided by your target audience is a helpful skill for any influencers looking to optimise their potential fully.
Although marketing strategy can often be left to the brands you’re working with, being able to do an in-depth analysis of your audience data yourself can help you to grow your following organically by predicting the kind of content they’d be most likely to engage with.
You can also use this knowledge to better understand how social media algorithms work and how best to work with them to maximise your outreach. To get the skills you need to interpret data accurately, taking online courses in Data Analysis can be the perfect option.
For visual platforms, getting some knowledge of tools such as Photoshop can be a great idea. This will ensure you’ll be able to compete with professional photographers and content creators. Taking Online Photoshop courses can equip you with industry-standard skills that will take your photography and image editing skills to the next level.
Finally, getting an understanding of how to become a video editor can be a good final step before starting your journey as a social media influencer. Knowledge of video editing software can be a valuable asset if you’re looking to establish a serious career as an influencer. Learning video editing skills can boost your earnings and career opportunities as well, so any knowledge in this area can be helpful for your career as a whole.
Does becoming an influencer need any work experience?
In theory, there are no requirements for previous work experience for influencers. One of the best things about this career path is that it’s accessible to people of all backgrounds and experience levels.
However, it can be helpful to gain experience in similar fields before embarking on this career. As the career of an influencer is often self-guided, having experience in freelance content production could be helpful for anyone looking to move into this area.
Having experience in social media management can also be useful as you’ll already be comfortable setting up social media marketing campaigns and calendars and growing and sustaining an online presence. If you already know how to become a social media marketer, either through previous roles or through courses, you might find you already have a good understanding of the skills needed to succeed as a social media influencer.
Any experience working with relevant brands or within the industry you’re looking to be an influencer within (e.g., a fashion influencer having previous experience working for a fashion magazine) can be beneficial.
Having an embedded knowledge of a specific area beforehand can allow you to provide your audience with real insight that’s genuinely helpful to them.
Lastly, you will communicate with your audience through photography and video, so any experience working as a photographer or videographer will help you get one step ahead of your competitors and take your career to the next level.
How to become an Influencer for different platforms
Although there are no specific guidelines out there on how to succeed in each social media platform, there are a few things you can do to increase the likelihood of bringing in an income from working as a social media influencer for each platform. There are certainly different types of influencers who produce different styles of social media posts that will appeal to their specific niche. It all depends on which you want to be involved in the most.
Some platforms suit certain types of content better than others, and you may find one platform a far more appealing place to build your influencer career on than other ones. Below, you can find out how to become a paid influencer on the major social media platforms.
How to become an Instagram influencer
If you’re keen to become an Instagram influencer, remember these key points. Instagram prioritises images more so than any other social media platform. If you want to stand out from the crowd, ensuring that Instagram posts include pictures that are well-taken and high-quality is vital.
Most professional photographers have at least a basic understanding of Photoshop, as this tool helps turn good images into great ones. Taking a Photoshop Essentials online course can be a great way to get your skills up to scratch and help you post high-quality photos that make you an appealing account to follow.
Even though you’ll most likely be using a photo to take images, getting a good understanding of the principles of quality photography is a good idea as well. Taking a Photography Certificate course can equip you with the know-how to match the quality of professional photographers, opening you up to career opportunities with brands or sponsorship.
How to become a Twitter influencer
Twitter is probably the most challenging platform to become an influencer on. This is in part because of the character limit, as well as the fact that the platform places much less emphasis on visual and video content.
This means that if you’re keen to build a following, you’ll have to rely mostly on your writing skills. To get an understanding of how to write copy that connects with audiences, exploring Digital Marketing online courses can be a good way to understand best practices around tone-of-voice, social listening, and audience segmentation.
Keeping an ear to the ground and watching which hashtags might be relevant to your content is key as well, as Twitter often uses hashtags as a way to search and categorise content for users.
How to become a LinkedIn influencer
Becoming a LinkedIn influencer can be very challenging, as a lot of the most famous people on the network tend to get their fame from their job first, however, there are some ways in which you can stand out on the platform.
LinkedIn is an excellent platform for those who love presenting ideas, hosting roundtables, or presenting webinars. Taking Public Speaking online courses can help you to excel in this area, as the principles of making high-quality speeches online or in person are exactly the same.
How to become a Facebook influencer
Facebook promotes visual, written, and other kinds of content, so it’s a great platform for those who have a Jack of all trades spirit about them.
As you’ll be trying to connect with large audiences, online courses in Digital Marketing can give you the skills necessary to craft messages and campaigns that stand out.
How to become a TikTok influencer
One of the best things about TikTok is how accessible the platform is and how easy it is to make and upload content on TikTok.
There aren’t a lot of extra skills you need to pick up to be a successful TikTok influencer. However, getting a solid knowledge of marketing principles through Digital Marketing courses, as well as looking at guides that show you how to become a video editor, is a good idea.
Save videos to your device and then upload them onto TikTok as a saved video as uploading professional quality, previously edited videos can help you to stand out and grow your audience quickly.
Career prospects for an influencer
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