Becoming an influencer in a niche can be difficult—especially if someone has never been an influencer before.
Luckily, there are plenty of blueprints out there for how to become a successful influencer that a budding influencer can follow—and they are super easy to find.
Those blueprints are other influencers in the niche!
No matter what niche a potential influencer is in, it’s very likely that there are other influencers in that niche that are already doing extremely well.
In order to become successful, a potential influencer can look to successful influencers for ideas for how to grow their realm of influence in their niche.
Why Find Influencers For Inspiration?
It’s always good to look to people that are doing something well for a template of how to do that thing.
Think about this concept in any other context. If someone wants to learn how to cook, they will often watch videos online or go to a cooking class.
The same goes for becoming an influencer.
Of course, I’m not saying people should copy other influencers. What I am saying is that there is nothing wrong with taking a look at the competition and seeing what is working for them.
Looking for General Trends
To learn what is trending in a niche, it’s important to pay attention to other influencers. This is especially so if there are some influencers in the niche that always seem to be ahead of the curve.
I like to pay attention to other people in my niche to see what is trending and what is becoming more popular.
This allows me to capitalize on trends and become an early adopter.
Once again, I am NOT saying that someone should copy another influencer.
With that being said, there is nothing wrong with taking some inspiration from another influencer.
Sometimes I will see something that another influencer is doing that I would have never thought of before, and I will take that idea and make it my own.
Now that we’ve gone over the why when it comes to finding influencers for inspiration, let’s take a look at the how…including…
What to Look For
Before looking for influencers to draw inspiration from, it’s imperative to understand what to look for.
Here are some things that I always look for when I am considering which influencers I should follow:
While there are lots of influencers that are extremely successful, not all of them are relevant to my niche.
I always make sure that an influencer is relevant enough to my niche to actually gain some value from following them before I hit the “follow” button.
What’s the point of crowding up my social media walls with posts from people that will provide me with no practical value?
While there are a lot of great up-and-coming entrepreneurs out there, these generally aren’t the right people to follow to discover a strategy that has been shown to be successful.
Instead, I always suggest that new influencers follow influencers that already have an enormous reach. These people are obviously doing something right—which makes them excellent examples to study.
While reach is very important, reach means nothing if no one is paying attention!
Sadly, there are people out there that BUY followers. These “influencers” may have a massive reach—but none of their “followers” are actually paying attention to anything that they post.
That’s why it’s always important to take a moment and see what kind of engagement the influencer is getting on their posts.
If they are getting a lot of likes and comments, this is a good sign. If not, they are obviously doing something wrong…
While different people have different thoughts on post frequency, there is a lot that can be learned from checking out the post frequency of an influencer in your niche.
While some influencers may post once every other day, other influencers may post multiple times a day.
A marketer should see what is considered “normal” in their niche to make sure that they are posting enough—or that they aren’t posting too much.
How to Find Influencers
With an understanding of what to look for in an influencer, it’s now important to consider how to find the perfect influencers to follow!
Here are some things that I look for when I want to find influencers in a niche that I want to follow:
Check Your Own Network
Successful marketers build a network of people in their niche.
I personally go out of my way to meet other people that are in the same field, and I create a network that is built around these people.
When it comes time to find an influencer in a niche, I will often ask people in the network that I have created if they know anyone.
Most of the time, they do!
Hashtags are one of the easiest ways to search for anything on social media. This is because anyone with social media marketing savvy will hashtag their posts in ways that make them easier for people interested in their niche to find.
If I am looking for someone in the weight loss niche, I can search both for generic hashtags around weight loss (i.e. #weightloss), or I can search for something that is popular (i.e. #Paleo).
From there, I can check out the engagement on the posts, and the account of the user that posted the photos, texts or videos.
How to Contact an Influencer
While it isn’t always necessary to contact other influencers in a niche, sometimes marketers will want to reach out.
This may be to…
- Ask for advice
- Discuss a partnership
- Discuss advertising
- And so on
Here are some considerations when contacting an influencer over social media.
All business communications (and communications in general) should be built around respect.
If you are aggressive with another influencer or if you treat them like they are below you, they won’t want anything to do with you.
This may seem obvious, but surprisingly it doesn’t go without saying…
Make sure to be respectful with ALL business interactions—even when it’s the competition.
Use Their Email (If Available)
While social media has opened up personal communication a lot, many business communications are still done over good old-fashioned email.
If an influencer has an email address on their account, try reaching out to them through email first. If they don’t respond, consider sending a message. DON’T send them a series of messages!
Engage With Their Accounts
While many influencers understand the tactic of engagement, it’s still a sign of respect for someone that wants to speak with an influencer to first engage with some of their posts.
Potential business partners or collaborators want to know that you are interested in what they are doing. One of the best ways to show interest is by engaging in the influencer’s previous posts.
Tweet at Them
Twitter is a good platform for reaching out to people and making quick connections.
While going straight to DM (Direct Message) may have mixed results, sending a quick Tweet asking to connect through DM can go a long way!
I strongly encourage anyone out there that is looking to become an influencer in their niche to take a look at what the top influencers in their niche are already doing.
By seeing what is successful and by working with other influencers in the community, a marketer can scale their business faster and much more effectively!