How to Become a Social Media Influencer

Influencer marketing is an $8 billion industry that is all set to become a $24.1 billion industry by 2025. Businesses of all sizes work with influencers to reach their target market and don’t hesitate to pay influencers per post. An Instagram influencer can earn as much as $10K+ for a single post. However, micro-influencers can easily earn under $1000 per post.

If you want to become a social media influencer and want to have influence and reach, follow the steps in this actionable guide to get started.

What is a Social Media Influencer?

A social media influencer is someone who has the power to influence the buying decision of a certain target market. The influencer has a following in a niche and his/her followers take action on the recommendations. Having followers doesn’t necessarily make you a social media influencer rather how active and engaged your followers are is the key to success.

For example, a person having a million inactive followers on Instagram who don’t like, comment, or share his/her posts isn’t an ideal influencer for business. On the other hand, an Instagram user having 10K engaged followers that are extremely active and take recommendations seriously is what businesses are interested in.

social influencer tiers

Businesses are more interested in engagement and relevance and that’s where you need to focus to become a hot influencer in your niche.

How to Become a Social Media Influencer

As a new influencer, you must focus on a niche instead of reach. Since you are new, it will get extremely hard to get followers. What you can do instead is choose a niche and become an authority in it.

Follow these steps to get started today:

Step #1: Choose a Niche and Social Media Platform

Select your niche and make sure it is worth monetizing.

A niche is a unique market subset with unique needs that aren’t fulfilled by other players. In simple words, look for a problem that a specific group of people is facing and if you can help them solve it (based on your knowledge or expertise), that’s your niche:

how to choose a niche

You need to make sure your niche is specific and not big players are already targeting it. Here is an example of how to narrow down to identify a niche:

Hobbies > Outdoor hobbies > Inexpensive outdoor hobbies > Single-person inexpensive outdoor hobbies > Gold mining as hobby > Gold mining equipment > Gold detectors

From hobbies to gold detectors, makes sense, right?

Once you have identified a niche, select a social media platform. Your best bet is Instagram as it is the most popular and highly paid social network for influencers:

top social media channels for social influencers

This isn’t necessary to be on Instagram, you can choose any network based on your niche and interest. For example, if you are more into video content, go for YouTube instead of Instagram. Initially, create accounts on multiple social media sites. It is a great idea to grow more than one account simultaneously. It gets easier when the ball gets rolling.

Step #2: Identify Target Audience

Who are your ideal customers?

This requires a bit of research. Consider the example of gold detectors. You’ll need to target people who are interested in the gold mining hobby. But you don’t know their demographics and other details such as:

  • What type of content do they prefer?
  • Where do they shop?
  • What are their biggest challenges in terms of gold detectors?
  • What brands do they prefer?
  • Most important features they prefer in a gold detector?
  • What is their average income per annum?
  • What do they do for a living?

You can use market research tools like BuzzSumo and HypeAuditor to dig deep, spy on other social media influencers in your niche, and better understand your audience. 

If you want, you can create a buyer persona that will help you a lot in connecting with your followers. Use this template.

Step #3: Optimize Your Profile

The first thing that your target audience will see is your profile – update it.

Add a nice photo, add a catchy bio, share your story, add CTA, and link to your blog or other social media accounts. Here is an example of an optimized profile and catchy bio:

instagram influencer profile example

It is recommended to create a blog. It isn’t necessary but extremely useful. Add a link to your blog in your profile to drive traffic to your blog.

Step #4: Develop Content Strategy

This is the crux and the most important step in becoming a social media influencer.

The type of content you publish will decide your fate. It will help you build authority and show your expertise in the niche. The best way to create a social content strategy is to create an editorial calendar. Here is how an editorial calendar looks like:

editorial calendar template

It tells you what content to post and when to post it. You can create your editorial calendar in Google Calendar or use a free Excel template. Or, you can go with a social media management and scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite.

Here are a few tips and techniques for publishing content:

  • Publish content regularly (once a day at least)
  • Post all types of content (text, photos, and videos)
  • Curate content and post other people’s content too
  • Avoid blatant advertising
  • Track and monitor posts for improvement.

Step #5: Engage

Publishing content regularly isn’t enough. You need to engage with your followers and fellow influencers. Ask for comments, shares, and views. Run a contest or quiz and ask interesting questions.

A great idea is to see how other influencers are engaging with their followers and copy their techniques. It always works.

Follow these tips to improve engagement and connect with your followers:

  • Respond to comments
  • Like and comment on your follower’s posts
  • Follow and connect with other influencers who aren’t your competitors
  • Like, comment, and share other people’s posts
  • Tag influencers and followers in your posts
  • Be funny and entertaining
  • Use memes.

Step #6: Collaborate and Partner

Brands don’t always reach out to influencers. Most of the time, you have to target brands with a proposal or an offer. You need to tell businesses that you are available for partnerships, collaborations, and promotions. Simply mention it in your bio. Here is an example:

instagram bio CTA example

Use appropriate words such as partnership, collaboration, promotion, influencer, and business inquiries. Mentioning these words in bio/profile will tell brands you are available.

Besides, you can start tagging your target brands in posts. It is a good idea of getting noticed.


Becoming a social media influencer needs time. Follow the steps discussed in this guide and wait patiently. If nobody contacts you, don’t lose hope. You need to continue growing your account. Once you have an active and engaging following, there are 101 ways to earn money.

Get started today.

Featured Image: Pexels

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