How to Become an Influencer

When I first launched my blog, I knew I wanted to make money with display advertising and affiliate marketing. I also knew that I needed a lot of blog traffic to do so. So I wrote high-quality content and marketed my blog through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

After being in business for a couple of months, I started to get requests for unpaid product reviews and giveaways. Since I was a beginner and not making any money yet, I was thrilled to get free products!

Over time, my blog grew and became more popular, and I received paid influencer marketing campaigns and sponsorship requests; everything from tech gadgets and office supplies to business opportunities, events, and so much more.

In fact, this is one of my favorite things about being a blogger; you never know what opportunities will come knocking on your door.

If you’re wondering how to become an influencer and get paid for reviews, sponsorships, and social media campaigns, here are some tips to get you started.

PLUS, I’ve compiled a HUGE list of influencer platforms that connect influencers and bloggers with brand opportunities.

How to Become an Influencer:

1. Build Your Audience

First, you’ll need to decide which platforms you will use. The options for content creation are really endless nowadays. You can start a blog, start a YouTube Channel, post videos on TikTok or Instagram, or use a Facebook page or Pinterest account.

After you’ve decided what platforms to use, take some time to determine your niche and build your target audience. This means you must decide what topics you’ll cover and who you’re talking to. Choosing a specific niche like fashion, food, travel, lifestyle, or finance will let your audience know what to expect from you. It also determines what kinds of brands you work with most of the time.

Next, you’ll need to build this audience by consistently creating engaging content and being present on various social networks. Without regular content that entertains or informs, you’re just a lonely content creator with only your family and closest friends viewing.

2. Make it Apparent

If you want to work with brands, you need to make it easy for companies and PR agencies (these are the people who are running many of the blogger campaigns for large brands and companies) to reach you. Designate a page on your blog for advertising or sponsorship requests, create a media kit, and make sure to have your email address listed in your social media profiles.

It should be clear what type of content you create and what your area of expertise is. Brands will also want to know your demographics, engagement rates, and stats. If this information is hard to find or unavailable, your blog may be passed up for the next one that does have the information. Remember to regularly check your DMs, comments, and email for messages, brands like working with responsive people.

3. What are the Benefits?

We already know why you want to work with brands: you want to make money! But why should a brand consider working with you?

  • Do you have a loyal follower base on Instagram?
  • Are your engagement rates on Pinterest super high?
  • Do your Facebook Followers hang on every word you say?
  • Are you able to convert followers to buyers?

Use your unique style and flair to woo brands into working with you. Don’t over-embellish; you’ll need to prove your ROI (return on investment). It’s better to be honest than to overstate your influence and deliver a disappointing campaign.

4. Don’t Burn the Bridge

I’m sure you’ve heard about influencer and PR company conflicts. Each one complains about the other; one acts entitled, and the other takes advantage of the little guy. Stop the madness. Act like a professional. If a nutty request comes your way, negotiate, politely decline, or make a referral to another influencer. There is no need to act rude, unprofessional, or go on a tirade.

Whenever I receive a request for free promotion, I often try and turn it into a paid opportunity by saying:

Thanks so much for reaching out! 

This sounds like a great campaign. However, due to the overwhelming requests for product reviews, I’m only working on paid campaigns. If you’re interested, I’d be happy to pass along my media kit.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

All the best, Holly

Don’t burn the bridge because you never know when you might have to or want to cross it again. Many PR agencies represent multiple brands, and just because one client doesn’t have budget for paid campaigns, doesn’t mean that other clients don’t have budgets either.

5. Start Building the Relationship

Are you want to work with a specific brand? Start building and nurturing the relationship by following them on their social media platforms (all of them). Start interacting with them, use their hashtags, mention them in updates, and reshare their updates if it makes sense. This way, when you make your first contact with them, they already know who you are because you’ve been in their field of vision.

When you pitch them, remember to personalize your email, be short and sweet, and let them know what’s in it for them. Brands and companies don’t care about what you want — they want to see how you can help them achieve their goals. If you’re having trouble finding the right contact person, try looking around on LinkedIn for the company’s marketing or PR department.

6. Get Educated

Today brands are looking at much more than just your stats; they are looking for creativity, professionalism, and people who follow directions and meet their deadlines. To be a successful influencer, you must educate yourself on the best digital marketing practices, marketing terms, tools, FTC guidelines