How to be a Social Media Influencer and Make a Living From It

Being a social media influencer is something that has taken the online world by storm. The definition of an influencer is a person or thing that influences another, and with the addition of an online community, influencers are able to reach far and wide to many people.

Influencers have now become mainstream with a variety of small to big brands using them to promote their products and bring in an audience.

It is evident that being a social media influencer has its perks, especially as these influencers can bring in a lot of money through their advertising spots and brand deals. It is no wonder that people see this as a wonderful opportunity that doesn’t look to be dying down any time soon.

Planning on delving into this life and becoming a successful social media influencer? You may want to read on to see which social media platform would be best for you to create quality content and reach your target audience so you can go toe to toe with the best social media influencers out there.

person on their laptop

What Steps Do You Need To Take?

It’s obvious that overnight success is not always on the cards for people, as much as you want to hope that you will be a successful influencer from the get-go there are ways that you can get there without selling your soul online.

Down below are some steps you need to think about taking to pave your way, from utilizing search engine optimization to collaborating with other social media influencers.

What Niche Are You Interested In?

Before you start posting, you need to figure out which specific niche would be best for you and your brand. It has to be one that you have an interest in and that you are happy to create content about, whether that be daily or weekly. You need to be able to have some sort of background in it so you can strategically plan what you are doing.

woman in front of camera

As a social media influencer, you must be able to influence people about what you are putting out there, if you don’t know much about it, e.g. beauty guru, home improvement, etc., then people coming to view your content won’t be impressed by your lack of knowledge meaning that you won’t be able to keep your audience engaged and have them come back.

Micro influencers

A lot of influencers that have become a social media staple, have done so because they found a niche and stuck to it, and kept consistently creating content for their audience. They then get classed as micro influencers who have up to 50,000 followers that loyally follow what they do.

From that, they start to build a committed following who track their success every step of the way. Influencers can see what content is working best for them, and then as they grow they can adapt more.

cartoon influencer picture

Plan Your Content Strategy

Before putting your content out there for people to consume, you need to put a strategy together on the basis of what you want to post (relevant content), what your personal brand identity is, the tone of your content, and what your content will contain.

You could do this on a weekly basis to plan posts for the week, or you may want to plan some ideas ahead to give yourself enough time to execute them, especially if you are working with other influencers.

Once you have this all figured out, you will be able to decide which social media platforms would be best for putting your content out there.

woman in front a ring light

What Social Media Platforms Do You Want To Use?

Nowadays you cannot get by without social media, so if an influencer wants to make a good go of it, then they are going to need to plan which social media platform/s would be optimal for their success. You may want to initially go for multiple platforms so that you have a wider reach and can share your posts and/or videos across many channels.

However, don’t stretch yourself too thin as you could neglect some areas, aim for up to three but make sure they are updated regularly. Do you have any preferred social media platforms that you work well with?

  • Facebook
  • Youtube
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • TikTok
  • Snapchat

As you can see, there are quite a few social media channels to choose from, so going through them and seeing how people respond to posts and what works best through these platforms will help you make an informed decision on which social media channel would be the key component of your influencer status.

person on the Instagram app

When you become a social media influencer you have to think of the bigger picture and the best ways to draw in that audience. To create a loyal follower base you need to see which social media platforms they follow for your specific niche, and aim your post content strategy towards them.

Optimize Your Social Media Accounts

Your social media pages need to look professional and like you care about what you post. If a fellow social media influencer came onto your page, do you think they would want to collaborate with you? Do you have a steady stream of content going out? Are you creating valuable content/high quality content?

If you want different brands and businesses to collab with you, you need to show them you are serious.

group of people on their phones

Move Your Personal Account to a Business Account

Business means business, and making this move means that you will have access to business account perks that will get you on the right path. Quite a few platforms have business accounts now that you can switch to (actually most social media platforms do to fit in with the times), or you can create a separate account from your personal one, and have them linked to show “behind the scenes” content.

Profile Picture, Engaging Bio, Contact Details

All three of these are important. A bio will give people a snapshot of who you are and what you do, your profile picture puts your face out there and helps you become recognizable, and the contact details can help with connecting you to other influencers and relevant brands that may want to work with you.

cartoon of phone with apps

Speak To an Influencer Marketer

If you need to help with some of your planning, then you may want to look into how influencer marketing can be incredibly beneficial in your social media strategy. The influencer marketing industry is a huge sector since influencers have grown.

They are well-versed in what to do and how your social media channel can grow with targeted plans and with the use of influencer marketing campaigns.

As a new social media influencer you won’t have all the answers so tapping into experienced marketers will be able to help you plan out what digital marketing you should aim for as well as how to grow your own business for maximum engagement.

Network Within Your Industry

Connections are essential, online, offline, wherever it is, if you are a business whether that is small or large, you need to make sure that you are networking where you need to and are showing other influencers that you are willing to work with them. Getting your face out there is important.

two people networking

Not only is it important to speak to influencers but it is important that you reach out to brands that fit your niche so you can discuss with them a potential collaboration or if you can do sponsored content for them. When you become an influencer you also have to deal with rejection. Just because you put yourself out there doesn’t mean others will want to work with you straight away.

They may not think that you have enough followers to start with and are not sure if they should take the risk because it is their image that is on the line too. Social media influence is very big, and they do not want to show their audience something that won’t connect with them. This could end up with them getting less engagement on some posts/content.

Understand What Your Audience Wants

If you want a bigger audience then you are going to need to reach out to them and see what they are engaging with. The typical content you put out may initially satiate what they are looking for, but if you do not adapt and grow and see if different content formats will work, as well as how you can work different angles, they may get bored.

A social influencer needs to actually be ‘social’ so their audience can see they care. That doesn’t mean that you have to share every aspect of your personal lives, but it does mean that within the parameters of your social media profiles and channels, you are connecting with them and showing that you care about what they think.

audience members clapping

Sponsored content

If you start doing a lot of sponsored posts instead of posting authentic posts from you, then that may cause some issues with your followers. Sponsored posts are natural for social media influencers as they need to make a living somehow through different means, but, if you are constantly doing them one after the other and they look very bland or not in your style, then this can cause tension with your followers.

They don’t follow you to just see who is sponsoring you, they are following you because of the content you have put out.

Many influencers will look at keeping a good spread between posts like this so as not to overwhelm their audience. You should factor this into your content strategy and when you do any sponsored items you may want to channel them to your target audience. Don’t forget to tag brands in your content so they are properly advertised.

Social media post on Instagram

Be Consistent

Consistently create content that matches your personal brand and builds on your niche effectively. Your posting frequency should be scheduled and you will need to stick to it. Whether it is an Instagram post, blog post, or Tweet, you need to get it out on time. As an Instagram influencer, you can post pictures, reels, stories, and do Instagram lives, there is a lot you can do through this social channel.

If you are doing these things for the first time, then you may want to read through a step by step process on how to do them so you are able to post efficiently and with topical content.

two people planning a strategy

Be Prepared

If you dip with your posting, Instagram and other social media channels can decrease your visibility. They rely on that engagement to see if you are relevant, and this is especially important in the early stages of being online. They require you to post frequently, so it may be a good choice to schedule posts, just in case something comes up and you can’t do it manually.

Speak to Brands

As mentioned before, you need to network and make yourself visible. Brands are a connection to other influencers and other brands, so you need to make a good impression with them to hopefully get more work.

If they do decide to collaborate with you, keep to the schedule they set out, and make sure that you show that you are a serious social media influencer who wants to do their best. If they have a positive experience with you, then they may want to work with you again or tell people that you are good to work with.

People Talk

Anything being said can travel fast on social media. Since it is such as important part of people’s lives nowadays, almost everyone is on it, it’s hard to escape, so if you want there to be something good said about you, then you will need to make sure that you are putting your best self out there.

two people having a discussion

This is a social business, a social network for people to connect on. Your best bet at working with multiple other brands is by being an honest person. It doesn’t matter how many followers you have, if you’re not a good person that will get around in these circles.

You’re just starting out, yes it is tense, but make sure you have that support around you when you are doing these things. People you trust keeping you grounded will help you develop into an influencer that has a lot to offer their industry.

Keep Up-to-Date

Finally, and most importantly, stay updated on current trends and events. Something taking off online means that you have the option of getting involved, it can gain traction and you can be part of that conversation/event.

Relevant content is always a plus, it shows that you stay up-to-date and you are able to adapt to new things that come your way. Just remember to notice the rise and fall of it, you do not want to do a post about it a week or so later, it may not be relevant anymore and it shows that you are not putting yourself in the loop.

woman talking into a microphone


Feel ready to be a social media influencer yet? Hopefully, you feel a little bit more open to the idea of how you can become a social media influencer and are able to find the best influencer platforms that fit in with your style. Just remember to stick to your niche and stay focused on your goals.