A label like “micro-influencer” might seem intimidating if you’re new to the social media world, but the truth is that it’s possible for almost anyone to develop an audience and following. If you’re not sure where to start, there are a few easy ways to boost your following while also staying authentic to yourself.
Becoming a successful micro-influencer first starts with one simple notion: having something to say and knowing who you want to say it to. You can take all the courses in the world and read all the eBooks from other people who ave done it, but if you’re not sure of your message and your audience, then you’ll always be two steps behind. Still unsure of even that? Here’s how you figure it out.
Determine your message and audience
This is always your starting point. If you get confused about your message or you simply need somewhere to start, you go back to your message and your audience. Ask yourself what you love talking to people about. Think about what people think of when they think of you. Ask your friends and family members to name three things they think of when they hear your name. Then think about those things as they apply to other people. Who would be interested in the same things you are?
Use hashtags, even if it pains you
Hashtags can seem cumbersome or cheesy, but they’re effective. Take an hour or so to research specific hashtags that apply to the audience you’re trying to reach. Think about the hashtags you follow. Build a set of half-a-dozen hashtags or so that you add to every post.
Remember: community, community, community
Every person on Instagram you see as competition is an opportunity to build a community. Some of the most organic engagement you can get is through other Instagrammers sharing your content to their audience — an audience who most likely will overlap with yours. Take concentrated time every day to engage with accounts you love, share their posts, and comment. It will pay off.
Focus on engagement, not follower count
Technically a micro-influencer means an Instagram account with less than a certain number of followers (I’ve heard this means less than 20k followers, but I’ve also heard it means less than 70k). However, the truth is that without real, authentic engagement first, that follower count means very little in the long-run. The more you focus on inviting your audience to engage with your posts and the more you acknowledge that you are trying to connect with them first, and (maybe) sell to them second, the more valuable you are as an influencer and the more valuable they are as a follower.
Whether you have 10 or 10,000, your followers are real people who want to feel like they are seen and they are connecting. Knowing this and focusing on it is ultimately what makes a consistently successful Instagrammer and micro-influencer. You might not build the following overnight, but that’s OK. Having an audience who is committed to following you because they feel connected is much, much more valuable to you — and to brands who might want to work with you.