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How To Become An Influencer

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What is an influencer?

Influencers are individuals of social clout who sway consumer behavior; they typically have audiences built on one or more social media platforms. Influencers can be categorized into five categories, based on audience size: nano (0-10K), micro (10K-100K), mid (100-500K), macro (500K-1M), mega macro (1M+).

How to Become a Nano Influencer

1. Define Your Niche

The first step in becoming a nano influencer is defining your niche. A niche is a narrow and highly specialized market segment for a particular product or service. By comparison, a market is the total of all buyers and sellers, and a segment is a defined category within the market.

A nano influencer may choose to specialize within a niche subset, focusing primarily on a narrow product category to differentiate themselves from others, and build a base audience on which they can expand. Such specializations also make it easier for influencers and brands to identify one another.

Let me explain.

  • Market: The wellness market. The global wellness market is valued at more than $1.5 trillion, with annual growth of 5 - 10 percent.
  • Category: Vegan food and beverages. This category within the wellness market is valued at USD 15.4 billion.
  • Niche: Keto plant-based diet.
  • Specialization: Protein-rich beverages for a keto plant-based diet.
  • Appropriate brands: Super Coffee, Preferred Elements
2. Gain and Communicate Expertise

The value proposition nano influencers offer brands is the high degree of trust and sway the influencer has with their audience. As such, the first step to establishing your position as an influencer is to provide your audience with the content, expertise, and consistency that inspires them to trust you.

One aspect of legitimacy in a niche requires you to participate in the community by connecting and engaging with others in your community (e.g., keto influencers). Another dimension of legitimacy comes from having genuine niche insight. You need both to be a successful nano influencer.

For example, if you are a keto plant-based diet influencer, knowledge of the niche includes embodying and answering relevant questions (e.g., can you do a plant-based keto diet?). Knowledge of a niche is also shown through demonstrating executional expertise (e.g., plant-based keto meal plans).

3. Express Opinions

To gain clout, you need to express opinions. Such opinions include having a stance on common questions (e.g., which is better, a keto or plant-based diet?), and assisting your audience in achieving their goals (e.g., how to transition from keto to plant-based diet?).

Expressing opinions also means offering authentic product opinions and affinities before seeking compensation. When you, as a nano influencer, take a stance within the niche you are known for, you’re demonstrating the merit of your thoughts and endorsements. You encourage others to turn to you for trustworthy recommendations.

4. Create Content Consistently

Creating content consistently creates value for your audience, the social media platform, and potential brands with whom you may work.

Consistent content creation benefits your audience by setting expectations (e.g., you post once a day), creating many touchpoints that keep you top of mind (i.e., more opportunity for your audience to benefit from your expertise).

Consistent content creation benefits the social media networks by providing predictable (i.e., frequency and focus) content that algorithms can distribute to appropriate platform users.

Brands with whom you may work also benefit from your consistent content creation. It allows potential brand partners to assess your ad ratio, engagement, and topical focus. When brands are equipped with such information, they can better justify you as an influencer partner, regardless of your smaller audience size.

5. Be Open To Work

Being open to work involves having a clear concept of which brands you will and won’t work with, as an influencer.

It is advisable to have a shortlist of brands you want to work with (e.g., top 20 plant-based keto brands you like), and begin cultivating relationships with them. Monitoring the style and content these brands have allows you to better position yourself as an attractive partner.

Initially, as you transition from a person of negligible influence to a nano influencer, you will likely need to accept payment in the form of products, or create some posts pro bono, to gain notice.

How to Become a Nano Influencer

1. Define your Niche

A niche is narrow; it’s a highly specialized segment of the market.

2. Gain and Communicate Expertise

Provide your audience with the content, expertise, and consistency that inspires them to trust you.

3. Express Opinions

Have a stance on common questions, and help your audience achieve their goals.

4. Create Content Consistently

Creating content consistently creates value for your audience, the social media platform, and potential brands with whom you may work.

5. Be Open to Work

Being open to work involves having a clear concept of what brands you will and won’t work with as an influencer.

“It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.”

MaryAnn Rollano,

Tea Influencer,
@betterwithtea.

“It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.”

Marco,

Tea Influencer,
@steapd_tea

“It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.”

Cody,

Tea Influencer,
@theoolongdrunk.

How to Become a Micro Influencer

To become a micro influencer (10-100K audience), you must grow your audience size from a nano influencer (0-10K audience).

6. Show Proof of Impact

Brands will partner with influencers to achieve their marketing goals (e.g., brand awareness, sales). To be a successful influencer at any tier (i.e., nano, micro, mid, macro, mega-macro), you must demonstrate your contribution to the brand’s goals.

There are six metrics you should monitor as micro influencers. Use these metrics to justify your value to brands.

  1. Reach: the total number of people who see your content. Based on variables (e.g., social media SEO, hashtag use), your content may reach people beyond your following.
  2. Audience size: reflects the size of your following. Your content has the greatest reach among those who follow you.
  3. Engagement: engagement rate tracks your audience’s interactions with your content (e.g., likes, comments, shares, saves). Engagement is an indicator of audience interest and content performance. A strong engagement rate signals to brands that your content can place their brand or products in the consideration set of your audience.
  4. Click-through rate (CTR): CTR reflects the percentage of your audience that clicks on a link (clicks ÷ impressions = CTR). A strong CTR demonstrates that your endorsement will prompt action. Brands value CTR because it can produce website traffic for their company or products.
  5. Conversion Rate: conversion rate is the percentage of people that take the desired action (desired action ÷ total visitors = CR). For example, you publish a post encouraging your audience to subscribe to a brand’s email newsletter and track results using a UTM code. Your conversion rate would be the total number of new subscribers ÷ total number of people you drive to the landing page).
  6. Sales: sales are your contribution to the brand’s revenue. Sales are easily tracked using a custom discount code (e.g., your name).
7. Transition to Paid Partnerships

Early in your efforts to become an influencer, you may need to take on pro bono (i.e., uncompensated) work, promotions, or gifted promotions (i.e., compensated with products). When at this stage, treat it with the gravity of a paid partnership and track your impact on the brand (e.g., reach, CTR, sales).

Complete a few short case studies based on your pro bono or gifted promotions, and use this evidence to transition to paid partnerships.

Whenever possible, benchmark your performance against your fellow influencer peers; this allows you to approximate your performance. Use this performance insight to adjust your pricing; increase or decrease your rates to reflect fair market value.

8. Approach Brands as a Micro Influencer

How to pitch brands as a micro influencer is a function of five things: perfecting your positioning, acquiring audience insight, creating a media kit, demonstrating proof of impact, defining your costing, and developing contracts.

    1. Perfect your positioning: becoming a micro influencer requires finely honed positioning. This positioning should be immediately evident within your bio, as well as your media (e.g., images, videos), captions, and hashtag use.

"When you want to compare yourself to a competitor"

"For target customer/audience that need audience need your product addresses, name of your product/service is a define product category that how does your product solve your customers need in a sentence? Unlike competitor, our product how is your product different from the competition?"

"When you want to focus on your customers"

"For target customer/audience , name of your product/service is the define product category that will problem your product solves for your customer so they can benefit your product brings to your customer."

  1. Communicate audience insight: at this point, you should have a finely honed understanding of your audience’s demographics (e.g., age, gender) and psychographics (e.g., interests, attitudes, lifestyle). You should communicate how your efforts (e.g., paid partnership) will leverage your audience to benefit the brand.
  2. Creating a media kit: create a media kit summarizing your value and specialty (e.g., niche positioning, audience demographics, key metrics engagement and conversion rate). This allows brands to assess you as a partner.
  3. Define costing: have a clear costing estimate for photoshoots (e.g., time to prepare, props used in the photo, post-production work). Articulating what goes into your pricing allows brands to view the paid partnership with credibility and understanding. Provide explanations if you are asked.
  4. Develop contracts: seek legal counsel and create templates of contracts outlining the compensation (e.g., gifted product, money) and expected delivery. Such documents may be customized to each brand deal you secure.
9. Reward Engagement

When audience size grows, engagement usually drops. You want to maintain a strong engagement rate to make you a more attractive partner to brands.

The objective is to condition your audience to engage with your content. As such, rewarding engagement is important as you become a micro influencer. Consider offering positive authentic responses, reposting shared content to your story, and having open communication (direct messages) with some of your audience members.

How to Become a Micro Influencer

1. Define Your Niche

A niche is narrow; it’s a highly specialized segment of the market.

2. Gain and Communicate Expertise

Provide your audience with the content, expertise, and consistency that inspires them to trust you.

3. Express Opinions

Have a stance on common questions, and help your audience achieve their goals.

4. Create Content Consistently

Creating content consistently creates value for your audience, the social media platform, and potential brands with whom you may work.

5. Be Open to Work

Being open to work involves having a clear concept of what brands you will work with, and which brand you do not work with.

6. Show Proof

Complete some small-scale partnerships and use metrics to assess your performance.

7. Transition to Paid Partnerships

Create a few short case studies based on your pro bono or gifted promotions, and use this evidence to transition to paid partnerships.

8. Approach Brands as a Micro Influencer

To pitch brands, perfect your positioning, audience insights, media kit, proof of impact, pricing, and contracts.

9. Reward Engagement

Maintaining a strong engagement rate makes you more attractive to brands. Reward engagement as you grow.

“It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.”

Lu Ann Pannunzio,

Tea Influencer,
@teaaholic

“It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.”

Nicole Wilson,

Tea Influencer,
@teaformeplease.

How to Become a Micro Influencer on Instagram

What is Micro Influencer Marketing?

Micro influencer marketing leverages the trust and loyalty of the small influencers’ audience to promote and sell products. Micro-influencers (10-100K audience size) and nano-influencers (0-10K audience size) are used in micro influencer marketing; both have relatively low reach and high trust and engagement.

Micro Influencer Benefits

Micro influencers create economic value for brands and for themselves.

Partnering with micro influencers can create economic value for brands in the form of savings. Micro influencers are usually more affordable than macro or mega influencers; about 84% of micro influencers charge less than $250 for a branded post on Instagram. The cost of a branded post from mega macro influencers cost over $2,000.

Micro Influencer Benefits

Affordability

Engagement

Specificity

Micro influencers are generally more affordable than macro or mega influencers.

The content of micro influencers usually has a higher engagement rate than macro or mega influencers.

The content of micro influencers is typically niche specific. This specificity usually increases relevance.

Becoming a micro influencer creates economic value for the individual of influence through a combination of saving (i.e., gifted or discounted product) and revenue (i.e., advertising revenue). As micro influencers usually focus on a specific niche, the gifted or discounted products are directly relevant to their lifestyle.

How to Make Money as a Micro-Influencer

Making money as a micro influencer depends on your monetization strategy. The two most obvious ways to create economic value for yourself as a micro influencer is through savings (e.g., product gifts, discounts) and ad revenue. Additional ways to make money as a micro influencer include becoming a brand ambassador, affiliate marketing, consulting, or launching a product line related to your niche.

“It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.”

Nazanin,

Tea Influencer,
@teathoughts.

“It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.”

MaryAnn Rollano,

Tea Influencer,
@betterwithtea.

Do you want to sell more coffee and tea?

Hi, I'm Mackenzie Bailey. I help tea and coffee businesses grow. My only question is will it be yours?

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About Mackenzie Bailey

She is the founder of Steeped Content. She's the go-to marketing expert in the tea and coffee sector. Industry veterans call Mackenzie "a fresh source of new ideas," and clients say she goes "above and beyond." 

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Do you want to sell more coffee and tea?

Hi, I'm Mackenzie Bailey. I help tea and coffee businesses grow. My only question is will it be yours?

View Services

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