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There are a lot of people on the web that are keen to make a lot of money. These tend to include the likes of internet marketers who make money from selling affiliate products. To them, getting rich and being able to retire to a sunny island somewhere is the ultimate “dream” for their business.
Better yet, they might hope to earn “passive” income, meaning that they’ll be able to generate more income even while they’re sleeping or relaxing. Passive income is income that generates itself.
But is that all you really want to achieve from your online efforts? Is that really the only thing that can come from your hard work? The truth is that working online creates a huge number of opportunities and one of the very biggest is to become an influencer.
Why is this such a big deal?
Well, to put it simply, an influencer is someone who is not only able to generate a lot of money from their website or online business, but who is also able to also generate a lot of buzz when they need to and sway the popular discourse. A “thought leader” who can persuade and encourage and motivate people to get behind a cause.
What’s more, is that an influencer is a new type of celebrity. Someone who is known around the world, and who can enjoy the MANY exciting perks that come from that.
Being an influencer also means that the income you are generating is completely stable and resilient. It means that you aren’t reliant on a single product or service: you are the product! You can get paid thousands of dollars by companies simply to make a sponsored post (this can mean just wearing their merchandise!). The going rate is $1,000 for every 1,000 YouTube subscribers for a single sponsored video. Now imagine if you have 1M subscribers!
(Note that if you want to know how much your brand is worth, you can check it out using the site NoxInfluencer.com.)
Or you can drive traffic to your own products. Imagine being in a position where anything you released would automatically have potential audience of hundreds of thousands of buyers!
If that sounds at all appealing, then becoming an influencer might just be for you!
What Makes You An Influencer?
But we still haven’t answered that fundamental question: just what is an influencer?
HOW TO BECOME AN INFLUENCER
An influencer is essentially someone with access to a large audience, who is able to influence that audience and change the way they feel about something/generate interest for a product or service.
Generally then, we think of an influencer as an Instagram star with hundreds of thousands of followers, or as someone on YouTube with a large following. It could also be someone running a blog and gaining a lot of views for each of their articles.
Answer this question: if you released an eBook right now, would people flock to buy it? If you posted an image of you wearing a particularly item, would that drive people to ask about it and maybe buy it as well?
If the answer to those questions is “yes,” then you are an influencer.
Do You Have to Be a Celebrity?
So do you need to be a celebrity to be an influencer? Not at all!
Firstly, it’s definitely possible to build a large and engaged audience without having been a celebrity to begin with. But even once you make it, being a big influencer doesn’t necessarily need to mean gaining 1M subscribers (though that is definitely welcome and a great target to aim for!).
There is also such thing as a “micro-influencer.” This is someone that has a significantly smaller audience, but that still has the power to influence and persuade, and that will still prove to be an appealing target for a potential marketing company.
If you have 2,000 followers on Instagram but those followers are highly engaged, then you still have the ability to generate buzz. What’s more, is that if you influence the right person, this can then influence other big influencers creating a spread.
Being a smaller influencer like this is actually ideal for some marketing agencies as they know that you will likely charge less, while still having a big positive impact on helping to increase their brand awareness and the desirability of their product. And of course creating a small amount of influence can help you drastically when it comes to increasing sales in your own business.
Chapter 2: How to Become an Influencer – Knowing Your Strategy
So now you know what being an influencer entails, the next logical question is how you get there!
How do you become an influencer and start making a big splash online?
The simple answer is to create high quality content that has a consistent and honest “mission statement”, and then to promote that content online.
Often this will mean also mean creating a “personal brand.” That means that instead of using a logo or company name, you are going to make yourself the brand.
Creating Your Personal Brand
Personal branding is an immensely fascinating concept when it comes to marketing and one that will be naturally interesting to many people.
Essentially, personally branding means taking your name and your image and turning that into your brand
This is a way for people to potentially achieve a minor form of celebrity online (hence the mass appeal!) while also presenting an opportunity for businesses to reach a much larger audience in a far more personal and impactful way.
At the same time, personal branding allows you to create more of a direct relationship with your audience – and to be more “human” and accessible. This in turn means you will be more likely to develop actual friends and fans, rather than just customers or clients. This is a FAR more powerful kind of relationship for any business.
Personal Brands Explained
The best way to explain a personal brand is to suggest a few examples you can learn from. Take Tim Ferriss for instance. Tim Ferriss is a prominent creator, an author, a podcaster and someone who has a massive online following.
Part of Tim’s success comes down to his branding. Notice how you know his name rather than a company. The same goes for someone like Tony Robins, or perhaps Pat Flynn. These are people whose names come first. Elliot Hulse or the Hodge Twins are similar examples, as are many more YouTube personalities.
If you choose to create a personal brand, then the name of your social media account is your name. The things you post are clips from your life. And the business name takes a back seat.
Why it Works
There are many reasons that personal branding works well and particularly when combined with social media.
For starters, a personal brand makes your website and business feel much more personal and it makes people feel as though they know you and can relate to you. That means they’ll feel as though they can trust you and in turn, that means they’ll be willing to buy from you.
The aim is to become a role model, and to become someone that others want to emulate. Most of us will base what we wear on what we see in magazines, and what we see celebrities and friends wearing. We are significantly less impressed by adverts telling us that we should wear a t-shirt.
This is the power of “social influence.” And it’s massive!
Having a more personal relationship with a brand also makes you more emotionally invested. It means that you’re going to want to see what they do next and you’re going to feel involved in their
success. This makes you far more likely to engage with their posts and to be persuaded by what they have to say.
Another reason it works is because people love living vicariously. People love getting an insight into the lives of others and this way, your social media will become much more interesting and addictive to follow.
Finally, though, using yourself as your brand allows you to sell the “value proposition.” A value proposition drives most successful products. This is the “promise” for what your product can do for people. It is the lifestyle you’re promoting and the emotional hook.
By having a personal social media account, you can show yourself living the lifestyle you’re selling. And when you do that, people will be inspired to buy your products.
The 3 C’s of Influencers
Are you ready to step up your game as an influencer? Do you want to join the big boys in your respective niche and attract the highest-paying sponsors?
Then you need to focus on THREE golden rules: the three C’s...
Being an influencer is all about creating amazing content. Whether you’re on Instagram, YouTube or Vine… it really doesn’t matter. People tune in because they want to be inspired, informed or entertained and that’s what your content does.
This is also important when it comes to networking, getting shoutouts from other influencers and finding sponsors. The better your content, the more other people are going to want to be associated with your brand. We’ll address how to do all of this later in the book.
So how do you make amazing content? Again, it’s all about understanding your value proposition. You need to know why your audience responds to what you’re doing and what they hope to gain from following you. Once you can do that, you can tap into that emotional hook and keep bringing them back.
Community engagement is absolutely critical for influencers working on Instagram and other networks. These are social networks and the operative word here is social.
That is to say that these platforms are designed for communication. If you are putting out content but not responding
to comments or messages, then you’re not really using the channels as they were intended.
Start to actively respond to your audience and engage them and they will feel as though they actually know you. This gives them a greater sense of ownership over your brand and of belonging and ultimately, it’s what makes true “fans” as opposed to passive followers.
This is also the best way to sell something as an influencer: using what we call the “soft sell.” Imagine that you are selling life coaching for $1,000 per session. Instead of shoving that down people’s throats, you instead post images of you living your best life and mention casually that you offer life coaching. People will contact you to ask about it, at which point you spend time talking to them, getting to know them, and understanding if you can help them. Only then do you outline the program you offer and the price, at which point they’re hooked. This is how, as an influencer, you can successfully sell truly “big ticket” items.
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