Written by Cristie Ritz-King
Paid to tweet, sponsored Instagram posts, YouTube Millionaires; you’ve heard of all the ways to make money using social media clout. Being an online influencer takes more than just setting up social media channels and waiting for the money to roll in. There are ways to use your online voice to make a profit, but first you have to earn the title “influencer” and that doesn’t happen accidentally.
Here are five steps to building your influence so you can use your voice to turn a profit.
Before you can share with an audience, you need to be clear what you are sharing. It is impossible to build an online voice if you are unsure what you want to say. Design your online brand around a passion, as it is hard to sustain a mild interest in one or many topics. Once you know who you are and what you want to share, the followers will naturally come.
There are enough social channels out there that it is nearly impossible to keep track of them all, much less have an active presence on each one. Decide two or three avenues to pursue and then really cultivate communities on each. If you are a storyteller, Instagram may be your thing. Take excellent pictures of your outstanding crafts? Hit Pinterest and make that world your playground. Choose the social home that is the best fit for you and your voice and then focus your energy on number three…
Whether you’re pinning, posting or photo editing, the key to any online influence is building a community around it. There are options for building followers on each channel. The important thing to remember is that true influence comes from engagement, not just numbers. Be purposeful about building your online followers, so they aren’t just numbers on a list, but rather evidence of the power of your reach.
Building an online community requires you to be a good neighbor. Having an online reach means more than just using your voice, it means engaging and sharing other’s voices as well. Rather than speaking into a vacuum, try having online conversations. Whether it’s retweeting, joining Facebook groups or regramming a great photo, don’t just speak shout out your own news; celebrate others’ as well!
Authenticity. It’s a word that is thrown around a lot but maybe not practiced as much as it is preached. If you want to be a profitable influencer, you must start with being authentic online. This doesn’t mean sharing your deepest secrets, but it does mean being honest and fair with what you do share on your channels as well as on those of your tribe.
So, be yourself, build your tribe through authentic engagement and know where you want to go, what you want to say, and where you’re going to say it. Once you have these steps down, you’ll have the power to be an influencer and the profitable part will come naturally.
About the Author: Cristie Ritz-King has been blogging since her kids were small, which makes her a grandma in the blogging world. She’s had so many professional identities that “what do you do?” is her least favorite question.Currently, she works as a crisis counselor and writes about fashion, fun and finding yourself in a house full of teens and tweens at Reinvention Girl. Cristie lives by the life motto that it’s never too late to be who you truly are and one thing is certain, no matter her professional direction, she remains obsessed with social media. Find her espousing on music and pop culture on Twitter, sharing makeup tutorials or tech reviews on YouTube, Pinning dream kitchens on Pinterest, chatting Reinvention on her Facebook wall or sharing pictures of her shoes, food and dogs on Instagram.