One of the best and WORST tips in the influencer market is “just start.” Yes, just getting started is a great way to get over the nerves and actually start your influencer business, but it’s also the fastest way to set someone up for failure. There are so many things to know about running a successful influencer business and if you aren’t properly prepared, you are bound to make a ton of mistakes. So today, I am sharing the top 5 mistakes you need to avoid as an influencer and what you should do instead to start your journey to growing faster.
Mistake #1: Not Having An Audience
Ok, I am about to show my age here, but it is for the sake of helping you so no laughing. But in 1989, a movie titled Field Of Dreams came out and there was a famous, often misquoted, line that said “If you build it, he will come.”
Why do I bring this up?
It’s definitely not to just give you an amazing movie reference to watch this week, but it’s to link the message of that line around building your content for a specific person.
See, when people repeat this line from the movie they often say “If you build it, THEY will come,” and many influencers start their journey off this way. They build their content around “they” thinking “I need to reach EVERYONE.” But the problem with that is you can’t reach everyone if you don’t get to the specifics of the one.
In the movie, the main character keeps hearing a voice saying “if you build it, he will come” and if you apply this to your influencer business you will want to replace the words “it” with your influencer business purpose and “he” with your ideal avatar (audience).
Are you looking to target new moms who need help with getting their babies to sleep?
Then your sentence will be “if you build content around valuable sleep training tips, new moms will come and follow your social media account.”
Are you a retro gaming enthusiast looking to connect with other retro gamers?
Then if you build your content around retro games, your retro gaming enthusiast will come.
No matter what your niche is when you get super specific on who your intended audience is, the more you can attract others outside of your audience.
This was proven at the end of the movie (spoiler alert) when you see more people come out of the cornfield to see what the main character had built.
Mistake #2: Copying What’s Already Out There
So, there is a huge difference between getting inspired by an already established creator and trying to be a carbon copy of that creator to grow your following.
A lot of new Influencers think “if I just copy someone who is successful, I too will be successful.” Although this may seem like a good idea, it often doesn’t work and leads to burnout, comparison, and in the end, failure.
The reason that another influencer is successful, is because they connect with their audience on a relatable level by being themselves. Yes, you may see them create content around trending topics, use similar filters on Instagram, or use the same songs in their TikTok, but each successful influencer brings a uniqueness into their content that is hard to replicate.
The best thing you can do is be 100% yourself, people do not follow multiple influencers because they are all similar, they follow multiple influencers for their differences. So use that trending song or topic and see what you can do that will stand out from all the rest.
Mistake #3: Not Promoting Engagement
There is no surprise when you are just starting out you will post and most likely hear crickets in the comment section and let me tell you, THAT IS NORMAL!
Something else that is super normal is being the first one to start engagement. So here is a dirty little secret that I do to prompt engagement on my social accounts.
On YouTube, when I post a new video, I ALWAYS write the first comment. This will usually consist of a question of the day, and oftentimes asks my audience how they are doing, do they prefer coffee or tea, or are they working this weekend or relaxing.
Sure, it doesn’t always have anything to do with my video, but, they are easy to answer questions that start the conversation which makes it easier for more people to leave a comment.
On Instagram, I will use the “ask me a question box” sticker in my Stories to start a conversation with my audience, then I go back in and ask the first question. Yes, I am talking to myself in my Stories, and I was so shy to admit that until I saw someone post in a Facebook group talking about their “dirty little secrets” and so many people said they did the same thing.
It’s normal and most influencers, no matter how big or small they are, are doing this. I call it “the first slice syndrome.”
Nobody wants to be the first person to dig into the cake first, but once that cake has been cut into and a slice has been taken, then everyone lines up to take a piece.
Social media is the same way, so take the first slice, or in this case, make the first comment, and watch your engagement soar.
Mistake #4: Not Planning Your Content
You always hear consistency is key, and most newer Influencers hear this and think “post every day” but that leads to burn out which then leads to inconsistent posting.
The old saying “quality over quantity” holds true even as an influencer. You do not need to post every single day to grow a following. If you are creating high-quality content that resonates with your audience and makes them SHARE your post, videos, blogs, or website, then you will grow faster than the influencer who is posting random stuff every day just to post.
You want to make sure you have a content strategy that goes deeper than just the day of the week you’ll be posting. Really think about the value you’ll be providing and balance it out between highly searchable content, highly shareable content and content that lets your audience connect with you on a deeper level.
Also, ensure you are using ALL features of the platform you are on.
- YouTube videos
- YouTube Shorts
- YouTube Stories
- YouTube community tab
- Instagram Post
- Carousel Post
- Instagram Stories
Mistake #5: Not Having Fun
I was so guilty of this my first year as an influencer and it was because I was so concerned about the “rules” that I didn’t allow myself to really embrace the creative process behind being an influencer and it actually stalled my growth.
When I fully let go of “perfection” and obsessing over the next post that will make me go viral and started just having fun with growing I actually started to grow.
And this falls back onto mistake #2. People will follow you because of YOU not because of your content. Your content is a tool to attract your audience, but you are what gets people to hit that subscribe or follow button. To purchase from your affiliate links because they know it supports you, and to buy your merchandise because they like you.
So before you “just start” or post your next content, make sure you know that ONE person you are building your content for, stop being a carbon copy of other creators, prompt the engagement, plan your content and have fun!
Tell us in the comments what makes you unique in your niche.