The rise of social media has produced some incredible business opportunities. As an influencer, you’ve already used your creativity and unique perspectives to tap into some of these. You may not have initially signed up for your core social media account with this intention. Nevertheless, you have gathered a solid community around your content and other businesses have recognised your marketing potential.
But where do you go from here?
Making a small but steady income is nice, but there are growth opportunities. Taking full advantage of these probably won’t just happen organically. Instead, you need to think like an entrepreneur and market yourself as a business. As with any endeavor, your success here will need some self-investment.
We’re going to take a look at some self-investment tips that can help you effectively operate as a more entrepreneurial social influencer.
Strategise your scaling
If you’re new to treating your influencing career as a business, you may not be familiar with the concept of scaling. This isn’t just about growing your business. Rather, scaling involves strategising how to increase your revenue while keeping costs down. You can incorporate various measures into this process, including finding ways to maximise your resources. If you have taken on staff members to support you, making certain you also support them is key to effective scaling.
No matter what actions you take, the most important element of scaling is your strategy. This is the first area you’ll be investing in yourself as a social influencer. Commit time, energy, and resources to understand the best scaling approach for your business. Create a plan for moving forward that outlines clear actions you can take to steadily gain income cost-effectively. Plot a timeline for yourself with sensible milestones to hit. Not rushing in is a cornerstone of sustainable scaling.
If you don’t have the skills to strategise your scaling, it can be worth collaborating with a business intelligence consultant. They can help you identify and analyse the most relevant data to your business’ development. This is likely to include your social media engagement insights on your primary platform. But it will also involve reviewing the markets for industry clients you can target and assessing your practices for internal cost-saving. Checking out some business intelligence influencers can help you better understand how the process works. You can then use this information to drive your planning.
Commit to consistent upskilling
You already have a valuable set of skills as an influencer. You know how to connect with your audience and you’re familiar with the marketing techniques of digital media. However, to effectively market yourself as a business, you need to keep developing. This both makes you more attractive to potential clients and empowers you to be a more effective entrepreneur. Your next area for self-investment is consistent upskilling.
This can begin with the technical skills to create more engaging content. It will be important to your audience that your approach still maintains the authenticity they were drawn to. But you can still develop knowledge on how to effectively schedule and strategise your content to boost engagement. You could also take courses on graphic design, video editing techniques, and even animation. These are skills that provide value to your audience while also showcasing professional productions for potential clients.
However, you should also invest in skills to enhance your business acumen. Following some business TikTokers can give you some pointers for valuable business attributes. You may want to invest in taking a formal online Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme. This can give you a broad knowledge base of essential business practices. It also helps you market yourself to clients as a skilled and trustworthy entrepreneur. However, you can also take shorter e-learning certifications in practical areas like data analytics, marketing, and accounting. In either case, consistent commitment to upskilling can help your influencer business to evolve.
Protect yourself from risks
Investing in yourself is a hazardous endeavour. There are specific risks involved with any investment and getting to know these can help you manage them better. Allocation risks — those surrounding the right places to put your money — can often be addressed with solid market research. While dividend risks, which surround your likelihood of making a profit, can be navigated with a more diverse investment focus.
So how do you know what you need to protect yourself against? Start with reviewing the challenges you currently face in your influencer business. This is likely to include maintaining a steady income if you can’t convince marketers to engage with you. It may involve external factors like negative responses to your content or trends that move away from your area of expertise.
Make a formal list of these risks and be honest with yourself. It may seem overwhelming, but investing your time in identifying these issues is invaluable for your future success. You can then start to put in measures that mitigate each type of risk. If your primary platform is waning in popularity, consider diversifying to include others. If investing in your education is a cost risk, consider how you can offset this by making a sponsored video series related to your efforts.
Remember to regularly assess and prepare for risks. These are going to change frequently, particularly as your business evolves. Importantly, build them into a formal business plan. You can use this in your marketing outreach to clients. They’re risk-averse, too, and your efforts to minimise hazards can help build their confidence in you as a prospect.
Being an influencer can be a fun career path. But you’ll find you can gain higher profits and more creative opportunities if you treat it as a business. This means you need to invest in yourself in various areas. Effective scaling, relevant upskilling, and risk protection should be key focuses here. It takes time, effort, and some risk. But it also empowers you to push your social media influence to exciting new places.