So, You Want to be A Micro-Influencer?

Micro-influencers are ordinary folk who have a loyal following of less than 100,000 on social media or other platforms because of their expertise and candor. Unlike a celebrity, micro-influencers engage their followers in conversation and are trusted by their audiences because they are relatable.

The average amount paid to post a photo on a blog is $62, according to the 2017 State of the Creator Economy study.

 
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Influencer (noun)

Pronounced (British English) /ˈɪn.flu.ən.sər/, (American English) /ˈɪn.flu.ən.sɚ/
Cambridge Dictionary definition: “Someone who affects or changes the way that other people behave, for example through their use of social media."
Plural: influencers

Micro- (prefix)

Pronounced (British English) /maɪ.krəʊ-/, (American English) /ˌmɑɪ·kroʊ, ˌmɑɪ·krə/
Cambridge Dictionary definition: “Very small.”
Antonym: macro-

Maybe you’ve already flexed your budding influencer muscles on platforms like Quora, Reddit or Answer the Public. You’ve demonstrated that, hey, you know stuff! And you’ve gained a few followers along the way. Now, it’s time to bring this next level. Up your game. Take your account from one run by a selfie maven with some hot “lewks” to one that gets noticed (and makes some cash).

Is a brand sponsorship going to ruin your credibility? I mean, remember that garage band you loved in high school? They made it big, starting touring the country and became mainstream (such a dirty word). Will getting free products to review make you a sellout? Not if you keep doing what you’re doing. You probably already influence your audience… you most likely gained followers that way. The only difference is, now, more people are going to listen and you have more content (products) to share with them.

Sources show more than 26 percent of of desktop users and 15 percent of mobile users use adblocking software, which eliminates most display ads. Influencers are a way brands can get around those pesky popup blockers.

In one study, 92 percent of participants said they trust the opinion of someone they know over a brand’s ad campaign. In another study by Nielson, 80 percent of participants said they trust family and friends over a celebrity endorsement when it comes to recommendations.
Two-thirds of participants asked by Nielson also said they trust online reviews.

You aren’t an influencer just by saying, “I’m an influencer.” If that alone worked, I’ll stand here and repeat, “I’m a billionaire,” until it comes true.

First question you have to ask is, “What do I know?” The second is, “What do I want to be known for?”

Find your Niche

What are you passionate about? Let’s say you’re into sex positivity and are an advocate for sex education. Great. It’s pretty trendy to do sex toy reviews, but let’s think outside the box. What is an area of sex that not many are talking about? The older generation. Focusing on, not just sex, but sex as a person ages is a specific niche and one that isn’t overloaded with advocates.

Figure out to whom you are talking

Imagine who can benefit from your message? What group has the needs, challenges, wants and goals you are going to address or meet? Although Instagram is the influencers choice (93 percent focus on IG), your audience is a bigger determining factor in choosing which platform you should use.

A mommy blog is the perfect spot to show off educational toys, organic baby food reviews and parenting tips. If your audience is the shirt-and-tie business crowd, you should think about using LinkedIn as your primary platform.

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Ideas to get you started:

* Take over a brand’s social media account for a day.

* Write a review on your blog.

* Post a photo of “every day you” using a product.

Be savvy AND SHARE

Who are the major players in your niche topic? Check out which social media platforms they use and start sharing content from other influencers.  First, you’re providing content to your audience and now they have a reason to visit your account. Second, you are putting yourself on the same level as an established influencer in the minds of your followers. Third, you’re upping your chances of having that influencer share your content or asking you to collaborate in the future.

You need to make sure that you tailor every single content you post caters to the wants and needs of your followers, whether it’s a regular post or a paid post. The worst thing is that they can report your account as spammy, which could mean the end of your social media influencer dream.
— Aaron Haynes, founder of Fenix Pro

Be Consistent

OK, you have your strategy and you start off strong with 10 posts for week one — five curated or guest blogged, three educational pieces by you and two other posts about you. Like a pro! Week two is a little busier and you only have two posts, but they are solid pieces. Week three, you’re out of town at a conference and don’t think to post anything until the weekend.

Your followers can’t count on you. Not only will they stop paying attention to your account, you won’t be seen as a reliable source of information. Consistency is more important than content. Give your followers a reason to check in with you.

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Do your homework and figure out the best days and times for your posts to go live. They should know that every Tuesday is #TieTuesday, and you’re going to post a picture of your newest, quirkiest neckwear. Use a scheduling tool to prep posts ahead of time. Business profiles on Facebook allow for scheduling. HootSuite is often used by brands with multiple Twitter accounts. HubSpot and eClincher are two other social automation tools.

"You need to make sure that you tailor every single piece of content you post to the wants and needs of your followers, whether it's a regular post or a paid post," Aaron Haynes, founder of Fenix Pro, explained to the HubSpot blog. "The worst thing is that they can report your account as spammy, which could mean the end of your social media influencer dream."

And don’t forget your followers on the go. The average person spends two to three hours a day on their mobile device and 80 percent of that time is on social media. Your content should look just as appealing on a phone as it does on a laptop screen.

Grow and Show

When in doubt, blog it out. Instead of relying solely on your ability to tiptoe around the ever changing rules of social media giants, you can exercise more control of your content if you create a blog. Show off your knowledge and gain more followers by including social media buttons on each blog post. Give readers the ability to share your article on social media.

Pro tip

If you post on more than one platform, stay focused. Keep it to two or three maximum forms of social media and don’t spread yourself too thin. If you plan to post the same content on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, customise each post so you don’t look like a spambot bombarding your followers’ feeds. Getting reported as spam will kill your career as an influencer before it even begins.

Keep an eye on Analytics

Numbers are boring. It’s way more fun to apply some false eyelashes in a tutorial video, but by checking your analytics, you can not only gauge best time to post, the types of posts that do well and to whom your posts are appealing, but you can say to a brand, “I have x number of followers on Instagram, but a whopping y number of unique visits to my blog.”

Know your worth.