Starting Your Business as an Online Influencer: How to Set Yourself Up for Success

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The world of digital marketing has given rise to influencers, or people that have a large following online, partnering with brands. For those that have hundreds of thousands of followers, a single social media post can generate thousands of dollars. Building this following is going to take posting content consistently and engaging with followers/readers. Influencers can be bloggers, industry giants, celebrities, or people popular within a certain niche. Brands are looking to partner with those people who can endorse their product that people in their target demographic trust. Simply having followers is not enough as a brand wants the best ROI on their influencer marketing campaign as possible. The following are tips for an influencer to start profiting and setting up their online persona for success.

Defining Your Business as an LLC or Sole Proprietorship

The last thing any influencer wants is a brand suing them due to their campaign not going as planned. This could be due to lack of promotion or the content they provided you with being too promotional. Forming an LLC can be a protective measure against lawsuits of this type as it keeps your personal assets safe from being taken. LLC laws differ by state so make sure that you look up your local requirements and filing fees. Another option is to make sure that the contract you send over protects you with its wording. Different states have different laws, so enlisting the help of a friend that works in California to handle the contract might not be sufficient in another state if you reside there.

Finding Your Niche

Finding a niche will have to do with your interests as you do not want to be promoting things you consider boring. A person with an athletic background might want to start a nutrition or fitness-based social media account or blog. This will make it far easier to reach out to brands as you will know which ones you prefer. Not all niches are created equal as there are more opportunities for influencers in some industries versus others. Being knowledgeable about a niche will also help build a following as followers will not want to hear from someone who barely knows a product or service.

Honing Your Writing Skills

Writing for influencers is important as content creation being high quality consistently will continually attract followers with brands soon to follow. Brands will at times provide content, but you need to make sure your followers know it is you rather than a company expanding their reach. Blogs have become increasingly popular, with many bloggers generating huge followings. Websites like that of Barstool Sports are a great example of what happens with consistent content being produced and creating a community within its followers or Stoolies.

Joining a Platform That Connect Influencers and Brands

Luckily for the influencers that have generated a following, there are platforms that bring brands and influencers together. These platforms will take a part of the payment you receive but usually protect the influencer from clients that simply refuse to pay. Reaching out to brands is not as efficient as it can take 100 pitches to get a few responses, while on the platform the brand contacts you. Sign up for as many platforms as possible that are free as you want to have the best opportunity to work with a myriad of brands. A quick Google search will help you get started, and don’t forget to add all of your available social media accounts. Certain brands utilize influencers for a specific social media platform while others take an all-inclusive approach.

Only Working With Brands You Believe In

Working with brands that produce low-quality products can be dangerous for an influencer. The last thing that the influencer wants to do is to alienate their followers by recommending junk. Work with brands that you believe in and that align with the views you have expressed to followers/readers online. If promoting a product, make sure that they send you a sample to test before agreeing to anything. You might find that a product looks great but is subpar when it comes to its function.

Social Media Scrub of Any Possible Content That Could Be Considered Offensive

This could be the most difficult thing listed in this article as it seems like people can be offended by nearly everything. Do a social media scrub to make sure that anything that could be deemed inappropriate is removed. The pictures of you partying in college might be nice to look back on, but a brand paying you to represent them might not be as fond of photographs of you doing a beer bong.

Creating a personal influencer brand is going to take work, but the financial rewards can be well worth it. Take time to consider the above before entering into any business relationship with a brand. The last thing you want to do is be blacklisted by brands due to breaching an already signed contract.

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