What Does It Take To Be An Influencer?

Hidayah Ruzman on 11 October, 2018

An influencer is a person or group that has the ability to influence the behaviour or opinions of others. What does it take to be an influencer of 21st century?

Names like Napoleon, Queen Victoria and Abraham Lincoln would often come up first in your search results when you Google “influential figures in history”. None of them had an Instagram account, let alone knew what a selfie was. You wouldn’t come across a tweet from Napoleon that says, “Vive la France! :)” in the 1800s. So what comes to mind when you think about present-day influencers? Read on to find out more.


When was the last time your food arrived at the table and you weren’t tempted to take a flat lay of it for your Instagram feed? Exactly. In this day and age, social media is prevalent in a majority of our daily lives. Documenting ourselves has somehow become habitual, be it for the viewing pleasure of others or simply for keepsake. Social media has also developed into a platform for artists to showcase their talents. It isn’t uncommon to come across an Instagram profile that resembles a portfolio of some sort. However, social media may also be a source of income for certain individuals.


If you had a dollar for every time you scrolled past a post of someone telling you to use their promo code to get $5 off your next Uber ride, you’d probably be able to afford a private jet. As you may or may not already know by now, the presence of social media influencers is rapidly increasing. One of the more typical signs of a social media influencer is the amount of followers he or she has. Besides being a celebrity, there must be a reason why one is capable of having thousands of followers on Instagram. Perhaps they created their Instagram account at an early stage and garnered a substantial amount of followers over the years. Otherwise, aesthetically pleasing feeds, niche content, or simply a charismatic figure may be the answer as to how these influencers have accumulated such a large audience.


The idea of receiving free goodies from companies and getting paid for writing product reviews on Instagram may seem like a dream job, especially to millennials nowadays. The flexibility of it all is an added bonus as well. However, earning $1K from a single post may not be an overnight feat for most aspiring social media influencers. Attaining a higher cost per post normally depends on the amount of followers you have as well as your engagement rate. The industry is highly competitive too, depending on your niche.


Many tend to stereotype the idea that all social media influencers require an Everest of followers to do what they do, which is actually far from the truth. As an individual with a modest amount of followers, it’s hard to imagine what it would be like to be approached by a company to advertise their products but believe it or not, companies value us more than you think. As mentioned in an earlier post (Are Social Media Influencers the Future of Marketing?), social media influencers ARE the future of marketing. Brands seek various forms of exposure, which includes micro-influencer marketing. Micro-influencers are more likely to have a closer relationship with their audience. Thus, this trust factor positively affects purchasing decisions. At times, working with a micro-influencer who has 5,000 followers reaps better results than working with a macro-influencer who has 500,000 followers.


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👉 What does it take to be an influencer?