How to Become a Social Media Influencer

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Social media influencing sounds almost too good to be true. Of course, making money by simply posting on social media couldn’t possibly be lucrative — but it definitely is in 2021. It will only continue to grow in popularity in the years to come. 

That being said, not just anyone can post on social media and make money. Furthermore, this concept requires a bit more effort than meets the eye. But if you set yourself upright and put in the work, you can become a successful social media influencer — and we’re going to show you exactly how to do it. 

What Is a Social Media Influencer?

For those who aren’t totally familiar with social media influencing, it might be helpful to first explain this concept more generally before jumping into more detailed information. Generally speaking, social media influencers use their audience and following to promote specific products or overall brands. Brands often pay for these partnerships and may offer other types of incentives like free products or services in exchange for social media posts. 

Social media influencers often have large followings with tens of thousands of subscribers that brands are able to access through a partnership. However, there are also “micro-influencers” with smaller but more intimate followings that can also be harnessed. 

Essentially, brands are paying to access the influencer’s reputation as a knowledgeable and reputable source for their followers. 

How Lucrative Is Social Media Influencing?

You may think that this concept is ineffective and inefficient. In reality, however, it’s quite lucrative. Here are some key statistics that you need to know about social media influencing:

  • Influencer marketing is growing fast. In 2016, influencer marketing was only worth $1.7 billion. In 2020, it was estimated to be worth $9.7 billion. In 2021, it’s estimated to reach a new high of $13.8 billion.

  • While COVID-19 affected many businesses around the world, it didn’t seem to affect social media influencing. Even though some companies in hard-hit industries may have needed to adjust their strategies, this marketing concept proved even more lucrative during a time when people were stuck at home, spending more time online. 

  • Social media influencing can be tracked, and 67% of firms actively measure their return on investment from social media influencing campaigns. Brands provide influencers with special discount codes in their advertisements for customers to use when making a purchase. Additionally, you can measure social media influencing in terms of engagement or impressions. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, 38.5% of brands measure success in terms of conversions and sales, 32.5% measure it in terms of engagement or clicks, and 29% measure it in terms of impressions or views. 

  • Campaigns that utilize micro-influencers with only a few thousand followers may be more lucrative than those that utilize mega with millions of followers. For instance, on Instagram, micro-influencers enjoy an engagement rate of 3.86%, whereas mega-influencers only experience an engagement rate of 1.21%. On TikTok, micro-influencers enjoy an engagement rate of nearly 18%, whereas mega-influencers only experience an engagement rate under 5%. 

  • According to a 2019 survey, businesses are generally making $5.20 for every $1 that they spend on influencer marketing — with the top 13% of firms making $20 or more. The bottom 25% of brands were not able to make any money off of social media influencing. However, it’s possible to enjoy a great return on your investment with the right strategy and effort. 

How to Become a Social Media Influencer

Sure, social media influencing is lucrative for businesses, but what about the influencers themselves? Social media influencing relies on the development of a mutually beneficial relationship between the brand and the partner — earning them both money as a result of the campaign. 

The earning potential for social media influencers largely depends on your niche and the number of followers you have. 

Micro-influencers with under 10,000 followers can expect to earn about $88 per sponsored post. Influencers with under 100,000 followers can expect to earn about $200 per sponsored post. Finally, mega-influencers with around 500,000 followers can expect to earn around $670 per sponsored post. 

Generally speaking, influencers expect to be paid $10 per every 1,000 followers after 100,000. 

But what does this translate into throughout the year? Can you actually make a living off of social media influencing? It’s definitely possible to make a solid living off of social media influencing these days, depending on your following and your dedication. 

A seemingly “normal” influencer can make anywhere between $30,000 to $100,000 per year on influencing alone. 

Intrigued? You’re not alone. Here’s what you need to do if you want to cash in and become a social media influencer:

Find Your Niche

Niches are everything in social media influencing. After all, this market is all about being a trusted authority in your field. So you need to decide what that is and what makes you trustworthy. Some examples include fitness, cooking, baking, crafting, home decorating, parenting, etc. 

Choose Your Platform

Once you have chosen your niche, you need to choose your platform. Instagram is widely known as the best platform for social media influencing, although TikTok is consistently growing and catching up. Overall, choose a platform that you’re comfortable with and where you’re able to reach your target audience. 

Build Your Account and Engagement

Once you have chosen your platform, you need to build your account and boost your levels of engagement. Since you’ll generally be paid for your posts based on your number of followers, you need to focus on gaining new ones. 

Create Engaging Content

If you’re looking to gain new followers, then you need to create engaging content consistently. So make sure to post early and often. Also, make sure that your content can engage your followers somehow. 

For instance, you could do a question-and-answer session on your Instagram stories. You could even go live! Take polls on what types of content or features your followers want to see from you. All of these are great ways to increase your number of followers while simultaneously boosting your existing levels of engagement. 

From there, you can begin working with brands, posting sponsored advertisements, and get paid. 

If you’re just starting out, you may want to work with an agent that’s able to initiate and foster brand relationships. 

Final Thoughts on Social Media Influencers

While social media influencing can be lucrative for both brands and influencers, the process isn’t always easy. For instance, it can be difficult for brands to find potential influencers they want to work with. In this case, we always recommend working with a marketing expert that can identify, contact, and work with the right influencers for your brand. 

You want to make sure that you’re partnering with influencers that share your brand values. You’re associating your brand with that individual, so you want to make sure that it’s a positive association. So allowing a marketing expert to find and vet any potential influencing partners will help build your brand towards future success. 


100 Influencer Marketing Statistics for 2021 | Influencer Marketing Hub

How Much Money Do Social Media Influencers Make? | Fox Business

How To Become A Social Media Influencer | Digital Marketing

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