Do you want to become a content creator or influencer, but aren't sure where to start?
It feels as though new content creators are popping up all of the time with the next big idea, earning them exposure, brand deals, and, increased money.
Content creation is an extremely profitable profession or side gig; we have seen an explosion of creators all across the internet, tapping into what makes them special to produce content that resonates with their audience.
And you want to get in on the action.
We get it.
Seeing as the influencer marketing industry is on track to be worth up to $15 billion by 2022, up from as much as $8 billion in 2019.
This means more money and the chance for you to be your own boss!
If you feel ready to start making content, grow your audience, and capitalizing off of your passions and talents, then keep reading.
Today, we are going to take a deep dive into how to become an influencer in 2021. We will discuss how to differentiate yourself from the crowd, grow your niche, and build out your strategy for more growth and engagement.
Let's hop into it!
Different Types of Influencers
It's important to remember that all influencers and creators started small and scaled up. While it might seem like a huge task to grow your following from under 1,000 to 1 million, it isn't impossible.
Additionally, having this big of a scale of followers might not even be best suited for your niche!
Each influencer comes with their own set of skills and specialties.
For example, if you are a woodworker, and you create content about how to create furniture from scratch, you might not necessarily need over 1 million followers.
You can still reap all of the benefits with a smaller and highly engaged audience of other woodworking enthusiasts. Being a nano or micro-influencer in your industry is still extremely lucrative and has the potential to become a full-time gig!
What is considered a micro, nano, and mega influencer anyway?
Let's break down the different types of influencers:
- Nano Influencers - between 1k-10k
- Micro-Influencers - between 10k and 100k
- Macro-Influencers - 100k-1m
- Mega Influencers - +1m
Different Types of Niches for Content Creators
There are a wide variety of influencers and creators out there. What you will find with any content creator is that they took what they were passionate about, and turned that into content.
Some of the most popular topics you will find influencers making content about include:
- Skincare, makeup, beauty
- Humor, pop culture, meme generator
- Photography, cinema, television
- Coaching, business growth
- Food, cooking, baking
- Politics, political or social commentation
Once a creator finds what they are passionate about, they can define their niche from one of the topics above and start to differentiate themselves from the competition.
But, more on that later!
How to Become an Influencer in 2021
Now, let's hop into the 13 best tips and strategies you can use to grow your following and become an influencer in 2021.
#1 Find Your Niche
One of the most important steps in becoming an influencer and growing your following is honing in on your niche!
Finding your niche is an essential first step in planning your content strategy plan and will help you stay on track when growing your audience and creating content.
Not sure how to find your niche? Ask yourself the following question:
- What are you an expert at?
- What is your passion?
- What gets you excited to create content?
- What topic(s) would you be happy to create content about for the foreseeable future?
When picking a niche, think about the things you enjoy talking about with friends and family already!
You want to pick a niche that you can continue to talk about and that won't cause burnout down the road.
#2 Create Content Buckets or Content Pillars
Now that you have defined your niche, it's time to start creating a content plan.
One of the best methods to use when creating content is to define your content buckets or pillars.
Content buckets will be essential to creating content that is specific to your niche and will ensure that your content is consistently fresh.
You might be asking yourself, 'what are content buckets?'
Content buckets are 3-5 topics you can easily create content around. Having your 3-5 main topics will help you branch off into other sub-topics and will make creating content that much easier for you.
Once you have your main topics, you can pick sub-topics or questions that will help you generate ideas.
For example, if my three main topics were:
- Clean beauty
I could then generate a list of sub-topics or questions, for example:
- How to
- Biggest mistakes
- Ingredient lists
Then I could match up those sub-topics with one of my pillars.
I could make a Reel one day that covers ingredient lists for clean beauty and a TikTok or carousel the next day sharing my favorite clean skincare brands.
Creating content pillars will help make planning and creation a breeze!
#3 Scope Out Other Creators in Your Niche
There are influencers out there that are creating content for your niche, it's a given in the industry (unless you are the first person ever to create content about your specific niche or industry).
If you want to differentiate yourself from the crowd, you need to see what other creators are making.
Doing this will help you find out how the competition is communicating with their audience, what trends they are following, and what brands they work with.
After you gain a bit of insight into the competition, you can create a plan to differentiate yourself from the masses.
Finding other creators in your niche can help in the following ways:
- Introduce a bit of friendly competition
- Help you draw inspiration for what is working in your industry
- Build a community of like-minded people - one influencer's success doesn't mean your failure, network with other creators in your niche!
#4 Define Which Social Media Platform(s) You Will Use and Build a Strategy
There are a variety of social media platforms out there, and each of them can offer you a different audience and strategy for growing your community.
Unless you have the bandwidth, you don't need to be on every social media platform. You can find the ones that work best for you and start creating from there.
If you enjoy making short video content, then optimize for TikTok and Instagram. If you like to make longer video content, choose YouTube, and repurpose that into snack content on other channels.
If you're a writer but hate making videos, opt for Twitter.
If you're a gamer or like to live stream, obviously get on Twitch!
#5 Optimize Your Social Media Bio, Profile, and Content
When people stumble upon your account, they will want to know instantly what to know who you are and what you are about, so optimizing your bio, profile, and content to display your niche is extremely important when becoming an influencer.
This is also crucial if you are trying to score brand deals and partnerships. People need to know who you are, what you do, and how they can contact you!
How to Optimize Your Social Media Bio?
Your bio will be one of the first things people see when they check out your account, so making it as detailed and punchy as possible will yield the best results.
Let's take Instagram as an example. If you want to become an influencer on Instagram, then you will want to optimize your bio.
Optimize your Instagram bio by including:
- A description of what you do
- Your location, especially if you are a location-based business
- A CTA - include a link in bio for people to discover more
- Keywords for SEO optimization
- Highlight optimization to give people a further glimpse into what you're about
- Your contact information
How to Optimize Your Content on Social Media?
A best practice is to ensure your content is optimized and tailored to fit your niche and brand.
If you are on Instagram, for example, you will want to make either a business or creator account, depending on what you do. With this type of account, you will be able to track your analytics and gain deeper insight into who is following you and what they respond best to.
Next, you will want to focus on creating engaging captions (for all social media platforms!)
Longer captions are favored, as people are looking for influencers and content creators to enrich their feed and add value as they scroll.
Try and aim for at least 380 characters in your caption.
You will gain the added SEO benefits, and longer captions are more likely to spark rich conversation in the comments.
A lot of creators have found success in creating a 'micro-blog in their captions, where they tell a story and that engages and connects well with their audience.
Remember to be yourself and have fun!
#6 Invest in Video Content for Optimal Reach and Growth
Video has taken over and it is here to stay.
With the rise in popularity in TikTok and Instagram Reels, it seems that almost all of the most popular social media apps are pushing for video content.
So start creating! You can show your true and authentic self in video content, and give your audience a greater opportunity to fall in love with your personality.
Plus, the rewarded exposure is huge for growing your audience.
Tips for creating video content:
- Look for trends, such as songs, dances, voice clips, and start creating. You don't have to reinvent the wheel, but you can take inspiration from others and make it your own.
- Start with an engaging hook and end with a CTA.
- Add captions!
- Create video content to serve your niche - whether that is answering a question, entertaining, or inspiring, create with a purpose and tailor to your niche.
#7 Seek Collabs with Other Influencers
Collaborations are a great way to get more eyes on your content, grow your network, and spark creativity with others in or adjacent to your niche.
While it might seem weird to collab with the competition, it's important to remember that a lot of creators want to lift and support their fellow influencers in the industry.
Sharing your favorite creators' content on your story and writing a meaningful comment is a great way for you to break the ice and introduce yourself to other creators. They will appreciate the bit of love and it will help get their eyes on you.
Start by building a relationship then reach out to them and ask to collaborate. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there.
It's all about Shine Theory!
#8 Create Your Own UGC (and Get Brand Partnerships)
If you are looking to get more brand partnerships and paid collaborations this year, then start by creating content with their products and tag them in it, especially if it's a brand you love!
Brands love UGC - it creates social proof, shows people using their products in everyday life, and helps them grow their audience and customer base.
If you are looking to grow your collaborations and paid partnerships with brands, then start making genuine content with their products.
Create tutorials, honest reviews, or product photos and always tag the brand.
The brands will get notified and it will provide you with exposure to that brand!
Pro tip - The brands you love typically have an influencer marketing or social media marketing manager, so find out who they are as well and tag them!
#9 Be Consistent and Keep Your Content Fresh
Consistency is key for growing your community and following.
But it's more than simply growing vanity metrics (followers, likes, etc). Keeping your content fresh and being consistent will allow you to grow your community and have them get to know you.
Not sure how to keep your content fresh on stay on a consistent posting schedule? Follow these tips:
- Batch create content - make all of your video content in one go, plan out your grid, and schedule it, so the only thing you have to do each day is post and engage
- Repurpose content from other platforms - if you make TikTok, repurpose those as reels on Instagram
- Intentionally plan out your content weekly or biweekly
- Research to keep ideas fresh so you aren't scratching your head unsure what to post
- Don't burn yourself out - find a posting schedule and an amount of content you can make each week that works for you
#10 Engage and Listen to Your Audience
Your audience will tell you what they want to see from you. You just have to communicate with them!
Use analytics to track who is following you, where they are located, and what they are most interested in. Getting insight from your community will help you make content that resonates with them on a deeper level.
If a lot of small entrepreneurs follow you, they might enjoy seeing a makeup tutorial, but they will probably enjoy business growth hacks and strategy sessions more! It will add more value to their day-to-day lives.
You can ask your audience questions in your content or on your stories to see what they think.
Be sure to check what content is being saved, shared, and engaged with the most to know how to balance your content.
Lastly, encourage conversation with and amongst your followers! They want to feel like they are part of your world but also part of a community of like-minded people.
#11 Create Content That's Honest and Transparent
If 2020 showed us anything, it is that we are moving away from the times where posting a single beautiful picture with an emoji caption is highly favorable and celebrated
People want to feel a connection to the influencers they follow. That is why honesty and transparency are crucial!
So many influencers are being more conscientious when it comes to editing, photoshop, and also are focusing on being more real and unfiltered.
Social media can be draining, so if you want to become an influencer in 2021, you should strive to be as relatable, transparent, and open with your community as possible!
Grow an audience of like-minded people will be better in the long run.
#12 Define Your Tooling and Equipment to Deliver Polished Content
You can make content with just your phone!
But you might want to get a few other tools and pieces of equipment in place to help you produce polished content every time!
Here's what we mean:
- A scheduling tool to help you create a posting schedule - we love Later!
- An editing tool - this can be an app on your phone or computer
- A ring light and a mic for optimal sound and light quality
#13 Start Doing Outreach to Promote Your Personal Brand
As you grow, you will likely want to start networking and building out your brand.
To do that, you will need to put yourself out there and perfect your pitch.
One of the best things you can arm yourself with is a media kit that you can send out to brands and PR companies.
Your media kit will help you market yourself as an influencer who will drive results from a paid partnership with a brand.
Create a portfolio that has the following:
- Link to your website
- Analytics from your audience
- List of previous collabs and their analytics
- The content you have created
Start reaching out! You're worth it, so go after those big brand deals. 🥰
Are you ready to turn your passion into profit by becoming an influencer?
Then be sure to follow these 13 tips to help you define your niche and start making content that your audience wants to see!
Ready to turn your customers into your army of brand ambassadors? If so, check out CrewFire's epic demo video to see how you can drive more referrals, word-of-mouth, and user-generated content for your Shopify store.
Get in touch w/ Alan (Founder/CEO - CrewFire):