Before you wander around looking for opinions on whether influencer marketing pays or not and make one of yourself, ask yourself if you really are an influencer, yet. As long as the answer to the latter isn’t a loud “yes” echoing from your audience, the former shouldn’t even be in the picture.
For, beginning your influencer journey with the aim of making a living out of it will leave monetary stains throughout and people don’t get influenced by devious feeds. So, once your engagement rate and follower growth start hitting higher highs on a daily basis and you can hear the yeses slowly getting louder, you may start thinking about making money out of your content. Till then, work towards making sure that your content is worth spending on, in the vicinity of a future 8 billion dollar industry.
Imagine a theatre with the stage in the middle, surrounded by rising chairs. Influencers barging in the door, but only the ones on the stage get to market and as you enter, there is a 5 step staircase leading down to the stage. As you climb down step by step, a larger part of the audience turns their heads and shouts “yes” under your influence. Now, it’ll be a long journey but being on that stage, it’ll be worth it. Because then, the money will knock on your door with a loud “yes”.
FIVE STEPS TO LOUDER YESES
It’s alright if you still have only 250 followers after having uploaded 80 posts, or if your posts aren’t even reaching a 100 likes yet. Getting paid for being an influencer is an easier and longer-term approach than being an influencer for getting paid. The point being, have patience! Wait till you become an influencer.
It might be time-consuming but looking at influencer marketing as the future source of your bread and butter, time is the only investment you’ll ever make. In fact, wait long enough for brands to start approaching you with increased packages every time. The longer you influence an audience for, without monetizing them, the stronger your influence gets. Eventually, the stronger your influence is, the higher will be your content’s monetizing potential.
Consistency is imperative to being an influencer according to Ruchika Asatkar a.k.a @nagpur_chaupati who has gained a massive 15K crowd in a tiny span of 7 months. As much as it boosts your reach, posting regularly allows you to take a bigger bite of your audience’s social media presence. This intensifies your influence over individual followers and ranks you higher than the influencers with follower armies, in the eyes of a brand.
Similar to ghost followers that merely increase a user’s follower count, irregular influencers build up their ghost following. Users forget about them the minute they follow them and certainly don’t get influenced by their once in a blue moon appearance. Ruchika has experienced a 1000-1200% rise in her cash payments per post within a span of 6 months and she owes it all to her consistency.
Influencer marketing is one of the most convenient professions of all and is duly gaining popularity with each sunset. So much so that there’s a 70% chance that you chose it over engineering for the sake of convenience. It feels like an influencer stampede on social media platforms and if you plan on surviving, you need to stand out. Uniqueness attracts followers and engagement and is a bare necessity to being an influencer in the first place.
Further, brands filter and pick their influencers on the basis of the uniqueness of their content. A cafeteria is likely to collaborate with a 10K reach influencer who posts custom edited videos of how the dishes are made, rather than a 20K reach influencer who merely posts pictures of what’s going down his oesophagus.
“Sam’s distinctly vivid aesthetic and flair for photography make her an excellent ambassador for many brands, including Google, Haagen Das, Brooklinen, Dunkin Donuts, and Target,” says Mediakix Team about Sam Ushiro a.k.a @aww.sam, one of the most creative & unique influencers of this era.
Wear a monotonous personality on your feeds and let your audiences relate you with a particular niche and hence, feeling. Choose a personality that revolves around your field of interests. You may trigger hunger in them or adrenaline rushes, you may even choose a combination of niches such that they emit a uniform vibe; but whatever you’re showcasing, showcase just that.
Niche-centric presence reflects expertise in the respective field and lures audiences into trusting your opinion over others. And, the greater number of people trust your opinion, the bigger brands would want you to share theirs. This niche-centralism approach applies to your promotions as well. Only promote brands whose personality resonates with yours or you’ll just become another ad-wall. Kylie Jenner, the highest-paid influencer on Instagram (@kyliejenner) has kept her advertisements and feed beauty/fitness-centric. Kylie has grown to earn up to $ 1 million per promotion.
Most importantly, stay satisfied with fewer advertisements. Follow the convention of quality over quantity. Do limited, niche-centric and quality content promotions. You don’t want your feed to look like a newspaper half-filled with advertisements. Moreover, the fewer collaborations you entertain, intenser will they be; making each one of them monetarily superior.
This will allow you to filter the offers and choose only the best-suited ones, economically and personality-wise. Comprehend the fact that lesser collaborations don’t mean settling for less, it’s settling for the best and only the best. Above all, it will emphasize your portrayal as an influencer over a marketer, which is imperative because even marketers don’t trust marketers.
Now that you’re on the stage, let’s talk about your performance.
Instead of treating your initial collaborations as achievements, take them to be opportunities. Opportunities for you to build your marketing resume. Produce innovative and creative advertisement campaigns and let the bigger brands out there know that you might’ve just got on the stage but it’s already yours.
Being on the stage might expose your content to the masses but you still need to be discovered by the brands. For, a stage is a crowded place and the brands usually end up settling for the giants unless the elf’s got a glowing hat. Your first few advertisement campaigns will be your glowing hat and it is your job to make sure it glows brighter than the spotlight on the giants. Refer Michaela Petrofes’s take on making money as a social media influencer to learn how to make your hat glow brighter and stand out.