We finally made it to 2021! After everything 2020 threw at us, I think it is safe to say that we are all looking for a fresh start and a better year in 2021.
The world of influencer marketing is here to stay and will constantly be changing despite the pandemic and everything else going on in the world. So how do you keep up with it? Here are our top 12 things for Influencers to focus on in 2021. These are in no particular order and should be kept in mind moving forward if you want to keep up with the times.
1. Get on TikTok!
If you have not already, SIGN UP for TikTok! This has been a concept I have been pushing for quite some time. Why you ask? One word: growth.
TikTok will soon become one of those “bandwagon” scenarios, where everyone is participating because the follower gain is so great. But why be a bandwagoner?
What is the worst that can happen? You dabble a little, learn some more about short form video and the app dies 6 months from now? That does not seem too bad to me. All of those users who joined your community will still be following you on another form of social media.
On the other hand, you could not take it seriously and be very far behind 6 months from now when it explodes even more, you have not even started an account, and the days of organic reach has gone down (like Instagram). You will be kicking yourself for not joining sooner.
So just do it, I think you will thank yourself after! Not convinced yet? Check out our blog about why you should be on TikTok.
2. Start Using Reels
If you haven’t already started playing with Reels, you need to get on it. Reels launched in 2020, and Instagram is pushing them right now in a big way. If you are struggling to grow on Instagram, Reels are a way to grow and get your profile in front of new people.
You can use Reels to show off your personality, share tips and tricks, inspire others, or as a mini vlog. Whatever you do, just make sure you are using them. Find some people in your niche who are successfully using Reels and see what they are doing if you are stuck on ideas. You don’t want to copy their ideas, but it might help you come up with some ideas of your own.
Our new talent manager, Naomi, is one of our team members who makes great use of Reels. She is constantly sharing tips for influencers and creators, and she has been seeing big growth thanks to Reels. Make sure to check out her videos here!
3. Building on Old & New Relationships
If you are new to the game or are a veteran, building quality relationships with brands, PR agencies and other influencers is KEY to succeeding in this industry. Reach out to your favorite contacts from last year and ask them how they are doing with everything going on right now, or even send them something small to thank them for everything they have done in the past.
Need some tips & tricks about working with brands and PR agencies? Check out our blog post all about Brands and PR Agencies. We also have interviews with one of our favorite brands, Pura Vida, and an influencer agency, Collectively, where they share their best tips.
As travel starts to come back after the pandemic, brands will start wanting to work together again to help get their businesses up and running again. However, some brands are still working with influencers in various capacities right now. If you feel like you can bring value to a brand right now and truly love that brand, you could still reach out to see if you can help them during this time. Even if they can’t work together now, it helps build a relationship or keep a relationship going for the future.
Did you travel with another influencer last year and love it? Shoot them a message to see how they are doing. Maybe start brainstorming for something later in 2021 when travel opens back up. Hop on a FaceTime call with a fellow content creator you’ve never met to talk about the industry and see how you can come together to create some epic content in the future.
Think outside the box, be different and see what you can make happen. Is there a way you can join forces to bring value to both of your audiences right now? If so, go for it! Even if you can’t travel, there are other ways to provide your audience with value, so brainstorm and then make those ideas happen.
3. Try Long Form Content (IGTV, YouTube or Blog)
This can be a super daunting task for people, as long form comes with a lot of extra work and skills that you may not have. Well…time to learn. Most people have some extra time at home right now, so jump on YouTube or take a class and learn a new skill.
Create a little IGTV or Youtube mini series. Come up with a really cool, valuable concept you can build into something more long form over the next 6 months to a year. Maybe even just learn the skill and practice for when you can start traveling again if you are in the travel niche.
Going back to #2, find someone who is already doing it that you love, reach out to them with a really cool idea for a video and make it happen! Step outside of your comfort zone because long form content has so much power for amazing engagement.
Start a blog, if you do not already. It can be overwhelming at first, but here are some tips for getting started with a blog. Come up with a cool concept and share your knowledge and value with your followers. Just start – don’t wait until you know it all to get that first blog post up.
Build that email list and grow a community outside of social media. Create a freebie that provides your audience with value to get people to sign up. This way, if social media were to ever die (it won’t, but hypothetically), you have built an audience that is all yours and is located at your own site. Plus, if the Instagram algorithm changes, you still have access to your audience.
4. Find How You Can Provide VALUE
What is it you are passionate about? What skill set or knowledge do you possess that you can share with your audience? Find the one or few things you love and create engaging content around that.
Give your audience a reason to follow you outside of just beautiful imagery. Give them real value that will make them want to engage more with you than anyone else they follow, and engage back with them. Connect and show them you appreciate them being there. Remember – this is how you beat the Instagram algorithm.
5. Find a Unique and New Way to Deliver Your Content
How does your audience prefer to ingest your content? Do they love your stories or maybe short videos you post? Find a cool and unique way to deliver your content.
That might be a specific filter, the way you write each caption, giving the story behind each post, a swipe to “behind the scenes”, etc. Whatever it might be, find a way that is unique to you and be consistent with that. This is a part of building your brand creating a concept of who ‘YOU’ are.
6. Align Yourself with People Who Support You and Build You Up
Build a team. Find your friends, on socials or not, who truly support you and respect you for who you are and what you have chosen to do with your life. Create your own ‘tribe’ (overused word, but I feel it is a perfect fit for this), and find ways to utilize them in your online world. Create mini series, podcasts, collab posts on blogs (posts written by multiple people), and so on.
I am sure there are a ton of creators who you follow, support, love, so find a way to introduce yourself and build a group of like minded people. This industry can be very lonely at times, so build that family who will always be there. You could even see them as like colleagues at work. One of the biggest mistakes influencers make is competing instead of forming a community.
7. Believe in Yourself
This is a BIG ONE! As I just said above, this can be a lonely place to work and it is very easy to get in your head. I even have at times, and I am not even an influencer. Everyone does at some point.
Just continuously remind yourself why you are here. Why you got started, and what you want to get from this industry. It is so important to know your why to keep you going on the hard days. If you don’t know why you are doing what you are doing, it makes it much easier to give up.
You have everything it takes to make it happen, so just keep telling yourself, YOU GOT THIS! If you need some help navigating all the business that will come with your success, check out our blog post: Money Talk: When to Charge, How, and How Much?
8. Try New Trends Early
As I said above about TikTok, you can very quickly find yourself being lapped by everyone on the track of keeping up. This is so important walking into our next decade as it will bring new forms of communication and technology to our existing social media world.
If you hear of something new, check it out, try it out, and keep your eyes on it. It never hurts to try that new Instagram filter, shooting technique, or social media platform. It is always better to be a pioneer, one of the firsts, than to be a late bloomer or tag along.
9. Try Something New Creatively OR Something New That Scares You
Like above, there are constantly new trends, new apps, new social platforms, techniques, etc. I challenge you over the course of 2021 to try out something new that is creative or that you were scared or not ready to try last year.
Get outside of your comfort zone. You are an influencer, so influence others to be the best versions of themselves and to always push the boundaries of what they are capable of. We should constantly be learning.
The second we are stagnant in life is why we lose focus, energy, passion and our audience. Make it a habit to learn something new or try something you have been worried about and share that experience, your audience will love you for it. I took my own advice and embarked on a scary journey find out more: 10 Days, 8 Influencers and 2 Newuencers.
Maybe that scary new thing will even be something outside of the influencer space. What are some goals you have in life? Start making them happen. What are some business ideas you have? Why not give it a try?
10. Be More Real, Share More of Yourself and Build a Deeper Connection
To dive even deeper, I challenge you to be more vulnerable and open with your audience. Build those deeper relationships and connect with them on a level no other creator has before.
Some people might say that revealing or sharing more might not be the right answer and that you are sharing too much of your life, but in the end, your job is to build a community, a connection, friendships with your audience, and doing these things will only help that. Show them more and ask for more.
ASK QUESTIONS ALWAYS! Get to know your audience. Find ways to get them to engage with you and they will love sharing stories back with you.
If you can find a way to implement and act on these 11 things in 2021, I know you will see success within this industry. Comment below with some of the ways you are trying to grow as an Influencer this year.
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For more Influencer tips, check out these posts:
- 14 Things to Influencers and Content Creators to Work on When at Home
- 5 Mistakes Influencers & Content Creators Make Without Realizing It
- Influencer Marketing Explained
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