Welcome to The Spark Show! In this episode, I’m talking about your influencer success roadmap. This is your guide no matter where you are in your influencer business. There are 5 stages and I’m going to walk you through each of them in today’s episode.
The first stage is “Build Your Brand.” In this stage, this is where you need to get clear on who you are as a brand, what your values are, your mission and your vision. This is where you also need to be clear on who your audience is, who you serve, who you will be delivering value to, who you are trying to help.
If you’re just starting out, you wanna make sure you spend some time here and really honing in on your brand. Things get a lot easier in the next stages when you know who you are and who you help. Just because you know this now, it doesn’t mean you won’t revisit this over and over again. Big companies have teams where all they focus on is this because it’s such an important part of everything else. It’s the whole basis of your content, marketing and sales strategy.
The second stage is “Map Your Strategy.” In this stage, you’ll create a content strategy and plan so that you are not just posting randomly and without purpose and intention. This is the stage where you need to figure out what kind of value you’re providing to your audience and how you’re delivering that value. Are you doing it through video content? Audio? Photos? How often will you show up and where? Content is the bread-and-butter of influencers and without it we’re not able to help our audience nor the brands that we want to partner with.
Having a strategy and a plan in place also makes it easier to stay consistent. Most influencers don’t have an editorial calendar and don’t know what content they’ll be posting next month. I don’t want that to be you! Make sure you download my 2021 Brand Deal Pitch Calendar here so you can get ahead and know what events, holidays and social media days are coming up so when you pitch to brands, you can send your campaign ideas.
You want to make sure that you plan ahead so that you have time to plan and produce your content shoots. Yes, all of this can be done in advance so you’re not panicking and stressing out, shooting on the day of because you need content.
The third stage is “Grow Your Audience.” Notice that this isn’t the first stage. Most people try to grow their following and get stuck because they didn’t take the time to build their brand and map a strategy. That’s why a lot of people also quit because they don’t know what to do or they don’t have a compelling reason to keep going.
If you want to be a successful influencer, then you need to realize that this is a long game. The ones who are impacting others and living fulfilling lives have probably been doing this for 5, 10 even 20 years. So remember to ask yourself, is this what you really want to do? Are you willing to put in the work and the effort? Because I don’t know what you heard but this isn’t easy and it’s not gonna just happen overnight. Even people with viral videos, most of the time it’s a one-hit wonder and they don’t know how to replicate that success.
Because success is not about going viral, it’s about being consistent and showing up year after year and providing value to your community. If you’re not growing, it means that you need to go back to the first two stages. It means you have to ask yourself the honest question: Does your content provide value? Why are they not engaging or following?
If you want to be successful, you have to learn to take responsibility for your success. You can’t blame the algorithm, the platform, the world, you have to ask yourself - what did you do? And how can you do it better?
The fourth stage is “Build Your Portfolio.” This is where you’re setting yourself up for monetizing your channel. Your portfolio is a way you can present yourself to brands, press, and even clients by showing them your stats, audience demographics, brands you’ve worked with, and previous partnerships. This is also where you can create your rate card to show your rates for your services. This is where a lot of influencers get stuck because they are scared to charge for their work. Think about how much time it takes to create content. As influencers, you’re the producer, director, editor, hair and makeup, talent, photographer, you’re the whole package plus your audience that you worked to build every single day.
Brands pay for content. They are needing content on their social media channels and website. They’re not only paying for the opportunity to get in front of your audience, but also licensing your content to be used on their platforms.
The fifth stage is “Monetize Your Influence.” There are many ways to monetize once you’ve built an audience.
One way is through brand sponsorships (or brand deals). Your audience knows, likes and trusts you so if you partner and recommend brands then they’re going to take that as an endorsement. Think of it like a commercial on TV. Your organic content is your show and the sponsored posts are the ads. You want to make sure you only work with brands whose values align with yours.
A second way to monetize is through affiliate marketing. This is when you recommend, endorse or sell other people’s products or services. This could be through Amazon, RewardStyle or directly through brands. You make a commission, a percentage of the sale.
Another way to monetize is to sell your own products or services. You can have physical products like merch, clothing, beauty, journals, etc. You can also have digital products like ebooks, courses, coaching programs. You can also sell your services.
Most successful influencers monetize through a mix of these ways. I work with brands who advertise on my channel and I also monetize my digital products through my online membership, The Spark Society. I also do some affiliate marketing.
One reason I like having multiple revenue streams is because I like having a sustainable business. Although I like working with brands, it doesn’t happen every day and I don’t know exactly how many partnerships I’m going to have in a month. With my digital products, I’m able to make sales every day and since I have a membership, it provides a recurring revenue.
So, that’s the influencer success roadmap. If you’re just starting out, you want to start with Stage 1. If you’re in the other stages, make sure you didn’t skip the other stages. There’s no shame in starting over.
One of my students called it a success “cycle” because you do go over it again and again. I find myself going back through my branding every year in an effort to help my audience more and more and get clearer on my content strategy. I do content planning every quarter so I do go through Stage 2 over and over again.
This is a journey, not a destination. So don’t feel like you have to be at a certain stage. The most important thing is to keep moving forward.
If you’re looking to start or grow your influencer business, make sure to sign up for my free, on-demand workshop where I teach you How To Get Paid Brand Deals even if you don’t have a huge following yet. Visit the link here to sign up now!
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