The term “influencer” has crept into our everyday language and stuck there, thanks to the rise of today’s internet influencers.
Whether you’ve purchased some vitamins because your favorite Instagrammer showed them off during an Instagram story or you’ve stopped following a YouTuber after they posted their first unboxing video that was, of course, #sponsored, you probably have feelings about influencers.
But love them or hate them, there is no avoiding them. Influencers are selling everything under the sun and sponsoring everything they post (even their weddings!) and everyone has an opinion on whether they are the future of marketing.
Influencer marketing is expected to be a 6.5 billion dollar industry by the end of this year. It’s no wonder that our timelines and lives have become flooded with them!
But as a content creator, do you need to concern yourself with becoming an influencer? Should you worry about that elusive blue checkmark, brand deals and millions of follower?
Content creators don’t need to become “influencers” but they should have influence over their audience.
What does that mean? Allow us to explain a little bit about the power of influence (and it has nothing to do with sponsored ads, by the way).
What does influence mean in today’s world?
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, influence is defined as “the power or capacity of causing an effect in indirect or intangible ways.”
In other words, having influence means you can drive someone to action. If you have influence over your audience, you are able to drive them to take the actions you want them to take.
And these “actions” are usually more than a like or a retweet. Actions that point to influence are the bigger, more meaningful actions that require a little bit more effort.
Do followers click back to your website from your social media posts?
Do they read your blog, listen to your podcast or watch your videos when you share them?
Do followers subscribe to your emails or do they open, read and click your emails?
Do followers register for the events you promote?
Do they purchase your services or products?
Some of these actions require more effort than others and they usually build on one another. If you can’t get anyone to click back to your website, you’re going to struggle to get anyone to buy your products and services. Start with influencing your audience to take smaller actions. If you stay consistent, you’ll be able to continue building trust with them so they start taking the bigger actions. The more your audience trusts you, the more you’ll be able to influence them to take the bigger actions.
In general, the more influence you have, the bigger the actions you can drive people to take.