You may have wondered what the definition of an influencer is. You must know that they are ordinary people but able to influence the public with their behaviors and the content they produce. They achieve success through their social media activities and earn money from corporate brand endorsements.
In this article, you can find out how to become an Influencer and why people tend to follow them. You will realize that it is a profession that is adaptable to different industries and depending on the niche market, can work online and make a profit with the internet.
If you want to find out how this world works and how to enrich your skills, our course to become an Influencer can definitely be for you!
After watching my video, I recommend that you learn more about this topic by continuing reading. I will explain:
- What is meant by an Influencer;
- How they are classified;
- How much an Influencer earns on average;
- The steps to becoming a social star.
Who is and what does an influencer do
As you could understand the meaning of the word influencer can be translated as “a person who can influence the purchasing decision of others”. But what does an influencer do?
Many people struggle to understand this new profession, which is closely linked to the digital world and its growing success in recent years.
To better explain the characteristics that an influencer must have, we used a rather simple terminology: he is a flesh-and-blood person like us but with a very large audience. However, sometimes he or she is considered a social media or web superhero and is adored like a star.
But what does it mean to be an influencer? The main merit and recognition that influential people have are to be able to create a community of fans who put their trust in them.
Fans or followers are the users who decide to follow influential social figures, depending on the content and products they promote. They are key to being able to build success and enable the development of an Influencer career.
It is also a figure who has notoriety in a particular niche in which they actively engage. The size of the fanbase depends on the size of the relevant market, but it is not the only aspect relevant to popularity.
But how do influencers build their following and how does one become an influencer?
There is no set rule, no recipe to stick to, and the ingredients can be varied. Everyone is adept at making the most of their natural abilities and gifts, a clear concept for those working on their personal branding.
Some influencers manage to shift the opinion of other individuals because of their authority and specific preparation on a topic. Others create a following because of peculiarities such as likability, originality, or beauty. For some reason, they are adept at appealing to an audience by interpreting or intercepting exactly the will of online users.
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How does an influencer work? An influencer acts on the purchase intent of his followers. This happens because of the respect his following has for him, because of his charisma and value that lead him to become famous and influence the behavior of others.
We are talking about ordinary individuals who gain online fame to the point of being paid very well for their performances. Fashion photographers, cybersecurity bloggers, marketing managers on LinkedIn, and so on. It takes patience, consistency, and a human approach, because people listen to the advice of those in whom they place their trust, and that is the key to communication!
On the corporate side, on the other hand, it is necessary to structure a strategy, do the planning, have a budget, and invest time in researching the most suitable person; for this, there are Digital PR agencies.
More and more companies are integrating influencer marketing into their strategy because, if set up well, it has a positive impact on sales. The promotion of a product or the visibility of the brand itself is advertisements implemented through web and social channels, for example with sponsored posts, YouTube videos, or through blogging.
Types of Influencers
You have understood that influencer marketing activities are varied and different social channels are used to manage communication (Linkedin, Instagram, YouTube, to give examples). The number of followers can also vary and reach very high levels. But when can one be considered an Influencer?
To better understand, it is important to distinguish the ways in which Influencers can be classified:
- Number of followers;
- Type of content;
- Level of influence.
Influencers by number of followers
How many followers do you need to have to start earning and be considered an Influencer? To answer this question we can divide web stars in this way:
- Mega: that is, Influencers with a vast number of followers on social networks that exceeds 1 million. These are usually already public figures who mostly establish collaborations with big brands;
- Macros: they are more accessible to all people and have between 400,000 and 1 million followers. They have a high profile and are in demand by all companies;
- Micro: ordinary people who have made themselves stand out within a niche market with between 1,000 and 40,000 followers per individual social network. They are very popular among generation z and most likely represent the influencers of the future;
- Nano: they have less than 1,000 followers but tend to stand out in an unfamiliar or highly specialized field. They are in fact little considered by companies, but they become very relevant for all those brands that want to promote highly specialized products.
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If you now understand the importance of the number of followers and how they affect the power of influencers, you should know that it is also important to make a distinction by content.
Influencers by content
As mentioned above, social is the stage for Influencers, but each one chooses different ways and content to pitch to their audience.
We can therefore divide Internet celebrities by content type:
- Bloggers: These are the online content creators who have developed a strong following through blogging by establishing genuine relationships with their audience and often promoting products related to the niche they represent;
- Youtubers: In recent years, videos have achieved great success, especially if they can capture the attention of users. Many are the channels born within this important social network and different are the influencers able to create an audience of followers and earn money with YouTube;
- Social: are the Influencers who know how to make money with social as they promote themselves and any products, only within them as it happens today with TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook, and do not use other channels;
- Podcasters: a recent form of influencer who makes money by producing quality audio content.’
Influencers by the level of influence
Finally, one last way to distinguish them is by the level of influence. We thus speak of:
- Celebrities: these are individuals who have achieved fame through offline channels such as music, sports, movies, or TV series. Let us say that influence marketing was born precisely from the welcoming of celebrities into the advertising strategy of brands. For many years, companies turned to testimonials to endorse their products and recorded sales thanks to their Influencer work. Even today, some high-end brands make use of them.
- Industry experts and thought leaders: people who have authority and have won respect based on their expertise and experience in the specific subject matter. It is quite usual for them to express themselves through blogging or alternatively on Twitter or LinkedIn among the social landscape.
An example of an opinion leader cited in the marketing world is undoubtedly Seth Godin but the roster extends to journalists, academics, or professional consultants who master a specific slice of knowledge and culture.
Sponsored posts for inclusion in authoritative blogs are not excluded from this logic. In this regard, an interesting detection concerns Generation Z, which seems to be immune to this form of sponsorship, even if the product is aligned with the site’s audience.
How to become an Influencer in 4 steps
Now you will be curious about the steps to becoming an influencer on social media.
Potentially anyone can become a digital influencer if they identify the right scope, language, and content that is valid for their niche, as well as choosing the best social platform for their target audience.
Interest in this area of marketing is fueled by the curiosity of wanting to get into the lives of these personalities and perhaps one day look like one of them. But what does it take to get started in the business of influencers in a professional, lucrative, and profitable way?
This form of marketing, often within a broader strategy, would not exist without social media and content marketing. The key players in influencer campaigns are popular people who collaborate with brands, for example, to launch a product. They do not have to be famous celebrities, indeed some call themselves micro, but they can rely on their lively web following.
At this moment in history, it is common to hear about TikToker or Instagram Influencers: the latter is a growing social media outlet that will soon become clogged, so it is probably a transitional time phase.
In any case, many celebrities today were born on this channel, but in past years some have also established themselves on YouTube or have grown up with their own industry blogs: tourism, fashion and fashion, entertainment, and food.
Even on the LinkedIn platform, designed for primarily business use, we find several Influencers. There is no single way to become famous.
The common element is to emerge and establish yourself on a social platform through a series of operations and tricks, valid in general to emerge, for example, as a fashion influencer on Instagram or in food style mode on Facebook, or a beauty icon youtuber.
Now it’s time to reveal the 4 steps to becoming an Influencer.
1. Identify your niche market
The first key step to becoming an influencer is to choose a specific niche within your area of interest. Study your angle of influence on social by outlining your target audience and buyer personas.
In fact, it is important to be clear about the core desires, needs, and goals that users who follow you look to. You need to have a clear understanding of why a person should follow your profile and how you can meet their expectations and respond to their requests.
So, based on the niche market, how many types of Influencers are there?
Here is a short list of some of the most popular areas:
- Food and nutrition – Food influencers;
- Fashion – Fashion Influencer;
- Beauty – Beauty Influencer;
- Fitness – Sport/Health Influencer;
- Travel – Travel Influencer;
- Videogames – Gaming Influencer.
Of course, the more mainstream the sector, the more competition there will be to stand out from the others. If you are just starting out, you could opt for a narrow field: this way you will have a better chance of creating your own audience and start working as an influencer.
Push for differentiating elements from what is already on the market in your target group. Bring novelty and freshness to your target group. This approach Elon Musk called “First Principles Thinking”, which bases decisions on objective fundamentals.
It is out-of-the-box thinking, a change of perspective that leads to exploring topics in a different way.
2. Acquire useful digital skills
Another particularly important step is to understand what you study to become an influencer. You don’t have to stop too long to think about how much a course to become an influencer costs, but you definitely need to understand what skills you need, whether you already have them, or whether you can possibly improve and grow further.
The Influencer is a new but constantly evolving profession. It, therefore, requires continuous updating of one’s skills and a mastery of programs, social networks, and digital marketing in general.
It is certainly important to be familiar with Social Media Marketing and existing or emerging social channels, but it is also relevant to have a good education in advertising and thus the world of SEM, so as to be able to best promote the products offered by the web.
Among the digital skills to be had, a good familiarity with Digital PR, as well as knowing how to handle a website and social management platforms, including for advertising, are certainly not bad. If you then want to create explosive and engaging content, courses and updates in content marketing are definitely essential!
As you can see, it is possible to become an Influencer from scratch, but training and practice are definitely the best way to lead you to success and greater engagement with your target audience.
3. Social or web: choose the channel for your content
Another step to becoming famous on the web concerns the platform to be favored. Today, Instagram shows itself to be the best-performing one, but this does not mean that it is the best choice for everyone.
It is crucial to ascertain a priori whether your audience is active on your chosen channel and whether your ideal audience spends time on your chosen medium.
Try asking yourself these questions:
- Who is your audience;
- What other influencers in the same niche use;
- What kind of content is best to create.
The form and quality of the content you generate determine whether you will be successful as an influencer.
Follow your storytelling project through the medium you have identified as optimal for you and your niche. You must be deemed trustworthy and transparent by followers, otherwise, you will soon witness the loss of trust and the decline of your following.
In addition to editing a message or video, do not neglect to work on disseminating the content itself. Plan what to publish and when, within the guidelines of the chosen channel. Analyse insights to optimize your activities on the best days and times.
And given the number of hours we spend on social networks browsing from mobile, make sure your posts are performing and appealing from mobile devices.
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4. Establishing fruitful partnerships
A very important aspect you need to know about earning money as an influencer is how to work with companies.
How do you make money on social media by promoting companies and products?
Once you have defined the type of Influencer and the number of followers, you can start entering into partnerships with companies selling products or services in your chosen field. If we take food marketing as an example, there are many restaurants or companies that establish partnerships with Influencers in order to propose, promote and increase sales to their business:
- Posting engaging stories that prompt the user to buy the product or go to a specific sponsored location;
- Offering discounts and gifts to your followers;
- Organizing events;
- Leveraging guest posts and collaborations with other bloggers or influencers;
- Making curated content and hosting authoritative opinions of recognized opinion leaders in your perimeter;
- Initiating collaborations with other influencers and interlocutors to generate traffic on one’s profile.
Whatever niche you choose, stay tuned! You need to stay up-to-date on algorithm changes in various social media to avoid penalization and not be unprepared for the guidelines and policies governing online advertising.
Influencer marketing is an effective strategy, in the public eye, so it is normal that there is a check on the regulations not to be violated, in order to protect the consumer. One example is the mandatory marking of paid content posted on influencers’ personal profiles.
Last but not least: emerging and working as an influencer takes time, be patient and consistent in your growth path. Building a trusting relationship requires consistency and reliability, just like in real life.
Users need to benefit from your online presence, if you commit missteps you risk throwing away the effort and commitment you have put in the past. This path leads you to the stepping stone of your career, but you must remain focused not only on the opportunities but also on the responsibilities that being popular on the web entails.
Collaborations are crucial, both with the audience of users who follow you, with other influencers to work with, and with companies who choose to offer you their products and who can bring you significant earnings.
Remember that the basis of all this is trust. You must first win that of your followers, and create a somewhat collaborative relationship with them. Your audience only follows you and trusts you if you are able to arouse emotions and create an engaging relationship with them.
It is important that you interact with them by showing yourself and responding to their comments or requests. You have to take the time to nurture your relationship with the people who follow you!
Trust and esteem connote a successful ascent as a web influencer, without forgetting that you must also learn to deal with negative comments and react well to criticism. Monitors the speed of growth in terms of numbers, reach, and audience engagement rates.
Highlight which content is most rewarding. This data is useful to enable you to initiate partnerships with brands and collaborate on influencer marketing campaigns.
How much does an influencer earn?
How does an influencer make money and profit from his or her online presence?
First of all, it is necessary to circumscribe the professional’s working area by defining whether it is international or national. Secondly, the sector they belong to and the number of followers they can count on are also relevant. But now let’s see how much influencers earn.
The figure is in the region of a few thousand euros per year up to a maximum of hundreds of thousands of euros. Those who invoice higher figures in the order of millions of euros usually have a structure with costs and taxes behind them, so the actual fee has to be reduced by the sums needed to run the business.
One thing for sure is that in order to reach high levels of earnings, work as an influencer and make this business profitable, you need the support of followers. A necessary consideration, often made by a company wishing to take advantage of influencer marketing, concerns the benefit offered in terms of profit.
In other words, when the promoter’s action enables increased sales of the sponsored product, the amount invested is justified. This assessment explains why one cannot speak of fixed figures for individual promotions, but rather indicative figures.
On the company side, there are parameters to be considered when defining the consideration to be paid:
- Number of followers and fans of the influencer;
- Level of engagement that posts normally generate;
- How well the adv fits the brand and the followers;
- The number of messages required;
- The type of post (video, images, audio, text);
- Commitment on the part of the influencer e.g. in providing or taking pictures;
- The platforms used to publish posts. It is important to assess whether only on the influencer’s account or in cross-posting mode.
Most will set their own rates independently. However, there are platforms that define ranges to support this. Regardless of the fees and ranges, the underlying financial analysis is the same as for advertisements. The questions to ask and the necessary data to probe are:
- What is the potential ROI;
- Potential Reach;
- How much the influencer’s audience is worth;
- What he has already done for other brands and products;
- What are the profiles of his followers;
- How many followers are active on a daily basis;
- Engagement rate (likes and comments) received in previous posts.
The graph shows the average earnings per influencer post by number of follower accounts and social media networks (in thousands of US dollars).
It should be noted that during the period measured, influencers with 100,000-500,000 followers on Instagram had an average engagement rate of 2.21% per Instagram post, which increased as the number of followers decreased, to 6.84% for accounts with 1,000-5,000 followers. Proof that micro-influencers are adept at actively engaging their audience.
Who are the highest-paid influencers
Let’s take a look at the top rankings on the most popular social network of the moment.
There are several rankings that organize the most remunerated celebrities through influencer marketing activities. One finds women and men from all over the world and also national web promoters. It is such an evolving discipline that it is not easy to define who is the highest-paid person today, because they may not be worth more tomorrow.
In which sectors do the most popular influencers establish themselves on average? The answer is not unique. In many fields, the largest numbers are generated by the consumer sphere: here the ability to animate, to raise emotions in people is at stake.
Fashion bloggers, for the fashion department, travel influencers for the tourism sector, or even food influencers. They are efficient in moving large masses by leveraging the emotional and impulsive properties that characterize these fields.
Let’s look at a few authoritative names by sector on the platform below:
Cristiano Ronaldo – sport
Celebrity, professional sportsman, Portuguese-born footballer, and world-famous footballer. One of his sponsored posts is worth around $750,000 and he has over 150 million followers. He has represented brands such as Nike, Dazn, and Yamamay with the CR7 Underwear Collection, Herbalife, and others.
Chiara Ferragni – fashion
Representative among the most popular fashion bloggers on the web, now also a digital entrepreneur. With 16 million fans on Instagram, you’ve often wondered how much Chiara Ferragni earns per month. Let’s say that the value of one of her posts is now almost $20,000.
She is breathtakingly beautiful and always makes followers a part of her daily life.
Huda Kattan – beauty
To call her a beauty blogger is reductive. American-born of Iraqi descent, the enchanting face is now a makeup artist and businesswoman. She counts on almost 32 million followers and the price per post is well over $30,000.
Gordon Ramsay – food
Although he is not the most followed chef, he does have a community of almost 6 million. A UK national, he is certainly a character who does not go unnoticed. He is not only a chef, but a TV face, entrepreneur, restaurateur, and also writer. Taking advantage of his advertising means investing over $5,500 per post.
Michelle Lewin – fitness
Fans cannot fail to know the model with the most famous silhouette. Over 13 million fans follow her on her profile where she proudly shows off her toned and muscular body. A Venezuelan fitness model, part bodybuilder, she has reached the top of the influencer charts for her branch.
Apparently, $22,000 is not enough to be sponsored by her.
Conclusions and free coaching to enrich your skills
You got a better understanding of who influencers are and what the steps are to achieve success and become influential people on the web. The relationship with one’s followers is crucial, but that alone is not enough to make money online.
An effective role is to establish partnerships with brands and companies. At the root of it all, you have to remember that it is relevant to train and update your skills on an ongoing basis. The world of social and digital marketing is always evolving and this is why you must not stop.
Creating more and more engaging and usable content is fundamental to engaging and gaining the trust of your audience.
If you also want to expand your skills and are looking for the right course for you, ask us for a free coaching consultation, and we will be able to advise you best!
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I direct Digital Coach®, the professional training school, leader in training all professionals who work in the Digital Marketing & Sales field.
As a trainer, I have trained over 35,000 business professionals from over 300 large multinational companies and over 5,000 Italian SMEs.
I devised the “Digital Strategy Framework®” method, thanks to which since 2014 I have been helping companies to define and improve over time a digital strategy that maximizes the generation of turnover and online sales.