I got some Instagram notifications about direct messages on my phone so I open the app to reply but nothing was happening. Then I noticed that the same thing seems to be happening on Facebook. I thought it was just my phone acting up and I deleted and reinstalled the apps.
But then I saw people posting about the same issues. Facebook and Instagram are down. Well, that sucks…
Since I’m not fully dependent on social media for my businesses, I didn’t panic. I still had different channels where I can communicate with my audience.
But then I thought about the Instagram influencers, who are probably worried about this situation. Good… I hope this persuades you to become more entrepreneurial and realize that you have to do more if you want to monetize your efforts.
YOU HAVE A MEDIA BUSINESS
Typically, entrepreneurs come up with a product or service and then use social media as part of their marketing strategy to grow their business. Influencers are starting in reverse with a successful marketing strategy for personal branding but they don’t have a product or service to come up with a business.
If your intention as an influencer is to be a media business, where you get paid by sponsors to distribute content, then you need to understand that unless you’re selling anything other than advertising exposure, the sponsors are your customers.
You have to figure out what your value proposition is for your sponsors. Why should they do business with you? What makes you so different than the other thousands of influencers in the same niche? What is your value proposition?
Stop being fake and doing everything to camouflage your sponsors. Be genuine and provide valuable exposure when promoting your sponsors. Your followers can tell when your content is sponsored. You’re not going to lose them. Oh… Did I mention that it’s the law? #ad
You have thousands of followers on Instagram. That’s great! But imagine businesses who don’t have a professional landing page or profile and only has an Instagram account. Would you trust them? You need to have a professional presence online if you want to be taken seriously today.
Your bio link should lead potential sponsors to a professional page with all of your information about your “business”. You need to include your background, contact information, social media links, prices, and other relevant information.
Again… Think like a business owner. Even better… Pretend you’re the customer.
Just like any business, you need to diversify your distribution of content on multiple channels. It’s the same way that businesses use social media. It’s just a marketing tool. You can’t just be on one channel.
And stop getting fake followers and joining engagement groups. This is why sponsors don’t really use followers as a gauge any more and engagement is going to be irrelevant too. Soon, sponsors are going to want measurable results.
So, you better start thinking of what other value you’re providing to sponsors other than just having a lot of followers.
You need to start thinking like a media business owner if you want to scale and grow your influencer marketing business. Your followers are definitely important but the sponsors are your customers and that’s who you need to focus on. So be more genuine and create content that’s valuable for sponsors instead of pretending it’s not sponsored. That is real authenticity. Just like any business, you need to diversify your content distribution. Any business that relies on just one channel is being very risky.
Stop being an influencer. Be an entrepreneur.
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Disclaimer: I’m the founder of Paid Exposure, which is a platform to help influencers scale their business and connect with sponsors seeking valuable exposure. We’re helping influencers transition into becoming entrepreneurs.