From the outside, being a full-time influencer looks like living the dream. The reality is that this is not only a hard niche to crack into but also a lot harder to sustain as a career without having the right approach from day one.
Becoming an influencer and presenting yourself to the world in a professional way from the get-go is key for anyone who has ambitions to turn their lifestyle into their livelihood. So with that in mind, here are some ways you can come across as a pro, even if you’re just starting out.
Have Your Own Website, Not Just an Instagram Account
The first and most important step for up-and-coming influencers is to have their own website. A professional personal website allows you to showcase your work in a more comprehensive way than on social media platforms like Instagram.
Having a dedicated site also gives potential sponsors a chance to get more information about who you are and what you do, and provides greater opportunities for monetization.
Additionally, having your own domain name can help boost your credibility among peers and audiences alike and if you work in a creative field, as influencers often do, you can stand out with a .media domain. Take time to set up this platform correctly, and it will be worth the effort!
To do this, you need to find the right hosting package for you and, ideally, get a professional to build you a site that looks the part and includes all the right info.
Remember that this is not just for building your business network but also catering to your blossoming fanbase, who will want a place to get the lowdown on your life story. This duality might sound like a difficult balance to strike, but it can be done. If in doubt, just look at the websites of other established influencers you admire for inspiration.
Get a Business Phone Number for Sponsors to Get in Touch
Establishing a standalone business phone number is essential for influencers looking to take their career seriously. It gives sponsors and partners an easy way to contact you directly, which makes it easier for them to get the information they need from you quickly and efficiently.
Adopting a separate phone line also allows you to keep your personal conversations private while still being able to conduct professional negotiations with potential sponsors or clients without interruption.
A reliable service provider can help set up the necessary features such as voicemail, text messaging, call forwarding, and more that will let you stay connected even when you’re away from your desk and on the move.
Develop a Professional Email Address and Use it Exclusively for Influencer Work
Just as a business-focused phone number will serve you well, an email address that is solely used for your influencer career can be a major help in building credibility as a professional.
Creating one with your name or brand associated with it will also make you more recognizable among potential sponsors, partners, and clients.
Once you’ve got a professional email account up and running, it’s important to remember not to use this for personal correspondence. Instead, stick only to business-related conversations on this line of communication. This is not just wise from an administrative perspective but also in terms of security, as you don’t want to put personal data at risk of being compromised if your business email account is targeted by hackers.
Another perk of having a business-tier email account available is that you can set up autoresponders when you’re out of your office or unavailable so that sponsors won’t feel you’re ignoring them if they don’t get an immediate response from you. Given the hectic life that is entailed in working as an influencer, this sort of small detail can make a big difference to the relationships you build when doing influencer marketing and the earning potential you develop.
Create Quality Content That Is Relevant To Your Target Audience
It might seem like influencers take an ad hoc approach to publishing each post on their feeds, but the reality is that a lot of thought and effort goes on behind the scenes to ensure that every morsel of content is of a suitable level of quality, and also of interest to their fans.
As such, up-and-coming online celebs need to make an effort in content marketing to create content that is relevant to their target audience, as failing to do so could scupper their reputation as budding professionals in this field.
Researching the needs and interests of those you aim to reach will help you create posts and videos that are more likely to be seen, heard, and appreciated by followers, as well as potential sponsors or clients.
Moreover, engaging content will build a connection with followers who may later become advocates for your brand, so it’s a benefit worth investing time in.
Stay Active On Social Platforms With Engaging Posts and Responses to Comments
No new influencer can afford to be sporadic in how they harness the platforms they occupy. Instead, staying active is crucial, as it demonstrates your commitment to building on the momentum you’ve gathered and keeping your audience on tenterhooks.
In addition, posting regularly ensures that you get frequently featured in the feeds of marketers who are looking for influencers to partner with. And this familiarity breeds trust, builds brand awareness, and increases the likelihood that they’ll reach out to you when their next campaign or project is being planned.
Another aspect of an active and engaged social media presence involves responding promptly to comments left by others on your posts. This builds trust and camaraderie among your audience, as it shows you are taking the time to interact personally with each one. And, of course, without a growing and enthusiastic user base, you’ll find it harder to attract paid work from brands.
Finally, when engaging online, make sure to follow all community guidelines or terms of service set out by the platforms you use. The likes of Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitch all have fairly strict terms to which users must adhere, and so by being aware of them, you’ll be able to keep your account safe from being suspended or even banned, which of course would hurt your earning potential.
Find the Right Partners
Finding the right partners is a key aspect of establishing yourself as a professional influencer. Collaborations with other influencers, brands, and even media outlets can help you expand your audience reach and build your credibility in your niche.
Start by identifying brands and influencers that align with your values and interests. Reach out to them with a personalized message and pitch your ideas for partnership. Be sure to showcase your creativity and highlight the unique value you bring to the partnership. Remember, it’s not just about what you can offer them but also what they can bring to the table for you.
With the right partnerships, you can showcase your expertise and build a strong network of supporters who can help you grow your career as an influencer. But how can you find the right influencers?
Although it can be a daunting task, here are some easy ways to find the right influencers for your needs:
1- Google search
Do a Google search using relevant keywords and search phrases to find influencers and related blogs in your niche.
Use hashtags to search for influencers on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This will help you find accounts that are relevant to your niche.
3- Influencer marketplace
You can also use an influencer marketplace like Ainfluencer to connect with influencers who are interested in working with brands. This DIY marketplace has a database of influencers sorted by niche, follower count, engagement rates, and other criteria, making it easier to find the right influencer for your needs. Become a part of Ainfluencer’s community today by signing up for free and start collaborating with proficient influencers to produce engaging content that strongly connects with your viewers.
Remember to consider factors beyond follower count when evaluating influencers. Look at their engagement rates, the quality of their content, their audience demographics, and their overall reputation in the industry. This will help you find the influencers who are the best fit for your brand and goals.
Invest In Quality Photography Equipment for a Better Visual Presentation of Your Brand
Splashing out on quality photography equipment is never a waste, as it can help you create content that resonates with your target audience while also boosting the overall presentation of your brand.
When ordering gear, don’t forget about the role of having access to better lighting and lenses in this context. Such equipment will allow you to take more creative shots, whether you’re planning to use them for advertisement material or just regular posts.
Of course, it’s entirely possible to capture amazing content using nothing more than a smartphone camera, but if you’re really committed to the idea of being a professional influencer, then going the extra mile with a top-tier kit is justifiable. Just remember that doing so should come with learning how to use your equipment properly. Look into online tutorials or classes that teach basic photography and videography skills, and you won’t regret it.
Make Sure You Are Dressed Appropriately When Meeting Potential Partners/Sponsors
First impressions are important, and as an influencer meeting with potential sponsors or partners, it’s crucial that you dress in a manner that reflects the professionalism you want to bring to the table in this setting.
Depending on the company culture, this could mean anything from wearing business casual to full formal attire, so always make sure to research ahead of time so you can come prepared!
Of course, as your personal brand grows, you may want to factor this into how you present yourself at in-person meetings or even virtual conferences with sponsors. But for those who are just getting their foot in the door, it’s better to err on the side of being formal rather than too relaxed in terms of fashion choices.
Develop Good Communication Skills
Whether it’s through writing emails, speaking on the phone, or during video calls, being able to effectively communicate with sponsors and partners will let you get your point across and impress any prospective sponsors.
Honing these abilities can also come in handy when engaging with followers online. Making sure conversations are clear and concise will show that you have taken the time to understand their needs while still keeping an air of professionalism.
If you feel like your communication capabilities could do with a refresh, this is another area where taking training courses remotely is worthwhile. Some people are naturally good communicators, but for the rest of us, it’s an area that needs work and will pay dividends in our careers as well as our personal interactions.
Be Organized with All Aspects of Running the Business Side of Being An Influencer
Running a successful influencer career is just like any other business venture in it needs to be organized in order for things to run smoothly.
Investing time into creating systems and processes that help you keep track of your activities, sponsorships, events, and more can make a huge difference when managing multiple projects or campaigns at once.
As part of this, having everything documented will serve as proof of what’s been communicated before, should anything arise during negotiations. This could mean invoices sent out on time or agreements signed off promptly!
Make sure your organization strategy works best for you by testing different methods until you find what fits best. Also, take advantage of time management tools and project management platforms to reduce the amount of work you need to do to keep every part of your operations ticking over.
As your personal brand grows, you may be able to hire professionals to take the reins of the organizational aspects for you. But until that day, you need to know how to handle the ins and outs solo.
Make Sure Every Contract is Legally Binding and Protects Your Interests
This is one of the trickier things to get to grips with when you start getting paid to use your reach as an influencer, but it’s a must because sponsors will want you to commit to an influencer contract before handing over any cash for your endorsement of their products or services.
It should go without saying, but you need to make sure you read everything thoroughly before signing a contract or document. If there are any terms or clauses written that you don’t understand, consult a legal professional who specializes in this field.
For the most part, contracts should be pretty boilerplate in terms of their inclusions and requirements. But you don’t want to put your name on something that has unreasonable terms or doesn’t actually bind either party to what it lays out.
Once again, having a lawyer look over every agreement will ensure sponsorships or partnerships have been agreed upon with mutual understanding so that disputes are less likely to arise. It might seem like an unnecessary expense, but it will save you from all sorts of pain in the long run.
Learn How to Negotiate for Higher Rates And Benefits
The final thing to think about if you want to look more professional in the early days of your career as an influencer is your ability to negotiate.
Knowing how and when to ask for higher rates or benefits from potential sponsors can be beneficial both financially and from a career perspective.
Of course, that’s not to say you should be trying to wring as much money as possible out of every single deal you strike. Instead, it’s about recognizing what you’re worth and being willing to ask for it, as well as knowing when to turn down a bad deal.
We live in an age where it’s possible for almost anyone to make a career as an influencer, but that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to succeed if this is your goal. It takes hard work, the right approach, and more than a little luck, and with this advice in hand, you can twist the wheel of fate in your favor.