As a social media marketing and PR pro, I often get questions about what defines influence. Is it the number of unique monthly visits, comments, Twitter / Instagram followers, Facebook likes or…?
To be honest, it could be all of those things. One of those things. Or none of those things. What marketers are truly looking for when determining influence is who you are and what you do relative to what they’re selling, how well you know their audience, and how many people are listening to you and even more importantly how many people are talking to you.
So if you’re an influencer (blogger, social media superstar, community superstar, etc) and you’re looking to work with more brands, here are some ways to ensure you’re getting looked at by the brands you want to work with:
- Claim your identity: First you need to make a statement about who you are. You need to identify with a particular market(s) – for example, marathon running, aerial yoga, Paleo, wine, or whatever – you need to be able to tell a brand how you’re a fit for them. Once you’ve identified yourself, the next step is to make sure your content is a reflection of that identity – whether it be conveyed via blog posts, photos on Instagram, Tweets or even community initiatives. If you’ve identified Paleo, you better have a good collection of Paleo food photos on your Instagram or Paleo recipes or product reviews all over your blog. So go, identify yourself and claim your content fit for the brands you want to work with!
- Know how to communicate your reach: Even if you don’t have tens of thousands of page views or thousands of followers on your social channels, you can still be valuable to brands if you know how to communicate your reach. You need to be able to tell a brand why spending their time, money and energy on YOU is worth it. What is it that you can do that someone with thousands more followers can’t do? Well, if you truly know your audience and how to talk to them, you can probably do a lot more than you think. If you can get to know your readers and followers and show a brand that you know what they listen to and how they like to be talked to, you don’t need giant numbers to be impressive. Bottom line.
- Listen and talk to your readers: Your readers (followers) are what sets you apart from the rest. Get to know them and talk to them as often as possible. Understand what kind of content is resonating most with them and then go back to the brands you want to work with and demonstrate your knowledge of the consumers they’re trying to reach. Even better if you can come back to them with ideas for how you can support their initiatives! If you want brands to engage with you, you have to show them you’re engaged with your own audience (hopefully the same audience they are trying to reach).
For more great tips on what numbers truly matter when it comes to being a influencer, check out this awesome article by my good friend, Katy.
And if you have any tips that you’d like to share or questions, comment and let me know!