Influencers. Creators. Internet celebrities. In today’s social media world, these words mean different things. And the differences matter.
At the end of the day, the common denominator is content. Yet the driving force behind the content is the ultimate differentiator. Creators are often solely dedicated to their craft. Their primary goal is creating and informing, though they can make money through storefronts and merchandise or other sales. Influencers, meanwhile, are creating content with the goal of influencing: Promoting a product or service on behalf of a brand—and earning money for it.
So how can a creator make the leap from pure content to authentic influencer marketing relationships without sacrificing their authenticity and values?
From identifying your value and goals to ensuring you’ve picked the right brand partner, here’s everything you need to know about getting started as an influencer.
The brand partnership world is intimidating and full of unknowns. If you’re a creator looking to branch out, we’ve got you.
What’s your value as creator? What do you bring to the table? Before entering any brand relationship, get to know yourself. While this applies to creators at any stage, it’s even more crucial for creators looking to become an influencer. Consistent style, passion, and a clear footing will go a long way. Your polished and professional brand could be the leg up you need when connecting with potential brands—and we can help you get there.
Consistency is key to take your channel from beginner to pro.
A regular cadence of posts goes a long way. When your audience knows what to expect and when, they’ll be there. Even Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, called “a healthy feed” one of the best ways to grow your following on the platform.
In the same vein, establishing a cohesive style will grow your channel and overall influencer presence. It’s as simple as giving yourself a logo or creating a style guide for your content.
Cinema Joe, a creator on TikTok, always films in the same style, in front of his mic wearing a black hat and green screening content behind him. As you scroll, you’ll recognize his content immediately. Branding looks different across creators, so find what works for you.
TikTok’s Cinema Joe follows the same format for each video, solidifying his personal brand.
Find your people
Your journey as a creator began as a passion. Your love of makeup became a beauty tutorial. Your time at the gym made you a fitness creator. Keep that focus and drive.
As you explore potential brand partnerships, maintain your voice. Lean on your subject matter expertise. This will help you pinpoint your exact audience, so brands will know who their product or service will reach.
Prioritize integrity and promote products you actually like and use. Don’t sell your audience short. They know when a partnership is inauthentic. It’s not hard to spot: If Scott Disick directly copied and pasted an email from Boo Tea’s marketing team on his Instagram, with promotion instructions and all, he probably wasn’t a diehard fan of their product.
Scott Disick’s Boo Tea fail is a relatively easy misstep to avoid, but it serves as an important reminder to prioritize authenticity in any partnership you pursue.
Know where you stand
As you become more familiar with yourself and your audience, use this knowledge to market yourself to brands. And get compensated fairly.
Determine the type of influencer you are, so you can pitch yourself to the right brands. Nano influencers (1K-10K followers) typically have high engagement rates. They are often focused on a niche audience. These influencers might be a better fit for smaller brands or brands looking to engage with a specific industry. Many early creators start off in this stage. But with the right strategy and partnerships, you’ll be on your way to micro- (and even mega-) influencer status.
Know the brand
Research brands that align with your niche. It’s no secret: Partnerships that appeal naturally to your audience will be the most valuable to brands. Products and brands you like and use are a good place to start. Do research and outreach to determine if partnership opportunities can emerge.
Or start organically. Reviewing your favorite product—while tagging the company and including popular brand hashtags—is one way to get seen. Brands are always on the lookout for new collaborators. They prioritize relevancy and authenticity. Chances are, if you’re creating quality content, brands will take notice.
Remember: As brands vet you and other influencers in their search for the perfect partner, you should be assessing them, too. Knowing your value can be the difference between a toxic brand partnership and fair treatment.
It’s a long road ahead—one filled with spammy brand requests or cold emails left unread. But don’t get discouraged. Creating quality content pays off.
Take the First Step
With the right resources and help from influencer marketing experts like us, you’ll see wins roll in. BENlabs offers creator-to-brand AI-matching and performance tools to help you achieve professional influencer status. Get started today.