? Social Media Influencers: The Complete Guide for Influencer Marketing

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There are a lot of people calling themselves social media influencers today but what does that mean? What do you have to do to be an influencer and what does it mean for your business?

In today’s episode, we are doing a deep dive into being a social media influencer. I am answering some of the most common questions I get asked and I’m even talking about pricing as an influencer, both what you can charge and how much you can make.

IE 121: Social Media Influencers: The Complete Guide

Beauty influencer creating a makeup video tutorial


If you want more information on how to send your first pitch, how to know which brands to reach out to, and exactly what to say when you do reach out, be sure to sign up for the next session of Pitch Perfect Live.

The next session runs from Monday, May 13th through Friday, May 17th, 2019.

This is a free, 5-day class that consists of emails and live Facebook trainings.

I have had previous students who were able to send their first pitch during the 5-day training and garner a sponsorship immediately. Even if you’ve previously participated in Pitch Perfect Live, many students find great value in joining in again every time I host this class.

So whether it’s your first time or your tenth, I encourage you to sign up today.

How Do You Become a Social Media Influencer?

If you already have a blog or an Instagram account, can you consider yourself an influencer?

Let me begin answering this question by giving you my definition of an influencer-

An influencer is someone who influences their audience to do something.

Now this “something” could be trying a new recipe, making a piece of home decor from a DIY tutorial, or creating a budget.

A social media influencer pushes, motivates, and persuades people to do the thing they’re talking about. This person has created a relationship with their audience where their people trust them and will try the things they recommend.

The Importance of Niching Down

The first step to becoming an influencer is to niche down and know exactly who you’re talking to. You have to know your avatar.

Niching down is important because you can’t talk about everything. If you want to see engagement, you have to be consistent in what you talk about. Your audience has to know what to expect from you.

When you consistently talk about the same thing, your audience will begin to trust you on that topic. Then and only then can you influence their decisions or persuade them to try something or buy a product.

How to Identify the Top Social Media Influencers

Do you think you could tell me some of the top social media influencers? Would you mention mostly the people who have a million or more followers?

What if I told you that’s not necessarily true?

A top social media influencer is someone who has an audience that engages with them.

Their audience is commenting on their posts, sharing their posts, messaging the influencer, and responding to their posts and Instagram stories.

*See below for a list of episodes I’ve done on increasing your engagement on IG stories.

If you see an IG user who shows IG stories of others who are tagging her in their own stories, you’ve found a top influencer. Let’s talk about an example –

I have a client whose IG handle is Mom Break. She has other people tag her when they take their own mom break. She then shares their posts where they tagged her in her own stories.

People are talking about her ideas of taking a mom break and sharing it. That’s a top influencer. Does she have 100K followers? Nope.

But she is getting attention because her audience is highly engaged.

Social Media Influencers Change with the Times

If you’ve been blogging for a while like me, – hello, 9 years here – you know that the blogging landscape has changed tremendously since we started.

Maybe you joined the social media platforms, all of them, when they first came on the scene. Maybe you do have 100K or more followers.

But it doesn’t mean that you can keep doing what you’ve always done. Brands care about your audience engagement, not your number of followers.

Followers used to be the end all, be all. Your followers used to see everything you posted but they don’t anymore.

This is why your engagement is so important.

You have got to be able to change with the times and do what’s working today. Don’t get stuck in the past.

How Much Do Social Media Influencers Make?

Let me start by saying that this number can fluctuate greatly so these aren’t hard and fast numbers.

There are multiple ways for social media influencers to make money. One way is through sponsored campaigns with brands. This is obviously my favorite way to make money on social media and one that I am known for.

I do want to say that if you are only sharing on one platform like Instagram, download your photos and save them on your own hard drive. If IG goes away tomorrow, so does all the content you shared on it. Unless you have it saved for yourself.

I also strongly recommend that you have a website. You need to own something. Start an email list. You need a way to engage with your audience aside from social media.

If you have a website, you can make money from ads on your site. If you are at the threshold for an ad company like Mediavine or AdThrive, jump on that boat and save yourself a ton of trouble trying to figure out ads for yourself.

You can earn affiliate income through a website or social media. And not only affiliates, but you can also make money by selling your own products.

What you’re trying to do is diversify your income as much as possible. You don’t want to rely on any one income stream for 100% of your income.

How Much Can I Make as an Influencer?

The money you can make is most often tied to your engagement.

I didn’t say your number of followers. I said your engagement. If you have 500 followers and those people click on every link you share and buy everything you tell them to buy, those 500 people are more valuable than 5 million who don’t do anything you tell them to.

You need to have a clear understanding of what problem you solve for your audience and continue to provide them with those solutions.

Keep in mind that the more eyeballs you get on your content, the more opportunities for your income to go up.

If you have more pageviews, your ad income goes up. More views on IG and your engagement will likely increase, as long as you are providing those awesome solutions to your avatar’s problems.

Know Your Numbers

Brands want to know what’s going on with your content and your followers. You need to be able to share your number of followers, how many of those see your content, what your click-through rate is, etc.

Follower numbers aren’t everything but they aren’t unimportant either. The brands want the numbers but don’t be afraid to pitch to brands even if your numbers aren’t as high as you think they should be.

Pricing for Sponsored Campaigns

When talking about Instagram, you can normally charge $100 for a post in your feed for every 10K followers you have.

The change comes when you use stories, especially if you have great engagement.

If you do a 5-story set of posts, you can charge as much as $500 if you can show the brand your actual engagement.

Before signing onto a campaign, you need to know the brand’s KPI’s, or key performance indicators. This is what the brand is hoping to accomplish through the campaign.

Are you trying to increase their IG followers or do they just want you to raise awareness of a new product they have out?

If you’re raising awareness, that’s a lot harder to track than how many new followers on IG they get from your posts.

I go into much more detail on these topics and more in my free 5-day training, Pitch Perfect Live. Sign up for your spot today!

Podcast Episodes to Listen to on Growing Your IG Engagement




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