Internet influencers are people who create content and amass influence through their relationships with their audience. Influencers use their creative or professional talents to inform or entertain their audience. In doing so, many have been able to leverage their talent to generate revenue streams. These folks started as content creators that grew their blogs or publications into full-fledged companies. Our essential tips come from the following influencers:
- Andrew Warner of Mixergy
- Noah Kagan of OkDork / SumoApp
- Rand Fishkin the Wizard of Moz
- Ryan Hoover of Product Hunt
- Alexis Ohanian of Reddit
- Marie Forleo of B School / MarieForleo.com
- Gary Vaynerchuck of Vayner Media
- Brian Clark of Copyblogger / RainMaker
- Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad
Since we value your time, and want you to give you a dose of Monday motivation to channel the influencer inside you, we pull sage wisdom from influencer success stories by revealing these 9 Essential Tips To Become an Internet Influencer.
Internet Influencer Tip #1 – Be True To Yourself
Chiara Ferragni, an 28-year old Italian Fashion Blogger and co-founder of The Blonde Salad, is a fashion influencer who, according to Vanity Fair, has made more than $10 million in 2015. Chiara began The Blonde Salad with her co-founder in 2009 with a $10 website, yes ten dollars. In an interview featured on CBS News when Chiara was asked how she started this journey this is what she said,
“When I started… I was doing it just to share,” Ferragni said. “Like, because I love sharing my photos. But that was about it. My intention was to create something that people loved to look at, and they could find inspiration from, and that was it.”
Fundamentally, from the beginning Chiara highlighted that an influencer’s expertise is largely attached to his / her basic passion for what they are doing.
“My secret has always been to be true to myself,” Ferragni said. “I’ve never tried too hard.”
This is such a simple statement but it speaks volumes. Today, being the loudest voice in your niche is not necessarily enough. People might see you but without an “authentic” voice you can easily get lost in the crowd. Real influencers showcase their true selves. They’re work is often unscripted, transparent, and filled with unique style or opinions that appeal to a niche audience.
Internet Influencer Tip #2 – Keep Learning
Andrew Warner, the Founder of Mixergy – a site dedicated to asking proven entrepreneurs how they built their businesses – is an influencer which is an understatement to say the least. This unassuming influencer has a longer history than most, spanning back to those good old MySpace days, newsletters, and online greeting card days. Currently, Andrew has interviewed a thousand plus entrepreneurs considered the internet’s most prolific influencers. In an interview with Neil Patel of Quick Sprout, Andrew was asked to share a final thought to readers:
Keep learning from others. We’re fortunate in the Internet business because successful entrepreneurs are willing help startups. We have to take advantage of that.
As you’re undoubtedly aware, influencers are on top of their game. They are highly influential in their respective industries because:
- They are usually well-informed or considered experts
- They are early adopters
- They are observant of trends
- Their opinions are considered thought leader perspectives
Regardless of the industry, an influencer is always well-informed and current. The great news is that the internet has democratized the availability of information. Unlike many other industries where information is reserved to an elite class, the information required to become an internet influencer can be found in blog posts like these, webinars held by entrepreneurs, YouTube videos, ebooks, and guides. Access is readily available – go get it!
Here is a list of practical steps we take at Triberr to stay current:
- Follow professional blogs. Use a tool called Feedly!
- Follow influencers you aspire to be like
- Follow or create a tribe on Triberr
- Subscribe to high quality newsletters and company updates
- Use Buzzsumo to find trending content
- Join FB groups, masterminds, and communities that discuss our topics of interest
- Set alerts on Google Alerts or Mention
- Explore credible resources
- Read e-books, whitepapers, and guides
The obvious benefit of reading is that you’ll be informed. However, the even greater benefit is that you can spot the newest trends in the industry well before others.
Internet Influencer Tip #3 – Talk About What You Already Know
Brian Clark is the founder of CopyBlogger and the Rainmaker Platform. However, he didn’t begin his career online as the author of one of the most influential internet marketing blogs. In an interview with Yaro Starak, Brian discussed his early beginnings with email newsletters and consulting. Noting that he began seeing success with eZines and then even greater success with law based eZines. It’s a great reminder that not all success stories start with immediate clarity. In this case, Brian used his knowledge of direct marketing from the offline world and applied it to his digital projects. Sharing such valuable information on his blog led to well-deserved success.
You become influential because you exude confidence
The shortest path to creating with confidence is creating content in an area you already have expertise. This will immediately demonstrate credibility and authenticity. For example, an event planner with 10 years of experience hosting conferences may create valuable content about event planning topics such as:
- How to fill conference seats
- How to negotiate with venues
- How to sell sponsorship packages
- How to market conferences effectively
- How to hire staff or volunteers for your event
For the event planner, covering these topics based on prior experience is a natural extension. You can tell stories, provide supporting documentation or experiences, best practices, and templates. Now all you have to do is share it to the thousands of folks looking for exactly that information.
Here are some best practices we keep in mind when creating content:
- Make sure your content is original and your sources are credible.
- Create “E-books”, “Best Practices”, and “How to Guides”
- Focus on providing value
- Don’t be afraid to be unique
- Find a way to engage your audience
Internet Influencer Tip #4 – Share Everything You Learn
Rand Fishkin, known to many as the Wizard of Moz, runs the “go-to” SEO blog on the internet. Rand describes the beginning of MOZ as basically a need to solve his current friction, by making SEO a whole lot easier for everyone using the internet professionally. In 2004, as Rand was learning SEO, he began to share what he learned on Moz.
There’s nothing quite like the process of learning that makes a person equal parts vulnerable, knowledgable, and influential. The key to this type of influence is to share what you learn in way that helps others solve tremendous pain points. Our friends at Buffer have this process of sharing knowledge down to an art.
Today, sharing your knowledge via blog post is a great place to start. However, for those seeking growth, you can extend your reach with the help of social media.
Here is a list of things to consider when using social media to extend your content reach :
- Post on social media at high-user times
- Use a scheduling app to help you post the right time for your audience
- Post frequently on social media and on your blog to ensure consistency
- Respond to questions, comments, and followers
- Use hashtags, keywords, and natural language to communicate effectively
- Use Triberr to share posts! 🙂
Internet Influencer Tip #5 – Be Seen
Gary Vaynerchuck known to many as GaryVee, founder of Wine Library TV and Vayner Media, is a tremendous influencer. One of Gary’s most referenced quotes is
I day trade attention and build people’s businesses
Nowadays, it’s hard to surf any social network without seeing Gary’s wisdom in video, photos, or posts. He’s everywhere, and rightfully so. The guy knows how to be seen, and it makes sense that he has a business that helps brands do exactly that.
Everyday bloggers can start off small by collaborating with other bloggers, connecting with other influencers online, getting on podcasts, hosting a podcast, attending live shows, networking at conferences, or posting videos. There’s plenty of ways to be seen and heard. The hard part is putting in the effort.
You want to be seen because you need to build awareness for who you are and the audience you want to attract. Remember if no one sees you, they can’t fall in love with your content.
Internet Influencer Tip #6 – Focus On The Work
Marie Forleo, is a multifaceted entrepreneur known for her many pursuits from author, to MarieTV, founder of B-School, and even referred to by some as the Oprah of the Internet. In 2013, an interview with Marie by Dan Schwabel was featured on Forbes.com. Dan asked Marie what were the three biggest mistakes she made when she first started her business. Marie responded by stating the following,
I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out a way to describe myself instead of just focusing on doing the work: creating incredible content and changing lives. I was self-conscious about calling myself a “coach” because I thought the word was cheesy.
Marie’s biggest mistake is a huge misstep for many potential influencers. Self-awareness is essential. However, describing who we are to the “T” and doing the work can take a lifetime. Don’t make the mistake of making excuses, and just get started doing the actual work.
Internet Influencer Tip #7 – Learn & Move On
Noah Kagan is known for his love of tacos, SumoApp and Okdork.com, and being Facebook’s 30th employee that was “let go or canned”. <- His words not ours 🙂 He is the epitome of moving forward and building influence through his experience. As a blogger and prolific mover and shaker on the internet, Noah has mastered the art of being explicitly forthcoming. He shares his stories about leaving Facebook, his time helping to grow Mint, and extremely valuable tips on growing your subscribers. He is a in a perpetual state of learning and moving forward quickly.
As an influencer, you have to be willing to make mistakes and fail. It’s part of the process, and what allows you to provide valuable information to your audience. They listen to you because of such experiences in the hopes of avoiding the same pitfalls.
Internet Influencer Tip #8 – Start or Join a Movement
Alexis Ohanian, Co-Founder of Reddit which is often to referred to as the internet’s homepage, has essentially become the guardian of a free internet. Many are aware that Reddit explores conversations like no other place on the internet. However, not many people are aware of the many movements led by Alexis such as the online SOPA / PIPA movement, the most notable decentralized display of democracy on the internet to date. In January of 2012, Alexis piloted the movement which essentially voluntarily blacked out home pages of internet influencers around the world including websites like Wikipedia and even individual bloggers. I know you’re probably saying, we can’t all save the internet. But actually, we all can. By creating influential content, you are in effect adding value in the digital sphere. Every movement you start whether gargantuan or a party of 10 has the power to influence your audience.
Internet Influencer Tip #9 – Be A Community Leader
If you’re unaware of Product Hunt, now is definitely the time to look deeper into this community powered website. For those who are familiar, maybe you’ve never actually read the story of how Product Hunt began. In a recent Medium Post, Ryan Hoover discussed how Product Hunt started essentially as a very humble newsletter dedicated to keeping people informed about up and coming tech and startups. In his Medium post, Ryan showcases his conversations and how the process was largely validated and supported by his community. If you visit Product Hunt today, you’ll see the same spirit still alive in chats, hunted products, and supportive commentary. If you have the talent and privilege to lead a community consider yourself blessed and start leading it.
Let me leave you with one final thought. If you want to build influence in any community, remember the power of being humble. The person you help today can be a guiding force in your legacy tomorrow. There’s your Monday motivation!