You’ve likely heard about influencer marketing but may not really know what it’s all about. This special report will show you exactly how to start making money as an influencer, while increasing brand awareness and boosting engagement, all at the same time!
Influencer marketing is all about the outreach and foothold you have in your chosen niche. The more you’re able to connect with a specific audience, the easier it will be to land influencer marketing opportunities.
The great thing about influencer marketing is that you don’t need a large following or any previous experience in advertising. You can easily become a well-paid influencer with just a few thousand followers.
It comes down to the relationships you build within your niche. If people trust your recommendations and believe you to be an honest and genuine person who wants to help them achieve their goals, the easier it will be for you to participate in influencer marketing campaigns that convert for your clients and partners.
In this special report, we’ll take a close look at what the top influencers are doing to secure profitable partnerships and how they set themselves up for ongoing success.
Choosing Your Niche
In order to become an influencer that people want to work with, you need to first choose a profitable niche.
Companies and brands want to work with influencers who have secured a foothold in their market, and who have demonstrated that they’re able to connect with a large audience.
So, while it may be tempting to venture into multiple niches, if you want to position yourself as a reputable influencer, you’ll want to choose one main market, especially when just starting out.
If you’re unsure what niche market is the best one for you, consider your own personal experiences and skills. What are you knowledgeable about? What skills do you possess that others would find useful or helpful ins one way?
Drawing from existing skills is the easiest way to find a niche that you’ll be able to move in quickly with little, if any learning curve involved.
It’s also a great idea to choose a niche that you’re passionate about. If you know a lot about a specific topic, chances are people will be interested in learning from you and hearing your own personal stories.
If you’re personally interested in a specific subject matter, it’ll also come across in your marketing and communications and people will return to you again and again because your marketing message will resonate with them.
So, choose a niche that you want to be known as the go-to person for. Your entire brand will focus around this niche so you’ll want to choose carefully.
Once you’ve determined what niche market you’re interested in, you’ll want to survey the competition. Analyze the top blogs in that market so you can identify key topics and gauge what people are most interested in, as well as what they’re struggling with.
This will help you determine a unique angle for your own brand, so that you’re able to connect with a larger audience of people who are looking for specific information. It will also help you create your own website or blog so that it’s providing content that people are hungry for.
Then, take it to social media. Follow the top influencers in your market on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Look at what they’re doing, what kind of topics they’re covering, as well as the type of responses they’re receiving from their existing audience.
Write everything down!
Market research is an integral part of being able to build a strong foundation for your brand, but it also sets the tone for your marketing style and voice.
You should also keep an eye out for what topics the competition hasn’t covered yet because this is a great entry point for your own website or social media account.
It’s time to gauge the profitability of the niche!
Validating a niche is an important step because you don’t want to venture into a market that’s not profitable. You can easily research the profit potential of a niche by evaluating the number of existing products and services being offered in that market.
For example, if your niche caters primarily to those who are looking for digital products, such as courses, books or videos, go to the top marketplaces and search for that particular content.
Amazon is a great place to start, especially if you’re interested in a niche that’s information-heavy, such as training programs or guides.
YouTube is also an invaluable place in which to conduct quick niche research because you can easily gauge the popularity of a niche just by the number of videos published daily, as well as the number of people subscribed to channels in that market.
You’ll also want to research potential keywords in your niche market by using a tool such as the WordStream available here: https://www.wordstream.com
When you use a keyword tool to uncover keywords, you’ll be able to determine how many searches are being conducted by active buyers and consumers who use those same keyword strings.
This is a great way to evaluate a market’s overall popularity quickly and easily.
If you discover that targeted keywords in any potential niche market are receiving thousands of searches a month, it’s a clear indicator that the market is a profitable one with an ongoing demand for products and services.
Tip: Make sure that your keyword research focuses on highly targeted search terms and not broad ones.
For example, if your niche is weight loss, searching for a broad term like “weight loss” isn’t going to give you the information you need. It’s far too wide of an outreach.
Instead, you’d want to drill down into a specific segment of the weight loss market, like “low carb diets”.
Becoming an influencer in a niche isn’t that difficult to do. It all begins by defining your brand, choosing a specific segment of a niche and then building a foundation that allows you to connect and engage with that audience.
It will take time to build that platform, but once you do, you’ll be able to make money from your efforts for years to come.
Standing Out From The Crowd
There are no stones left unturned when it comes to niche marketing, so don’t try to reinvent the wheel, or strategize some way to approach the market that hasn’t been done before.
Instead, you should focus on following existing strategies that have been proven to be successful. Then, add your own special and unique touch to your approach.
For example, if you research the low carb diet niche you’ll find countless workout guides, membership sites and weight-loss challenges. But what if you came into the market with a strong focus on helping people lose weight with low carb-high fat recipes, instead of workouts?
To stand out from the crowd, you want to follow trends while also creating your own! Being able to present the same old topic with a fresh, new perspective is all it takes to garner attention and get people excited about what you have to offer.
One fatal mistake that new influencers often make is trying to be all things to everyone. As the saying goes, a jack of all trades is a master of none, and this is especially true when it comes to building a strong presence in your market.
Instead of covering all topics in your niche, choose 1-2 and focus on just those. Sure, you can occasionally post an off-topic article, but by large, your content and overall engagement should be geared towards very specific topics.
This is how you create a brand where you’re known as an expert.
Again, you want to become the go-to person in your niche and to do that you need to choose a very specific topic and maintain a strong focus on creating content that satisfies a targeted audience. You can branch out later.
Bringing something new to the table is important to stand out from the crowd, and the easiest way to do that is to choose a topic and then create as many different channels around that market while offering something fresh.
For example, if you discover that most YouTubers in your market are creating formal videos that take a serious approach, consider creating a channel that offers candid conversations and off-beat interviews and content.
Tell personal stories, share your experiences and don’t be afraid to open up to your audience. People can relate to that because it shows them that you once dealt with the same issues and struggles that they are now facing, and that you know how to overcome them.
Taking a personal approach also makes you more approachable which will result in more people coming to you for content, advice and leadership. Sharing stories of personal growth will connect you to your core audience.
Put your own spin on common topics! Your own personal stories are uniquely yours, so while you’re covering subject matter that’s been done many times before, you’re still able to create a strong brand with a clear message that will resonate with your audience.
Offering a unique viewpoint while sticking to the topics that are proven to be popular within your niche is the easiest way to build a stand-out brand that captures attention.
Creating Your Base
One of the easiest ways to become an influencer in your market is to choose your platforms carefully. Rather than try to build a presence across every available platform, you should choose just one at a time and concentrate on building an audience that’s highly engaged.
Besides, it’s hard to position yourself as an expert in a niche if you’re struggling to find the time to be everywhere. Grow your audience in one central platform first, and then expand your outreach as you find time and learn ways to automate your marketing.
Choosing your primary platform can be tricky because it will be based on where your audience congregates. This means you’ll need to do some more research to figure out where the majority spends their time.
Start by evaluating the different social networks to determine which one is the most popular in your niche. Chances are, you’ll find people across the board, but one platform should stand out to you. Go with that one.
For example, Instagram is known for fashion icons, makeup tutorials and beauty bloggers, while Pinterest is known for chefs, artists, designers and DYI leaders. However, you’ll also find fashion icons, make up tutorials and beauty bloggers on Pinterest as well.
There’s always going to be a cross-over, but it’s important to determine the platform most preferred by your audience so you can focus your energy on building a following there.
Tip: Go ahead and secure your brand name on all popular social networks so that you can use it later when you broaden your outreach. It’s an important component of protecting your brand, even if you’ll initially only be focusing on one platform.
When determining what social network to go with, you should consider the demographics of your audience. Older people tend to flock to Facebook, while younger consumers prefer Instagram, Snap Chat or Pinterest. Twitter is a mixed bag, and Pinterest is typically geared towards older professionals.
Choosing just one platform when you’re just getting started will make it easier for you to build a strong presence quickly, while ensuring you spend your time wisely.
Developing An Action Plan
- Becoming a successful influencer involves creating a plan of action that will take you from beginner-to-pro quickly and easily.
- Developing a plan will also help you stay focused while catering to what your audience wants most.
- Begin my creating a priority list. This would include the top tasks you need to complete in order to establish a foothold in your market and grow a following.
Create a blog and publish 5-10 posts to boost exposure and give people enough content to encourage them to return.
Set up social engagement automation using tools like Tailwind that will not only help you keep your accounts active but will provide you with useful demographic and statistical information that can help shape your content and future campaigns.
Grow a YouTube channel: Publish 1 video every week on the same day to create a consistent schedule that subscribers will come to rely on.
Set up a mailing list account: Connecting with your target audience is a lot easier when you’re able to reach out to them whenever you choose so start building a mailing list right away.
Your influencer plan should also include specific hashtags that you’ll be targeting throughout your broadcasts and updates. Hashtags will become part of your brand and will help you connect with your key audience.
If you’re not sure what hashtags to use, spend some time researching what existing influencers in your market are actively using. Then, create a swipe file of all possible hashtags and vary it up in your messages.
You can use the All Hashtag Generator tool to quickly locate popular hashtags in your niche. It’s available here: https://www.all-hashtag.com/hashtag-generator.php
Just enter a seed keyword and the website will display lists of suggested hashtags based on relevancy and overall popularity. This is a great way to find hashtags that a great fit for your brand.
Create a Content Calendar
Staying consistent is key to becoming a successful influencer. People need to know what to expect from you and will come to rely on you for regular updates.
Creating a content calendar is also the easiest way to stay focused and on track, but it also helps you generate fresh ideas for new topics, while keeping a pulse on what you’ve already created content around.
Regardless how you plan to publish your content, or the format you’re intending to offer, a content calendar is the way to go.
How often you create and publish new content will depend on your niche as well as what your audience is accustomed to. This means, back to research!
Look at how often competitors are posting content as well as what formats they offer. If you plan to create a YouTube channel, you’ll likely want to upload at least one new video each week. If you plan to blog, you’ll initially want to post 5-10 pillar posts and then schedule future posts on a weekly basis.
Use automation to your advantage whenever possible!
When it comes to social media, you can use tools like Tailwind to automate your posts and updates. With WordPress, you can schedule posts to go live on specific dates and times.
The more you integrate automation into your brand building and content publishing schedule, the easier it will be to maintain consistency and to build a following.
When it comes to what kind of content you should be creating for your audience, analyze what people want most and then give that to them.
Here are a few ideas:
These are easy to deliver, free to ship and cost you nothing in inventory or overhead. They also satisfy the need for instant information without having to wait for anything to ship.
Creating informative, unique and well-written eBooks are one of the easiest ways to make money online, but it’s also a great way to get your foot in the door of any niche and begin to build a tribe of your own.
Write a comprehensive guide to tackling a problem in your market or write a short report that solves one specific problem and give it away to build your following and grow your list.
The key is to focus on solving a specific problem in your digital product, or addressing one key issue that your market is dealing with. If you plan to create videos, try to focus on discussing one point so that each video is branded specifically to solve an issue or address a problem.
Problem solving products will always be easier to sell, but they also help you identify and target your customer base so that when it comes time to create marketing campaigns you know exactly how to reach your audience.
When it comes to creating informative posts for your website or blog that your audience will love, consider creating a swipe file of the top 10 questions from within your chosen market. Then, create a pillar post that answers those questions. This is a great way to optimize your site for relevant keywords as well.
- How to make money self-publishing on Amazon: Top Questions Answered
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Try to create an editorial calendar for your content so that you know what you plan to write about (or create) in advance.
Ideally, you want to be thinking 3-4 weeks in advance so that you can plan accordingly. That will also ensure that you’re not left scrambling for content ideas.
Just the same, focus on one key topic within your social media campaigns and broadcasts.
The idea is to brand yourself as the best source for information about a specific subject so don’t veer too far off course. You don’t want to confuse your audience or your brand.
Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of
Part of being an influencer is being able to attract attention from potential joint venture partners and that means you’ll want to be as transparent as possible in providing information that will convince someone you’re worth partnering up with.
To start, you’ll want to implement some form of tracking into your campaigns so that you can keep a pulse on traffic, as well as provide that information to potential partners.
Do this early on so that you have important historical data and can provide as much information to a future partner as possible.
Installing Google Analytics on your blog so you can monitor traffic and maintain a monthly snapshot of incoming traffic volume.
Keeping track of channel subscribers and conversion rates if you are monetizing your channel.
Monitor your email marketing campaigns, paying attention to subscriber rates, retention rates and open rates. Anyone looking to partner you, or hire you to help them in marketing their business will be interested in knowing how engaged your audience is and how often they open and respond to your emails.
Set yourself up for long-term success early on and you’ll be able to attract the right partner when the time comes!
It’s one thing to post a ton of content, or keep your blog or channel up to date, but it’s another to engage with your audience.
As an influencer, engagement is what matters most. It’s what separates you from those who will struggle to build a tribe and connect with their audience.
So, do your best to always connect and communicate with those who follow you, or subscribe to your content.
Answer blog comments, give a shout back to those who reach out to you via social media, and show people that you are not only approachable, but that you’re genuinely interested in helping them in some way.
Keep in mind that with social media networks, they use algorithms to determine what content should be seen first as well as what (and who) gets the most exposure. A lot of this relies on how engaged your audience is so do your best to be present and active within your market.
This is also why automation is so important when it comes to building your brand and engaging your audience. By automating posts, updates and broadcasts, you’ll free up time that can be used to personally connect and respond to people in your niche.
Collaboration Is King
Content is King, sure, but when it comes to becoming an influencer, collaboration is everything. That means you have to be willing to put yourself out there and to always be on the lookout for networking opportunities.
Join relevant forums and social groups, including popular groups on Facebook that are focused on your niche. Not only will the help you get to know other influencers, but it will also put you in touch with their following, and help you figure out what kind of content to create that will be well received.
Collaborating early on isn’t always easy, especially if you are targeting established influencers who’ve already done the work of building a following and solidifying the foundation of their brand.
Instead, focus on seeking out possible networking opportunities with people who are at the same level as you.
Keep it simple! Collaboration doesn’t have to be a difficult venture. Consider guest blogging on popular websites in your market, provide content to seasoned bloggers who may then offer future networking opportunities.
Later, consider co-creating a digital product, or offer to feature someone on your growing channel.
The size of your audience does matter, especially when it comes to landing networking opportunities with seasoned professionals, but the level of engagement matters just as much.
If you can show an influencer that you have an avid audience and that you’re dedicated to providing value within the market, you’ll increase your chances of being offered joint venture partnerships that can help you take your business to the next level.
And of course, collaborating with influencers only helps boost your brand power. Associations are everything when it comes to online business, so by partnering up with someone who has an existing following you’ll be able to tap into their tribe and further your own brand awareness!
Micro-influencing (a term referring to those with smaller, yet engaged audiences) is the first step in building your profile and boosting exposure, so start off small and formulate a plan that helps you align with others in your market where you can help each other grow.
Right off the start, you want to make sure that every aspect of your business is professional and set up for success. This includes upgrading your social media accounts to professional ones.
There are many perks that come from business-versus-personal accounts, including the ability to schedule posts, but you’ll also be given access to key data and metrics that will help you keep a close eye on how your posts and ads are performing.
You also want to take a close look at other areas of your business, including:
Make sure that you go with a reliable hosting provider, and that your website is loading quickly. You can determine page load speeds from within your Google Analytics account. That account will also help you tweak and optimize your websites for better exposure.
Mailing List Account
Make sure you identify yourself in all your email correspondence, including how someone initially subscribed to your email. In addition, you want to make sure there’s always an easy way for someone to opt out of your broadcasts.
Your overall brand needs to look and feel polished and professional. This includes everything from the graphics or logo you use to represent your business, to the images used as social media headers or YouTube video splash screens.
If possible, hire a professional graphic designer from sites like http://www.UpWork.com so you’re able to stand out from the crowd.
If you want to be a brand ambassador and land high-paying partnerships and offers, you need to make sure that you are well-represented and that comes down to paying close attention to every aspect of your brand and how you can improve it as you grow.
Making Money As An Influencer
There are many ways you can make money as an influencer, starting with paid posts.
This is when a company or brand hires you to create a post about their offers, or request that you review their products or services.
The point of your post is to exposure your client’s brand to new followers, and to help them maximize overall exposure by tapping into your existing audience.
This means that you’ll want to closely evaluate the offers you get to create posts for a company.
After all, a post can serve as an endorsement and so you want to be careful who you align your brand with.
You may think that only seasoned influencers with a huge following get hired to create posts and articles that highlight someone’s brand, but that’s far from true.
Lots of companies are always on the lookout for micro-influencers who are starting to get a foothold in the market because quite often they’re more relatable than those who have been doing this for some time.
So, don’t count yourself out, even if you’re just getting started. The key is to be able to show a potential client that you are establishing yourself as a leader in your market and that you are consistently growing your audience.
Your growth can’t be stagnant. You need to always be building subscribers, connecting with your audience, and adding more fuel to your brand fire.
Brands are looking for persuasive influencers who can help them connect with new customers, so you want to be able to demonstrate your ability to do this for them.
An important thing to keep in mind when accepting paid post work is to always be transparent with your audience. Just like in affiliate marketing where it’s important to notify readers that you may be compensate for recommending products or services, when it comes to creating paid posts, the same rule applies.
You want to be upfront about your relationship with your client, and let people know that you may be rewarded or compensated for the post.
The last thing you want is to damage your reputation or your brand by not disclosing this information because chances are, your audience will find out later.
If you are hired to create paid posts via social media, one easy way to notify your audience that you are compensated is by adding “Paid partnership with COMPANY NAME” under your social media username, or within the post itself. You can also tag the post with the hashtag #ad or #partnership to further clarify.
You could also end up being a brand ambassador. Companies hire influencers to help them build brand awareness and pay them on a retainer-style basis.
The influencer is then responsible for helping a company tweak and improve their engagement and promote their social media platforms to expand their outreach.
Okay, so you’re ready to start making money as an influencer! The next step is to start attracting the right sponsors and partnerships.
One of the easiest ways is to start looking for partnerships or clients on your own just by searching for hashtags (#ad, #partnership, etc.) that are used by other influencers. This is an easy way to quickly identify who is hiring influencers as well as what kind of posts they’re interested in.
The key is to learn as much as possible about your average sponsor and their audience. Make sure their following aligns with yours so you can create a mutually beneficial partnership that boosts both brands.
When it comes to pricing, you’ll want to spend time evaluating the going rate for different types of opportunities. Just keep in mind that underpricing yourself means you’re also devaluing your brand and minimizing what you bring to the table.
Often, companies will look beyond those who are charging ridiculously low rates in favor of a brand who knows their value.
Higher rates often equate to having a greater perceived value so keep this in mind when determining what you plan to charge possible clients.
Your rates will also be based on whether it’s a one-time gig or if the company plans to hire you regularly. Consider giving special pricing to long-term clients. In addition, you should base your rates on the platforms they are interested in having you use.
If your following on Pinterest is only half the size of your following on Instagram and a company is only focused on Pinterest, your rates will need to be adjusted accordingly.
Always be upfront and honest with the companies that hire you. If you’re still working on building a following in one avenue but feel your brand power is stronger on another platform, let them know you want to build long-term, trusting partnerships with clients who know they can count on you.
It’ll take time for you to grow a following and connect with your tribe. The key is to stay consistent and do your best to always engage and communicate with your audience.
Provide as much value as possible so that not only potential customers see your commitment to offering high-quality content, but potential partners notice you. The sooner you can get on their radar, the better and there’s no better way than by creating content that gets people talking.
Focus on community first. Consider creating your own Facebook group, membership site, or training program. These things help to establish yourself as an expert and leader in your market.
And above all else, never give up. You’ve got this!