What it Means to be a Digital Influencer, And How to Become One

Becoming a digital influencer won’t happen overnight. But we’ll help you unpack the process and set you in the right direction.

Step aside, Kim K. “Influencer” is taking on a whole new meaning, especially in the digital space. But luckily you won’t have to carry a celebrity status or land a multimillion-dollar endorsement deal to become one. Digital influencers come in different forms; they’re entrepreneurs, journalists, photographers, bloggers, YouTubers and Instagrammers—all equipped with a digital presence and the ability to make people listen, relate and take action.

Worldwide, currently 2.3 billion people use social media and, in the US alone, people spend more time scrolling through their social channels than watching TV. Of that statistic, 100% of them are consumers. So when it comes to you, the business owner, it’s an asset to establish a “face to a brand-name” for your growing small business. Now, how do you get there?

Well, becoming a digital influencer won’t happen overnight. But we’ll help you unpack the process and set you in the right direction.

What Exactly is a Digital Influencer?

Influencers stimulate minds and incite action. Kristi Hines, Freelance Writer and Online Influencer, defines it as “anyone with an online following who actively pays attention to their audience and engages with them. That person doesn’t necessarily have to have a huge following, but they do need a following that actually listens and trusts their advice.”

The Digital Influencer, Unpacked

They’re Curators

“Someone who shares their thoughts and findings when testing out something new when they are asked about the latest trends in their industry.”

Digital influencers are subject-matter curators, who consistently write and share both inspirational and thought-provoking content on their social media channels. And their followers love it.

They’re Trustworthy

“Someone who doesn’t just shoot off recommendations off the top of their head, but actually does the research and comes back with supported or tested suggestions.”

Digital influencers hold themselves accountable to their audience and treat them with respect. They have meaningful conversations and, in return, earn the trust of their followers.

They’re Transparent

“Someone who gives honest feedback and advice when needed.”

A digital influencer has a voice and shares it—they’re human, after all. They aren’t afraid to go off-course to share their opinions, nor acknowledge when they’re at fault.

They’re Engaging

“Someone who is helpful and approachable.”

A digital influencer is a conversation starter, educator and advocate of their profession and community. Beyond the digital realm, they make the effort to reach their audience in unique ways (meet and greets, trade shows, books).

The Universal Formula

  1. Leverage Your Niche
  2. Capitalize on Opportunity
  3. Educate People, Always
  4. Find Your Claim to Influencer Fame—And Repeat

About the author: Megan Santos is a Content Editor at FreshBooks. Before joining the team, Megan was the Editor of a national trade publication and was also a published writer for the National Post, Notable.ca, and Zoocasa.com. In her free time, you can find Megan in her empty, new home or Pinteresting “Home decor inspiration.” Follow her on Twitter @meganssantos.

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