Recently, there’s been an explosion of interest around online influencers. How did they become so popular? Are they really able to support themselves just by posting on social media? Can one person actually consume that much avocado toast?
Online, social influencers often seem to be living glamorous lives of curated luxury. But it’s also commonly understood that there’s a not-so-pretty side of influencing. Hearing about long hours and years spent struggling to “make it” could deter even the most hopeful aspiring influencer.
If you are an aspiring influencer or considering becoming one, here are a few reasons to persist through the difficulties and establish yourself as a successful online social presence:
1. You’re investing in your personal brand.
Personal brands are mattering more and more for everyone, not just social influencers. How you establish yourself as an online presence can affect everything from your dating prospects to your job opportunities to whether people want to attend your next birthday party. Investing in your personal brand means investing in your own reputation. And, no matter your industry or social situation, a strong reputation can only do you favors.
By becoming a social influencer, you’re being intentional with your personal brand in a way that few people are. You’re taking the time to discover and define who you are and what you want to mean in the world.
2. You’re doing what you love full-time.
In 2013, I met a guy at a skate park who was a professional razor scooter rider. That is, he had started posting his scooter videos on YouTube, and they had become popular enough that riding his scooter had become his main source of income.
While talking to him, I realized something important: in the internet age, literally anything can be turned into a job.
This was an amazing discovery, but it also felt heavy. Because it means there is absolutely no reason to settle with a job that I’m not that crazy about. It means that if I’m not waking up totally excited about what I do every day, that’s all on me. Because odds are, someone, somewhere has figured out how to make fantastic money doing exactly what I want to be doing.
When you give your time to the things that make you excited to wake up in the morning, incredible things can happen.
3. You can make great money.
Marketers have recognized the value of influencers. When they talk, instead of scrolling past as quickly as possible, people listen—and that’s valuable. According to the Financial Times, influencers with 100k followers on Instagram can charge an average of $2,700 for post. This obviously varies depending on a ton of factors (like engagement, the influencer’s niche, etc.) Taking the big-picture view, this means that people are turning online influence into their full-time career with 100k followers or fewer.
More importantly, though, if you’re careful about how you build up your brand as an influencer, you’ll be establishing yourself as an expert and a strong voice in your niche. Depending on your field, this can open up a host of other potential monetization strategies, like consulting, coaching, paid interviews, book deals, etc.
4. You’re immersing yourself in the community that you care about.
By becoming an influencer within that niche, you’re rubbing shoulders with a lot of people in that community and providing value for them. And, of course, the community will be doing the same for you.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s high-end fashion, budget traveling, racing cars, specialty coffees, cross-stitching, or any other niche you care about. Establishing yourself as a character and voice will lead to relevant opportunities. This can mean new friends, discoveries, and opportunities to share your opinion.
5. You can make a difference.
One of the beauties of the internet is that everyone can have a voice. Whether it’s a 12 year old from Ohio, an extremely niche Indie fashion blogger, or your grandmother, the internet is the place where everyone can say what they think.
The inevitable reality, though, is that not everyone’s voice receives equal weight and attention. Another (perhaps unfortunate) truth is that it’s not only the quality and merit of what you say that affects whether people listen to you. It also has to do with timing, marketing, packaging, and almost everything else that affects human behavior off the internet.
When you strengthen and refine your voice by becoming an influencer, you’re not just giving yourself a stronger voice. You’re also giving a voice to any causes, attitudes, or groups that you’re passionate about.
By becoming an online influencer, you’re giving yourself a platform, and you’re giving other people the opportunity to hear about the things that matter to you. You’re able to brighten people’s day, educate them, or inspire them to make positive changes in their own lives. And what could be more satisfying than that?
If you’d like to learn more, check out our course about becoming a successful social influencer. Inside, you’ll learn how to define your brand, create beautiful and compelling content, and how to grow your social media to ‘micro-influencer’ status—and beyond.