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?
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 to only be an Instagram influencer or Facebook influencer, while others prefer to use all social networks and social media channels when posting relevant content.
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. A brand or company may offer a partnership, rather than just paying you per post or on a one-off basis.
Also, micro-influencers can leverage relatively small followings of 10,000 or less 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 their passionate about that allows them to make personal connections with their audience.
How much does an influencer earn?
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 in 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 are one of the best ways to establish a reliable source of income as a full-time influencer.
What qualifications are needed to become an influencer?
There are no formal qualifications needed to become an influencer. As long as you have a phone, an internet connection, and some spare time on your hands, you can start immediately.
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 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. Courses such as School of Communication Arts’ Becoming an Advertising Master can set you up with an excellent level of knowledge. You can understand the basics of running marketing campaigns, building a content strategy, engaging effectively with audiences, and promoting products.
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 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 maxmise your outreach. Dedicated analytics insights courses can be the key to unlocking new levels of marketing opportunity and audience growth.
Finally, a good knowledge of video editing software can be a valuable asset if you’re looking to establish a serious career as an influencer. This is extremely useful for anyone who uses platforms such as YouTube, as it can be much easier to grow an audience when your videos look professional and high quality. Other apps such as Instagram and TikTok have in-built editing capabilities, but both still allow you to import videos you’ve created using video editing software. One of the most accessible video editing software in the market is Adobe Premiere Pro.
Online training courses in Adobe Premiere Pro can help you get to grips with this editing tool that is an industry-standard in film and TV production. Not only will a course in this area help you grow your influencing career, but it will also allow you to demonstrate critical skills to employers if you choose to work for a content production company in the future.
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.
Meanwhile, 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. Or for a travel influencer, taking a travel and tourism course might be a good idea. 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.
Career prospects for an influencer
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