Instagram, an app we all know too well that was originally used to share basic photographs with friends and family, has developed into a full-time job for some. Social media, across all platforms, has evolved into more than just a fun outlet and a means of communication. When you scroll through your feed, you’re bound to see advertisements and product placements – not just from celebrities, but maybe also from someone on your campus, or someone you know with a large following. As more and more millennials discover the perks to being an influencer, the more I hear people wondering how it’s possible. Here’s some tips I’ve gained through my own experience, and through some of my favorite influencers.
Find your niche and become obsessed
First, you have to figure out what category of influencer you are. I don’t mean you should choose a certain style because you think they get the best perks… (i.e. a travel blogger because free hotel stays just sound amazing) I mean figure out what you like and you are good at, and then run with it.
Make a plan
For example, decide what social platforms you will work on – do you want to be specific to Instagram, or do you also want to create a website and newsletter? Draw it all out, and plan out your long and short-term goals.
Build your platforms
Create content! Focus on quality over quantity. You have to build your pages up before you can expect to get any compensation. So post, post, post!
Build your community
Work on your following, but do so in a smart way. I wouldn’t suggest buying followers – it’s likely if you do, they won’t even engage in your content, so what’s the point? Ask people to check out your page, comment on similar accounts, make friends with other influencers, etc. There’s a lot of free range here!
Network outside of socials
Although it’s important to network with similar influencers inside your favorite social platform, it’s important that you learn to put the phone down and talk to people face to face. Go to networking events, career-building fairs and conferences. Ask other influencers to meet you for coffee or at happy hour. Talk to people at your side hustle about your socials and always have a business card on-hand. Remember, the world is bigger than your phone.
Don’t lose sight of the passion
It’s probably the most straightforward tip I have, but it’s the most important. Don’t get tied up in the fame or the money. Remember to follow your dreams and work because you love it, not because you feel like you have to.