One of the best ways to grow your following on social media is to become an influencer. By sharing relevant content with an engaged audience, you help people advertise their businesses as well as capitalizing on your own vision by earning money through marketing deals. Here are five tips to get you started:

1. Have a clear vision

Your overall online success depends heavily on your brand vision. Set yourself apart from influencers in a similar field by narrowing your focus to a niche topic. Whether you focus on travel, lifestyle, beauty, fitness, or anything in between, try to find a gap in the market with a unique angle. It is logical to choose something that aligns with your strengths and interests so you can position yourself as an authority on the topic and share knowledgeable content that benefits your audience.

2. Define your audience

Image via Flickr by Croswald9.

As with all brands and services, you need to have a target audience so you can curate content that is meaningful and relevant to them. Once you have refined your niche, you can start outlining the characteristics that make up your target audience. Focus on statistical demographics like age, gender, and education, as well as qualitative data like interests, desires, and challenges. This will give you valuable insight into your followers and give you a clear direction on how to tailor your content to suit them.

3. Share valuable content

Once you have determined your audience and niche, your next task is to deliver relevant and valuable content upfront. Rather than focusing on promoting yourself, consider offering inside information, useful hacks, or creative reviews for your product, brand, or service. Remember to be open and transparent; your followers will respect you for your honesty and put more trust in you as an influencer.

4. Create a content calendar

Establishing a content schedule is a great way to keep on top of your posts and stay ahead of yourself. Posting consistently maintains your audience’s attention, encourages engagement, and boosts your reach. A content calendar also relieves the pressure of trying to come up with new content on a daily basis. It makes it easy for you to organize posts, plan for special events, and have a backlog of ideas that you can refine over time without feeling under pressure. 

5. Sell yourself

Once you have established yourself as a trusted influencer, start reaching out to brands and businesses in your niche to discuss product promotion and paid campaigns. Compile a list of statistics including audience reach, engagement, and metrics so you can share this with clients. Consider holding back on a rate card when you are just starting off; focus on building a relationship with the brand first by perhaps offering your services for free or at a discount.

Becoming an influencer takes time, patience, and planning. But with a strong niche, an inspired audience, and a catalog of valuable content, you will be well on the way to achieving influencer status.