Brands have been pushing themselves through social celebrity profiles for years, paying people to influence their followers’ purchases with subtle name drops and product placements.
And as this marketing channel has gained momentum, so has the demand for people to endorse new products. A recent survey by word-of-mouth marketing agency Contagious found that 78% of marketers allocate $50,000 or more to influencer marketing each year, with the majority likely to maintain or increase this spend.
This is a trend that raspy-voiced radio and TV presenter Jules Lund is looking to leverage with his new app Tribe, which creates a marketplace between brands and people with a big following on either Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
This new platform, and others sprouting up like it, provide you with an opportunity to make some money from your following. Sure, you might technically be selling out, but that’s business right?
Here’s how to get your numbers up and start making money from your social following.
1. Set some goals and go after a specific group of people
The first step is to decide where you want to establish your influence. This is likely to be driven by the type of work you do and where you’d like your career to take you, but can also be based on personal interests and hobbies too.
It just needs to be something you’re passionate about and are willing to stick with.
Once you’ve settled on where you want to position your personal brand, choose the most appropriate social channels for your audience and start thinking about who you’re talking to and how you’re going to get them talking back to you.
These two steps will go a long way to focussing your social communications and building a legitimately engaged following.
2. Write about something you know about
Writing short blogs shows you’ve got something of substance to say and does wonders for your personal brand SEO. While search-ability sounds like an odd goal to pursue, when brands are paying someone for their influence, they want to see them come up in Google, so you’d better be there.
Start by identifying platforms you’d like to be published on – newspapers, blogs, LinkedIn, or even your own blog – and writing a piece that fits that audience.
Once you know the tone you’re shooting for, click open a Word doc and rattle out a few hundred words about something you’re interested in or know a lot about. It might be professional chat, personal anecdotes or the benefits of pilates, whatever the case, get those fingers dancing.
3. Link like it’s going out of fashion
Good, interesting and ideally conversation starting content is a great step, but there are also less time consuming tweaks you can make to ensure that your brand is consistent and searchable. One of those is to link all your online profiles with your social handles and website.
It’s as simple as including a link to your portfolio or social page in the bio of each of your online profiles. This way brands can quickly click around to see the full scope of your online activity, and if you do maintain a few communication channels, it will add to your credibility.
4. Make it a habit
The beauty of an online profile is that you can pretend to be active when you’re away doing something else. So by working your blogging and social posting into a regular routine and taking advantage of scheduling services like TweetDeck and Hootsuite, you can look like a very engaged individual with relatively little effort
Of course habits can be hard to form, so it helps to have a goal for motivation. In this case it might be to add 100 followers each month for the rest of the year.
Once you’ve got this target, you can appreciate your progress and hopefully set aside a regular hour a week to rattle out a blog post and schedule a bit of social activity to keep your virtual heart pumping.
Once you’ve got your goals, audience, profiles and content sorted, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty. You’ve got to get smart about headlines, engage with other influences and embrace the tools and tactics available to get yourself noticed.
Then, with a bit of practice, you might just establish a tribe that’s big and interested enough for brands to start paying for.