As traditional media declines and social media emerges, marketers are increasingly incorporating social media influencer marketing into their strategies. Ste Davies reports that this is both a smart and popular advertising strategy, with 94 percent of marketers saying it’s effective and an increasing number of companies planning on using it through 2020.
Marketers pay social media influencers because they’re the gateways to their followers. When stars on Facebook, Instagram and other platforms post about a company’s service or product, followers see and engage with whatever is being promoted.
Start a social media influencer business by following these 10 steps:
Plan your Social Media Influencer Business
Form your Social Media Influencer Business into a Legal Entity
Register your Social Media Influencer Business for Taxes
Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
Set up Accounting for your Social Media Influencer Business
Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Social Media Influencer Business
Get Social Media Influencer Business Insurance
Define your Social Media Influencer Business Brand
Create your Social Media Influencer Business Website
Set up your Business Phone System
There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your social media influencer business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
Plan your business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
What are the startup and ongoing costs?
Who is your target market?
How much can you charge customers?
What will you name your business?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What are the costs involved in opening a social media influencer business?
The startup costs for a social media influencer business are minimal, and it may even be possible to start a business for free by using library resources and a friend’s camera. Influencers need little more than a computer, internet connection, and camera or smartphone to get started.
Many influencers use software, some of which costs money. There are plenty of free software options that influencers who don’t have any capital can use at first, though. HootSuite and Buffer are two fo the most popular tools used for managing profiles and scheduling posts. They both have free and paid plans.
What are the ongoing expenses for a social media influencer business?
The ongoing expenses for a social media influencer business are minimal. The main ongoing expenses are the cost of internet access and any paid software that’s used.
Who is the target market?
Social media influencers try to appeal to as wide an audience within their niche as possible. Marketers who hire social media influencers may sometimes ask about the demographics of an influencer’s followers, but the sheer number of followers is usually more important.
How does a social media influencer business make money?
Social media influencer businesses usually charge marketers for posting about a company’s services or products. Marketers might purchase a one-off post or set up a more lengthy campaign that involves several posts.
In some cases, influencers may receive a commission for every pre-defined engagement that a post leads to. Such a commission usually replaces a posting fee.
How much can you charge customers?
How much social media influencers charge depends on how many followers they have. Influence.co compiled data on Instagram influencers that bears this out. Influencers with:
Fewer than 1,000 followers charge $82.60 per post on average
Between 1,000 and 9,999 followers charge $107.50 per post on average
Between 10,000 and 99,999 followers charge $240.20 per post on average
More than 100,000 followers charge $763.30 per post on average
Rates for other platforms vary, but the correlation between followers and fees remains true.
How much profit can a social media influencer business make?
According to Davies, social media influencers’ earnings range from very little (“pocket change”) to seven-figure annual revenues. Whether an influencer is able to make a living depends on how many followers they have and what niche they’re in. Some industries (e.g. fitness) pay better than others (e.g. tea).
In addition to monetary revenue, the most successful influencers also get experiences they otherwise wouldn’t be able to do. Often, experiences are offered so that influencers can post about them.
How can you make your business more profitable?
Social media influencers can add another revenue stream by including affiliate links that pay a commission if anyone buys something through them. This is an easy way to monetize non-sponsored posts.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Social Media Influencer Business Name Generator
If you operate a sole proprietorship, you might want to operate under a business name other than your own name. Visit our DBA guide to learn more.
When registering a business name, we recommend researching your business name by checking:
Your state’s business records
Federal and state trademark records
Social media platforms
Web domain availability.
It’s very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.
Form a legal entity
The most common business structure types are the sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation.
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your social media influencer business is sued.
Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
Social media influencer businesses should consider requiring clients to sign a services agreement before starting a new project. This agreement should clarify client expectations and minimize risk of legal disputes by setting out payment terms and conditions, service level expectations, and so on.
Get business insurance
Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.
There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.
Define your brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
How to promote & market a social media influencer business
Social media influencers grow their audiences by regularly posting content. Posting with regularity is more important than being creative or noteworthy. Influencers should strive to be unique whenever possible — but not at the expense of regularly posting.
How to keep customers coming back
Influencers should be experts in their respective niche so that they stand out from others social media personalities. Expertise may be established by authoring books, earning relevant certificates or degrees, and offering informative insights.
Another good way to keep your customers is to build trust; to do that, you can get your Instagram account verified. What this means is that you are proving to your customers that you are the original owner of your Instagram business account, which will help build trust and notability. Check out our How to Get Verified on Instagram guide to learn more.
In conclusion, to retain your customers, stay relevant and be trustworthy! Know where your market is going before it gets there. Use relevant hashtags. Find out what your customers have to say and prove to them you are a reputable business.
Create your business website
After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.
While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:
- All legitimate businesses have websites – full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
- Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
- Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.
Using our website building guides, the process will be simple and painless and shouldn’t take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.
What happens during a typical day at a social media influencer business?
The most time-consuming aspect of running a social media influencer business is creating original content. After coming up with an idea, actually producing content might require creating a meme, staging a photo, or making a video. Influencers might occasionally post a quick update that doesn’t require much planning, but more intentional posts are needed on a regular basis to keep a loyal following.
When not creating original content, influencers spend their time curating and reposting others’ content, interacting with followers and finding marketers to work with.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful social media influencer business?
Because business owners are paid to post advertisements, they should be well acquainted with the nuances of social media marketing in general and influencer marketing more specifically. There are several books, such as The Road to Recognition and Influencer, that cover these topics. Additionally, a number of organizations offer influencer marketing conferences.
What is the growth potential for a social media influencer business?
One of the metrics closely followed in this type of marketing is the number of followers a social media influencer has. The most successful have millions of followers. For example, Zach King, and Huda Kattan have over 20 million Instagram followers. The smallest influencers have at least 5,000 followers.
What are some insider tips for jump starting a social media influencer business?
Growing a social media influencer business takes time, and business owners shouldn’t look for shortcuts that jump-start the process. Specifically, buying or otherwise acquiring fake followers can backfire. Artificially inflated follower numbers may look good initially, but they lead to low engagement rates and potential penalties.
How and when to build a team
Most social media influencers run their businesses themselves, but some hire an assistant if the workload, demands, and revenue allow for it. An assistant can help create posts, interact with followers, and otherwise manage the profiles used.