How becoming an influencer can help you promote your business.

These days it’s hard to open a social media app without coming across an influencer or celebrity trying to promote a new tech product, magic weight-loss shake or trendy boutique. As annoying as this can be, however, influencer marketing is a new way marketers have found to reach their audiences in a more direct way — and this could benefit entrepreneurs greatly.

According to Influencer Marketing Hub, however, this form of marketing is not far from content marketing. “Influencer Marketing is a hybrid of old and new marketing tools, taking the idea of the celebrity endorsement and placing it into a modern day content-driven marketing campaign. The main differentiator in the case of  influencer marketing is that the results of the campaign are collaborations between brands and influencers,” they explained.

So, as an entrepreneur, how can you become an influencer? Here are 5 easy steps:

Know your audience

If you take Marketing 101 one of the first things you’ll learn is that you can’t please everyone, but instead you must select a small target audience that will be interested in the product or service you are offering. So who will be yours? Are you targeting new moms, or are you targeting young college students? Whoever you decide to communicate with, make sure that they are interested in what you’re selling and that you are speaking their language. This is the only way you’ll be able to influence their buying decisions.

Find the right platform for you

Jumping into a social platform is a big mistake influencers can make. If your audience is not there, then who’s buying?  Before getting started, your first step should be extensive  research on which platform your target audience is using and what’s going to be more relevant for your industry. For example, if you’re opening a clothing store maybe Instagram would be better as it is more visual for visitors. But if it’s a new restaurant, Facebook might be good so people can leave their comments on your page.

Define your end goal

Becoming an influencer means that you’re also a thought leader in your industry, which is great if you’re trying to promote something. But what if you’re not sure what to promote? Is your end goal customer acquisition for a new business? Are you trying to demonstrate you’re a subject matter expert for career growth? Before developing content recklessly, make sure that you were working towards a certain goal and actually being strategic about it.

Learn about other influencers

As entrepreneurs we often participate in networking events for business owners and like-minded individuals — so why not influencers? If you’re seriously considering becoming an influencer, a good idea is to find like-minded individuals who can help you navigate this journey and even collaborate! Sometimes you are more likely to engage with new followers and reach a larger audience if you join forces with a well-known influencer in your same industry.

Be genuine

Believe it or not, people can easily tell if you’re promoting a product or service that you’re not genuinely interested in or have even used yourself. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself whether you would recommend it to a friend without any sort of payment or endorsement. If you wouldn’t, then don’t recommend it to your audience. This will only damage their trust and possibly hurt future relationships with your buyers

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