How To Get Started As An Influencer

So people have been telling you to start a blog and you’ve been considering it. Wondering if it’s too late and how to make it big at the same time. Here are some genuine tips on how to grow your following and become an industry leader!

1: Pick Your Category

What is it that you do well? What are you passionate about? Is it food, fitness, fashion, parenting, motivation? Pick one and stick to it. This will be your brand identity - what you are known for. While this can evolve over time start off by selecting one topic and only post about that topic. Let me be brutally honest and say that no one cares about you or your life at this point, that's why you haven't become famous posting pictures of your pet one day and your backyard rager the next. That doesn't mean should stop posting those images, maybe consider dedicating a separate account to your brand.

2: Be Consistent

I see so many people extremely passionate (starting a new account, following tons of people, engaging with their users) then abandoning their account a week later. Trust me I’ve been there, influencer life is really time-consuming but if you want to make it you have to be consistent. A minimum of 3 posts a week on Instagram or 1 Blog/Youtube upload is a great place to start. Think of this as a TV show, having a consistent schedule means your audience will be able to look forward to your post!

Planoly has a free scheduling tool that allows you to upload pictures and captions for auto posting on Instagram. YouTube, Facebook, and most blogging platforms have built-in scheduling functionalities that you should take advantage of if you are really busy. I also recommend keeping an index of posts rather than posting as soon as your content is ready. I personally post 5-7 times a week on Instagram but take all my pictures on Saturday. That way I can plan out my feed ahead of time and make sure I’m consistent.

3: A Good Caption

I think captions are more important than images because it’s where you can show your personality and be vulnerable with your audience. I personally struggle with this because English is my second language and I’m scared of making a grammatical error or having my audience not understand my point. That being said, I’m not perfect and people relate to that. This year I’ve made it a priority to get more personal with my followers and I advise you to do the same!

Think about what you can say to add value in the world, this can be as simple as sharing your bad day and letting your followers know they aren't alone. Social Media at is peak is about building connections and making the world feel smaller, you can be a part of that conversation by writing a meaningful caption. Far too many influencers only think about what they can get out of influencing rather than what they can put in.

4: Engage, Engage, Engage

Engage with your audience - You wrote a meaningful caption and if someone responds, the worst thing you could do is ignore them. This shows that you don’t actually care about your community. Have genuine conversations with your followers, ask them a question then take it a step further by following up by sharing something personal. I’ve made it a goal to respond to comments for 30 minutes after every post I upload, sometimes it’s only for 10 minutes but it is a priority.

Engage with fellow influencers - The best way to build a community is by engaging and supporting influencers that you look up to or post about the same topics. Start by commenting on their post with a meaningful note (not emojis) and be consistent with this. I’ve been able to get influencers with huge followings to support me and vice versa with this strategy. That being said you must be genuine, people can spot a snake from a mile away!

Engage with tools - Platforms are always coming up with new features and engaging with said tools will work in your favor. That’s because you get a boost in the algorithm when you try out their new features. The poll, question and heart eyes slider on Instagram Stories is also a great way to understand your audience and further understand why they follow you.

5: No Shortcuts

When you’re starting off, momentum will be slow and you will be tempted to take shortcuts, but if you take a shortcut your success will go away as quickly as they come! Shortcuts come in all shape and sizes, let's break them down:

Buying Follower/Engagement - It’s really easy to buy followers and it’s cheap, but it’s even easier to spot! Someone started their account yesterday and they have 1000 followers - forsure fake unless you're a Kardashian or Nikita Dragun you just don’t have that power. The same thing goes for engagement, someone uploaded a post 5 minutes ago and all of a sudden they have 1,000 likes? It’s a bot. It’s disingenuous and will ultimately lead to your downfall. To have an influence over your community you have to be honest, plus brands don't want to work with you and your fake following!

Loop Giveaways - I don't know why this still exists but loop giveaways are the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Have not participated and will not ever participate. Basically, you and a group of people will either buy in or buy high-end products that will be given away online. The idea is that the user will have to go from profile to profile (hence the loop) following each person, commenting, or whatever the rules are theoretically increasing your follower count. Not only is this pretty much the same thing as buying followers, but you’re also showing your community that you’re desperate - not a good look.

Following and Unfollowing - Ever had an influencer follow you only to find out they unfollowed you a few days later? I personally don’t agree with this method because again it’s disingenuous but it’s worked for a ton of people. Up to you if you want to take the shortcut, but if you want to make an impact I would advise against it.

All in all remember to have fun, try new things, and be your own #1 fan. Don't be embarrassed by embarking on this new venture because no one will take you seriously unless you do! If you enjoyed reading this and found it helpful I would love to share more industry-specific knowledge with you all. How to make money as an influencer, How to collaborate with brands, How to run social media for your business vs. personal, are all ideas I have! Let me know if that’s something you will find interesting.

-Erica