Being an influencer can look pretty glamorous on Instagram, but some influencers and aspiring influencers don’t enjoy having to rely on brand sponsorships to earn an income. Others struggle to get brand sponsorships that pay enough to pay your bills.
This is when starting your own business or side hustle can be useful. It can be overwhelming to even think about starting a business, but if you want to go from influencer to business owner, this post is going to cover how to build a brand and how to find your “thing” that can give you the lifestyle you want working for yourself.
Chances are that you have skills you aren’t taking into consideration. You may be thinking, “Not me. I don’t have any useful skills to build my own business.” You’d be surprised what options you have though.
Every influencer (and really, every person in general) has a unique skill set. This post helps you find the skills and knowledge you have that you can turn into a service or course or coaching program or product.
FIND YOUR PASSION
The first thing you need to do is find your passion. Almost every influencer has some level of skill with photography and photo editing. Yes, you can turn that into a product (presets or prints), course (photography or editing or both), service (photography business), or coaching program (coaching others to have the same skills), but you want to also think outside of that.
What are your passions? What are your skills? What things do you truly love outside of being an influencer? What things do you love that made you want to become an influencer?
For example, someone could be great at dancing and love it. They can take this and turn it into an online dance class or a subscription dance workout class.
For some people, these skills and passions will be related to their work as a blogger or influencer. For others, it will be completely different. There are so many things you can do.
If you are a blogger and have a natural talent for writing and SEO, you can market that. If you are an influencer and are really great at pitching brands, you can market that. Or if you love doing social media and understand how it works, you can work with brands and businesses to run their social media.
It doesn’t have to be related to being an influencer though. For example, maybe you used to be a computer programmer and then became a gaming influencer. Now you aren’t using that skill you went to school for and enjoyed using in your previous job.
You could take the computer programming work you used to do and build a business around that. You can use your influence to build your company and to find your first clients.
There are always people who want to use your skills to grow their business or gain your knowledge to learn to do something for themselves.
One of our coaching clients, Christine from Pinnovation Media, was a teacher turned travel blogger when we first met. She was doing some ghostwriting and freelance Pinterest work to earn income to supplement her blog. It wasn’t until we started talking that she realized she could turn her freelance work into a full-time job and scale it into an agency. Within four months of launching, she has over 20 clients and makes more than she made teaching.
Keira Krumble is another of our Boost team members who grew an entire business from her influence. She focused on health and wellness and then created Beauty Bites which are now sold in major stores. She took her passion for health and wellness and created a product. Then she used her influence to start selling her products and to turn her passion into a full-scale business.
Do a deep dive into who you are, what you are passionate about, and what skills you have. Then think about how you can use that to earn an income by offering a course, service, product, or coaching program.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF:
- What skills do I have outside of being an influencer that I am passionate about?
- What skills did I get from a past or current job that I like and can use? (You may not like the 9 – 5 life, but you might enjoy the work you do and be able to turn that into your own business)
- What knowledge do I have that others would be interested in? What topics am I interested in learning more about and then sharing that knowledge?
- What are my passions?
- Who am I outside of social media?
Take a day or even a week or two and really dive into these questions. Write down ideas and options you think of for businesses. Make sure whatever you choose is something you really enjoy.
It takes time to build a business, so you want it to be something you love doing to get you through the ups and downs of owning a business. You also want to make sure you’re going to love it on those long days you will have to put in as you grow the business. Will you still love what you are doing in 5 years when you are making $100,000+ a year?
Clients can also see if you are passionate about it or not. When you have to sell your service or product, they can see through it if you aren’t authentic and don’t really enjoy what you are doing. That holds back your business in terms of growth, so take time before you decide what to pursue to really think about it.
You also want to make sure what you do lines up with who you are. Make sure it meets a need your audience has or that your potential clients have. Both of these things make it easier to grow your business in the long term.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
With a service based business or coaching program, it is easier to launch now and make adjustments as you go. You are selling your services, so you already have what you need to get started.
With a course or product, it takes longer. You’ll need to do some research up front. For a course, what platform do you want to use? What will the outline of the course look like? How do I want to present the content? For a product, you need to look into the process. Where can I source the materials from? What are my costs? How much do I need to charge? What similar products are on the market and how can I make mine better?
Once you make a decision, start doing your research into both the process and the competition. What will make you different and set you apart? You can release a similar product and still make it different or better. For example, maybe you launch a fitness band but you also include a set of workouts that are completely different from what is on the market to do with that band. Maybe you offer some free healthy recipes to go with it to help their fitness journey. There are ways to be better and be different, so do some research to find them.
DON’T BE DISCOURAGED
When you look into the competition, don’t get discouraged. There may be lots of others who do what you want to do, but there are also a million and one people out there who need it. People know you and don’t know all the other people who are doing that same thing.
Know your competition and then set the standard that you want to be better and provide a better service or a better product than your competition.
Check in on your competition and know what they are doing better than you are. Chase after being the best in your field and do the best you can. Make competition a good thing. Let it help you better yourself and your business instead of letting it get into your head that you can’t do it.
USE YOUR SOCIAL PRESENCE
If you are an influencer or are aspiring to be one, chances are that you already have some sort of a social presence. Figure out ways to use your social media to build your business or sell your product. Find ways to connect your new business to what you share on social.
This can be one of your best chances to kick start your business. If you have 5K or 10K or 15K followers, you can easily use that audience to start your business.
Get on Instagram Lives and show off your skills. Share your product or business on social so people can see. Find ways to authentically integrate your business and social presence to get your first buyers or clients.
You can also use relationships you’ve formed on social media. Maybe you send out your new product to your friends who are influencers. Ask them to do some stories with a shout-out or to give you a review for the product.
Offer up your service to them for free or for a reduced rate for a short time and then ask them to go Live with you on Instagram to share your business with a new audience and give some of that same value to their audience.
If you’ve already spent time providing value to your audience and building relationships with others on social media, your audience and your relationships can help you launch your new business.
FIND A COACH
If you struggle because you are not a self-starter or if you are just struggling with finding your “thing”, find a coach to walk you through it. At the beginning, it especially helps to have someone to walk you through the steps of starting your business.
Your coaching relationship will change over time. At the beginning you may need to meet more often to get help from someone who can look at your ideas and options from the outside. This especially is useful when choosing a name or logo or setting up packages and pricing.
After you get started, it becomes more of a maintenance relationship as you scale your business and go through the highs and lows of running a business. You have someone with you throughout the entire process who has been there and done that.
If you tend to struggle with taking action, paying a coach and having someone hold you accountable helps you make sure you get the work done. If you are the type who gets overwhelmed and then shuts down, a coach can break up your tasks into digestible pieces.
A coach also helps with the struggles of starting and running a business like doubts and impostor syndrome. Starting a business can be a lonely journey since you are going at it alone, but a coach gives you a support system – someone to walk you through the hard times and celebrate your wins. A coach can also help you with those tough situations like unhappy customers or difficult clients when you aren’t sure what to do or how to handle it.
A coach wants above all else to see you succeed. Because of this, they are there for you and do what they can to help you.
Boost Society now offers business and Influencer coaching in a one-on-one setting. If you are interested in taking your idea for a business and turning it into a reality or need help finding your “thing” to get started, contact Boost Society here and tell us a little bit about yourself and your coaching needs.
Have you ever considered starting your own business? What is holding you back from starting your own business if you haven’t followed through on it? Tell us in the comments below!
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For more Influencer business tips, check out these posts:
- How to Go from Influencer to CEO with Christina Galbato
- 14 Things for Bloggers and Influencers to Work on From Home
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