Influence marketing  involves businesses developing relationships with influential people (especially online) in order to help create greater awareness and visibility of their services or product. Rather than targeting the market as a whole, influence marketing focuses on certain key individuals. It has become one of the most effective strategies  to reach customers and build brand awareness. Hiring a social media influencer with a strong online presence can be an effective way to build product or brand visibility and appeal.
But how do you establish yourself as an social media influencer? In order to shed some light on the subject, Small Business Trends chatted with Brandon Brown, CEO and co-founder of the influencer marketing platform, Grin  and asked for his 10 tips on how to become an influencer.
How to Become an Influencer
Choose a Primary Network as Your Main Focus
Instead of being present and active on a myriad of social media networks, you should select a primary network to focus on building a strong following on that particular channel.
Build a Theme Around Your Content
According to Brown, those wanting to establish themselves as influence marketers should build a theme around their content rather than creating content around various topics and themes. Focusing on a content theme will help you be regarded as an expert on a certain subject and help generate a strong following in that particular area.
Create a Consistent Content Schedule
Let your followers know when you’ll be posting content by creating a consistent schedule . Think about the optimum days and times your target audience is likely to be active on social media and post fresh content then.
Focus on Quality Over Quantity
When it comes to social media content, quality always prevails over quantity . Don’t just post for the sake of posting. Instead put quality content live on social media that will bring true value to your followers.
Engage with Your Followers Every Day
Brown advises engaging with followers every day. Build up a relationship with your followers by reaching out to them and engaging with them daily. Whether it’s liking and commenting on their posts, reacting to the comments they’ve written about your content, or messaging them directly, interacting with followers daily will help build social media rapport and generate a solid relationship with fans.
Leverage Cross-promotion to Reach New Fans
Reach out to new fans and build your social media networks by cross-promoting social posts. Cross-promotion requires no investment and enables you to gain a credible introduction to new audiences on social media.
Partnering with a brand that is not a direct competitor of yours and cross-promoting each other’s content will mean your posts are promoted to each others fans, thus helping you reach out and engage with a new set of followers.
Collaborate with Other Creators on Content
Grin’s CEO and co-founder also recommends collaborating with other creators on content. Content collaborations, in which you create content with like-minded content creators, are an effective way to diversify your work and be exposed to other fan bases that are not yet aware of your brand. Collaborating with other content creators on social media can also be a lot of fun.
Be Selective About Brand Sponsorships
Instead of agreeing to take on any old brand as a sponsor, be selective more selective, Brown advises. The brands you take on as sponsors are a reflection of you and should not be chosen lightly.
Just as brands are becoming more savvy and selective about the influencers they choose to work with, you should be selective too about what brands you choose to take on. If you have a genuine interest in a product or service, chances are the relationship will be more successful, effective and fun.
Speak with Authenticity
Effective and credible social media influencers speak with authenticity. An authentic voice on social media that speaks with authority and is reliable will help ensure your fans view you in a credible and trustworthy light, ultimately helping you not only grow your following but gain sponsors too.
The final tip Brown recommends to those looking to establish themselves as an influence marketer is to practice consistency at all times. From consistently creating quality and informative content, to being consistent about the timing of your postings, social media consistency is possibly the best way to build loyalty with your fans.
Have you got any tips about successfully becoming an influence marketer on social media? Or perhaps you have experience of having a social media influencer successfully promoting your brand? Please share your stories and experiences with influence marketing below.
Influence  Photo via Shutterstock