Over the past ten years or so, I’ve seen people build legitimate careers and influence by mastering being themselves thanks to social media. Thinking back, Youtube is where I first got a taste of the “Influencer” world. I watched women transition from filming makeup tutorials in their closets for fun to partnering with national brands, being featured in worldwide syndicated commercials, and earning millions…yes MILLIONS as influencers. However, influence is much more than money!
Today, many people use Instagram to leverage themselves as influencers, and contrary to popular belief– you do not have to have 100,000 followers, or be a celebrity to make an impact!
As a Social Media Manager, I have the privilege of working with AMAZING women, who have definitely made their mark on Social Media, specifically Instagram! I’m going to share some of their “secrets,” that will work for ANYONE looking to make an impact!
So, what is “Influence?”
“Social Media Influence is a marketing term that describes an individual’s ability to affect other people’s thinking in a social online community. The more influence a person has, the more appeal that individual has to companies or other individuals who want to promote an idea or sell a product.”
Here are a few tips that seem to be unanimous across the board:
#1. Stay Consistent.
Being consistent solidifies brand awareness. For example, when we think “hamburger,” most people think McDonald’s. Why? Because they have mastered brand awareness! They are on our TVs in our magazines and on every other billboard we see.
In order to gain influence, you MUST be consistent. Your brand image and brand voice should be clear and concise, and you should be posting relevant content at least once per day! Think of your favorite person on Instagram. Now think about how they represent their brand; are they known for their motivational quotes, insightful information, beautiful graphics, or all the above? Find what works for you and stay consistent!
#2. Establish Your Expertise.
The beauty of the internet is that there is something for EVERYONE. Whether you’re a passionate vegan, hairdresser, author, photographer, shopaholic, mother, DIY-er, foodie… WHATEVER– there is someone out there who needs your expertise!
Use this to your advantage, and educate your audience, while doing what you love! Ways to educate can be done through; educational graphics or captions, Instagram stories, Instagram live, and always implementing a call to action for your audience to visit your website or other work! Set the standard, and make your audience crave your insight!
#3. Be Authentic.
This is THE most important “secret.” Authenticity. People can sense when you are trying too hard, or not being your true self. The most successful influencers are extremely transparent about their past, present, struggles, and victories. Let’s use Cardi B. for example since she recently made HISTORY being the 2nd female Hip Hop artist with a #1 single without a feature since Lauryn Hill, 20 years ago!
I’m not a Love and Hip Hop fan, however, about a year ago I ran across Cardi B’s Instagram. My first thoughts were, “This girl is CRAY. But she’s hilarious.” She was like no other female rapper I’d ran across and just seemed to have so much fun being HERSELF.
Fast forward to today, and she attributes much of her success to the “Bardi Gang” her loyal fan base that streamed her single until it went #1. Did social media have a play in her gaining this Influence? Absolutely! Be yourself, have fun and you will attract an audience just for YOU.
No matter what your goals are, you do not have to be famous, rich, or popular to gain influence on Instagram. All it takes is Consistency, Expertise, and Authenticity. Now go change the world!!