5 Good Investments if You're Serious About Becoming an Influencer
Let’s say you’re the type of person that people can’t wait to see show up in their newsfeed. You’ve cultivated a social following of thousands because of your wit, style or think-piece-worthy statuses. You’re starting to realize that your personality could seriously be lucrative, and it’s time to put yourself in front of a larger audience. So, what’s your first step? Well, the first thing you’ve got to remember is that not everybody who’s popular on a small scale is going to translate well to the large scale. But if you’re pretty sure you’ve got something worth sharing, here’s where I suggest you put your coin for the upstart.
1) A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOSHOOT
Invest in a lifestyle photoshoot that shows you in a polished and high-resolution (I repeat, HIGH-RESOLUTION) light. Professional photos send the message to your followers that you take your brand seriously, which means they’re more likely to do so as well. Also, it's a really good look to have some head shots on deck in case a press outlet wants to feature you or your content. Stay ready! If you want to be cost-efficient and get the most out of your dollar, choose a photographer who will allow you to shoot in two or more outfits, take some photos in a studio and some on-location, and think in advance about which different shots you’ll need most. For instance, ask yourself if you need “candid” photos of you practicing your craft, head shots, and/or full body shots. The more forethought you put into planning your brand shoot, the more content you can get from one 2-hour photo session. It'll also help you make thoughtful choices when you're researching which photographer to hire (don't sign on the dotted line without a look at their portfolio!).
You don’t have to spend a fortune to start making some intentional decisions about your look. Personally, I’ll go to Ross Dress for Less once every few months to stock up on some basic pieces that I can mix and match. You want to set yourself up so that you never have to use the “I have nothing to wear” excuse when a networking or social event comes up that could benefit your brand. If style isn’t your strong suit, recruit the help of your well-dressed friend or find inspiration on Pinterest. Even if your personal style is pretty minimalist, it’s time to put some care into what you wear.
3) REGISTRATION FEES
Splurge on a ticket or two to a conference, a trade show, or a workshop. There are all sorts of events where people in your field get together to stay sharp on trends and best practices, and this does apply to pretty much every field. Remember that people show up to these things to be seen just as much as they do to learn. If you’re going to scale your brand, your peers need to know who you are and you need to know who they are.
4) A PROMOTIONAL VIDEO
Many folks know that social media platforms are evolving to privilege video over any other kind of content. A quick, creative video can really boost your audience engagement, even if it’s just you talking to a camera. If you have something special to promote, consider hiring a videographer or even renting a digital camera and some decent recording equipment to shoot one or more promotional videos in place of a flyer.
5) A SECOND OPINION
This could take the form of an editor for your blog, a business consultant, a stylist, or a legal advisor. My point is this: identify your weaknesses and get some help. If you’ve got major growth in mind, building your brand is not going to be a complete DIY process. It’s worth the investment to have a second pair of eyes on areas where you lack some skills.
Know someone who could use these tips? Don't hesitate to pass this post along!