When people picture an “influencer”, they may have a specific image in mind of someone with millions of followers, promoting luxury brands and a lifestyle that most of us cannot relate to.
Where that may be true in some cases, it is only the tip of the iceberg. Influencers come in all different shapes and sizes, promoting not just expensive products, but financial independence, organisational routines and systems and positive body image. Brands are approaching influencers more than ever, as they can see the benefits to being endorsed by a real person.
As a result of following certain bloggers and influencers I am now debt free, building up a steady stream of extra incomes from side hustles and also have a system in place that keeps my house tidy!
When I first started my blog at the end of 2017 it was primarily to document my own money-saving journey. Determined to clear my debt, I began searching online for ideas and I soon stumbled across a whole community of influencers using a variety of social media platforms in order to get their message across. I gained a lot of practical advice and most of the ideas were easy to put into practise for free.
Once free advice has been implemented with success, it is easy to see how followers will gain trust in an influencer once they are promoting a paid product, such as a book, product or e-course. This is where their value to brands becomes clear. Gaining a trustworthy reputation together with advice that actually works is key to becoming a successful influencer.
Since starting my blog I have built up my own social network following of a few thousand and have partnerships with several brands and products. Even with just a few thousand followers, this was enough to start collaborations.
If you’re looking to do the same, here’s my advice for anyone who would like to build up their status as an influencer. You can also read more advice here from Kyndall Bennett of Kyrabe Stories.
Decide which social media platforms to focus upon
You should register social accounts across the board, but it will be hard work to build them all up simultaneously. Aim to post on them all regularly (some accounts can be linked, such as Facebook and Instagram, so content is posted simultaneously), but focus upon one or two that you would like to build your growth.
Research optimal posting schedules for these channels
I started out with Instagram, where the advice is to post at least daily, utilise the “Stories” feature, and ensure you interact with your followers and other accounts. My following built much quicker when I followed this advice.
During lockdown I had a break from social media, and needless to say my following has not grown much since then. I’m ok with that, and know that once I start making the effort again my following will continue to grow.
Plan your content
When you post on your personal social media accounts for fun, you could be forgiven for thinking it sounds ridiculous to have to plan your content as an influencer. However, it is surprising just how quick you can run out of ideas or forget to post regularly if you do this. Content will vary depending on the social media channel you are growing, but sharing advice linked to your niche is always a good start. Social media accounts are also a good way for your followers to see snippets of the person behind the blog, so feel free to share what you are up to.
Ensure collaborations are relevant to your audience and yourself
Once you build up a following you may be approached by brands that are not relevant to your content. For example, as a personal finance and lifestyle blogger with a young family, most of my followers are interested in saving money on fashion, beauty, baby and children’s items, as well as any personal finance products. Don’t be afraid to say no to a brand that does not fit in with you or your followers; you are building their trust in only promoting things they will find useful.
Always disclose collaborations
There are regulations in place to ensure this, however it is easy to see when some influencers either forget or simply just don’t stick to the rules! Disclosing collaborations further builds trust in your audience as you are demonstrating transparency and honesty in the products you choose to promote.