Have you ever heard someone say, “…just become an influencer…” – way easier said than done. This is quite the buzz word being thrown around today. And considering influencers are actually growing in every niche worldwide, if we have to admit something: anyone can be an influencer with attention, focus, skill, and a bit of luck.
However, we understand the principle behind why so many people are trying to work around it and be able to be identified as one: Because it usually allows them to make a lot of money.
But if there’s something you must know is that being an influencer is quite saturated today because it isn’t a matter of using one channel or platform but rather all the available ones.
Social media is where everyone is, and we’re sure you can come up with the names of many influencers when focusing on each social media platform, especially Instagram, as of the last few years.
Now, enough of this mention, and let’s focus on the reason why you are here: You want to reach the influencer status.
However, is this dream realistic today with all the considerations in the saturation, competitors, and how you can achieve the goal? Well, kind of.
We will need to dive deeper into the topic to come up with the answer by the end of this article.
What Is an Influencer? – What It Really Means
A social media influencer is someone who promotes brands on behalf of their followers via channels like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. This can also be translated to other platforms, such as Twitter and, more recently, LinkedIn.
Now, the focus on a general influencer can be taken to other platforms like YouTube and Twitch. Although those people are usually known as “YouTubers” and streamers, they also enter this category.
What makes a great influencer different from an average one is their ability to create content. Influencers who are great at creating content can create images, captions, and videos that show a brand in its best light. They also have the ability to be authentic to their followers.
A person who can influence the behavior of others through their audience size or individual persuasiveness is called an influencer, and they have the ability to influence others through their overall reach (total reach) or their authority and reputation in a small group of people.
Companies that want to use influencer marketing can benefit from the expertise of influential people. This marketing option evolved from celebrity endorsements that people usually knew to the point of reaching an influencer marketing arrangement where a brand pays an influencer to promote their products on social media or the platform, he/she is using.
For example, in the fitness and health industry, influencer marketing is a popular strategy since it shows results based on people who are supposedly using the products or accessing the services provided by a brand, which usually boosts the buying decision from the potential clients.
Perks of Becoming an Influencer
Are you interested in the advantages of being an influencer? This section will explain the most common you should know.
Influencer Marketing has the greatest advantage: It gives marketers direct access and insight into the loyal fan base of an influencer.
This saves marketers the time and effort of targeting the right audience since the influencer has already done this tedious task. This is why a high percentage of businesses decide to pay for the services of an influencer.
Who doesn’t love the ability to make a difference in people’s lives and their decisions? According to several sources, social media influencers and others from any platform are the most trusted and effective source of driving conversions and can easily persuade followers to buy or pay for something.
With this in mind, how is this a good option for you, the potential future influencer? Here are the perks you can look forward to:
- Influencers can make a lot of money.
The highest earners in this field earn millions of dollars annually, which is much more than what you would make in any other job.
However, only a few people will indeed make it to this point.
But if we focus on the regular influencer or average, it is possible to make a living as an influencer. If you work hard and improve your skills each day, it may be possible to achieve this goal sooner than you think, and your revenue is more likely to increase without noticing it.
You can still make a decent living doing what you love, even if you don’t become rich. It all depends on how hard you work and how you set your goals.
- You can become famous.
Let’s face it, influencers are considered celebrities today, which means they are pretty much in the category of being “famous.”
You will be sharing your videos on YouTube and other social media channels, so people will likely recognize you and want to take photos of you.
This can be annoying for introverted people who want to live their lives in peace and not be noticed, but it can be great for extroverts who love to chat with people all day, even if they have never met them before.
If you are looking to be the center and have the opportunity to enjoy the fame and attention that comes with it, then being an influencer could be a great career option.
- You will get fancy products for free very often.
This can be a bit meaningless, but you may be eligible for many products if you are a well-known influencer.
Big companies know that influencer marketing is a powerful channel for promoting their brands and selling many products to customers. Thus, they do their best to get your side as much as possible when your image is positive for them.
This is usually how you end up getting paid to market products or services you will be allowed to use as well. Jackpot! Here’s when the free products come.
Celebrities who are influential often do not have to shop anymore. They get free clothes, accessories, and other stuff from companies that want to promote their products on social media or other platforms.
- Work in what you are passionate about.
An influencer job offers another advantage: You can follow your passions and spend your days doing what you love.
You can make a difference by promoting the products that you love and talking about the important topics to you, unlike most people who are only in it for the money.
If you follow this, your workday won’t feel like work.
This job can turn into something you truly enjoy, and even if you enter it with the goal of just making money but aren’t a fan of it, you still can get to the point of crossing a new option you will love in the process of becoming an influencer.
- It can be done as a side hustle.
You don’t need to quit your job in order to become an influencer if you aren’t sure about dedicating your time or if it doesn’t seem like working in the beginning.
Social media and any other platform can be used as a side hustle to build your brand while you still have your full-time job. This will give you financial security, and it can relieve you of a lot of pressure.
You might find a large enough audience to earn a full-time income. At that point, you can quit your job and start your influencer career full-time.
- There are many channels you can use to influence others.
To spread your message, you can use many channels and not the usual social media, which we have mentioned in a few different ways so far.
There are many opportunities in this area. If you’re willing to work hard, you can find the best platforms for your personal brand as an influencer and get the best out of this opportunity.
- Most influencers can work indoors.
You’ll also have the opportunity to be an influencer indoors most of the day.
You don’t have to be outside working in heavy rain, snow, or extreme heat. Instead, you can work inside with four walls and a computer screen.
The comfort you achieve with this work has no price, and we would be fascinated with it just by this simple fact.
- You can avoid physical labor.
The biggest upside of being an influencer? You can avoid physical labor.
You will often talk about products and what’s happening in the world, and unless you are a fitness influencer, you can avoid lots of labor in the process of your career.
Although this may be physically demanding, and it can cause some pressure to communicate with your audience on an ongoing basis, it is not a difficult task that will require you to do heavy physical work, which means you can avoid long-term health issues.
- A community can be built.
You can make a lot of money as an influencer, and you can build a community around your brand over time that will be your type of fanbase and great followers.
People will follow you on social media if you create great content or will be eager to watch your next videos and transmissions.
Your community will support you through difficult times in life. This can help you overcome those tough times and have some people to rely on in different aspects.
It can be a great feeling to have your content liked by others and bring more confidence for yourself.
- Schedule? You’ve got freedom.
Influencers have the luxury of arranging their day as they wish. You won’t have to stick to any set appointments most of the time, and you can decide what to do next on certain occasions.
You will decide when and where you work, and how often you post or connect, and when you go on vacation.
This can provide you with a wonderful feeling of freedom as you won’t have anyone to dictate how your day should look.
You will actually be your boss, and this is something that has no price as well.
Downsides of Being an Influencer
Well, as much as we would like to stick with the perks only, we have to reach the point where the disadvantages are also mentioned. After all, nothing is perfect, and you will need to work around the pros and cons to make a well-informed decision:
- First, influencers don’t have any job guarantee.
You will make money as a self-employed worker if you can monetize your audience in many different ways, but if you are unable to do so, there’s no guarantee for anything.
For example, let’s say you can make money by selling a product on your channel, and the company will often pay you for creating a positive image of this product.
However, if the company decides it doesn’t want to work with you, you will lose all of your income.
Although you can work with other brands, this is usually easier said than done. Also, be aware that influencers will not receive a regular paycheck and will see significant income swings over the long term.
- Your popularity level will determine how much you earn.
It is also wrong to assume that all influencers make the same amount of money and that you can become a millionaire. Remember what we said about some being way too successful and others not so much? Well, we will get back to that here.
Your popularity and overall reach will impact your salary, so some are millionaires while others have to get a stable life with the profits they earn.
Since companies will pay you more based on how many followers you have and a wider audience, it is only natural to have a “rate” based on this.
Therefore, if your popularity drops due to unknown reasons at the moment, you could lose a significant portion of your income.
- Your influencer account may get closed.
Your social media accounts, Twitch or YouTube profiles, maybe shut down in the worst possible case.
You might have violated the platform’s rules, and being banned is only natural to happen in any of the platforms, which would lead to a suspension that takes your profit influx from 100 to 0.
This may not be too bad for private individuals, but it will be detrimental for you as you won’t be able to monetize the audience through your respective accounts and platforms with an online presence.
- Many influencers don’t make a living doing what they do.
Going back to the money aspect, there are even influencers who are unable to make a living by doing this, which means there’s a high probability of failure and wasting time.
This industry is very volatile and doesn’t depend much on specific guidelines or standards. Sometimes, it is much more about luck rather than the effort you invest in it.
- Overflowing negative comments.
One disadvantage to being an influencer? You will often receive negative comments that can affect your mental health greatly.
In reality, your fan base will support you through difficult times. However, others who don’t like or respect you will attempt to bring you down on an ongoing basis.
Some will even insult you, which can become very annoying and exhausting.
Therefore, it is important to have the emotional strength to handle negative comments before you make the decision to be an influencer.
- A few mistakes can ruin your career.
The possibility of making mistakes that could endanger your career is always there, and it is the most common reason for influencers to “get canceled.”
If you make a comment that is offensive or has a political connotation, brands might not be interested in working with you. Of course, this is only an example of the many mistakes you can make.
- Questionable future job prospects
Influencers are a relatively new phenomenon. Until a few decades back, it was not possible to make a living as an influencer.
The era of influencers could be ending soon, as the world changes constantly. If this is the case, you should look for a stable career path and not rely on audiences and this money-maker option.
We would, instead, try to go for innovative yet more stable alternatives.
- There are no entry barriers, which means fierce competition.
You don’t need to have a fancy education to become an influencer nor a specific nationality to use any of the platforms to build your presence. This means everyone can play the game, and there will be a lot of people who want money through this option.
You will face fierce competition and need to stand out among the rest for even a few bucks per month.
How to Become an Influencer + Tips to Be Successful
But after all, what if you are interested in becoming an influencer and facing the challenge? We are up for it just like you.
This is why we found it interesting to share some steps you can follow to make this idea come true since we are not fans of bringing down anyone’s dreams. Thus, just pay attention and take your time, but always move forward.
Identify Your Niche
You can’t expect yourself to be an “influencer” if you don’t know about yourself and where you would be good at.
Thus, take the time to go through the process to identify your strengths and weaknesses to help you choose your niche. You should choose one that will allow you to show your strengths only and skills.
Weaknesses are also allowed but moderated to a certain degree to prevent any future issues.
This step will also allow you to streamline your audience and then tailor your content to their needs.
You can usually choose from the following categories when you are having a hard time deciding:
- Health and fitness.
These categories don’t limit you, and although they are the most popular ones, you can bet on other alternatives. In addition, you can combine them as well, but you should ensure that the niches are in alignment.
You can, for example, combine fashion and beauty or lifestyle and travel when you choose your niche.
Choose Your Platform
You must have a strong presence online to be an influencer, and the best way to do this is to first find the platform where you feel comfortable the most and are interested in working. Thus, so far, we are in the niche and distribution channels step.
Overall, you don’t have to use most social media platforms only. Depending on your niche and what you prefer to work with, you might find that others are better suited to your content.
If you need some ideas to decide based on what is better for your target audience, here are a few considerations:
If you’re a fashion blogger, Instagram is better than LinkedIn and Twitter for visual content, and this can be proven as most social media bloggers choose it since it produces the best results for reach and retargeting.
If your particular niche is not on Instagram, you don’t have to focus your efforts solely on it.
It is also important to consider which platform your audience uses most often. If they are millennials, then you should concentrate your efforts on Instagram and Snapchat. However, if they are centennials, TikTok or more recent social media platforms can be a very option.
When it comes to YouTube and Twitch, these are more general, although the latter is usually focused on gaming communities.
Engage your Community
We don’t have to tell you it is crucial to engage your community once you have established a small group around your content. After all, engaging will be one of the key parts of your success.
Now, your engagement methods will depend on what type of content and platform you use if you want to be influential on Instagram, for example, “like” their comments and then share amazing pictures from their accounts.
YouTubers may like comments but can also respond to videos with other influencers. To increase awareness, engagement should be done on both your channel as well as other channels.
Remember that engagement with your devoted follower community will be more difficult if your following grows.
Engagement rates for large followings will start to drop, according to many and statistics.
High engagement rates are important for brands, especially for Instagram influencers. This is something you should strive to maintain, and although it is inevitable for the rate to drop, it is about finding a balance in the percentage.
To help you a bit more with this part, we decided to add some tips for your engagement strategies to work:
- Put effort and attention into your content.
It seems like a simple first step. Sometimes, however, you get so wrapped up in branding and sponsorships that you forget how everything started and must keep going.
When you’ve found a niche and decided to specialize in the content, it isn’t permanent, but we want you to focus on continuously making content to engage. However, our mention about specializing in a niche comes from the fact that you can become an expert by writing consistently and confidently about it and bringing more opportunities for engagement as a result.
- Do it by yourself.
It’s not worth claiming that you are an expert in a platform if you know nothing about the features and how to handle content making and sharing.
What we are trying to say is: You must know how your platform works to do things by yourself and not rely on others.
- Be human.
Being human is key to being a digital influencer, and it is often forgotten due to the common belief that those people exposing their lives to others must be perfect.
You don’t need to create a fake personality or be always “perfect” in front of your audience. Instead, show you are human just like them and share what is comfortable and right for you only. Visit other blogs.
This process of being human also includes connecting with others. You aren’t better than anyone, and no one is better than you either, but this is followed by the simple act of letting your audience and even other influencers know you want to interact with them because you are just another person on the planet.
Digital relationships are everything that people think about, but being able to grow as an influencer isn’t only about going online but also the offline and traditional methods like networking.
If you take the time to spend time with others in gatherings and maybe get to know other influencers near you, this can bring more engagement your way as you can grow thanks to the exposure in the process and create personal connections.
Finally, Is It Still Possible to Become an Influencer?
Absolutely, but it will take a lot of work.
There isn’t really a clear strategy for becoming one since many people have different approaches and achieve a wide range of results even when they follow the same steps.
This means we highly encourage you to follow the previous ones but feel free to add more to your plan along the way as long as you find them beneficial for your needs and goal.
With this in mind, the main worry to become an influencer and what makes it a bit unrealistic is the need to stand out, which isn’t achieved by over 50% of people who give this money-making option a try.
In fact, we know quite a lot of people who are influencers, but many others who tried it and failed big time. Others, well, they just make a living out of it, and it isn’t bad if you look at it in this way.
Just remember that with all the competitors, you will need to work twice harder than what current influencers used to before this option started to boom.
But more than this, stick to the thought of this actually being possible but don’t try to bet everything on it since the beginning and have a plan b when giving it a go.
The Local Lead Generation Process for Your Business
All right! So, everything is about building properties and generating leads. But how does the process actually take place? Are there other steps I need to know?
The steps I mention below are what students from our local lead generation program follow to generate leads for businesses like yourself. So I’ll help you see what we do. And how if you join our program, you can simply generate leads for your own business (unless you want to start a side hustle and build a laptop lifestyle business).
Essentially, our lead generation can be divided into four steps:
The first is prospecting. You need to take the time to do market research on a niche (industry) and determine how many phone-driven businesses are there.
Keep in mind that this is local research as you need to know how many companies need leads. For example, you may search for “plumbing services Youngstown OH.”
You will find dozens or even hundreds of businesses trying to get themselves in front of the customers by ranking on Map Listings, organic results, and even Ad.
The second step, building. When you find a niche (plumbing, tree services, a software company, real estate…), you will need to start building your digital properties. You don’t need to be an expert in HTML or coding. It can be easy with the right tools.
The third step is now taking time to rank your lead gen website. With the site done, you need to work on SEO strategies and start dominating those Google search results. If you’re new to SEO, it stands for Search Engine Optimization.
To keep it simple, it consists of the entire process of growing a company’s visibility on search engines like Google and generating organic traffic. And remember this, local lead generation is part of the strategies.
Moving on to step four, once you rank the site, you will start getting your ROI and profits. You only need to rent it out to a local business interested in the leads the site generates. You can offer a couple of free leads to their move on with the actual pay per lead.
To review steps 1-4 above, I described it to a normal student who is building a lead gen business to help local service providers generate more calls. But replace the student with you as the business owner. And replace sending the leads to a business to simply siphoning the leads to your personal business.
By the way, fun fact, about 20% of our students in our local lead gen program are actually business owners who went through the program. And they use the skillsets we teach to generate leads for their own business.
An Example of Lead Generation: Home Advisor
You must be thinking, “if lead generation sounds so good so far, how come I haven’t seen any company?” That’s the thing; there are many out there. You just don’t know they are dedicated to it.
HomeAdvisor is one of the best examples you can find on the Internet as it is a top lead generation company that has spent millions building its brand but also earned even more zeros for this same reason.
They started small as everyone else but invested in building their brand awareness to make people who are looking for home services go to their website and find what they need. They are over 75% of people’s first choice when they need those services.
If you don’t get HomeAdvisor that much or need a refresh, users need to submit their information to request a service and get a professional or expert who can provide it.
HomeAdvisor’s job is to share your information, which makes you a lead, with local companies so they can contact you and offer the service you’re requesting. For sharing this lead information, HomeAdvisor gets paid by the companies. This happens for every single lead they send to multiple businesses.
Business owners who don’t have marketing skills or don’t even know how to have any online presence will always rely on those pages to list their services. They will save time and effort, but companies like HomeAdvisor can make them spend lots of money as leads aren’t exclusive (one lead is sent to multiple companies after all).
Using Facebook Ads aka Paid Ad Platforms: Do They Generate Leads?
They DO generate leads. If not, no one would use them.
However, you need to remember two facts:
- Paid ads or platforms can be expensive.
- They don’t generate “natural” leads.
Whenever someone sees or clicks in one of those ads, over 80% of them did it by accident or are trying to close/report it.
Why? Because they aren’t looking for those services. At least not at the moment.
What those ads do instead is interrupt their time on the platforms. Users aren’t there to find companies or businesses unless they are searching for a specific company’s user, and for that, there’s a search bar. This is why it is hard to convert them to actual customers who will show interest in the companies’ services. Also, you’re limited by a budget.
When using lead generation, everything is organic. You aren’t forcing others to pay attention to your business but rather being there when they need you. This is why Google’s organic traffic will always beat paid ads, and the reason companies continue investing in it, which is a lot cheaper as well.
What Is Local SEO?
Don’t worry… I didn’t get it at first either. Following the short explanation, local SEO focuses on scaling businesses’ visibility on search engines. However, this is only for those who serve their communities face-to-face.
What does this mean?
Experts and professionals like painters, plumbers, and dentists (but not only them) offer their services to their local customers. Why? Because they can’t deliver them unless they are located in the same area of their customers.
To make sure those businesses get more leads, you need to rank them locally by claiming the business listing on Google to place them on Map Listings. Local SEO also involves online reviews, citation management, and how you manage your entire online presence in the local area.
If you are going to bet on lead gen, you need to adapt yourself to today’s world: The Internet.
Keep in mind that although traditional channels and methods like billboards, warm calls, and pamphlets still work, they aren’t part of your tools. Whenever someone needs a service, they go to Google and search for it.
“Dentist in Miami” or “plumbing services in Orlando,” etc. And you can keep coming up with services or professionals people need and look for. Thus, you need to make sure you’re using Google to get the companies in front of their clients.
Users will always click on the first search results (those near the top), and many of them will be either Ad links (people paid to place their websites there), Map Listing, and then you get websites. Almost all of them are your goal and where you should always aim to place yourself.
Can My Business Utilize a Local Lead Generation Strategy?
If you want customers, you better know you need it. Following the previous explanation, lead gen is all about placing businesses in front of their customers, choosing them over their competitors.
Put it simply – it’s all about closing deals and having clients for those companies to make money. The main difference with the usual methods companies use for this is how lead generation approaches different channels to get them in the right place of the market to get customers.
Those channels are all focused on the Internet as most people are searching for products but also services across the net. The issue is that the Internet is way too broad, and businesses don’t know how to place themselves. They usually try, but they get one common result: losing money and time.
How Powerful Are Organic Leads from Google?
For companies looking for customers, it’s everything. For you? Pretty much the same. When you build a business with digital properties, you get to make thousands of dollars a month.
This isn’t a “get started today and get rich tomorrow” thing, but it is HIGHLY scalable, and ROI + positive results are guaranteed. Learning a fairly decent and very needed set of skills to create your digital properties and start ranking them on Google is required.
I have invested in several online businesses over the years, and if there’s something uncertain, whether you will get your ROI or not, even more than the actual profit.
However, this business moved my earnings from five figures a year to a month in ONLY passive income while sitting comfortably at home.
On my laptop. Anywhere. Anytime.
You can look at one of the first sites I built back in 2016, and it continues making me over $1.000+ every month. The best part is that I don’t need to touch it or the rest I’ve built over the years, just like this digital property.
What Makes Lead Generation SO Alluring?
Here it goes: you can work from home.
The main issue with regular business opportunities is how much you need to invest in staff, equipment, or rent to have a place to sell your products or offer your services.
We all know the hassles of traditional businesses that involve regular expenses, which are extremely high. Can you afford it? I don’t think so, and even if you can, is it worth it? Now, it isn’t only about the money. You also need to put in a lot of work, and it isn’t only during the first couple of months or years. Usually, it is as long as you continue running it.
You can save yourself those headaches and bone-breaking tasks and expenses with lead gen since it is more about generating leads with digital channels—mainly websites.
Websites can be VERY cheap to build, and with many tools online, you get to do it in a couple of hours instead of days. Any virtual or digital business is scalable and won’t need constant maintenance.
So, let’s summarize this:
- You save money in regular expenses with traditional and most online businesses as what you need is yourself and digital properties (websites).
- You can bet on passive income.
- There’s no need to hire more people to get started.
- You can generate leads in multiple industries, which allows you to work on any niche you want.
How Can I Get Started in the Local Lead Generation Program?
Anyone can start and learn. That’s the beauty of this business model. I knew nothing about SEO, Map Listing, and everything I’ve mentioned so far. It is all about learning the skills, gaining experience, and deciding to take the step.
Remember that this business model will never get old as business owners are always looking for leads. They need to do business and scale their companies. Why not do the same while helping others and still making money?
You can start with this local lead generation course highly recommended for anyone wanting to grow in the business. It is a close training that will take you through each step and make sure you are able to get your ROI, profits and take control of your life.
You will be added to an incredible lead generation family ready to help you 24/7 when asking questions on the group. Anyone is welcome who’s willing to put in the work. Click here to watch the lead gen webinar.