How To Become An Influencer
How to become an influencer is a hot topic on social media. Influencers can be found on any given social media platform. They show up as reality and comedic personalities, people who are specialists in their fields, life coaches, local celebrities, and some even accidental viral sensations who go from a hand full of followers to millions around the world.
Having influence means that you have a persuasive and seemingly natural ability to motivate or encourage others to try something or buy something. You give a call to action and your audience responds, they engage, and they share.
“Chewbacca Mom” is probably one of my most favorite influencers in the last few years. What started as a silly video shared with her immediate friends and family quickly became one of the most shared and watched videos of all time. Since becoming a viral sensation, Candace Payne, has appeared on several talk shows, written books and courses, gathered many corporate sponsorship offers and deals, amongst many other great opportunities, and has become an inspiration to millions around the world all because of her sharing a moment of joy with a few people.
You can watch her video here:
How To Become An Influencer
1. Know Your Niche
As you can see with the case of Candace Payne aka “Chewbacca Mom”, you don’t need a big audience to have influence or become a viral sensation. If your sitting there looking at how many followers you have and feeling bad because you “only have 150 Instagram followers or 400 Facebook friends, stop right now! It starts with one and I’m sure you’ve already made impact in one persons life. Use that knowledge to impact another life. Rinse and repeat and tweak along the way.
Another thing to take note of is that not all influencers are viral sensations. The ability to influence someone to take action is being an influencer.
Have you ever told a friend they look great in a certain color and the next time you see them they are wearing more of that color? That’s influence and that’s also being a great friend.
What does this have to do with knowing your niche? Everything.
Oftentimes what we think we want to be known for is not what we become known for. I have spoken to several influencers who had no plans of being who they are today, but they love every minute of it. People who spent careers in pencil pusher roles are now finding riches in their niches of being mommy bloggers, how to vloggers, Instagram story or IGTV comedians, and more!
Think about your passion. If you could do anything in the world and get paid for it, what would you do?
That’s your niche.
Now it’s time to niche down.
2. Know Your Audience
Now think about the type of people that are interested in that. Who are they? What is their demographic? What do they like? What do they do for work and fun? What defines them? What motivates them? What are they seeking to make their lives more enjoyable?
Get a piece of paper and write down all of the qualities of the person you are called to influence. I’ll give you a little secret to this exercise… it’s a past version of you.
3. How To Find Your Audience
Think about where you would go to find someone you aspire to be like. Not someone to copy, but to be influenced by to become a better version of yourself. Where did the past version of you hangout?
Facebook groups, Instragram stories, Pinterest, LinkedIn? Maybe somewhere off social media and more socialite like a local coffee shop, library, concerts, bar, charity events, shopping malls?
Make a list and go find your people.
If you’re looking for people on social media, go follow them, network with them, chat with them, and just make friends without the intent to sell them on anything other than you being a good and fun person.
These are the type of people that will engage with your content.
Candace Payne only had a few friends and family members following her on Facebook when she went viral. She struck the emotion of joy and comedic relief during a very tumultuous time in our economy. That feeling influenced others to act on sharing the gift of laughter with their friends and family. It started with one like, one comment, one share, and one tag. It was all organic.
A moment of silliness and joy she wanted to give to people close to her was a gift that kept giving and still gives as she stands in her excellence of teaching others to share their joy.
4. Be Consistent
It can feel overwhelming to continue to produce your passion content and can be a total let down when you’re hearing crickets. Trust me when I say that people are watching. A lot of people that “go viral” are often “one hit wonders” because they lose touch. Not everything they touch turns to gold as it does for other viral influencers.
A secret that I teach my coaching clients is that instead of telling people who you are, what you do and why, just show them.
When I first went on the ketogenic diet, I got a lot of backlash on Facebook. Misinformed people were commenting on how hard it is, how unhealthy it is, etc, even though I was clear that it was under the supervision of my doctor and approved by 4 other medical specialists of mine.
I chose to ignore the naysayers and the HIGHLY uneducated and stuck to my new lifestyle. Thank God I did because the more weight that I lost, the more people started messaging me on how to be keto. I taught a few friends how to eat ketogenic and they had great success as well. After I lost the first 40 pounds, I was asked to start a group and teach it. So, I did.
I never thought I’d be a keto coach, but here I am coaching that on the side because it is one of my passions. I can make magical things happen in digital marketing and make magical things happen to my body with food so why not?
The more weight I lost, the better I got at marketing, the more clients I picked up, the more money I started making.
I now have a group of over 155 people who are learning about keto, most are eating a ketogenic diet, and some are lurking around to see what else I do. I know people are nosy and many in my group just want to watch me and that’s okay.
As of today, I am 72 pounds lighter and over halfway to my goal. I made a post the other day on my personal Facebook page announcing my current weightloss success and had over 160 likes and many positive comments. There are people in the group that have lost more than me in a shorter period of time and there are people who lost a lot slower than others. They are consistent and that’s the key to success.
It’s been 8 months since I switched to a keto lifestyle. I’ve been solid and consistent this entire time. This consistency has influenced many people and helped many people to better their lives regardless of how much weight they need to lose.
My group is free and I haven’t made a dime off of it. Should I monetize it? You’re probably reading this wondering why I’m not making money using my influence in keto.
Well, the answer is, the past version of me who was stuck in an abusive relationship didn’t have the means. Keto eating provided me ability to grow my marketing business and that’s where my profiting passion resides. I consistently provide the value and teach others what I do through social media.
5. Do What You Know, Teach What You Know
If you’re funny, be funny. If you’re a specialist in one area, be a specialist in that area. The people that struggle the hardest on social media to become influencers or wonder why their audience is watching and not buying is because of the falsehood representation of who they think they are or what they think they should teach based on what is popular or trending.
I see a lot of people who try to coach business owners, but have never ran or operated a business. I see people who try to coach business owners who have never had a job… ever.. for real… ever.
They read a book or watch a video and go make content about what they read as if they are the thought-leader behind someone else’s work. To me, that goes against my core values. It’s against my standards of ethics and integrity, and could be considered fraud in the eyes of the law. I’m not sure who teaches people to fake it until they make it, but I’m sure this is NOT what they meant.
Teach what you know and what you’re passionate about. They only think you need to fake is how comfortable you are in front of the camera. So what if you mess up? A lot of times, you’re going to be the only one that notices any flaws in your presentation.
Don’t be perfect.
People like real and rawness. Why do you think people like Cardi B and Post Malone have made it so big? Post Malone just broke a record that was held my Michael Jackson for years. It’s not just their music. It’s the influence they give in being who they are… real and raw. They make mistakes, they own up to them, and that makes them easier to relate to on a human level.
Are we for the first time in history able to see celebrities and influencers are people we could legit be friends with in real life? They respond to our comments as we engage with their social media posts, they like posts you tag them in, they share your review of their products with other people. That positive engagement with an audience only builds your audience and creates a loyal following that buys.
I have purchased all of Gary Vaynerchuk’s books and watched most of his videos. I follow his IG stories and comment on his posts. I tweet him and retweet his content. I always make sure that my comments are meaningful and related to his post. If I can’t relate to the post, I don’t engage with it. Some of his audience has followed me and engages with me on his posts. That’s networking. That’s also influence. My comment influenced them to engage with me. I’ve also won #60secclub this past summer by commenting on his post. They sent me a Be Kind t-shirt and it’s my favorite.
6. The Techy Side of How To Become An Influencer
There are a lot of theories behind the how when it comes to creating and producing content that influences others. Any Google search will tell you to post on this day at this time to reach your max audience potential, but that’s not how it works for influencers.
If you have influence, they are signed up for notifications of when you post. They have you set to “see first” on Facebook when they log in to scroll their newsfeed. They can’t wait to see what you do next.
Content strategy, curation, and frequency fall into learning how to manage your social media until you’re able to pay someone else to do it for you.
You can learn more about social media management in my free Facebook group Social Academy. I share how I was able to go from a freelancer to agency owner, how I build social media audiences that engage, content that I created for my clients that have gone viral, how I generate leads for my clients and show the ROI of social media with organic content and paid ads.
See below to learn more.
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