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There’s no escaping influencer marketing. It’s become a priority for brands looking to reach new customers and retain old ones, creating opportunities for savvy social media users.

With the right kind of audience, you can fashion yourself as a go-to influencer for whatever industry you’re interested in. So, how do you build the kind of audience a brand would want to talk to?

1. Play the long game

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When starting out, don’t look to make money. Consider working with brands owned by friends or family, and entice them to work with you by offering freebies or a deep discount.

Put in the effort required to make an activation successful, and after a number of good runs, capitalise on this portfolio to approach larger brands with a rate card. 

2. Look for resonance 

To successfully navigate the influencer marketing landscape, you need to prove you have a solid relationship with your audience. One way to do this is by posting content that matters to them and that they can contribute to.

You want to create resonance, not simply put out content and populate newsfeeds. This will also help you stand out and find a unique voice.

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3. Share your knowledge 

Be generous with what you know about your industry. This could be from experience or from research. Build a brand around what you know so that when you finally monetise, you can easily justify your rate card. Connect the dots around trends and consider being a one-stop location for curated content on industry happenings.

However, it’s critical that you be transparent with your followers, so if the information you post is sponsored, don’t gloss over this. And stay authentic to your brand - don’t just take money from anyone.

4. Be consistent

Post regularly, but don’t resort to random alerts. Manage the process by drafting a content calendar that gives you an overview of what you’ll post. You can interrupt the schedule when something topical happens, but when things are dry, you’ll appreciate having taken the time earlier in the year to think about what to post.

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And don’t copy and paste someone’s work thinking no one will find out. Someone definitely will and it will take your brand building several steps back. Treat your reputation like gold.

5. Be relatable 

Your followers need to see you as being as human as they are. However, don’t go overboard in sharing your struggles and challenges.

Be smart about it. Sharing that you struggle to work with different personalities won’t win you business. You want your followers to see a little bit of themselves in you, but you also want brands to want to work with you - don’t spoil your chances. 

6. It’s not just about the numbers

Being an influencer isn’t just about having the highest number of followers - it’s about engagement and delivering results.

Experiment with as many platforms as possible to figure out where you have the kind of quality audience you can leverage on. And once you find it, focus on it so you don’t waste too much time investing in a platform that doesn’t deliver the results brands (or you) need.

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