Becoming an influencer is never an overnight success story. Even those who’ve gone viral have failed at keeping consistency with building their audience, which shows how much harder than most imagine it to be. However, with the right strategy and vision for who your brand is, what they stand for, and how you can showcase that message to others, your company stands a chance. Here’s how:

Start With Your Story

A significant part of becoming an influencer is having a story that others will gravitate towards. Just take a look at any popular brand and ask yourself “why do people follow/like this?” After all, people don’t just buy Nike or Adidas because they need athletic wear but rather because they believe in the lifestyle that Nike and Adidas promote in becoming a better athlete by wearing their goods. This phenomenon is proven time and time again; according to a survey published by Zimmer Communications, 64 percent of consumers say that shared values are the reason they do business with a brand. If you’re looking to have people start following your brand, you have to present a story that resonates.

A good place to start with your brand story is first asking what your brand stands for, as well as what change or impact you hope it makes on the world. While that might sound high minded, it’s an exercise that can be repeated all the way down to “I want to offer the world better cheeseburgers at a competitive price.” See? This doesn’t necessarily need to be groundbreaking but enough that you feel as though you’re making a contribution. From there, it’s all about honing in on that central message or thesis, including how this mission makes someone feel as though they want to be a part too, which is the most rewarding part.

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A few weeks ago, I was in the same position a lot of business owners are. Refreshing my company’s Instagram page, I saw that we were at a lowly 121 followers. “This is pathetic.” I thought, “how do companies get into the thousands to tens of thousands?” 

Coming from the healthcare industry, we felt like Instagram could be a great route to acquire new customers, however, needed to formulate a strategy on approaching this head on. The result? We not only found a way to start telling our story honestly but doing so in a way that could scale. Here’s how: 

Starting With Our Story

I knew if my company was going to be great on Instagram, we first had to be great at showing people who we are and what our values stand for. After all, values are a core reason for why companies see success on social because as noted by Ion Interactive, 64 percent of consumers say shared ideals are the reason they have a relationship with a brand. Granted, as brands are pretty complicated organisms with a lot of intricacies, we knew we had to have a mission that trickled down to what that stood for on our day-to-day. While this wasn’t necessarily relaying our core mission all the time (or even keeping the same serious tone behind our goals), it did come with peeling back our layers and going back to why we started this business in the first place.

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Gaining trust with a startup can be tough. As there are numerous other companies out there vying for the same market share, coming onto the scene as a new company means you need to build credibility and reputation. One of the best places to do that is online, especially in reaching a mass audience quickly. However, that’s why we’ve compiled a few tips on how. Check them out below:

Start With Your Brand

A significant part of developing your startup’s reputation is by coming out the gate strong with a solid brand. Especially as you’re trying to convince someone to start using a service from a completely new company, having a solid image for them to trust is crucial. According to Crowdspring, 91 percent of consumers say that they would rather buy from an authentic brand than a dishonest one. And although that’s not to say your company has malicious intentions, people are skeptical of new, which is why you need to be extra mindful of what your brand stands for and how you come off.

In assessing your brand, first, ask yourself “would you follow/like this company?” If not, ask yourself what about it doesn’t evoke trust with you. Remember, a brand should stand for some sort of moral high ground that collectively others will resonate with; for example, Nike stands for leading an active lifestyle. As deciding on a brand can take quite a bit of self-talk and reflection, be patient with your approach, honing in on what you stand for long-term.

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Social media plays many roles. It can increase target audiences’ awareness of your brand, improve your Instagram following in order to reach celebrity status, and improve your ability to find others who share your political concerns. But social media has also shown an ever-growing role in the development of romantic relationships. Not only are social media channels being used to meet new people and connect with those we may find lasting happiness with, but social media is also changing the ways in which we engage with others and navigate those relationships over time. 

Active Accessibility

Without a doubt, social media platforms make relationships more accessible and attainable. While many may lament that social media has killed romance, others have found that leading busy lives precludes them from engaging in activities where face-to-face encounters might lead to long-term relationships. Instead, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat may help those actively seeking a partner to find those who share a common interest or goal without getting dressed up, spending time and money in a social scene, or waiting for love to come to them in places like the gym or church.  

Online dating allows single Americans to utilize a few minutes of downtime here and there to connect with others. Finding a romantic partner in the digital age means exploring the many opportunities to meet new people in online communities, connect with old flames or friends, or get matched up by some experts using a compatibility algorithm. This increases the chances of finding that special someone, rather than simply waiting for it to occur by chance.

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