Should I Be A Social Media Influencer? 6 Things To Consider Before Jumping Head On
The life of a social media influencer can seem incredible. They make sponsored posts about places they’ve visited or products they’ve used, and they make money “just” for posting about their life online. Almost anyone who spends time online is sure to consider becoming an influencer themself at one point or another. Before you jump in though, there are a number of things you should consider.
What is a Social Media Influencer? 🧐
Before we jump into the things you should think through before becoming one, let’s talk a little bit about what an influencer is and what they do. Social media influencers are people who are able to grow their followers and make profit off their social media accounts. They can do this by selling their own products, but more often they partner with brands and promote and sell their products.
There are many different levels of influencers. You don’t have to have 100,000 followers to be successful. In fact, micro and nano influencers can, at times, be more successful than those with much larger followings. Micro influencers are those who have between 10,000 and 50,000 followers. Nano influencers, though, have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers.
It might seem like it would be difficult to be successful with a smaller following like this, but that’s not necessarily the case. Smaller influencers can often build deeper relationships with their followers, which in turn leads to more trust between them. Because they’re more trusting, they’re more likely to make purchases the influencers recommend.
Pay Potential 💰
As we mentioned, influencers typically make money by promoting other company’s products. There are two main ways these partnerships take place. First, the company provides the influencer with a particular link or code that they can pass along to their followers. Typically these also offer a discount to those who use them. The influencer receives a portion of each sale, much like a commission.
The other way influencer partnerships work is that the company pays the influencer a set amount for each sponsored post they create. These posts can be feed posts, Stories, IGTV videos or just about anything else they agree to ahead of time. Often brands will request to see these posts before the influencer posts them so they can approve the copy, image and overall feel of the post.
The actual amount that influencers can make per post varies, depending on how many followers they have and their engagement rate. Depending on these, nano influencers could get a couple hundred dollars per post and have an earning potential of $30,000 to $60,000 per year.
Micro influencers can get a few thousand dollars per post or more, and can earn up to $40,000 to $100,000 each year. Bigger influencers, like celebrities or those with 1 million followers could earn $100,000 per post.
If you do decide to start working with a brand/company as influencer, it makes sense to have a social media contract in place. This way you're aware of all the ins and outs of what you're getting into while protecting yourself simultaneously.
Common Types of Influencers 💁🏼♀️
Just as there are different levels of influencers, there are different types of influencers as well. Typically these are sorted by niche, or what the influencer likes to talk about naturally. In fact, that’s what makes influencers successful.
Since they make their money by promoting others’ products, they want to be able to partner with and promote brands that are easy to talk about and fit with their brand. There are five primary types of influencers that you’ll find on social media.
You might find an influencer who has made their way cooking, reviewing restaurants, or even tasting others’ foods. No matter the pathway, food influencers are commonly found and have no limit of brands they could promote.
Fitness influencers are another popular type found on social media. They might be personal trainers or simply fitness enthusiasts, but you’re sure to find posts with workouts, nutritious meals and other health products.
Another very common type of influencer is in the travel industry. Their posts typically showcase locations they’ve visited, hotels they’ve stayed in and travel tips and hacks they like to pass along to their followers.
No list of common influencer types would be complete without fashion. Fashion influencers might be the most common type, actually, as many people enjoy showing off their #OOTD (outfit of the day) and latest fashion finds in places from boutiques to Amazon.
Finally, lifestyle influencers are also easily found online. They share all aspects of their life, and often include all of the categories we’ve mentioned already. You’ll likely see their favorite fashion tips as well as their weeknight recipes with some fitness and travel posts sprinkled in, too.
Things to Consider For Potential Social Media Influencers 📝
If you’re thinking about growing your social media following to become an influencer, there are a few things you want to think about first. Let’s dive in deeper to the six things you should consider before putting the time in to become an influencer.
1. What is My Niche? 🤔
Before trying to become an influencer, you need to identify what your niche and brand will be. While you can always change your niche down the line, it’s important to spend some time really thinking about what you want to focus on as you begin. You will be the face of your brand as the influencer, so you want to pick something that comes easily or is very interesting to you.
⭐️ What do you enjoy?
⭐️ What are you good at?
Take some time to actually think about and answer these two questions so you can choose something that aligns with your values and interests. It wouldn’t make sense to choose food as your niche if you have no desire to spend hours in the kitchen. You’ll be working with brands that align with your niche, too, so this is an important decision to consider.
2. Who is My Target Audience? 💘
Who are you going to be speaking to with your posts? This will help you narrow down your niche even more. Choosing travel is a great start, but there are plenty of travel influencers that exist already. The more specific you can be, the better you’ll be able to target followers and attract the right kind of audience. You don’t want to be too broad when you’re creating posts, or you could end up missing out on potential loyal followers.
Just remember: you can’t be everything to everyone. As you narrow it down and pick a specific audience, you’ll also find some people who don’t want to follow you and perhaps those who flat-out don’t like the content you create. And that’s okay! You’ll be building a loyal following of people who do like your content. Choose your target audience and then stick with them fiercely.
3. Am I Comfortable With the Limelight? 🤩
This question is a little different from the first two, as it makes you look inward a bit more. There are plenty of benefits that come with being an influencer, like brand deals, promotions and being self-employed if you so choose. With those benefits and opportunities, though, come challenges, too.
As an influencer, your life is now going to be open to the public. You certainly still have control over your posts and what you share, but you won’t be able to keep everything private. Influencers become popular and successful because they show the behind-the-scenes of their lives. Their followers see them as friends, and that’s why they trust them.
Your followers will most likely expect to know everything that is going on in your life and will want you to be personable and real with them. If this isn't something that you are comfortable with, you might want to think again before heading into the spotlight.
4. Can I Handle the Criticism?😡
On top of having much of your life put in the spotlight, you’re also opening yourself up to criticism. People will not always agree with your decisions or lifestyle. Some of your own loyal followers might not agree with you sometimes. Some people won’t hesitate to be vocal about things they disagree with you.
For many well-known influencers, cyber bullying can be a real problem. Any time you put something personal out into the world, you’re giving people a chance to criticize you. Being an influencer means you need to have thick skin.
It’s easy for people to be mean and rude on the internet. They can hide behind anonymity or the knowledge that they will likely never see the other person in real life. Know that you need to protect your heart, set boundaries for yourself and realize that this could happen as an influencer.
5. Does This Fit My Lifestyle? 🤷🏾♂️
Depending on the type of influencer you choose to be and the niche you want to specialize in, you might need to take a hard look at your lifestyle and see what you really want to do. For example, if you want to become a travel influencer, you’ll need to factor travel into your lifestyle. You may need to be on-the-go far more frequently than you currently are, always visiting a new location and trying out new places and products. That life can be fun and exciting, but it isn’t for everyone.
Also, making a living as an influencer can sometimes take some time to get started. When you’re just starting out, it might be hard to find brands to partner with you, or you might not score well-paying gigs until you grow your following. Make sure you have a plan for how you’ll be able to support yourself until this pays off. If you need to keep a full-time job, traveling constantly might not work out well.
Another thing to consider is family. Whether you currently have a partner, kids or other family or not, it’s still an important consideration. Living the influencer lifestyle can mean long hours, lots of time spent on your phone and perhaps even brand shoots you might need help with from those around you.
You can be a successful influencer with or without a family, but if you’re planning on starting this type of lifestyle, it’s worth having a real, honest, heart-to-heart discussion with your family so everyone is on the same page. You can also set boundaries about what will and won’t be posted online about your family and your lives together.
6. What Are My Values? 👏🏼
When you’re establishing yourself as an influencer, you need to take some time to outline your values. As you start to gain momentum and brands begin to notice your follower growth and success, there will likely be a point when they begin to flood your inbox. It can be tempting to want to accept any partnership, especially when you’re just getting started and could use the income and notoriety.
Before you sign on with any brand that slides in your DMs, take some time to evaluate the company and compare them to the values and mission of your account and of you personally. Remember that you are building your brand’s reputation with every single post you publish online. The more consistent you can be, the more your followers will know they can trust you.
For example, imagine that your brand frequently talks about protecting the environment and clean living. You wouldn’t want to then turn around and promote a company that goes against those values.
This can hurt your reputation in the long run, as your followers won’t know what to expect from you anymore. Make sure all your partnerships fit your brand so your followers know you’re being authentic and consistent. The success of an influencer is based on trust from their followers. Partnering with the wrong brand can negatively impact that trust.
Becoming a Social Media Influencer
Once you’ve thought through and considered these six questions, give yourself some time and walk away from the idea for a few days. Come back and look over your answers. Is becoming a social media influencer a good idea for you?
You’re the only person who can determine that, but think about it strongly before you make a final decision one way or the other. If you decide that it is something you want to pursue, you’ll be glad you took the decision so seriously.
This post was written by Samantha Hackett from Kicksta.