If you’re ready to make the switch from part-time influencer to full-time content creator, this one is for you
Micro influencers often find it hard to monetize their work as an influencer and do what they do full time, without supplementing their income with other roles and jobs. So if you're hoping to take your Instagram account from a side hustle to a full time gig, here are some tips to help you to it take the next level and start earning a full time income as an influencer.
Widen your brand
Before you make being an influencer your full-time gig, you need more than just an Instagram account. In order to have a successful and long-term career as an influencer, you must create an influential personal brand that extends over multiple platforms to gain trust from your audience, amplify your content and build an empire.
To reach more people and diversify your skills and influence, it’s important to participate in as many social platforms as you can but don’t start an account on every channel just because - only use the platforms that make sense, and the ones that you genuinely love and have time to manage and create content for. It could be YouTube, Facebook, a blog, Pinterest, Tumblr or a combination of the main social platforms and new emerging ones.
A multi-platform personal brand not only extends one’s influence, but it also keeps your career moving as social media and digital trends change and evolve. You don’t want to be left behind!
Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket
On the same note as diversification, it’s important to spread your wings across multiple social platforms to ensure you don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.
Social media is a platform for expression, and for this it has been dubbed as one of the most fast-moving industries of them all. Viewers and followers that take part in this industry constantly make decisions, that on a large scale, reflect changes made in society and culture. Followers are constantly switching, connecting, praising, exiling and ditching platforms. It is because of this ever-developing nature of social media, that as an influencer – you need to ready for it.
Whilst Instagram and Facebook are trumping the social media charts now, we are in a time that will soon be part of social media history. We come across media platforms that seem unstoppable and are quick to forget how other greats have fallen from the hall of fame. Such platforms include Myspace who was overthrown by Facebook, Digg which fell from a value point of $175 million in 2010 to $500,000 two years later, and Bebo which fell from $850 million to $1 million five years later. Is this trend continuing? Check out this article on Snapchat’s dwindling figures for another example.
In summary, you don’t own your followers on Instagram and at any point, the algorithm and platform can change dramatically and you can potentially lose the connections you have built overtime and you may no longer be able to reach your followers. So, if you’re looking to live and breath off your personal brand and your influence, it’s important to have channels that you own, such as a blog and email database. With social media and digital it’s about being all over the game and being one step ahead of the industry and other influencers.
The value of high quality content and high quality storytelling reigns supreme
As the old adage goes, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. In other words, it’s not what you post, its how you post it. For followers, it is easy to gauge the kind of vibes an influencer is giving off. You may be into makeup, lifestyle, sport or travel, whatever it is, the thing that pulls followers back time and time again is the quality of how you communicate and engage with them, as well as your authenticity and the value you provide. Boosting the quality of your content will help you both in the short term and in the long-run, and your followers will love you for it. The more engaging your content, the better and on Instagram that comes down to high quality content and high quality storytelling.
In order to have a large and engaged following, there must be a reason for people to look and listen and to like and subscribe time and time again and this lies in your content. If you want to make the leap to working as an influencer full-time, content should be your main focus to take you to the next level and you need to invest in it.
When it comes to investing in your content, it comes down to your time, and your resources. In terms of your time, this means personalizing captions, engaging with your audience, replying to emails, messages and comments and testing different types and formats of content. In terms of your resources, it means investing in a professional camera, honing your photography and videography skills and really investing in the types of content you want to create.
For example, if you’re a travel influencer, invest in flights, in accommodation and experiences so you can keep creating new and exciting content. Don’t just wait for an opportunity to fall into your lap - invest in the type of content you want to be creating in the long-term to build up your portfolio as you make the transition from part-time to full-time.
Polish your personal brand and all of your touch points
If you were applying for a new corporate job, you would update your resume and application, research the industry and company and maybe even buy a new outfit for the interview. Taking the leap to be a full-time influencer is exactly the same - you need to ensure your personal brand is polished and professional so brands feel confident when it comes to investing in you and your content. Show them how legit you really are.
Your personal brand should be polished from end to end, from the structure of your username on social media platforms to how you reply to emails. To ensure that a layer of professionalism falls over your personal brand and work, a strong work ethic must be harnessed. In order for social media platforms to become your new work space, you must be committed and take things seriously - just because you don’t have a boss to report to, doesn’t mean you can ignore deadlines.
Being professional as an influencer means having professional equipment and the skills on how to use it. It means investing in a custom email address, rather than just a personal Gmail account. It means using the same name across all social media platforms. Having a polished personal brand is about knowing your worth and acting like it – you’re no longer just an Instagram account with 20,000 followers, you’re a full-time content creator and business in the influencer marketing space.
It’s all about who you know, not what you know
Your journey as a professional influencer can be heavily dependent on who you connect with and the opportunities you engage in. Making your way into any industry can be fast-tracked by how well you network - like the old saying goes, it’s all about who you know, not what you know.
So, collaborate with other influencers, build relationships with brands and marketers and ultimately form a community with your followers, no matter what platform they follow you on.
Transitioning to become a full time influencer can be a lonely process for some as your workspace is no longer an office filled with people, but a solo desk. However, it is important to remember that your colleagues have not vanished, they have merely moved desk and are on the other end of your screen. Just because your workplace isn’t physical, doesn’t mean you can’t catch up and network with influencers and brands - in fact, you should take every opportunity to connect and network in real life, as well as online.
We’re here to support you throughout the process as you transition from side hustle to full-time influencer, so feel free to reach out if there is anything we can help with. In the meantime, happy Scrunching!