As an influencer you want to grow your accounts. If not, you won’t gain brand deals, and therefore you won’t earn money from what you want to do for a living. Where do you start though? Do you go out and buy everything you can find? Sign up for all platforms that promise you the world? Or, is less, more?
Influencers don’t tend to start out in this role. It’s not quite like being a blog writer, where with little or no experience you can start and grow as you go… Being an influencer is something that comes over time. Because, to be an influencer, you need an audience to watch you and therefore, be influenced by you. But, once you start growing a following and deciding to branch out into working with companies and brands, you then need to start thinking about what tools you need to succeed.
As you gain more experience, you’ll know what popular features are around in the world of social media. You’ll see social platforms add new features that you need to get behind to stay relevant. So, it will be a case of being able to alter and change your tactics as the months go by. Something that is all the rage one month, will have disappeared by the next. You need to be willing to evolve to be successful. There’s an overwhelming amount of apps and software out there for you to use. You really don’t need it all, despite what their marketing team are telling you.
By this, we don’t mean go out and find yourself a manager. Some influencers do, and that works for them. Typically having a manager takes the pressure off you in many ways. You don’t have to secure collaborations yourself, and often they’ll create you a schedule for posting that works for you. However, managers don’t always take all the pressure. They can add to it, as they have their own times to keep to and therefore if you don’t perform or are late with posts, it’s them who have to deal with the backlash. Not only that, but managers cost money. If you’re gaining through them more than you would alone, then it might be worth it for them to take their cut. However, sometimes, you’re better financially, alone.
Anyway, as mentioned, we’re not here to chat about managers. Instead, we’re talking about websites where you can plan your own schedule. You’ll be able to schedule posts ahead of time, so they send to the platform even when you’re not active. It keeps things consistent. Also, it means your followers know when to expect posts from you. You can monitor when your audience are most active on your social profiles, and therefore plan your posting times around them. Believe it or not, social media does not have to consume your entire life.
Check out Buffer
Yes, you’re an influencer, but this doesn’t mean you don’t have a life outside this. If you know you have to post for a certain company on a Thursday at 18:00 – you don’t have to cancel all plans to make this happen. You also don’t need to sit at a restaurant or while with friends, typing out your post for social media. Instead, you can set some time aside each week to prepare and plan each post. Then, when the time comes, you can rest assured knowing your posts will be uploaded. Get yourself a Buffer account. It will allow you to add multiple pages. So, you can add your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter if needed.
Buffer allows you to set times for each post. You can set an overall time, which will mean all of your posts scheduled will send at the same time each day. Or, you can manually select a time for each post. If one needs to be at 11:00, but others need to be in the evening, you can set this to suit. It’s really easy to use. Simply upload your images and add a caption. You can add emojis, tag brands, accounts and companies and even include any hashtags required. It takes a huge stress away from you as an influencer, because you can dedicate time each week to editing and preparing your content.
This is something that typically doesn’t get thought of until a later date. However, it’s important you start as you mean to go on. Camera lighting is a really important factor. It can change an entire image. Once you get to a stage where you’re posting adverts regularly, you’ll need to have your lighting perfected. Companies won’t pay out for dark, low lighting images. Equally, they’re not going to be happy with overexposed and washed out photos. You need to get the balance right, and having portable lighting will help you with this.
You can find selfie ring lights everywhere across the internet. In fact, you could probably find a brand deal that would provide you with one. But, if not, you won’t have to look far to find one. For beginners, don’t get yourself weighed down by looking for the best of the best. Sure, some will do more than others. Some are fancier than their competition. But, they come with a price tag, and newbies might not have the money for them. All ring lights will do the job. Despite what their competitors suggest, as long as the light is a nice white light, and it’s stable when standing alone, it will do the job.
The reason we’d suggest a ring light as your first lighting choice is because it can do everything. They’re typically lightweight and can be transported wherever you need them. In fact, companies have started creating small ring lights which attach to your smartphone camera. These could be something you try in the beginning. Soft boxes are fantastic, but can be a little more work. You need to know where to place it, how to angle it, and although they can be easy to assemble – if you don’t know what you’re doing it isn’t as easy. A ring light, you simply plug in and start shooting. Most designed for creatives will have a little stand to place your smartphone in. It acts as a tripod and light all in one.
You must have seen Instagram accounts where people have a link included within their bio. These contain multiple links under one URL. You can customise them. So, for example you could name your URL after your influencer account name. Then, anyone clicking on it, knows it’s your link and not something you’re advertising. Also, you can add your own image to them, so you might decide to regularly update this depending on the campaigns you’re working on. Add all your social media accounts into one Bio Link and also include any contact details.
If you’re someone who asks brands to reach out to you via email, you might want to put this information into your Bio Link. That way, everyone has everything they need in one place. You make yourself far more reachable. Brands and businesses can access any information they might need, rather than having to contact you and wait for a response. Maybe you’re an influencer that also has a YouTube channel. Include that link within your URL. People will be able to find your channel easily and see exactly who you are. However, it means that you don’t have to compromise your other links by only choosing one.
Font and logo design tools
Your font is more important than many people think. While you might like a certain font because it’s quirky and unique – if people can’t read it, they won’t know who you are. Think about yourself as a brand. You might be an influencer, but you are your brand. You create deals, market yourself and promote all via your social media. It’s important your branding is covered. Your designs need to speak for you. If you’re an influencer that promotes nature and all things soft and gentle, you’ll need a different font from someone who might promote gothic style items.
Consider your colour schemes if you plan to have one. Make sure the colours look nice together, but also read well. If your logo is for example your name, make sure the font isn’t so fancy that people mistake certain letters for others. Also, that you’re not putting pale colours on top of other pale colours. Otherwise, people won’t know who you are. Consider who you are, what you’re trying to show people and also what type of influencing you do before deciding on logos, fonts and colours. Keep it consistent though. Once you’ve decided, don’t keep changing things.
Make sure you get to grips with your analytics right from the start. Get your head around what they all mean. These are what you’ll use to grow. They’ll show you where you’re going wrong, what your audience is enjoying and also, what they aren’t. This isn’t something you can ignore if you want to progress. All social media platforms have their own analytics to display and this is what you should be monitoring weekly. They’ll display when your audience are online. You’ll be able to see your most popular posts, and also your least popular ones.
Within your analytics you can see your most popular media types. If reels are performing better than photos, perhaps you’ll try creating more reels to grow further. Your statistics will compare the current week to the previous week, but you can change this to see months compared instead. It will show how many accounts you have engaged with and also your reach. Also, you’ll see how many followers you’ve gained. This will all be shown with either a green plus or a red minus – indicating whether you’ve grown or dipped since the previous week. If you see you’ve dipped, you might decide to change up your tactics, or review previous weeks and see what you did differently.