Your dream is to become a brand influencer. You follow the top names in different industries, you write every day, you know social media like it’s your first language, but you’re not sure exactly how to make a brand, what it takes to become a brand influencer and make money from your passion. Brand influencer is a job that requires you to have dedication, motivation, determination, courage, self-confidence, rejection-proof qualities, desire to have fans and following, and to be online – a lot.
Brand influencers, also known as social media influencers, have all but dedicated their lives to creating a social persona, as authentic or inauthentic as they choose, some as a hobby while others are raking in millions each year as a result of their klout.
6 Tips to Build Influence & Make a Living as a Brand Influencer
So your dream is to become a brand influencer? The first thing to do is begin building your very own personal brand. Sound excessive, overwhelming, or over-the-top? Not for a minute. Think about it, if a brand wants representation from an influencer, who do you think they are more likely to choose; the person who has a huge following but no clear, defined image, or the person whose persona/ brand/ image is rock solid? You guessed it, brands are likely to prefer collaborating with influencers who are living examples of branding successes. The goal of a brand is to reach a specific audience with a branded message, and who better to do that than someone who has already proven they can do this with their own personal brand?
If you have no idea how to create your personal brand and do brand influencer marketing the right way, here are some ideas from Career Contessa, Chloe Social, and Trinidad Pena. You might notice as you peruse their websites that these ladies have all built a nice personal brand of their own. Take notes!
2. Go Niche
Brands aren’t what they used to be, overarching, encompassing, and broad. Forget the days of General Mills; we have entered the age of the Hipster Brand, where the more clearly defined vision and more unique, niche target focus a brand cultivates, the greater the chance of success. Take the company Jamboo Headphones, for example. Just about anyone with an mp3 player, smartphone, computer or handheld device of some sort is gifted a free pair of headphones and has little to no use for designer headphones. Jamboo Headphones recognized a gap in the market to address consumer needs, due to headphones getting twisted up, knotted, and even breaking to an excessive degree. Creating lanyard-wrapped earbuds with bamboo ends they managed to corner a niche market.
What does this have to do with you as an influencer? If a company like Jamboo Headphones decided to run an influencer campaign, it would benefit them to pair up with an influencer in a very focused niche within the music industry; one who supports qualities similar to that of the companies’ ethos.
Does choosing a niche make you nervous because you don’t know what to choose, or you are worried that you will have less options when it comes to brand influence campaigns? Fear not, follow your gut intuition, and write about things that speak to your heart.
3. Persistence Pays
Once you have cultivated a personal brand, a brand voice, and know which niche you plan to focus your energies, it’s full steam ahead. Brand influencers have one of the toughest jobs around; incredible competition, the clock is always on, expectations run high, and failure lurks around every corner. That said, the only way to become successful in this industry is to persist, day in and day out.
4. Authentic Voice
So, this point is debatable, but the more authentically you write, Vlog, and speak, the more longevity you will have in the industry. Why? You will be less likely to burn out creating content that feels disingenuous and unrelated to your life, passions, and purpose. If you build an influence based on your authentic self, everything else should fall in line more easily; your personal brand, your niche, your engagement with fans, your following, your connection with brands.
5. Be Approachable
If you open up, share your story, allow others to email you, tweet you, reach out to you on a human level, you will build a following much faster than if you choose to remain closed and secretive. Considering that nearly 100% of the time people trust recommendations that come from friends (Nielson Research), it behooves you to befriend your followers rather than to keep a distance from them.
6. Keep it Sexy
It’s easy as a blogger or content creator (believe you me) to get stuck in a creative rut and routine and feel as though you are experiencing “writer’s block”, so to speak. Fear, doubt, self-criticism, competition, disappointment, lack of followers, and all sorts of obstacles will lead you down the path of influencer self destruction from which there is no return. It is often these types of feelings which block the creative flow. A most non-traditional recommendation for becoming a brand influencer and maintaining creativity in your content is to find what keeps you balanced. Perhaps for you that is a glass of wine at the end of the evening, meditation in the morning, playing with your dog, Zumba class three times a week, or your favorite spin class. Whatever you need to do to remain grounded, centered, balanced, clear-headed and feeling on top of the world, do that. Balanced mind equals balanced body equals ample creative opportunity. Nothing is sexier than someone who is balanced, edgy, authentic and creative, and people (Americans in particular) are searching high and low to find the next sexy influencer to follow.