Career Advice

7 Tips to Help You Carve Out a Career as a Social Influencer and Next-Gen Marketer

min read
Mikaela Thompson

It’s no walk in the park to establish yourself as a social media influencer or indeed a modern-day marketer because that’s what they really are these days. They aren’t just attractive faces that pop up in your IG and Facebook newsfeeds – irritatingly for some who may regard them as fame groupies with little talent of their own, out to make a quick buck. On the contrary, there’s a lot of hard graft behind their beautifully crafted images and videos which constantly appear on YouTube and Tik Tok as well as their often witty, throwaway lines on Twitter. Hours go into curating and manipulating content to keep audiences riveted.

Looking good may help but it’s not the end point. In fact, in today’s marketplace social media influencers are vital to business strategies. Their global reach resulting from readily accessible social media platforms and an ability to associate various brands and businesses with them, make them very compelling ambassadors for companies. It’s a win-win situation since while influencers help businesses to significantly boost their revenue, they’re also earning money for themselves…lots of it, if they’re any good at influencing.  So how can you be good at it? Skills, people!  And no, not every person is up to the task but if you’re successful, career opportunities are there for the taking from business promotions to political party promotions.

Core skills for social media influencing:

Social media influencers share a core set of skills that serve them in their work without which they wouldn’t be able to build a strong base of viewers, followers, and customers. Your success as one, relies on you arming yourself with the right arsenal of skills. Company marketers look at things like a social media influencer’s audience and their quality of content so jack up your skills related to these and start learning a few new ones where there are gaps, especially in tech skills. Still unsure where to start? Read on and check off the following.

1) Marketing and Branding: just as with establishing a new business, you need to build a brand. For that, you need a strong understanding of both marketing and branding which will help drive your website/page and build an audience. Trying to wing it just won’t cut it. Keep this knowledge up to date so you can evolve with the best methods du jour for reaching the ultimate number of consumers.

2) Basic programming language skills for digital marketing: data is power in the world of marketing. 70% of marketing executives report data-driven marketing is at the center of most campaigns (Forbes Insights). One of the less complex, more understandable programming languages for digital marketing is Python. It’s also one of the most powerful machine languages for data analysis and machine learning. Developing beginner skills in Python will support your need to web scrape and extract useful data to increase your social media influence, ultimately building your career. .

3) Coding for digital marketing and web development: will help you gain insights to how websites, search engines and social media platforms operate. You’ll have more of an understanding of the technology and software that allows you to optimize your content for visibility and punch. Knowing how to create APIs, apps and websites will kick start your ability to build an audience of followers and subscribers.  

4) Graphic and video design skills: in recent years, there’s been a significant move away from text-only formatting in preference for video and graphic displays. In fact, social media influencers who use videos and images, will capture more viewer interactions. Research by Wyzowl found if video and text are available on the same page, 72% of people will choose video to glean information from. Learning to design and produce this type of content yourself will save you money. As well, since over 2 billion downloads are made on the Tik Tok app, you know you won’t be wasting this investment. But not all viral Tik Tok posts need advanced video editing skills. Getting some basic skills in shooting and editing videos will suffice.

5) Data analysis skills: to discover what kind of content works best for you as a creator and influencer, as well as for your audience, you need a basic knowledge of data analysis. That selection of beautiful, impactful content you want to curate will similarly come down to your data analysis skills.

6) Leverage the hashtag rage: Identify the most relevant, trending hashtags in your niche. Then use them in your posts to make your content visible to a completely new audience that may not have known of your existence. However, don’t go overboard with hashtags. Make sure the ones you use are purposeful and align with your image as an influencer. In addition to using popular hashtags, you can also create your own unique hashtag to broaden your reach even further. Encourage your followers to upload content on their own profiles using your branded hashtags. This popularizes your hashtag and builds awareness about you in your followers’ social networks.

7) Other important skills you should beef up: writing and public speaking skills, social media versatility and a basic understanding of behavioural psychology.

You don’t have to master all these skills. But understanding the basics of the ‘right’ skill set along with a liberal dollop of passion will put the career of social media influencer into your orbit.

Recommendations for You

Employer Branding 101: Importance of Understanding Your Brand
8 Everyday Uses of Python
Intern to Perm at a Fintech: How did they do it?