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The 5 key steps to become an influencer within your industry

1. Focus on a niche you’re passionate about.

If you want to be an influencer, establish authority, and therefore influence in a specific area, then it’s vital you concentrate on a niche you’re passionate and knowledgeable about.

Some specific niche ideas might include:

  • Vegan food

  • Fitness

  • Skincare for mature-aged skin

  • Business finance

  • Budget-friendly travel

Notice how these niches aren’t just general categories but focus on a specific element of a broader topic? Of course, it’s important not to pigeonhole yourself into a topic so niche that it doesn’t have an audience, but when you focus on topic ‘sub-categories’ like this, it allows you to reach a target audience who are seeking the exact content you’re putting out there. It also greatly increases your chances of your name being associated as an expert with that particular topic.

2. Demonstrate your knowledge.

Once you’ve established what niche you will be specializing in, it’s time to share your knowledge within that field. This will help you build your audience and make a name for yourself, as people will tune-in to your content to get your latest advice, knowledge, or opinions.

When you share your knowledge with your audience through high-quality content, it demonstrates your authority within the field and the value you bring — not just now, but into the future too as they continue to follow you.

So, what are the different mediums you can share your knowledge about your chosen niche? Here are the 10 most popular:

  • Your blog

  • Social media (ideally three or more of the following: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest)

  • Guest blogging

  • Videos

  • Webinars

  • Podcasts

  • Slideshows

  • Infographics

  • Whitepapers

  • Books, including eBooks or printed books

The trick is to create high-quality and valuable content that can be repurposed across several of these mediums. For example, a lengthy blog post that can be recorded as a webinar, broken down into a slideshow, turned into a shortened series of social media posts, and reproduced as a downloadable white paper.

It’s the most effective way to get your name out there as an influencer within your field.

3. Have an opinion.

As an influencer or someone on the path to becoming one, it’s not your job to sit on the fence when it comes to issues relating to your niche. One of the biggest advantages of being an influencer is that you get to have a voice and share your opinions in the first place, so ensure you’re speaking up about the topics that matter to you and your audience.

A single internet minute holds more than 500 hours of video uploaded by users on Youtube, 147,000 photos uploaded to Facebook, and over 347,000 stories being uploaded to Instagram, so if you want to rise above the sea of online content, you need to be an independent thinker.

Hold true to your own values and beliefs, as authenticity is everything.

4. Network with other influencers.

Being an influencer also requires you to build connections and network with other influencers, especially if you want to be highly successful.

There are two main ways to do this:

  • Start a conversation with influencers online

  • Network in-person at relevant events

To connect with influencers online, read, watch, or listen to their content and reach out with constructive comments or questions. Aim to start a conversation with them, and continue this approach over the coming days, weeks, and months.

Eventually, they’ll come to recognize your name and see you as a valued audience member. This, in turn, builds rapport, and over time could even blossom into a valued working relationship or friendship.

So, how do you find influencers within your niche to connect with? There are numerous influencer finder tools online or you can simply hire a freelance marketing specialist to perform the research for you.

To network at relevant events, you’ll first need to discover which events are worth going to. Some effective ideas include:

  • Industry tradeshows

  • Conferences

  • Workshops

  • Live talks/interviews

  • Festivals

Do your research beforehand to determine which guest speakers, hosts, or influential audience members will also be attending, then do your best to strike up a conversation with them in-person at the event.

5. Engage with your audience.

It’s important to keep a rolling conversation going with your audience across all of your channels, whether it’s asking them related questions, responding to questions, or thanking people for their comments.

The most successful influencers are generally those who focus on being real, accessible, and approachable. After all, audiences are the backbone of an influencer’s career.

You can visit your audience’s own blog or social media channel and return the favor by interacting with their content. Even the smallest gestures go a long way when you’re building your career as an influencer.


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