There are a lot of people on the internet that are keen to make a lot of money. Getting rich and being able to retire to a sunny island somewhere is the ultimate “dream”.
Better yet, people online might hope to earn “passive” income, meaning that they’ll be able to generate more income even while they’re sleeping or relaxing.
But is that all you really want to achieve from your online efforts? Is that really the only thing that can come from your hard work? The truth is that working online creates a huge number of opportunities and one of the very biggest is to become an influencer.
Understanding what is an influencer
Why is being an influencer such a big deal?
Well, to put it simply, an influencer is someone who is not only able to generate a lot of money from their website or online business, but who is also able to also generate a lot of buzz when they need to and sway the popular discourse. A “thought leader” who can persuade and encourage and motivate people to get behind a cause.
What’s more, is that an influencer is a new type of celebrity. Someone who is known around the world, and who can enjoy the MANY exciting perks that come from that.
Being an influencer also means that the income you are generating is completely stable and resilient. It means that you aren’t reliant on a single product or service: you are the product! You can get paid thousands of dollars by companies simply to make a sponsored post (this can mean just wearing their merchandise!). The going rate is $1,000 for every 1,000 YouTube subscribers for a single sponsored video. Now imagine if you have 1M subscribers!
(Note that if you want to know how much your brand is worth, you can check it out using the site NoxInfluencer.com.)
Or you can drive traffic to your own products. Imagine being in a position where anything you released would automatically have a potential audience of hundreds of thousands of buyers!
If that sounds at all appealing, then becoming an influencer might just be for you!
What Makes You An Influencer?
But we still haven’t answered that fundamental question: just what is an influencer?
An influencer is essentially someone with access to a large audience, who is able to influence that audience and change the way they feel about something/generate interest for a product or service.
Generally then, we think of an influencer as an Instagram star with hundreds of thousands of followers, or as someone on YouTube with a large following. It could also be someone running a blog and gaining a lot of views for each of their articles.
Answer this question: if you released an eBook right now, would people flock to buy it? If you posted an image of you wearing a particular item, would that drive people to ask about it and maybe buy it as well?
If the answer to those questions is “yes,” then you are an influencer.
Do You Have to Be a Celebrity?
So do you need to be a celebrity to be an influencer? Not at all!
Firstly, it’s definitely possible to build a large and engaged audience without having been a celebrity to begin with. But even once you make it, being a big influencer doesn’t necessarily need to mean gaining 1M subscribers (though that is definitely welcome and a great target to aim for!).
There is also such a thing as a “micro-influencer.” This is someone that has a significantly smaller audience, but that still has the power to influence and persuade, and that will still prove to be an appealing target for a potential marketing company.
If you have 2,000 followers on Instagram but those followers are highly engaged, then you still have the ability to generate buzz. What’s more, is that if you influence the right person, this can then influence other big influencers creating a spread.
Being a smaller influencer like this is actually ideal for some marketing agencies as they know that you will likely charge less, while still having a big positive impact on helping to increase their brand awareness and the desirability of their product. And of course creating a small amount of influence can help you drastically when it comes to increasing sales in your own business.
How to Become an Influencer – Knowing Your Strategy
So now you know what being an influencer entails, the next logical question is how you get there!
How do you become an influencer and start making a big splash online?
The simple answer is to create high quality content that has a consistent and honest “mission statement”, and then to promote that content online.
Often this will also mean creating a “personal brand.” That means that instead of using a logo or company name, you are going to make yourself the brand.
Creating Your Personal Brand
Personal branding is an immensely fascinating concept when it comes to marketing and one that will be naturally interesting to many people.
Essentially, personally branding means taking your name and your image and turning that into your brand.
This is a way for people to potentially achieve a minor form of celebrity online (hence the mass appeal!) while also presenting an opportunity for businesses to reach a much larger audience in a far more personal and impactful way.
At the same time, personal branding allows you to create more of a direct relationship with your audience – and to be more “human” and accessible. This in turn means you will be more likely to develop actual friends and fans, rather than just customers or clients. This is a FAR more powerful kind of relationship for any business.
Personal Brands Explained
The best way to explain a personal brand is to suggest a few examples you can learn from. Take Tim Ferriss for instance. Tim Ferriss is a prominent creator, an author, a podcaster and someone who has a massive online following.
Part of Tim’s success comes down to his branding. Notice how you know his name rather than a company. The same goes for someone like Tony Robbins, or perhaps Pat Flynn. These are people whose names come first. Elliot Hulse or the Hodge Twins are similar examples, as are many more YouTube personalities.
If you choose to create a personal brand, then the name of your social media account is your name. The things you post are clips from your life. And the business name takes a back seat.
There are cases of successful influencers using a pseudonym to create something between a business brand and a personal brand, much in the way solo artists in the music industry brand themselves. Mark Fischbach for example is a successful influencer on YouTube who branded himself under the name “Markiplier.” This is a way to make the brand about you and represent you while still separating your life and your work to a certain extent.
Why it Works
There are many reasons that personal branding works well and particularly when combined with social media.
For starters, a personal brand makes your website and business feel much more personal and it makes people feel as though they know you and can relate to you. That means they’ll feel as though they can trust you and in turn, that means they’ll be willing to buy from you.
The aim is to become a role model, and to become someone that others want to emulate. Most of us will base what we wear on what we see in magazines, and what we see celebrities and friends wearing. We are significantly less impressed by adverts telling us that we should wear a t-shirt.
This is the power of “social influence.” And it’s massive!
Having a more personal relationship with a brand also makes you more emotionally invested. It means that you’re going to want to see what they do next and you’re going to feel involved in their success. This makes you far more likely to engage with their posts and to be persuaded by what they have to say.
Another reason it works is because people love living vicariously. People love getting an insight into the lives of others and this way, your social media will become much more interesting and addictive to follow.
Finally, though, using yourself as your brand allows you to sell the “value proposition.” A value proposition drives most successful products. This is the “promise” for what your product can do for people. It is the lifestyle you’re promoting and the emotional hook.
By having a personal social media account, you can show yourself living the lifestyle you’re selling. And when you do that, people will be inspired to buy your products.
The 3 C’s of Influencers
Are you ready to step up your game as an influencer? Do you want to join the big boys in your respective niche and attract the highest-paying sponsors?
Then you need to focus on THREE golden rules: the three C’s… They are…
Being an influencer is all about creating amazing content. Whether you’re on Instagram, YouTube or Vine… it really doesn’t matter. People tune in because they want to be inspired, informed or entertained and that’s what your content does.
This is also important when it comes to networking, getting shout- outs from other influencers and finding sponsors. The better your content, the more other people are going to want to be associated with your brand. We’ll address how to do all of this later in the book.
So how do you make amazing content? Again, it’s all about understanding your value proposition. You need to know why your audience responds to what you’re doing and what they hope to gain from following you. Once you can do that, you can tap into that emotional hook and keep bringing them back.
Community engagement is absolutely critical for influencers working on Instagram and other networks. These are social networks and the operative word here is social.
That is to say that these platforms are designed for communication. If you are putting out content but not responding to comments or messages, then you’re not really using the channels as they were intended.
Start to actively respond to your audience and engage them and they will feel as though they actually know you. This gives them a greater sense of ownership over your brand and of belonging and ultimately, it’s what makes true “fans” as opposed to passive followers. Even friends!
This is also the best way to sell something as an influencer: using what we call the “soft sell.” Imagine that you are selling life coaching for $1,000 per session. Instead of shoving that down people’s throats, you instead post images of you living your best life and mention casually that you offer life coaching. People will contact you to ask about it, at which point you spend time talking to them, getting to know them, and understanding if you can help them. Only then do you outline the program you offer and the price, at which point they’re hooked. This is how, as an influencer, you can successfully sell truly “big ticket” items.
Finally, you need to connect. Success as an influencer is as much about who you know as anything else and if you can work alongside the other big influencers in your niche then it will give you a leg up that helps you get to the top that much faster.
Associate yourself with the brands people love and you will eventually become one yourself!
Of course you also need to put yourself out there if you’re going to find those sponsors. Don’t just wait for them to come to you!
How do you connect with your partners? One option is to check out our elite community of like-minded creators.
Over the course of this ebook, we’ll be addressing each of these concepts and more over a series of steps. Follow these steps to the letter, and you’ll become a powerful influencer!
Step #1 – Choosing Your Niche – The Most Important Decision You Will Make
One of the most important initial decisions when you start to create a website or new social media platform is which niche you are going to target. This decision will dictate the nature of the kind of content you’re going to include, it will impact on the web design and the look of your site, and it will impact on the demographic and types of visitors you will be targeting and dealing with.
There are many factors involved in this decision, and of course we will mostly make up our minds here based on what we think is likely to be profitable. Thus we will choose a niche that is
a) popular enough to provide a large marketing, but b) not so popular as to be overcrowded.
But using just these two factors to make up your mind is a very bad idea, and doing so can result in your choosing a niche that is just plain unsuitable for your site and your SEO. Here we will look at why some topics should remain off-limits for your website and how they could be a big mistake.
Example: Technology and Hardware
So let’s take the example of technology. As you’re looking to work online you probably have a fair interest in technology and so it makes sense to choose this as your niche right? Well not if you’re aiming to become a big technology site covering hardware.
Why? Because in order to compete with sites like the Verge and Engadget, you’re going to need to have access to all the latest gadgets and tech as it comes out so that you can review it and take attractive pictures of it. I’ve seen too many tech sites that review perhaps just one phone every now and then and then wonder why they don’t get many visitors.
Likewise, sites like the Verge and Engadget will also cover every piece of breaking news in that niche as soon as possible. They will be able to tell you the specs for a new device long before a one-man site possibly could and that again leaves your tech site with no real purpose.
There are more advantages these sites have too: such as receiving press releases and getting invited to tradeshows. There’s just no way that you could start off with that kind of privileged access and so your site would always be a second- best. And it’s not just technology either: if you create a football site then people will expect you to cover what all the teams are doing and to get interviews, and if you create a comic book website then you’ll need to buy every comic each month. And read them all…
The Solution To A Saturated Market
So does that mean you can never write about technology or any other niche that is fast moving? Of course not – it just means that you need to recognise your own limitations and specialise. Sidestep the problems mentioned above by writing not about “technology,” but about “indie games,” or “’Kickstarter gadgets.” Or alternatively pick a topic that doesn’t need to always be updated with the latest news like fitness. This allows you to create “ever-green content.”
Better than fitness of course is “fitness for over 50s.” Or “hardcore bodybuilding.” Or “fitness lifestyle for Mums.”
By honing in on a specific area within a niche, you will be able to speak to a far more specific type of person. You will have a smaller audience, but that audience will be far more engaged because you will be targeting them directly with something that really speaks to them. Your marketing will become far easier, because you will be able to use the “go-to market” strategy (identify where they spend time) and because you’ll know how to create something that your “buyer persona” will respond to.
So don’t just pick a big niche, pick a niche that is more specific to you. And pick one that will allow you to speak to a particular audience.
Choosing a Niche You Love and Know
One word of caution is that you should ALWAYS choose a niche that you know, love, and fully understand. One of the biggest mistakes that companies and “wannabe” influencers will often make, is to choose niches that they don’t really understand or have any stake in.
It is extremely common for someone with no understanding or interest in fitness to hire someone to write about fitness for them – who is also a generic writer with no fitness knowledge – and then to hope their content soars.
Firstly, you cannot become an influencer if you don’t practice what you preach and demonstrate the lifestyle that you’re promoting. No one wants to follow a fat and out of shape fitness influencer, or a makeup and beauty influencer who doesn’t wear any makeup!
Not only this, but the quality of content will always be FAR higher where the writer or creator actually understands and loves the subject.
THIS is the real key to becoming an influencer. To be an influencer, you need to be a thought leader. That means you need a message, and one that is interesting, challenging, and engaging.
The best writer in the world who doesn’t fully understand the fitness niche, will write articles such as “how to get abs” and “how to build big biceps.” These are entirely un-exciting subject matters that have been tackled countless times before across hundreds of websites. Suffice to say that this is not enough to build a big and engaged audience.
What’s worse, is that the writer might well rely on resources that are now out of date – not being fully aware of the most recent trends and developments in the fitness space.
Conversely, writing yourself as someone who knows and loves the subject will result in content that breaks new ground, that is challenging, and that offers value for other people who know and love the topic. THIS is how you build a following.
Finally, you need a niche you love simply because you need to write/talk/post about that thing every single day for years to come. If the topic is bland to you, you won’t manage this.
Creating a Mission Statement and a Logo
Finally, you also need to create a mission statement and logo for your brand. You’ve chosen your niche, and you’ve honed in on one angle to make it unique and specific to you. Now all that is left is to create a brand from that concept.
You are the brand remember, so there’s no need to come up with a company name (probably). But what you might also consider doing, is creating a mission statement.
A mission statement is a statement of intent. This is what will define the purpose and message behind your content. What are you trying to say? To who? And why?
In other words, is your content about “getting filthy rich online and living the baller lifestyle – wearing suits, getting women, and kitting out your apartment” or is it about “making money online doing something you love, so that you can spend more time with your family and kids.”
There is a HUGE difference here in the way that you will therefore market yourself, that you will promote yourself, and who you will target. What’s more, is that this will change your “value proposition.” That’s the kind of lifestyle you are promoting and offering, the kinds of benefits that someone should be able to gain by acting more like you and by following you.
Your logo should then speak to this. That is to say that your logo or at least the design choices you make around your website and your social accounts should all reflect this. If you handle your branding correctly, then someone should be able to look at your site or your social media account and instantly know if the content you are putting out is right for them!
Step #2 – Identify Your Content Style and Choose Your Platform
Now you know what you will be posting about, it’s time to decide how you’re going to do it. In other words, what is the best platform for you, and what type of content will you be creating?
Of course there is a massive difference between running a blog and writing blog posts, versus owning a YouTube channel and making videos. Instagram is very different again.
Which is the right platform for you?
The first thing to recognize is that you don’t have to stick to just one platform. I highly recommend that all influencers create a YouTube channel for instance. But it is also a very good idea that you have a Facebook account, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. The more platforms you’re on, the more ways your fans will have to engage with you. Not only that, but by being on multiple types of social media, you will constantly be popping up in their feeds. This means that you’ll enjoy greater brand awareness – you’ll be on your audience’s minds more, and they’ll therefore feel more connected to you and what you have to say.
BUT with that said, it also makes sense for most creators to choose a “primary” platform where they will put in the most effort in order to create the biggest following and impact.
Picking Your Platform
The answer might well be dictated by the type of brand you are creating, and the type of content you want to create. It also depends on what you’re confident doing.
Visual marketing works extremely well for influencers. A picture can “tell a thousand words” as they say, and that means that uploading a single image to Instagram can do much more to communicate your message or to create an emotional reaction in your audience, as compared with simply writing a fact.
This works particularly well for visual topics. That means things like fitness, like beauty, like art, like interior design. It also works well for promoting a lifestyle, so if you have a make-money topic, it will work well for showing off suits and more.
But you also need to be confident to put yourself out there on the platform and you need to “have the look” or at least be able to fake it.
One big plus of Instagram though is that it is very quick to create content, meaning that you can simply carry a camera with you to keep uploading new images. If you already lead the lifestyle you are looking to promote, then this becomes even easier!
YouTube has many of the same benefits and weaknesses as Instagram. Being a visual medium, it is very easy to make a BIG impact quickly. At the same time though, it is also a very personal platform, meaning you need to be confident in crafting your look and now also speaking on camera (more on this in an upcoming chapter).
The other thing to think about, is how you are going to create these videos. These are much more time-consuming seeing as you’ll need to edit, you’ll need to record separate audio and video… There are ways to make the model more scalable. For instance, by recording more videos on your phone and having a more “personal” approach, you can create more content more quickly. But this doesn’t necessarily always fit.
If you can manage all that, then YouTube is a fantastic platform for really getting to know your audience, seeing as you’ll be speaking to them directly, with music and editing there to really hammer home the emotional points. You can create lots of unique content and target specific keywords and subject matters that others are not, and this can allow you to build an audience quickly.
Creating a blog is another excellent option for influencers. This option is ideal for those that don’t want to go on camera themselves as much, or for topics that are more “cognitive.” If you want to write longer explainers and essays, and if your subject matter is less visual; then having a written format may make a lot more sense.
To create a blog, you can use a tool like WordPress and then buy your own hosting. This is surprisingly quick and easy to do, and if you make something that looks professional and provides lots of value, then you might be surprised at how quickly you can build an engaged and loyal audience.
Websites also lend themselves extremely well to a host of monetization methods and more. You can create an eCommerce store for instance, or you can link your site to your other social media accounts to show an Instagram feed or a Twitter feed right in your side bar. It’s also easy to share posts you create to your social media accounts.
BUT creating this type of content again takes lots of time, it requires a little technical skill and writing ability, and it is far less “immediately” impactful. What’s more is that getting noticed through a blog alone takes a lot longer and is much harder, owing to the lack of “platform.”
There are plenty more options for influencers, from Snapchat, to Twitter, to Instagram. However, all these options are a little less suited to being the “main” platform for one reason or another. In most cases, the type of content created is either very short, very temporary, or even live. This means that you will provide less value for advertisers and sponsors, and it will mean it’s harder to build up momentum.
While Twitter is an essential tool for getting to know your audience and giving them some insight into you every day for instance, it is much harder to BECOME an influencer on Twitter – so it is recommended that you choose YouTube, a blog, or Instagram as your main platform. The same is true for creating a Facebook page.
Step #3 – Create Content!
The next step is the most important one: actually creating content!
Why do people visit your site or your social accounts? Because they want information or entertainment. And how do you provide that? Through content!
Content is what will help people discover your site, and what will ensure they come back time and again. And the best way to create great content is to make sure that it provides value of some sort. A good question to ask yourself is always: would YOU read this?
Here are some tricks that will help you to create great content, regardless of the platform you’re on.
How to Create “Addictive” Written Content for a Blog
Want to write your articles in a way that will make them compelling, emotive and almost addictive to read? Want to sell more products and get more clicks by really investing your readers in your words?
Writing for the web is by nature a very different beast from writing in other capacities. While the basic grammar rules of English may remain the same, your goal is going to be different and the context of your writing will impact on the way you write. Writing online means trying to grab and hold onto someone’s attention as quickly and effectively as possible and it means trying to write in a way that’s engaging and persuasive enough that it creates loyal readers who are likely to click on your links and potentially buy eBook, or products promoted by your sponsors.
Read a popular blog then or well-written website copy, and you will notice that it is written in a particular way that gets the reader involved and creates a narrative. It doesn’t just tell you the information it’s trying to impart, it engages and involves you with rhetorical questions and creates the image of a lifestyle that you can invest in.
Partly this is something you will learn over time and with experience, but at the same time it requires an understanding of human psychology. If you want to really engage your readers and get them to hang off your every word, applying a little psychology can make all the difference. Here’s how you do it…
Be Personal and Direct
The first thing you have to do if you really want to attract attention and get your readers to listen, is to write directly to them. This means first of all that you should be using lots of direct language to address the visitor – use the word “you” a lot, and use rhetorical questions so that they feel as though they’re being spoken to rather than just reading something passively. This is first-person style writing.
Remember, people like influencers because they feel as though they know them. Simply changing your style of writing can subtly create this feeling, thereby helping you to become much more persuasive and engaging.
And in order to write directly to your readers, you need to think about how those readers are. Think, what kind of person will read your website, and what are their interests and their goals? By understanding this you can then make sure that you write in a way that really excites the people you want to engage and that offers them something of real value.
Tell a Story
One important maxim to remember when writing content for a blog, is that “storytelling is SEO for the human brain.” In other words, the human brain has been optimized to respond well to stories and narrative. A narrative structure means talking about a subject from your point of view, or from the point of view of someone you know.
When you do this, you not only help your audience to know you better – once again crucial for an influencer – but you also make your content much more engaging. There are now emotional stakes, and not only that, but you will create a narrative ark with a “beginning, middle, and end” that people really want to hear through.
Start your post with “I was heading to the gym as normal, when I saw someone doing something completely unusual” and you’ll find your retention rates skyrocket.
Sell a Result
Ultimately with any writing, you are going to be ‘selling’ something. Whether you are physically trying to get someone to buy a product, or whether you’re just trying to sell an idea, you write to put your ideas in someone else’s mind.
Now if your blog is going to work well and really create some addictive reading, then you need to make sure that all your articles are selling roughly the same thing. You might provide different information in each article, but all of them will be selling the idea of a stronger body, of a wealthier bank account, or of a more active sex life (this “result” should line up with what you know about the person you’re selling to). This is why people came to your website in the first place, so that’s what you need to make sure you don’t lose sight of.
This is the value proposition we have already touched on numerous times in this book.
To make all your articles gripping for your chosen audience, you should keep teasing that result and keep getting them to imagine where your advice might lead them. Describe what their life might be like once they’ve gotten rich from your advice, or ask them what they’d do with that stronger body. Write about the lifestyle you have so that they can imagine being in those shoes. Then provide just enough powerful advice that they feel like they can really get there.
Finally, if you really want to get your readers on board you should make sure that you really believe in your message and that you’re really enthusiastic about it. This is the only way you’ll get your readers to buy it – your enthusiasm should leap off the page. Find your passion, get to the top, then sell the lifestyle/status you’ve built for yourself through articles.
Use of the correct provocative language can also make a big difference. This language needs to say “hey, this thing I’m sharing is different and will make a SIGNIFICANT impact in your life.”
So if you’re sharing a tip for boosting your business online, then you might splash text over it reading:
Just a moment ago I said that using narrative structure would help your content to skyrocket. I bet that word stood out to you!
How to Create Professional and Engaging YouTube Videos
You can become big on YouTube without ever stepping in front of the camera. Create a channel that uses slideshows and voiceovers for instance, and you can divorce yourself entirely from the content. But of course that is NOT what we want to do as influencers. Being in front of the camera and being seen speaking about the topics we cover is HUGE when it comes to building authority, trust, and engagement.
If you’ve not done that before, then it might be a little daunting. Here are some tips that can help.
Looking and Sounding the Part
If you’re going to be creating a YouTube channel viewed by thousands of people and you want to feel confident when you do, then you need to make sure that you are making the best impression and coming across as desirable, attractive and confident. Again, this is rather crucial if you want to become a role model! Follow these tips to ensure that is the case…
It’s important to think about the way you look, which is something that can be a source of much stress the first time you record a video. Of course, you want to make sure that you look good and that you look professional – so basic things like styling your hair and making sure that your skin looks good are important. Maintaining your skin is particularly important as lots of high def cameras these days have a nasty tendency to pick up every blemish and wrinkle.
Women can work with makeup to subtly enhance their appearance, and actually going on a makeup course can make a HUGE difference to your ability to build a following. Both sexes can benefit from doing some shopping to invest in clothes that will look the part.
Remember, you want people to want to be you. Why do you think that celebrities have stylists?
What you don’t want to do though is to make it too obvious that you’ve done all that work. If you turn up on film wearing a full suit with your hair slicked back then you’re going to look unnatural and you’ll make it more difficult to record in future. To an extent, your look needs to match the style of content you’re creating.
Oh and remember that professional lighting (invest in a soft box if possible) can make you look a LOT more professional on film.
More important than the way you look though is the way you deliver what you have to say – and here the objective is of course to be at once entertaining, informative and professional while at the same time having that fun ‘personal’ touch that will make you identifiable and help to bring in the fans.
To do this you want to walk a fine line between rehearsed and natural talk. One way to do this is by having a list of points you want to cover on a noticeboard or displayed in front of you in some other way, and then to follow those loosely while allowing for tangents. Another tip is to stand up while you talk which gives you more energy and which makes you more animated and interesting to watch. Gesticulation is good, so do allow it, but make sure not to be too conscious of it or to force it as that way it can come across as unnatural.
In general, you will find that the camera subtracts energy. So if you feel you are “over the top” then you are probably just right for YouTube. Try “acting” what you are saying, but without going overboard.
Finally, it helps to keep filming no matter what. Start again when you make a mistake (making sure to leave a pause to help with editing), but generally keep going so that you fall into a natural rhythm and so that you don’t have to keep stopping and starting. Then edit tightly to remove as many pauses as possible, and to keep a rapid and engaging flow.
Don’t worry if you don’t get this right away, it takes time and practice!
YouTube Content Strategy
The content strategy for YouTube will likely be similar to a blog. Answer questions, expose interesting points, and engage in active discussion around the topic that you love. Be consistent with your subject matter, and try to let your personality come across in a way that is consistent with your brand message.
One very important thing with YouTube is to optimize your content creation. If you create 10 minute videos that are highly edited with large amounts of stock footage and music, then you might struggle to put out more than one video every few weeks. Instead then, find a way to generate content more quickly – by providing a quick tip for example that lasts a couple of minutes, or by uploading the occasion unedited “natural talk” to your smartphone.
Important YouTube Ranking Factors To Help Your Videos Get Found
YouTube uses multiple factors in its algorithm to determine where videos appear in YouTube’s search results. The two main factors are:
- Video title, description, and tags. You want to make sure you add keywords that are searched by your audience in your video title, description, and tags so that viewers can find your videos. A great tool to explore keywords is TubeBuddy (https://www.tubebuddy.com).
- Audience retention. The longer you can keep viewers watching, the more weight YouTube will put on your video. YouTube’s intention is to keep viewers on YouTube for as long as possible. Therefore, it’s a good idea to be mindful of making your video content engaging.
TubeBuddy is a fantastic tool to search for keywords to add to your videos
How to Make Amazing Content for Instagram
Finally, if you want to make amazing content for Instagram, there are a few things to consider. The first is going to be the way in which you offer value. Here, you have two primary options: either you create images that are beautiful, motivating, or inspiring, or you create content that offers information and value that way (you can do both).
To create inspiring and motivating images, you need to think about the mission statement yet again and then think about ways you can polish your content and make it look attractive.
To create content that is instruction or that provides value through information, you should focus on providing tips and advice particularly within your description. This way, you give people a reason to want to follow and stick with you.
The ideal combination is to do both. A beauty influencer might upload a photo of herself looking glamorous and perfectly polished while shopping in a great, pristine, outfit. This is inspiring and encouraging for the viewers who might find themselves wishing they could look and feel like that. As such, they might follow with the hopes of being more encouraged and finding more tips for fashion. Underneath, a long post might tell a personal story that is laced with useful tips and that ends on a soft sell.
Taking Great Photos
The other tip is to take great photos. For this, a good camera (or camera phone) will help a lot – but it is not essential.
More important is understanding composition and framing. The best photos should tell a story, which means you don’t necessarily take a direct photo of the subject, but rather show something that speaks to another point or that is evocative.
Think about how you can show things like scale and mood. Lighting can affect mood, while changing the angle of the shot can create scale (and thus importance). Give your photos depth by considering the foreground, middleground, and background. And definitely consider the lighting and how that will be flattering or otherwise/how it will cast shadows in a dramatic manner.
There are MANY more tips when it comes to strategy and content creation for these platforms but that goes beyond the scope of this book. As an influencer, it is your job to learn about things like SEO, keyword research, persuasive writing, site optimization, ideal frequency of posts, best times to post, tools you can use, and more. But this is something you will learn as you go, and if you do, each post you upload will perform better than the last!
Step #4 – Engage Your Audience
The next crucial step in your influencer business plan is to engage your audience. That means building a lasting relationship with that audience, so that they will feel as though they are not just reading your blog and watching your social media, but as though they are actually invested and involved in what you are doing.
The book “1,000 True Fans” explains just how important this can be.
So how do you build a community around your brand?
The first and most obvious way to galvanise a community is to interact with those people following you. To begin with, that means responding to the comments people leave on your posts and profiles, and it means answering direct messages and emails. One of the worst things you can do for your reputation is to ignore these, which makes it seem as though you don’t care about your audience or aren’t interested.
By interacting, you create a dialogue and you make people feel as though they actually know you. A single response can mean a great deal to the right user – so take the time!
If you find that you aren’t getting much action on your posts to begin with, then this could be partly because your audience has grown large enough yet. In this case, you want to try and encourage as much interaction as possible. One big way to do this is simply to invite people to comment in your videos and posts. Instagram has lots of stickers that allow you to invite interactions, while you can simply talk to the camera on YouTube.
One of the BEST ways to encourage your audience to interact with you as an influencer, is to invite them to help out or to get involved with some aspect of the creation of your brand. Let them vote on the content they want to see next, or let them make suggestions for names and the like.
By doing this, they now feel as though they have some ownership of the brand. While this might sound like a bad thing, it’s actually fantastic as far as emotional investment and engagement goes.
Keep in mind that some forms of communication and some mediums lend themselves far better than others to the process of building authentic relationships with an audience. What works particularly well is live video, as well as stories.
Stories allow you to share moments from your day and your lifestyle, to give your followers a glimpse behind the curtain. You can also use these to run polls, invite questions, and more.
Meanwhile, live video lets you speak directly to your audience and respond to comments. It’s a great way for them to enjoy a little voyeurism and to show that you really are a real person. Use this to show yourself at exciting events, or just to chat with the camera over breakfast.
Engaging With The Community
Another option when it comes to building that initial community is to start by creating contacts in the niche elsewhere. Being active on a big forum or similar in your niche can make a gigantic difference when it comes to creating loyalty and recognition for your personal brand.
Step #5 – Network and Collaborate
In almost any niche, there is a network or community of influencers. These are the big names that everyone already knows in that subject, and the ones that currently have the ability to sway opinion and guide thought.
If you want to grow as an influencer, you need to get inside that circle. Here are some powerful tips that will show you how.
How and Why to Network as an Influencer
Let’s be honest: most of us are not very sociable. In fact, many of us will have been attracted to the idea of working online because we thought it would mean we didn’t need colleagues or business partners. Instead, we could just throw on a set of headphones and type away from a café.
But here’s the thing: success in any kind of business is often partly down to who you know. If you reach out to the right people and make meaningful, useful connections, then this can change your fortunes for the better in a way that is truly huge.
In this post, we’ll see why networking is a must for building your audience and how you can do it.
A Case Study
Consider the case of Jack Septiceye. No, that’s not his real name… The point is that this guy was a YouTube “Let’s Player” who had been posting videos for years. Very, very slowly, he grew an audience of around 2,000 meaning that after years of regularly posting content, he had about 100-300 views on each video. In Google Ad earnings that is around .05 cents per month.
But then something amazing happened – he got a shoutout from Pewdiepie (because he contacted him) who is the biggest YouTuber in history. Overnight, Jack became a sensation and was able to quit his job and go full time.
Of course, the world of YouTube let’s players is very different to the niche you’re in most likely. But the same exact principles hold true. If you can find a big audience on a related blog, website or social media channel and they give a shout-out to you, this can literally transform your fortunes overnight.
Imagine if you got a link from someone like Tim Ferriss. The SEO benefits alone would be life changing, let alone the incredible endorsement and all that direct traffic. So how do you get there?
Getting a Response
Getting the big players to answer is nigh impossible. The solution then is to start with smaller players, ideally ones that are around the same size as your brand right now. With cross promotional activities you can then nearly double your followers and then you can approach someone a tier up.
So for example, if you have 1,000 followers on Instagram, you might suggest partnering and doing a shout-out with another creator with 1,000 followers. If you both gain 300 followers and you repeat this a few times with different creators, it won’t be long before you’re at 5,000 followers. NOW you can go after someone bigger. And on and on it goes!
Think as well about the other things you can offer people in exchange for shout-outs. Guest posting for instance is a great strategy for getting links and exposure as a blogger.
Another tip: network in person. Go to networking events and make a bigger impression. If you can meet someone and actually have a real conversation, then WILL remember you. From there, it will be much easier to get a response from them in future. If you can’t meet them at a networking event, then how about hiring them? If they offer a service and you pay for that service, now they need to get in touch with you!
And pester. If you don’t get a response right away, send one or two more after waiting a reasonable amount of time. Be polite, but don’t let them forget all about you.
Better yet, comment on their posts a few times, and THEN follow up with another message. Influencers are extremely busy the larger they get, and just because they didn’t answer you the first time, that doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in what you have to say!
As you can see then, there are many different ways to become an influencer and lots of factors to consider. The most important takeaway though is that in order to be a thought leader, you need to lead.
Don’t try to appeal to everyone, don’t make bland and generic content.
Be yourself, write about what you love, and produce it in a stylish way that leaps out.
If you do that and if you focus on the things that your audience really want – that motivate them to get out of bed in the morning – then you can position yourself as an influencer and start creating real change on the web. From there, the sky’s the limit.