Social media is all around us whether we care to engage with it or not. It’s in the stores, on the television, and in our homes. The trick with social media is that it can actually be a benefit in life if you use it correctly. While there are those who believe it does more harm than good, some people are actually able to provide for their families because of it when they learn how to become social media influencers.
As a mom, I use social media for business purposes and when I can catch a break after a day of tending to my kids. It’s a good way to just not have to think about anything and I often find humorous content on there. I also choose to follow certain accounts because I’m either entertained by them or I find value in what they post.
If you use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. for entertainment, then you can surely waste hours each day just scrolling. However, if you’ve noticed that some of the posts and videos you see come from people with thousands of followers, those posters are more than likely getting paid as an influencer.
Some influencers will make more than others, but it is a curious way to make money. That’s why I decided to dig deeper into how to become a social media influencer to see exactly how it works. If you’re interested in becoming an influencer, here is what you need to know.
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What is a Social Media Influencer?
A social media influencer is someone who has credibility and uses their social platforms as a way to influence their audience. This kind of influencing isn’t like brainwashing, but more like influencing viewers to try new products and services. Essentially, they are a social media marketer who works for themself.
Many of the influencers you see today persuade their audience members to buy products for hair and skin health. There are also some influencers who encourage you to try out a travel destination, and some who get paid to attend events like product launches and celebrity parties to share with their followers. Others might even influence others to purchase beverages like wine, beer, or coffee.
Whatever products they are advertising, those influencers get paid for those referrals. Each time you use their link to make the purchase, the influencer gets paid a commission. This kind of marketing is helpful to many companies because they don’t necessarily have to hire someone internally to do it for them.
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Does a Social Media Influencer Require a License?
A social media influencer does not require a license or permit. Essentially, you could wake up one day and say you want to learn how to become a social media influencer and get started that day. There are no credentials you have to obtain before doing so.
However, if you are a beginner, there are several courses you can choose to take that show you the ins and outs of becoming a successful social media influencer. These courses are generally created by influencers themselves. The courses typically show you each step and secret trick they’ve learned along the way. It is up to you to determine if the courses are for you and if the person selling the course is credible.
Other Social Media Influencer Requirements and Qualifications
The main requirement to becoming a social media influencer is to have patience. To get your influencer account(s) up and running, you have to be dedicated, show up every day, and develop content that will make your audience keep coming back.
With other influencers already out there, you will be competing for space among the social noise. Patience and consistency will be your friends. Don’t give up when you think you’re not moving along fast enough. This process takes time.
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Social Media Influencer Salary or Pay Expectations
Salaries for social media influencers vary greatly. ZipRecruiter reports annual salaries in the United States as low as $14,000 and as high as $74,500. There are a variety of factors that go into how much you can get paid as a social media influencer.
As a beginner, you don’t see a high salary right away. It takes time to grow your following and your authority before people trust you enough to buy the things you are advertising. In addition, you have to stay consistently posting to your platforms. This will help ensure that you are in front of your audience often. Only recommend products or services you would actually use yourself.
6 Steps to Become a Social Media Influencer
Getting started in the social media world isn’t difficult to do. In order to start off on the right foot as an influencer, follow these steps here.
1. Choose a Niche
First things first; you have to find your people! Choosing a niche is very important in the influencer world. You can’t have an account that posts everything under the sun. Your account has to help you build authority and credibility. Choose one area you are interested and have experience in.
For example, you wouldn’t want to go to an account that you believed was going to be about hair inspiration only to go there to find posts about computers or Keto dieting. Neither of those things was what you were looking for. This would quickly send you looking elsewhere before deciding to browse all the posts in hopes of one hair inspiration post.
Have your ideal audience members in mind when deciding what you want to promote and how you can build credibility through that.
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2. Search for Affiliate Programs
Once you’ve decided what kind of account you want to have and the ideal audience members who will be following you, then you can search for affiliate programs. Some of these programs may start out paying small commission fees. As you gain more experience and grow your followers, you can search for higher-paying brand sponsorships.
As an affiliate marketer, you may have to purchase some of the products for yourself so that you can test them out before recommending them. This is a good way to create more content for your account so people can see that you actually tried it and enjoyed the experience. The more they can see, the more likely they are to buy.
3. Grow Your Following
Start with choosing one social media platform such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or Tik Tok. When you build enough of a following on one of those platforms, you can add in a secondary platform to double your following. It’s best to focus on building one platform first. This way you can devote your time and attention to it before jumping around to other accounts and burning yourself out.
Grow your following on that one platform by “following” other accounts that are similar to yours. Partner with them and other influencers to promote your business to their audience members. Comment on and share other accounts’ posts to show. The goal is to grow your account organically instead of joining those “follow for follow” trains or “pay for follow” spam accounts.
4. Post Relevant Content
The content you post must be relevant to the niche you picked. There are times when it is okay to just make a post of you going for a walk that has nothing to do with whatever you are promoting. This does help your audience connect with you on a more personal level. However, you generally want to stay within the content of your niche.
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5. Consider the Rates
It might be difficult at first to set your own rates as you learn how to become a social media influencer. Generally, the affiliate programs and sponsorships will have one flat rate or percentage they are willing to pay you. However, if someone comes to you with an offer to pay you advertise for them, you can consider charging them a fee of your choice for the sponsored post.
Ask around in the networks you’ve created for yourself what a good rate would look like for a sponsored post. These posts can bring in a lot of attention for the business. It’s only fair that you request a rate that accurately reflects the value you bring.
6. Stand Out
Don’t post what everyone else is already posting. Many of the social media users have seen some of the same things time and time again, which can become boring. Do something that makes you stand out from the crowd. Make sure you bring a unique perspective to the topic you post about.
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Questions New Social Media Influencers are Asking
Before considering if you want to become a social media influencer, take a look at what the new influencers are asking. See for yourself if this is the right venture for you.
Is it hard to be an influencer?
It can be hard to be a social media influencer. There is quite a bit of planning that goes into it such as planning out your content and posting engaging stories for Facebook or Instagram. There is also the time investment that you have to put into creating that content and engaging with other accounts.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If you are passionate and committed to becoming an influencer, then the work you put into it will be worth your time.
How many followers do you need to be an influencer?
Once you get to 1,000 followers, social media platforms recognize that and your account becomes more visible to a broader audience. The more you increase your following, the more your account will be visible to others. Accounts with over 10,000 followers have the potential to make even more money.
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Is influencer a good career?
An influencer is more of a side hustle. A career is defined as a position in which you have opportunities to progress and grow as a professional. Social media influencer is not necessarily a career position, but it is a favorable way to make money.
Can Instagram pay you?
Yes, there are opportunities where Instagram pays influencers. This is usually done through sponsored posts for brands and affiliate commissions.
How can I become an influencer overnight?
Truthfully, you can decide one day you want to become a social media influencer and launch your account by the next day. Technically, that makes you an influencer overnight. However, if you want to be a successful one who makes money, then that will take time and won’t happen overnight.
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Who Should Become a Social Media Influencer?
Social media influencers are passionate people. If you have the passion and patience to see this new venture through, you should become a social media influencer.
This side job won’t make you rich quick and it isn’t something you can slack off doing just here and there. Your audience members will notice your inconsistency and will likely stop following your account. If you are dedicated to posting real content that is engaging and high quality, you can really make this a success.
Getting started in the social media world isn’t difficult. Find your place among the different niches available and stand out among the noise. Grow yourself in more ways than you can imagine as an influencer.