Here are 10 steps towards becoming an influencer in today’s world.
- Find the niche, become the niche, be obsessed.
- Plan it out, strategize
- Be social
- Content is KING
- Build a community
- DO NOT BUY FOLLOWERS. I REPEAT. DO NOT BUY FOLLOWERS.
- Network online and in real life
- Create a stunning website to represent your brand
- Be active within the niche as much as you can handle
When you hear the word obsessed, it tends to have a bad connotation. Here, it is good to be obsessed with your niche because it will give you an edge above everyone else. Obsession also leads to creativity and that is where the fun truly starts. For example, my niche is the restaurant industry & I am involved with it in every aspect I can be from receiving magazines to stay in touch with trends to consulting on design & operations. You truly have to become the niche, live and breathe the niche.
Plan & Strategize
No matter what you start to do in your life, you should plan for it beforehand. Always be the best and most prepared person in the room. This is where you establish the questions you need to answer, for example, what is your message? You’ll organize your plan here and get everything you need to know out on paper. Who will be your vendors, if needed, how will you go about creating your content, etc.
Planning and strategizing will happen constantly throughout your life, this won’t be something you do once at the beginning and never do again. Some things that you planned out extensively will crash and burn, it isn’t always a bad idea to have a plan B.
With a majority of communication done through electronic devices and not face to face, it seems that there is a rise in socially awkward humans. With things like Facebook Groups & Twitter, you don’t have to go out to meet people with like-minded interests, you can do it all from the comfort of your own room. Even if you are just leaving a comment on another fellow influencers page, the fact that you are doing it will set you apart from the rest. Yes, you should be building an online presence through your personal brand but you should also be attending meetups & networking meetings. We will get to that later on though in more depth.
Content Is King
The days of building it and they will come are long in the past now. There are thousands of versions and interpretations of the same topic and niche out there, so what is going to make you stick out of the crowd?
100% real deal facts, user-friendly and easily understood content is what will stick you out of the crowd. Don’t get caught up in how many words it should be, solely focus on the quality of the content you are putting out. When you start to worry about a number of words, you tend to lose focus on the core content of the post, you will feel the need to put information in there that the post could do without just because it adds a few extra minutes to the read.
In today’s world, consumers want information and they want it quick. With a majority of my posts, I keep it short and sweet to the point & then if I get requests for more in-depth information about a topic I will then create a longer more detailed post, for example, this post I am writing right now.
Tip- don’t forget to add photos/color to keep people interested.
Build A Community
There are many places you can build a community, start by choosing online or in person. Online, you can create Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, Twitter Communities & so much more. In person, you can start book clubs around your niche, networking events, morning coffee breakthrough sessions, etc.
Regardless of how and where you build your community, just do it. There is nothing someone loves more than feeling a part of something.
DO NOT BUY FOLLOWING
DO NOT BUY FOLLOWING. DO NOT BUY FOLLOWING. DO NOT BUY FOLLOWING.
If there is anything you take away from this post, I hope it is this:
DO NOT BUY FOLLOWING
You never want to buy followers because first, it won’t match up with your photo likes & comments. No one has 12k followers that leave zero comments and like none of your photos. Second, it is expensive to purchase following, thousands of dollars. Lastly, when someone goes to look at who follows you all the accounts look like spam accounts and you will then lose all your credibility if you had any, to begin with.
Like I had mentioned before in the social section, networking in person is vital. This allows consumers to put a face to a name and a personality to a brand. A personality as you know is what separates everyone. There are always networking events going on in all major cities, you can also follow top brands in your niche & usually they will have some form of a networking session that will allow you to meet others in your niche & also learn more about what other people are doing. Networking leads to collaboration options which will be discussed in a little bit.
When attending a networking event, you want to be equipped with plenty of business cards and endless amounts of knowledge, for your personal brand as well as the niche. Following the networking event, reach out to everyone you spoke with and get together to further build on the relationship. Even if there isn’t a use for the relationship right now, you never know what the future holds.
Don’t stress about a website at the very beginning. You want to establish your personal brand & have a decent following before investing in a website. If no one is becoming interested in your personal brand, a website won’t make or break the outcome for you. A website is merely a tool to help organize your brand for consumers.
I don’t mean getting in your routine exercise, although you should be exercising daily. Your brand should be everywhere, leaving content packed comments, interacting with consumers on multiple platforms. When a potential consumer leaves a message for you, they expect an answer from a real person and quickly. It is vital to be an active brand in today’s world. Even if you don’t know the answer, let them know you are going to get back to them within a specific time frame with the best answer for their question. At the end of the day, people just want to be acknowledged.
Something to also think about, is usually most people send a blanket message to multiple companies and they tend to go with whoever answers first. Food for thought.
Last but certainly not least, collaboration! One of the best ways to get your name out there and to build a following is by collaborating with brands others already trust. If the brand trusts you enough to post about you, their following will trust you enough to follow you & give you a try.
The key to collaboration is making sure you always have something in the works.