Before we get into the nitty gritty, we must unpack what being an influencer entails in the first place. Sure, there are the glamorous events, free goodies and loads of followers to look forward to — but as they say, 'With great power comes great responsibility'. 

To be an influencer is to constantly be surveilled under a microscope, and that means you need to be aware that you are using your platform responsibly and ethically

With that disclaimer out of the way, influencing is a progressive and lucrative career that has altered the face of marketing and e-commerce as we know it. So, it's understandable why this is such a sought-after career path. 

Want the 411? Look no further — media update's Taylor Goodman is here to give you five practical tips for breaking into the influencer industry and making a name for yourself. 

Let's get influential:

1. Determine your unique selling point (USP) 

In a sea full of competition, the only way you can leave your mark is to stand out from the crowd. This is where defining your unique selling point comes in. 

Your USP is "the one thing that you have that no one else in your field has. It needs to be different, exciting and memorable," according to This goes deeper than just finding your niche — users must know why they need to follow you. 

Yes, choosing your niche is key to making it as an influencer, but within every chosen forte will be thousands with the same speciality. So, to truly distinguish yourself, you need something special. 

Like what, you ask? Consider the following when trying to determine your USP:

Do you have a dry, quirky sense of humour? Are you the agon aunt that is always giving advice? Consider the unique aspects of your personality and how you can use that to set you apart. 

Can't decide on a specific niche, then why not combine them? You could be the food blogger who travels around the world and tries different cuisines. We don't know about you, but food plus travel equals a match made in content heaven. 

Your audience
Circling back to your personality. Ask yourself if there is a part of your identity that others could resonate with and that will set you apart from the crowd — things like your culture, your values and your struggles.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by ROWI SINGH???? (@rowisingh)

Rowi Singh is an excellent example of this. She produces creative, unique makeup looks and regularly spotlights her Indian heritage. 

This not only sets her apart in the heavily populated beauty industry, but it furthers her representation in this industry helping her to build a community with followers that share her culture. 

This example proves how a clear USP can help influencers to establish authenticity and build trust with their followers. 

2. Create a solid content strategy

A crucial element to being a successful influencer is high-quality content creation. To deliver this, you need to have a bulletproof content strategy in place. 

This content strategy needs to cover:
  • which platforms you want to prioritise: Consider which platforms your target audience frequents so that you're able to reach them where they are. 
  • the type of content you want to post: This will be determined by your skillset, your audience and your chosen platforms. If your audience is on Instagram, then you know you're going to have to prioritise visuals. 
  • the days and times you want to post: Use in-platform analytic tools to determine when your audience is most active or do your research into the best times to post online

You are creating content for a purpose, so ensure that you have clear-cut goals.

Above all, remember that consistency is key. You won't build a large following overnight and it takes time and patience to get there; don't be too hard on yourself but be dedicated.  

3. Seek to add value   

Not to drone on, but there are many influencers out there, and in an age where users demand authenticity from influencers and brands, you need to be adding value. 

As a budding influencer, you'll hopefully be booked, busy and have brand deals aplenty. But in between sponsored content, you can create valuable content by giving your audience a glimpse of the real you.

Getting more personal with your audience could mean more day-in-the-life content, fun posts, uplifting chats, or even getting vulnerable and peeling back the layers from time to time. 

As the average social media user is inundated with ads and brands around every corner, be the relief that they seek with some unique content. 

4. Utilise analytics

What is the point of planning and posting consistently if you're not analysing and measuring your content? 

Whether you're using in-platform analytics tools or taking things a step further with social listening, it is essential to your social media strategy that you monitor how your content is performing. 

This will give you insight into what's working and what's not — helping you to refine your content according to what your followers want to see. 

Posting with your followers top-of-mind ensures that you're delivering content of value and putting the effort in to nurture your relationship. This will help you to go leaps and bounds in building a loyal following and solidifying your personal brand. 

5. Collaborate 

One of the easiest ways to build your following is by collaborating with fellow influencers. Why? Well, as you are featured on their page and tagged in their content, you will be exposed to their followers. 

Hopefully, from there they will click through to your page and look through your content, and boom, a new follower! 

Collaboration is definitely the way to go about growing your following as the person you're collaborating with likely has their own followers who trust them. This means they'll likely trust their endorsement of you and your content. What are you waiting for? Get collaborating! 

Do you have any tips for breaking into the influencer industry? Be sure to share in the comments section below. 

Now that was exciting, wasn't it? To get more insightful stories delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter.

Want to know more about influencer marketing? Then be sure to check out Understanding different types of influencers for brands [Infographic].

*Image courtesy of Pixabay