Can I be an influencer?

If somebody asked me “can I be an influencer”, I’ll be honest, I’d struggle not to laugh.

I’m a director of an influencer marketing company who has been in the field for 10 years, and due to the way the term ‘influencer’ has been manipulated, that question is loaded with negative misconceptions that even senior figures in the field do not like.

This sounds pretentious, but if I had to describe Colossal Influence I’d say we’re a social first creator agency. Why? Well, we primarily work with social creators who have built an audience from nothing by creating interesting content.

If you asked the average person on the street to name you an influencer they might give you somebody from the latest series of Love Island or TOWIE, and while there are certainly exceptions one is different to the other.

What is an influencer?

This very much depends on who you ask and why you’re asking!

Our definition of ‘an influencer’ is a social media creator who has built an audience on social media from ‘zero following’ without external factors and continues to gain the majority of their following from social media.

Theoretically, I could argue everybody is because we all have an element of influence over our loved ones. If I go into a shop with my friend and he can’t make his mind up between two brands of crisps that for all intense and purpose are identical and I tell him that I prefer one and he buys it am I an influencer?

That’s a stretch, but you can see why I said ‘it depends on who you ask and why you’re asking’.

So, can I be an influencer?

Yes, if you have a social media account you can become an influencer, but only a tiny percentage are successful.

How do I become a successful influencer?

That’s a better question!

Let’s first rule out all external factors like going on TV and building an audience that way. Let’s also note my answer is driven by my experience in social first influencer marketing.

Here are 7 points I’ve learnt in 10 years in the industry I wish I knew before posting on socials:

1) DO NOT become a creator to become rich and famous

I don’t know one creator that has had a sustained period of success because they wanted to become famous. Those are potential very positive by-products of creation, but the reality is that unless you’d be willing to create for free you won’t strive to see it out when things don’t go the way you’d expect. The most successful creators in the world today would continue to make videos if there was no money in it.

2) Create on a subject you’re passionate about and you know better than most

For your own (and others) sanity focus on a topic you’re passionate about and you know better than most. If you’re also enjoying it that means you’ll approach it with more enthusiasm and motivation and ultimately that’ll shine through.

3) Don’t deviate from your content strand (too much) until you know you have an audience who will follow you

If you create content on food, and you decide you want to start posting about cars you’re now creating two completely separate strands, which is likely to lower engagement. If you want to create a 2nd strand of content it’s a good idea to create a second social presence. That way you can keep your content while expanding into a second subject without having to sacrifice engagement.

4) Know how to collate content and utilise all social platforms

Too many creators feel like they can’t break down and reupload content because the same people will be watching it. That’s a myth. The audience is very different on each platform and they’ll interact with it differently too. By creating content specifically for different platforms you can maximise engagement and increase your audience exponentially.

5) Learn the platforms (in part) before you start

If you create objectively the best content on Youtube and you don’t know about thumbnail design, viewer retention, Youtube SEO, or other features, your video content isn’t going to get discovered anywhere near as often as it should be. Creating ‘the best’ content is only part of the battle.

6) Work out if there’s even a market for what you want to create

You don’t need to have millions of followers to be successful. Niches mean you can have smaller audiences and be paid more if you reach the right demographics.

7) Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results right away, but know when to start tweaking your strategy

I hate the saying winners never quit and quitters never win, but giving up too early is also moronic. Ultimately making informed decisions with as much info as possible is the smartest way to become successful in any field. That’s it!

Best of luck on your journey to becoming a social creator, and if you want to secure brand work, contact us!

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