Learn how you can become a paid influencer – even if you don’t have a huge following already.
In this guide, I’ll show you how to set yourself up for an opportunity to earn income online from being an influencer.
The best part is that you will earn doing something that you probably love to do already – creating and sharing content on your social media pages.
Have you noticed that your followers can’t get enough of your videos?
Or your posts receive thousands of shares and spark discussions?
What about your active followers – are they growing?
It’s probably because you are sharing content that touches their hearts. The good news is that you can turn your influence into a good source of income.
Be warned, though!
Turning your social media influence and skills into a business takes a new level of commitment and effort.
This time around, you won’t post just anything.
Also, you can’t share posts for the sake of sharing. You’ll have a clear purpose for each piece of content. It means you must put some thought into what you post.
Also, you’ll have to set aside enough time to engage with your audience and answer any questions, something you’ll have to do consistently.
If you’re still wondering why and how to go about this, it’s a tale-tale sign that you need to learn how to become a paid influencer.
In the sections below, I’ll show you the steps you’ll need to take.
Become a paid influencer:
Step #1 – What does it take to be a paid influencer?
Money is a measure of value.
Nobody will be willing to offer you money until they attach value to your offering.
And this fact works in influencer marketing as well. Brands pay you to expose their products and services to target customers.
As a paid influencer,
You’ll have to build and sustain a community of followers.
Then, you either approach a company for partnership or wait for brands to come to you.
Basically, these brands must believe that your community would be a good fit for their product or service.
How do you build an online following?
These are the steps you must take to ensure you create valuable content.
#1 You have to choose a subject to talk about.
Yes! say goodbye to random posts.
This is where Step 2 of this guide “Pick a niche …” comes in handy.
#2 You should commit to posting regularly and in certain days or hours.
The distribution of this content is also key. You want to reach as many relevant readers or viewers as possible.
Your goal is to increase your subscribers with every new post.
#3 You’ll need to implement various strategies to keep your readers engaged.
Otherwise, they might leave your social platform. Some of these tactics you’ll learn in the sections below.
All this calls for your time.
Some people do this during their free hours. Others quit their day jobs and invest their business hours into it.
When you know what’s required, you can then decide whether you are ready and willing to do it or not.
At the initial stages, you should be concerned about growing your online brand.
You don’t need to worry about involving other brands yet.
But improving your online marketing skills and sharpening your knowledge about your niche will come in handy.
Step #2 – Pick a niche and a concept
It’s important to consider a topic you are passionate about.
Readers can feel when you are talking about a subject just for the money.
Remember that you’ll be posting about the subject regularly.
It will be easier to create effective content if you love spending time researching and learning about this subject.
“Do I need to be an expert?” Not necessarily.
You just need to know about the subject enough to post helpful insights.
For instance, let’s say you’re a natural hair diehard. You don’t really have professional knowledge about hair. But you have done several natural hairstyles.
You also keep searching for innovative DIY natural hairstyling ideas.
And you have experience dealing with tangling and frizzing. Not to mention the handy products you’ve used to remove those naughty knots.
Here is the deal,
For someone who is just beginning to experiment with natural hair.
They could use any DIY video or some how-to guides around this subject.
We have recently posted in this blog about how to pick the right niche for you.
Head over to our article on How to Start a Vlog and you’ll find it in step #2 of this guide.
Another important aspect of picking a niche is its popularity and profitability.
It should be something people are interested in.
Avoid sensational topics that die out with time.
But as you go for popular subjects, consider who else is posting on the same topics. There are many people competing for your audience.
This brings us to the next tip – your concept.
There is not such a thing as a unique niche. Only that your approach can be unique.
Do you have a unique angle to an idea that has numerous influencers talking about it?
Figure out a theme that can make your target audience choose you instead of your competitors.
Even a few tweaks can mean a lot.
Your creativity in this market will set you apart!
Step #3 – Find your audience
Good content should be based on your audience likings.
If it doesn’t match what your audience is looking for, it won’t matter how excellent it is.
This makes it important to find who your audience is and what they care about.
You should also find the social media channels they love spending time on.
How can you learn about your target audience?
#1 Do some interviews with your potential audience
Based on your topic, come up with quick questions that can reveal some important information about your audience.
Your goal is to find out more about their personal goals, spending habits, challenges, and motivation.
Here’s a good example of a “user interview” with all the explanations of how to do it made by Google Ventures.
(In the video, they bring up the term “prototype” – imagine your prototype is your social profile)
Then, look around your social media followings and approach some of your top followers by asking them those questions.
It’s ok if you don’t have many followers to ask, all you are trying to achieve is to get a general understanding of who could be your top followers in the future and how can you make valuable content for them.
#2 Google search
Just type your niche in search engines, try to find some questions your audience might ask when looking for in your niche in places like blogs, quora or reddit.
For example, see the question results below for the niche “cycling”:
#3 Competitive research and analysis
Have you noticed any other influencers in your niche that are already making noise?
You might want to know what they are doing differently. There are several things you can check:
- Their content – to see how it compares to yours in terms of quality, length, and presentation.
- Their SEO – structure as well as the types of keywords they are ranking for.
These are the basics of Competitive Analysis.
It’s a simple process that allows you to understand more about who is dominating a certain niche and what you’d need to put out there that would make you unique by knowing what others are doing.
Step #4 – Create a strategy
By now you have most of the information you need on how to become an influencer.
You have a niche. You know your target audience and what they want.
You also know where they hang around most.
Do they hang out on Pinterest? Youtube? Or maybe in a small facebook group.
With this information, it’s easy to choose a suitable platform and put together several keywords or topics you want to create content around.
Choosing a platform
Let’s say your brand is focused on millennials, whose age are between the ages of 20 – 30.
You might realize that they use Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook more than Twitter or Linkedin.
With this background, you won’t open a Linkedin page and expect your marketing superpowers to draw them there.
The wisest step is to go out and meet your audience at their playing field.
It’s not hard to know which platforms are popular with people of different age groups.
Gain some insights through this factsheet from Pew Research Center.
Coming up with a content strategy
So, In order to find the best content strategy for you ask yourself this.
What am I passionate about?
Taking stunning photos? Making videos? Writing blog posts? Or maybe just showing people how to do stuff (with or without showing my face)?
You get where I’m going here, right?
Once you honestly answer this question, you’d know which will be the right platform for you to start with.
Choose one, don’t try to go and influence on multiple social media platform at once (at least for the beginning).
So for example you know you can make amazing photos.
Choose Instagram (of course), but then go for a unique concept.
For example, “one word a day”.
Every day you’d focus on another word (that’s connected to your niche) and make a photo that emphasizes what does this word means to you.
That way, you can bring in beginners and other influencers to talk about what does this word mean to them.
This discussion made consistently by posting photos everyday throughout a few months will give you the results you want.
Also, be aware of the right hashtags to match your niche. That way other people can find your posts easily and quickly.
It’s time to do some keyword research.
There are several ways of finding suitable keywords or hashtags. Here are 2 methods you can try:
- Try a Keyword Research tool – there are many free and paid tools out there that can help you get the best keyword suggestions like KWfinder, SEMRush or these 20 best keyword research tools
- Try a Hashtag Research tool – there as well many free and paid tools to help you do a hashtag research about the best hashtags for you niche like these 9 hashtags research tools
Step #5 – Post and engage meaningfully
When it comes to marketing yourself, being active in a social media platform isn’t enough.
You need to keep posting helpful content and engage with your followers.
Also, you’d need to post everyday to keep your engagement high on your profile.
Here are some quick tips to keep in mind when maintaining your social presence:
- Post content in a variety of formats e.g news, videos, images, infographics, articles, and GIFs. Use Canva (for free) to create as many graphics as you need.
- Join discussions and answer to comments, even the stupid ones – don’t pass on comment of people who are following you. Every one of them is important and the fact that you answer them makes you a human being and not a bot.
- Make your message clear – find the right way for you to be engaging in a simple and honest way. Don’t try to sell anything to your followers at first.
- Collaboration is key – be involved in your niche community. Make collaborations with other influencers or followers who can contribute.
- Get posts inspiration from your audience – let them direct you through comments and engagement about which topics would be the most popular, meaning what do you need to post about more and what you need to post less about.
- Make your brand be known for something – try to brainstorm words that you’d want to be associated with and strive to convey this message. For example: “I want my brand to be (1) informative (2) funny (3) creative and (4) simple”, now stick to your goals and make every post convey that message.
Step #6 – Start getting paid
A community comprises people who share common purpose, interest or passion.
The next steps in becoming a paid influencer would be to convert your following into a consistent income – through building a community.
So you may ask,
“How do I get paid if I don’t have a lot of followers?” or “How to I manage to convert my followers into buyers?”
In this case, you have a few options to start earning money:
#1 BEST OPTION: Gather information and build an email list
So, you have some followers that follow you on a few social networks.
But these followers aren’t yet committing to your content.
The best way to help them be more involved in discussions and in your niche is to CONVERT them into paying customers or contributing members of your email list – which is your future community.
Because there’s a lot of influencers out there and they might offer more value than you.
But if you can sustain a certain (even small) amount of followers to become members of your email list.
You can after use that to make money by offering special deals and products that would be perfect for them.
So how do you build an email list?
Start with collecting emails from your followers to become members.
You can start by signing up to Weshare and making a short community event – where your followers can get to know you better by doing a Q&A, a live video or by teaching your followers something they didn’t know before.
In return, they’ll need to give you their email and their name.
With Weshare you’ll be one click away from building your email list and start converting your followers.
Use the “export” button in your event to import all of your email list to a tool that will help you build a newsletter.
Every week, you’ll send an email to your list with the best deals, products, discussions, curated posts or anything else that is relevant to your niche.
With these tools you’ll be able to design stunning emails and send them to your email list.
Now, imagine you collect a 100 emails and names of your followers. It means that from now on they will get information every week from you and be able to connect with you on a much deeper level.
This is one of the MOST EFFICIENT ways to create a sustainable income from being an influencer. You don’t need a website, a blog or anything else (at least in the beginning). Just build your email list.
So which products should you send to your audience and how to get money from it? Look the 3rd option of this section for more information about Affiliate programs.
#2 Coach or educate your audience for money
Can you provide information to your followers that can’t be found easily on the web?
Do you have a talent you could teach your followers?
You might be surprised. Your audience is CRAVING to your unique perspective. They want to learn from – this is why they follow you, you inspire them.
This is why you can offer your service for money.
You can either teach a subject you know well, provide a private or group consultation for a follower or even make a workshop where you teach a group of your followers how to do something.
But how do I do it?
One way to go about it, is to build a website, a course, a logo, some branding, design, text and more etc.
One better and quicker way is to sign up to Weshare and in matter of 5 minutes you’d be able to create a group or a private class that will allow you to CHARGE MONEY from your followers and get paid for it.
You can get another stream of income that comes straight from your community members plus (if you followed the last section about email list building) you’ll be able to collect their email addresses and add them to your special list of “Top Followers”.
#3 Promote products in your posts through affiliate linking
In order to promote products and get paid you’d need to start with researching about products that would compliment your niche and concept.
Then, you can either apply to their affiliate program (if they have one) or use Amazon affiliate program to promote almost any niche product out there.
Affiliate programs are “referring platforms” that allows you to get a “buy now” link to a specific product.
When someone clicks on that link and buy the product – you get a commission.
Commissions from Affiliate programs can vary from 5% to 30% to even 50% (in some cases) of the sale amount.
That way, you can get a substantial amount of money if you have enough followers or traffic that clicked on your affiliate links.
Other approach to go about it is to reach brands you’d like to promote and offer them to post about their product.
Of course, you won’t get a huge offer if you don’t have a lot of followers, but it could be a start of a nurturing business relationship between you and other brands.
Important tips about affiliate marketing:
- Promote only products you believe in – don’t try to sell to your audience products you won’t even use. When doing so you’ll lose a lot of your credibility as an influencer
- Do more research about your audience – remember step 2 of this guide? Use your knowledge about your audience to compliment with other products or niches that would be a good fit to your content. Research more to get to know everything about your “Top Followers” from what they eat to when they go to sleep etc.
- It’s your job to find the best affiliate programs to maximize profits – in some niches most of the programs won’t give you a big commision but it’s your job to find programs that can increase your commission in order to make enough income.
Some influencers are specialists in their niche, some are not.
And that’s ok, what makes you an influencer is the fact that you give value to your followers.
The more you give the more you’ll get.
With a good amount of planning from content strategy to picking the right tools and implementing the steps in our guide, you’d be able to gain a sustainable income ASAP.
Comment down below to tell us about your trials and errors and how you became a paid influencer.