When the world was grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, a certain factory worker in Chivasso, Italy, lost his job.
But this is no sob story. Khabane Lame, the young factory worker is now a household name – better known as Khaby Lame across social media platforms.
All he did was create and post simple, relatable videos on TikTok, taking on complex life hack videos and showing comparisons in reaction clips. With his persistent efforts, the videos started gaining virality .
Stories like Khaby’s bring hope to creators who are aiming to make it big as a social media influencer. The big question is – how to get started?
Let’s take a deep dive and figure it out.
The Not-So-Secret Life of a Social Media Influencer
A day in the life of a social media influencer goes beyond fancy backdrops, scenic locations, ring lights and expensive cameras.
Main challenges for becoming a succesful infuencer
Believe it or not, there are several challenges that even the best of the lot face.
Here’s a quick lowdown:
- Visibility Woes - Open any social media app. You’ll end up reading, viewing or listening to the content you frequently consume. This is the power of algorithm. While it is good news from the users’ perspective, influencers are often impacted by a change in the algorithm. Even when they churn out the best content, one minor algo change can wreak havoc on their efforts.
- No Shortcut – Like most of the things in life, becoming an influencer is never an overnight thing. Yes, there are cases where one single content goes viral, giving all the limelight on the influencer. But it’s never the first post, right?
- Boredom Kick-ins – When you do something day in and night out, chances are high that you’ll end up getting bored. Since social media influencers do the same thing pretty much every day, they may eventually get bored.
- No Guaranteed Income – It takes time, efforts, and several other commitments to start earning money from creating content. But it doesn’t change the fact that influencers don’t have a guaranteed income, especially when it comes to nano and micro influencers. More often than not, brands approach them, offering sample products and ask them to promote the same for free. That’s where the hurt lies.
All the aforementioned challenges lead to the creative confidence of the influencers taking a backseat. The good news here is that these can be mitigated with one simple solution – the Cost Per Sales model.
Monetize your infuencer profile: CPS vs CPP model
Rooted in Affiliate Marketing, Cost Per Sales is an advertising pricing model that’s soaring in popularity among influencers. With the CPS branding in place, brands compensate creators on each action they deliver with their content.
The action is always pre-defined. Say for instance, there’s a shampoo brand working with a nano or a micro influencer. The action defined can be –
- Get followers to use the discount coupon to make a purchase
- Get followers to tag 5 friends in a comment
Instead of being lopsided, both brands and the influencers in question get to hold the reins in the CPS revenue model with low risks altogether. While it rewards the influencers, brands can get returns on their investment in terms of better traction. Simple.
Compare this with the Cost Per Post model (CPP) – there’s no end to the posts created by influencers (who are anyway paid based on the follower count among other variables). Brands on the other hand keep paying for posts without conversions. It’s a dead end for the brand to be honest.
The best part about CPS metric is that it fits all brand size, is scalable, provides measurable outcomes to brands and is a meaningful exercise for the influencers.
Got piqued? Now let’s get to the meat – understand how to make your mark as a social media influencer with some actionable steps.
How to become a successful social media influencer?
But before you get started: First things first. Irrespective of the social media platform where you want to focus on your content creation, make sure that you optimize your profile.
Optimize your profiles
Some handy tips in this direction are –
- Complete all the given fields
- Write an engaging bio
- Upload a high-res display and cover image
- Switch to a business/creator account for more options
Once you have a solid profile, you’re ready to take on the world.
Follow the rules of the platform
Each social media channel is unique in itself. And what works on Twitter may not work in your favor on Instagram. This is where you need to go in-depth to understand the dynamics of the platform you want to establish yourself as a nano or micro influencer, and master it.
If you’re creating a 3-minute reel on Instagram, you can package the same content in a short video for YouTube Shorts. All you need to do is to be smart about using the content across different platforms, but keep your focus on one platform.
Takeaway: Don’t be a jack of all trades.
Upgrade your skills
You may come from any walk of life. It doesn’t matter as long as you keep churning out regular and relevant content for your target audience segment. And in order to do that, you need to keep upgrading your skill sets. Learning the ropes will establish you as an expert and help you gain credibility across brands you work with. With several on-demand and free lessons that are readily available online, this shouldn’t be a roadblock to your success.
For instance, if you are a fashion influencer, learn the craft more deeply over a lesson such as – fashion of the early 50’s. This way, you’ll be equipped to talk about the subject as an expert and also, use the nuggets to create content that keeps your followers hooked!
Takeaway: Never take a break from learning.
Tell compelling stories
Why do we love to follow certain influencers more than others? What makes us look them up and see what they are up to? The answer is rooted in storytelling.
When you weave in stories across your content, it builds up authenticity. With an overwhelming number of influencers vying for attention, you can use stories to be the signal in the noise, and connect with your target audience.
Take the instance of The Gardner Quad Squad. The family of six rose to fame after taking to the internet to share their story of infertility, leading to becoming parents to two sets of identical twins endearingly called Durls. Even after gaining fame, they take the audience inside their lives by constantly vlogging and sharing stories.
Takeaway: Make storytelling your superpower.
Planning is everything
When you work as a nano or micro influencer, there will be hundreds and thousands of eyes tracking every single activity you do. Whether you post a story a few times in a week or post twice a day, you need to keep all the plan ready. This includes creating and implementing the content strategy, finishing the edits on time, having a margin for reshooting or touch-ups, and so on. Having a plan in place will also make you more consistent on platforms, giving you the option to override various algorithmic changes.
Takeaway: Be prepared. Always.
Build a community
Brands love to work with nano and micro influencers since they have a strong network of authentic followers. The community of followers is the driving factor behind the growth of influencers irrespective of the channels.
Some of the finest ways to build a community are to use hashtags, partner with relevant brands and influencers, and implement a stellar content strategy. Most importantly, be consistent in your effort rather than making it a onetime, touch and go thing!
Takeaway: A strong network is the secret sauce of being a successful influencer.
Converse with your audience
Since they are constantly bombarded with sponsored posts and ads across social media channels, your followers will be quick to lose interest if you don’t create value for them. One of the ways to do so is to keep the tone of your content conversational and take an authentic approach while sharing information. Make sure there’s variety in the way you deliver content.
For instance, if you’re a food influencer, don’t always post aesthetically appealing food videos. Put in a question or two, make them feel involved in the process and you’ll never go wrong.
Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to break the 4th wall.
Engage, engage, engage
No matter how tired you are by the end of the day, make room for engaging with your follower base. Be it replying to their DMs individually or collectively over a story or a post, ensure that their queries, suggestions, and everything in between are attended to. This also includes replying to their comments, resharing something that they put from your timeline or profile, mentioning them in a thankyou note, etc.
Takeaway: Constant engagement is critical for influencers of any size.
Bonus: Apart from these critical steps above, focus on the following and rise as a nano or micro influencer
- Focus on a niche and build your expertise in it
- Do A/B testing and see what works best for you
- Keep a close watch on the metrics
- Tell brands that you’re open to collaboration
- Collaborate with other influencers
At DRIM, we convert your dreams into a full-fledged reality. By joining our network of nano and micro influencers, you get the chance to work with immensely talented pool of managers. And the perks don’t just end there – instead of struggling to find brand partners, we’ve a steady list of leading brands waiting to work with you. This includes reputable names on the market like Dominos.
Connect with us and we’ll be happy to address all your concerns, being a helping hand in your journey as an influencer. Cheers!