Since the advent of social media, you can’t ignore the term “influencer. But how do you become an influencer? And how do influencers make their money? In this blog, we take a closer look at those questions and give you an easy-to-follow roadmap.
What is an influencer?
When you literally translate this English term into Dutch, you quickly arrive at the word “beinvloeder. Actually, this already says a lot about what an influencer does. This is because an influencer gets other people to purchase a service or product from a company. They do this by promoting the company in various ways on their social media, where they have built a high number of followers.
Macro and micro influencers
When talking about influencers, a distinction is often made between macro and micro influencers. Macro influencers include the group of influencers with a high number of followers on multiple social platforms. The number of followers of this group is somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million. The advantage of this group of influencers for companies is that they act professionally and the product or service is shown to a large group of people. The downside, on the other hand, is the amount you pay with them. This is much higher than for micro influencers.
Micro influencers often focus on one specific social media platform and have between 1,000 and 100,000 followers. The advantage of this group of influencers for businesses is that they often have good contact with their followers and have built a bond of trust as a result, making it more likely that their followers will accept things from them more quickly. The downside, however, is that your product or service will be shared with a smaller group.
Different types of niches
Influencers often focus on one particular audience and niche. This is often immediately obvious when you open the influencer’s profile. Examples of niches that many influencers are in are fashion (fashion), fitness and food (food). But they can also choose a very specific niche, for example, within the food niche they can choose to make and share healthy meals. There are as many as hundreds of different types of niches with influencers to match.
By focusing on one specific niche, you as an influencer are more likely to be approached for collaborations with companies. This is because it allows the company to clearly see that you have the exact same target audience as the company. With this, they are more likely to attract new customers through you.
How do influencers make their money?
Once you have built up a nice number of followers who like, share and comment on your photos, you can use your social media page to make money. One way you can do this is by partnering with a company for which you are promoting a product or service. To elaborate on this, read more about two different types of collaborations in the following piece.
Collaborations in exchange for stuff
First, you can post in exchange for a product or service; this is also called a barter deal. In doing so, you will not be paid, but this is certainly not to say that these deals are wrong. For example, do you have a well-known travel blog? Then travel companies are willing to gift you a few nights at a luxury resort in exchange for a positive review. Or receive a beautiful new sofa from an interior design store for sharing a great photo on Instagram. So absolutely not wrong.
Collaborations in exchange for money
When you want to make money as an influencer, in addition to barter deals, at some point you will have to find collaborations that you actually get paid for. This will require you to agree on a monetary amount with the company per photo, video, story or other form of content. To get an estimate of how much you can charge for this, there are several websites operating that will advise you on this. Often, on the other hand, the company itself comes up with a proposal.
In most cases, companies also choose to work with a commission. This means that every time a customer uses the influencer’s discount code (often 10 to 15 percent), the influencer itself receives x amount or x percentage over the order. As a result, companies avoid taking on a lot of risk and pay only what they actually get something in return.
Other ways to make money as an influencer
Collaborations are certainly not the only way to make money as an influencer. For example, you can choose to go live on TikTok and receive credits, which TikTok converts to cash for you. Or can you make money on a social media platform like YouTube by the number of views your video has. Each social media platform has its own revenue models that you can delve into.
Also, as an influencer, you can choose to set up your own merchandise line. In this, you invent, create and promote your own invented clothing line or products and sell them to your followers through an online store.
How do you become an influencer?
Are you all excited about making money as an influencer and want to know how to become an influencer? Then follow the roadmap below. It explains how to successfully put yourself on the map with both viewers and clients and provides a common thread when you’re at a loss for words.
Step 1. Define your niche
As mentioned earlier in this blog, having a specific niche as an influencer is very important. Choose a niche that you like and that enough people are also interested in. To get inspiration for this, you can make a list of your hobbies and other interests. In fact, it is important that you choose a niche that matches what you like.
Step 2. Define your platform(s)
Now that your (sub)niche has been chosen, it’s time to zoom in on your target audience. How old are the people interested in your page and what platform are they on? It is best to determine which social media platform(s) are right for you based on your target audience.
Step 3. Post, post, post!
Properly organize your social media profile and create a content strategy for yourself. In the initial period, try to vary the types of content as much as possible so you can see what resonates best with your target audience. From now on, it is important to post consistently and, above all, have fun doing what you do.
Step 4. Approach companies
When you’ve built up a nice number of followers and posts, it’s time to approach companies for collaborations. For this, choose companies that fall within your niche and that you may already own products from. You can find the mail addresses of many companies online, as well as sample emails about collaborations. For the first collaborations, start with a small fee, which you can build up as you have done more collaborations.
Step 4.5. A helping hand
Are you just not managing to find collaborations even though you have a nice number of followers? Then take a look at special online platforms where influencers are paired with companies. They often help you get new assignments for a small commission, allowing you to continue building your portfolio. This is definitely worth checking out when you get stuck.
Step 5. A lot of patience
To grow as an influencer on social media, you need a lot of patience and discipline. Unless you suddenly go viral (which can happen on a platform like TikTok in an instant), a profile does not grow to the thousands of followers overnight. We always say “try it for at least a year.” Then, if you didn’t get the results you were hoping for (and did show 100% commitment), you can always look for another revenue model.
Do you have absolutely no patience and want to see results faster? Then you can always choose to buy a small portion of your followers, likes and comments at likes-buying. This ensures that your profile gets a kickstart and the algorithm includes you faster.
Additional tip for collaborations
Create a nice portfolio as soon as possible! Put in here examples of collaborations you have already done, your current number of followers and reach. You can include these in your emails to potential clients and give the company a better idea of who you are and what you can do for them.
After reading this blog, you will have gotten answers to the question “how to become an influencer” and have been able to read how to actually make money from it. Will you get started right away? Then remember to use our roadmap beforehand and don’t rush. This way you will make better choices and have a better chance of becoming a successful influencer.
Want to read more about growing on social media and social media strategies? Then check out our other blogs, like this one where you learn how to get free TikTok followers.