How to Become a Social Media Influencer

Even if your dream isn’t to be a social media influencer you may wish your online following was stronger.

How to Become a Social Media Influencer

But does stronger mean bigger? Not always.

If you have the right followers numbers aren’t as important.

Influencer vs influence

Last summer I had a string of clients who hired me to launch and maintain their Instagram profiles.

These small businesses wanted to add social media marketing but didn’t know much about it. Since I love both social media and marketing this is pretty much a dream project. I worked hard to create a strategy that reflected the brand and would attract their ideal customer. I chose or created images, wrote captions, and scheduled posts based on best practices.

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And then we launched

After two or three months of social media posts my clients complained that they weren’t happy with the amount of followers they had, wasn’t that the point of the work I was doing?

The first time this came up I was surprised. We had talked about the long game, how gaining authentic followers doesn’t happen overnight. I thought we were on the same page. So why were we so far off base?

Expectations

  • These clients were new to social media
  • Their businesses were also new
  • They had little to no online presence and had heard from a few people that if they went on social media they’d find success

So imagine their disappointment when they realized building an authentic brand on social media doesn’t happen overnight and also is a lot of work.

It was a tough lesson for both of us. I learned I needed to be a lot more blunt about how much time and energy needs to be devoted to building a legitimate social media presence.

Now when I begin working with a client I put in writing what is within my control (posting frequency, content) and what is not (sales, growing followers).

And I believe these clients also learned that becoming and influencer on social media isn’t something you can automate and expect return from.

It involves relationship-building, listening, and connecting with your ideal customer.

How to build an instagram strategy ebook

Wondering how to put together a solid Instagram strategy? Download my free ebook!

This 18-page ebook is part of my resource library, but you’ll need the password to acces it. Pop your email into the form below and I’ll send it to you.

Once you’re in the library, navigate to the social media section and look for “How to Create an Instagram Strategy Ebook.”

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What you can and can’t buy

The influencer role is somewhat new so it makes sense that people don’t quite understand what an influencer is.

In general, an influencer is someone who has an engaged following of people who pay close attention to their thoughts and opinions.

A true influencer can post about a great new product they’ve discovered and they have built so much trust with their audience that they rush out to also purchase the same product.

I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love this kind of influence. I mean, duh! It’s amazing!

But where people get confused is they see an influencer and they equate the number of followers they have with influence.

But numbers don’t equal influence. You can purchase social media followers and engagement. You cannot purchase influence.

How to become an influencer on social media

There is no silver bullet when it comes to becoming an influencer.

If you can build a community of people who want to hear what you have to say and trust your judgment then you’re an influencer.

And your message is amplified the more followers you have.

If you Google “how to become an influencer” you’ll see many, many articles dedicated to giving you the answer.

But no matter what you won’t find a secret tip to getting away from putting the time and work into building your platform, branding yourself, and showing up with authenticity and something to say.

If you want to be a social media influencer and work with brands then you do need at least some sort of a following.

To improve, choose one platform to focus on and become an expert at it. Learn the rules and how people engage. Figure out how you fit into the picture and then create a strategy based on finding your ideal followers and connecting with them.

It will take time and energy. It will not happen overnight.

But if you can make authentic connections and continue offering value to your followers, you will become an influencer.

5 Tips for Optimizing Your Social Media Profiles ebook

By the way, optimizing your social media profiles is important! You want to ensure potential clients know who you are, what you do, and why they should hire you.

Download your free ebook from my resource library! All you have to do is pop your email address into the form below and I’ll send you the password.

Once you’re in the library, navigate to the social media section and download the ebook called “Social Media Optimization.”

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For more, here are the three things brands look for when hiring influencers from the Spark Society.

Even if your dream isn't to be a social media influencer you may wish your online following was stronger. But does stronger mean bigger? Not always. If you have the right followers numbers aren't as important.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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Even if your dream isn't to be a social media influencer you may wish your online following was stronger. But does stronger mean bigger? Not always. If you have the right followers numbers aren't as important.
Even if your dream isn't to be a social media influencer you may wish your online following was stronger. But does stronger mean bigger? Not always. If you have the right followers numbers aren't as important.

5 Simple Tips for Building Your Brand as a Freelancer

Building your brand as a freelancer is key in order to both keep clients coming back and bring in new clients.

Building Your Brand as a Freelancer

For my freelance business, branding has both brought in more paying work and the kind of writing I love to do.

Do you want the worksheet that goes with this training?

I’ve created a worksheet to complement this training, available for download. This is a free resource but it’s part of my resource library and you’ll need a password. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Once you’re in the library, navigate to the blogging section and look for the worksheet called “Brand Elements.”

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Building your brand as a freelancer

Here are a few ways you can start building your brand as a freelancer right now.

Establish Yourself As An Expert

Positioning yourself as an expert isn’t as intimidating or difficult as it first sounds. You do this by sharing helpful information with your audience.

Figure out the questions they’re asking and the problems they’re trying to solve and then provide the answers/solutions.

This is a fabulous opportunity to help people take the next step on their journey as well as share your unique knowledge and expertise.

Don’t worry too much about sharing free information. You build trust with your audience by helping people and establishing yourself as an expert doesn’t hurt either. People hire people they trust.

Would you like free writing tips? Sign up for my weekly tips & tricks, from one writer to another at robynroste.com/writing-tips.
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Focus On Your Digital Footprint

Whether you’re building a website or setting up your social media profiles for business, make sure your digital presence is easy to discover and communicates clearly.

Here’s what a solid digital footprint includes: strong branding, unique personality and clear services. This is also a good time to invest in professional headshots (and don’t feel like you have to stick to stuff corporate—consider lifestyle photos!) and graphics.

Think of your various bios and about pages as an opportunity to let your ideal client know how you can help them and why you’re the right choice. Don’t underestimate the power of a great about page!

Create an On-Brand Marketing Strategy

I don’t care if you’re too busy or you just plain hate it, building your brand includes marketing. Unless you love the feast-and-famine cycle of freelancing, that is.

Solid content marketing strategies can keep your prospect funnel full all year long. When creating your marketing strategy make sure to build something sustainable otherwise you’ll quit before you start.

Bonus tip: Check out How To Write For Print Media from Ultimate Banners.

Make sure to grab the worksheet that goes with this training

I’ve created a worksheet to complement this training, available for download. This is a free resource but it’s part of my resource library and you’ll need a password. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Once you’re in the library, navigate to the blogging section and look for the worksheet called “Brand Elements.”

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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Show Off Your Personality

A big part about building your brand is growing your platform. Figure out what makes you stand out in your market and find ways to weave it into your business.

Your personality is part of your brand, so be sure to highlight it. The first step is to find your unique voice and which aspects of your personality and experiences are best to convey.

Focus on the positive, exciting and engaging aspects of your brand personality.

Building Your Brand? Invest in Relationships

Referrals are a gold mine, which is why networking with other freelancers is so important. Word of mouth is also extremely powerful, so make a point to invest in your relationships. You never know which clients might suggest you to a new anchor client or introduce you an amazing career opportunity.

Take time to go the extra mile, giving excellent service and ensuring both your colleagues and clients are taken care of.


If you want to read my personal branding story check out Branding Yourself: Choosing a Niche.

From this experience I’ve learned a lot about how branding yourself on your website or blog is good for search engine optimization as well as for attracting your ideal clients. But more than that, branding yourself is important for growing your business in the direction you want it to go.

Branding Yourself: Choosing a Niche
Building your brand as a freelancer is key in order to both keep clients coming back and bring in new clients. Branding has revolutionized my business.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

The worksheet that complements this training is available for download as part of my resource library. You can get free access by popping your email address into the form below. Then once you’re in the library look for the worksheet called “Brand Elements.”

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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Building your brand as a freelancer is key in order to both keep clients coming back and bring in new clients. Branding has revolutionized my business.
Building your brand as a freelancer is key in order to both keep clients coming back and bring in new clients. For my freelance business, branding has both brought in more paying work and the kind of writing I love to do.

Simple Marketing Tips to Take the Pain Out of Branding

There are a lot of options when it comes to marketing your small business but these four simple marketing tips are ones you can implement today.

Simple marketing tips for small businesses

I know I sound like a broken record, but you have to keep your marketing machine running. Even though you’re too busy and you hate marketing.

Let’s agree to choose one thing from this list and implement it today. Deal?

Would you like free writing tips? Sign up for my weekly tips & tricks, from one writer to another at robynroste.com/writing-tips.
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Simple marketing tips for small businesses

To make the most out of digital marketing and branding opportunities, you don’t need to crack the social media algorithm.

Here are some simple marketing tips that require far less effort and deliver better results.

Do I have your attention? Read on.

Submit directory registrations

Registering your business on various directories is an easy way to improve your search results and be discovered. Google and Facebook reviews help too!

If you’re business is home-based you may also want to get a business mailing address (from somewhere like https://physicaladdress.com or a local post office box) to avoid putting your home address online.

Discover target keywords

Once you’re clear on who you serve and how you can help them, finding the best keywords to use online will bring more qualified traffic to your website.

Start out with SEO tools you can download for free and go from there. Understanding the terms and phrases people use in search helps you better connect with your target audience.

Automate your social media

No one has extra hours to spend on social media. You can and you should automate your social. There are social media packages for small business owners out there that may help.

I’ve also outlined my top six social media scheduling tools that I use every day. Trust me, you can still engage authentically even if you don’t live-post every single image on Instagram.

5 Tips for Optimizing Your Social Media Profiles Ebook

By the way, optimizing your social media profiles is important! You want to ensure potential clients know who you are, what you do, and why they should hire you.

Download your free ebook from my resource library! All you have to do is pop your email address into the form below and I’ll send you the password.

Once you’re in the library, navigate to the social media section and download the ebook called “Social Media Optimization.”

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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Distribute press releases

I think media releases are amazing and I think they can work to create a real buzz about your brand.

However, for this marketing tactic to work you do need to be doing something worth talking about.

Brainstorm an angle that would be considered newsworthy and pitch your story to local media outlets. Just keep in mind a business profile isn’t news, it’s advertising.

Craft a story where you’re someone doing something interesting for a compelling reason.

Marketing your brand doesn’t have to be complicated.

Get your small business online and set yourself up to be discovered on search and social.

Then do cool stuff that makes people want to talk about you and make sure they know about it. And if you want some extra help, that’s what I’m here for.

There are a lot of options when it comes to marketing your small business but these four simple marketing tips are ones you can implement today. I know I sound like a broken record, but you have to keep your marketing machine running. Even though you're too busy and you hate marketing.
Let's agree to choose one thing from this list and implement it today. Deal?

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required
There are a lot of options when it comes to marketing your small business but these four simple marketing tips are ones you can implement today. I know I sound like a broken record, but you have to keep your marketing machine running. Even though you're too busy and you hate marketing.
Let's agree to choose one thing from this list and implement it today. Deal?
There are a lot of options when it comes to marketing your small business but these four simple marketing tips are ones you can implement today. I know I sound like a broken record, but you have to keep your marketing machine running, even though you're too busy and you hate marketing. Let's agree to choose one thing from this list and implement it today. Deal?

Meeting Your Ideal Client in Person | Getting It Right

Many freelance writers know their ideal client and are great at communicating online. But what if you’re meeting in person?

Meeting Your Ideal Client in Person | Getting It Right

Meeting your ideal client…in person

The introvert in me thinks maybe I can get by without having to meet clients or prospects in person or speak on the phone. Because I’m pretty good at ruining things in person with my awkwardness and inability to conquer small talk.

However, the business owner in me knows I can’t always hide behind a screen. Getting out there and spending time with clients and other freelancers is an important part of growing my business.

And if I can’t meet for coffee, how will I ever gain the confidence to attend a trade show or event or speak at a large conference?

Here are a few tips for getting public engagement right the first time.

Freelancer Positioning Worksheet

Let’s take a quick break from the training so I can remind you about my resource library!

Having an awesome networking experience often comes down to understanding who you serve, what makes you different in the eyes of your ideal client, why that difference matters and what you do.

If you can get solid here, your networking will flow from there.

I’ve put together a worksheet to help you figure this out. You can grab the free download in my resource library. Just pop your email address into the form below and I’ll email you the password, then go to the freelancing section and look for “Freelancer Positioning Worksheet.”

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Make your presence stand out

No matter the event, investing in some branding is a worthwhile expense. If it’s a booth at a trade show, a branded area will help you stand out, plus you can use it again and again.

Some popular items include custom printed marquees, pop-up stands and table banners.

When meeting your ideal client, have something to say

I find small talk difficult. I feel awkward and unsure of myself. But then I figured out a secret trick: work out anecdotes ahead of time.

And when someone asks me about what I do and who I serve? Well, I also have my elevator pitch memorized.

networking tips for introverted writers

Need help with your elevator pitch? There’s a template for that!

We know how our writing can help others but our potential clients don’t. If they did they probably wouldn’t need a writer. It’s a classic conundrum. We can get so wrapped up in our writing world we forget that those not in our world have no idea what we do or why it matters. It’s our job to educate them. This is where the elevator pitch comes in.

I have two helpful templates in my resource library. Gain access by putting your email address into the form below and I’ll send you the password. Once you’re in, navigate to the freelance section and look for “Elevator Pitch Templates.”

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Consider offering freebies

They work on your website so why wouldn’t the work in person? One of my freelancing friends has branded pens that she hands out to colleagues and clients. I love it!

There are many reasons to invest in promotional products for your business, and the right promotional products will both be useful and will create a lasting impression

But don’t go overboard with the swag. Stick to a budget you can afford and regularly evaluate their impact.

Show confidence

Confidence is key when it comes to meeting with members of the public. Help your team to develop confidence when making sales or providing services to help make the right impression on your customers.

Providing training, creating scenarios, etc. can all help your employees improve their confidence when meeting the public to give the best impression of your company from that first interaction.

Making a meaningful connection with your ideal client and networking with other freelancers can help you grow your business.

As a classic form of marketing, you shouldn’t underestimate the value of going out there and meeting people face to face. What’s next on your list of ways to improve your business?

Many freelance writers know their ideal client and are great at communicating online. But what if you're meeting in person?

The introvert in me thinks maybe I can get by without having to meet clients or prospects in person or speak on the phone. Because I'm pretty good at ruining things in person with my awkwardness and inability to conquer small talk.

However, the business owner in me knows I can't always hide behind a screen. Getting out there and spending time with clients and other freelancers is an important part of growing my business.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required
Many freelance writers know their ideal client and are great at communicating online. But what if you're meeting in person? The introvert in me thinks maybe I can get by without having to meet clients or prospects in person or speak on the phone. Because I'm pretty good at ruining things in person with my awkwardness and inability to conquer small talk.
Many freelance writers know their ideal client and are great at communicating online. But what if you're meeting in person?

How to Brand Yourself as a Freelance Writer

Have you ever wondered why people talk so much about branding yourself and your business?

branding yourself as a freelance writer

I used to wonder this a lot.

Maybe you’ve heard it in terms of choosing your niche (or “niching down”) or becoming an expert in a certain area or industry.

Or maybe you’ve been told to choose one thing and go all-in on it rather than being a generalist writer.

Would you like free writing tips? Sign up for my weekly tips & tricks, from one writer to another at robynroste.com/writing-tips.
Click the image for more information, or pop your email address in the form below

If you’re like most people, you resist the idea of branding yourself because you don’t want to miss out on paying work.

And I get it! However, today I’m going to tell you my story and why I took the advice to brand myself.

For my freelance business, focusing both brought in more paying work and the kind of writing I love to do. Amazing. Want to know more? Read on.

I got into freelance writing in a roundabout way.

Sort of.

When I was finishing my journalism degree I pitched stories all over the place, trying to get enough legitimate and varying clippings to be considered employable post graduation.

But once my portfolio was in good shape I stopped pitching articles and settled into blogging on my personal site instead.

After blogging for a while I began receiving emails requesting collaborations or offering sponsored post opportunities. How flattering! Also surprising.

I didn’t have any reason not to work with these people, companies, and brands so I did a variety of guest posts, sponsored posts, media events and promotional activities.

Lots of them over the years. And I enjoyed doing them, they gave me interesting experiences, allowed me to try new products, and I was able to meet a lot of interesting people.

For the most part, I was happy with my site. I wasn’t trying to make money so anything that came in was a plus.

Do you want the worksheet that goes with this training?

I’ve created a worksheet to complement this training, available for download. This is a free resource but it’s part of my resource library and you’ll need a password. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Then once you’re in the library, navigate to the blogging section and look for the worksheet called “Brand Elements.”

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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And then everything changed

I would look at my blog from time to time and wonder what it was all about. Since it was always a general “lifestyle” blog (a word here, which is an umbrella term for personal website consisting of whatever I felt like writing about) I didn’t have much direction so I meandered about over the years.

A little writing about my journalism career, a little writing about my random jobs, a little writing about my travel adventures…whatever! And some promotional brand candy sprinkled in as it came up.

But then one day all the traffic stopped. Comments stopped. The money stopped. In stunned silence I looked around trying to figure out what had happened.

I realized my site had been punished for a search engine infraction. In fallout from one of the Google search updates, my site was no longer considered a positive contributor to the Internet.

From one day to the next I fell off the face of the blogosphere faster than…well, fast.

Branding Yourself: Choosing a Niche

Now, this was a few years ago.

And once I figured out what was going on and why I had a difficult decision to make. Do I start from scratch and rebuild everything or do I give up on my blog and try something else?

I knew it was time to start working on my freelance writing career and getting more clients but I wasn’t sure what to do.

Up until now clients had come to me and I was happy to write for whoever would pay me.

But now I had to put myself out there and try.

What kind of writer was I? What kind of clients did I want? And what kind of work did I need?

To be frank, it took me a while to decide what to do. I felt lost and ashamed.

Starting over seemed so difficult and I was afraid to go through all the work of building a website only to see nothing from it. But could I give it up? I loved blogging. Or did I? Was it just something I did because it was easy?

I had some soul searching to do.

And soul searching I did. For a couple years. I studied blogging, I took branding and social media courses, I learned about marketing and business, and I wrote down my writing and career goals.

And from all of this came a new direction. A clearer direction.

Towards a destination.

Even when I started down the path I had plotted out, I still wasn’t certain I had decided right, if that makes sense. I had a sense of direction and purpose but the view was still foggy. Also I was embarrassed. It was awkward to admit I was struggling.

When you’re feeling vulnerable it’s easy to compare yourself with others and allow that to hold you back and not get the help you need. But somehow I managed to push through it and kept asking questions and moving forward, step by step.

From this experience I’ve learned a lot about how branding yourself on your website or blog is good for search engine optimization as well as for attracting your ideal clients. But more than that, branding yourself is important for growing your business in the direction you want it to go.

When you’re desperate for work and a potential client approaches you waving wads of cash it is so easy to grab the money and take the gig so you can meet your immediate needs. And sometimes that’s just the way it is.

But if you want your freelance business to grow and mature then you need to work on branding yourself and that means figuring out what you want to write and for who.

Before you can figure out your brand you have to know a few things

  • Your ideal client
  • What problem you’re solving for your ideal client
  • Your focus/niche (what type of writing do you do? And what do you write about?)

When you know what you write and who you want to write for, it makes it a lot easier to attract those types of clients.

It also makes it easy for you to turn away work that doesn’t fit your brand. I know that sounds counter-intuitive but here’s the rationale: if you become an expert at one type of writing (aka really really good at it) then you become FAST at it.

And you don’t have to do as much prep work, pre-work, or research before you can dive into a job. When you’re writing about anything and everything you have to learn all about it before you can get to work. And while that’s fun sometimes, it’s not super efficient.

An online friend was telling me about how she does one kind of writing work: email sequences and sales pages for entrepreneurs. Now, that is quite specific.

However, she’s specialized in this type of writing and she knows exactly what she’s doing. She’s quick, she’s confident, and she has many, many happy clients.

By zooming in on this particular type of writing she’s able to maximize her writing time doing what she loves and what she’s good at. And she’s able to say no to the writing jobs that she’s not specialized at without feeling like she’s leaving money on the table.

I admire my friend because this is where I want to go. She’s a little further down the road from me and this helps me see the value in branding yourself, in choosing a niche, and in sticking with what you’re good at.

So, today I’m pitching you this idea of choosing a niche and branding yourself. And trust me, I know how much you might be resisting this idea. Because I did too

But here I am a couple years into my new and improved writing journey and I’m telling you, it’s amazing what a bit of clarity and direction can do for your writing business. And I’m only getting started.

Other posts related to branding yourself

Have you ever wondered why people talk so much about branding yourself and your business? Maybe you've heard it in terms of choosing your niche.

One more thing. I think you’ll enjoy my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required
Have you ever wondered why people talk so much about branding yourself and your business? Maybe you've heard it in terms of choosing your niche.
Have you ever wondered why people talk so much about branding yourself and your business? Maybe you've heard it in terms of choosing your niche.