How to Succeed as Influencer #SparkMe

Influencer“Influencer marketing is the fastest-growing channel, ” according to the latest poll from influencer marketplace Tomoson. Everywhere Agency‘s Founder and President Danica Kombol reaffirmed this at the first day of Spark.me conference in Budva, Montenegro. You can read more about her talk, “Marketing Under the Influence” here. Today, I want to focus on how you get noticed by people online through social media and blogging. It is not something that comes by accident.  It requires hard work and an innovative strategy. At its core, being an influencer is having the power to create an effect, change opinions and behaviors, and drive measurable outcomes online. Here are five effective ways to become more savvy and succeed as an influencer. There has never been a better time to get started.

#1. Find your voice.
In any given field, there will already be big-name influencers who have been building their authority for years. Rather than trying to compete, find you voice in a targeted topic or field. You have a unique perspective and approach in how you look at things, so why not write about it. Do not underestimate YOUR story.

#2. Be authentic.
The entire notion of influencer marketing is built on authenticity. Tell YOUR story! Do not write for a brand or post pictures online for the whole purpose to be found by a brand. Brands hire services of an influencer though the purchase of your social media space. Brands that are great to work with will give you a lot of freedom to create content that is authentic to your space, but also creatively incorporates their product or service to your brand. However, there are ground rules as it concerns to being paid to represent a brand. Make sure that you use up-to-date disclosure information on your blog and social networks, according to the FTC’s list of ethics rules.

#3. Partner up.
Don’t be reluctant to find and partner with other bloggers or vloggers. One of the best ways to expand your reach outside your current audience is to guest post on high-traffic sites. Ideally, reach out and see if you can become a regular contributor to those sites. This will allow you to steadily build your audience while also receiving referral traffic to your own site. When using this strategy, watch your analytics carefully to see which sites are most effective in terms of targeted traffic. It may be tempting to post to high profile sites, but if you’re not getting results, you’re wasting your time. Note: don’t avoid smaller, niche sites just because of their size! Sometimes smaller sites with loyal audiences that can send the most targeted and enthusiastic visitors.

#4. Take it offline.
Most of your influence can built up online. That’s where you’ll be spending most of your time and investing most of your resources. However, most influencers also spend some time building their authority offline, through live speaking engagements, teaching classes or doing interviews. It is great meeting people face-to-face and hearing what they enjoy about your site or what stories they really connected with them personally. Writing a book can also be a huge boom to your career as an influencer.

#5. Be responsive and active.
Being active on social media is more than posting on your own accounts. You need to be engaging and participating in a variety of communities. This means showing up at other people’s Twitter chats, commenting on other people’s Instagram posts and tagging others on Facebook. Join Facebook groups and share insights with no expectation of getting traffic or any other benefit. In other words, get out there and make sure people in your field see you and get to know you as an expert.

People expect influencers to be approachable and responsive. This means consistently responding to emails, social media mentions and blog comments. While you don’t have to respond to every comment or question, it helps to let your readers and followers know that you are at least reading them.

Becoming an influencer doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a lot of time and a whole lot of hard work. However, if you stick with it and follow the five steps above, you have a reasonable chance at achieving influencer status… maybe sooner than you think!

What would you add to this list? What other strategies are you using on your path to becoming an influencer?

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