Over the years of working in communications, I’ve held a variety of roles and responsibilities. Pretty typical in this field. From writing to media relations, social strategy and everything in between. And in the last 6-7 years, influencer marketing has been a frequent role of mine. Especially now at my current job. If you work in the industry, then chances are it’s been part of your marketing mix as well — whether you work in an agency or in-house. But if you haven’t had a chance to do this work, I put together some tips of how to get started.
Take a Course
It’s amazing that only about 10 years ago, influencers weren’t even called influencers yet. They were still called – gasp – bloggers! But today, the influencer marketing industry is on track to be worth up to $15 billion by 2022. And that means there are more opportunities to learn than ever before. In 2019, I received a course certification in Influencer Marketing Strategy from Rutgers University via Coursera.
Influencer Marketing Hub also put together this list: The 25 Best Influencer Marketing Courses to Up Your Influencer Game.
Some of these are for a small cost, and others are free. But whichever you choose, they all go over the basic principles you need to know from inception to reporting on success.
Keep up on Industry News
No matter the industry you’re in, it’s so critical to keep up with what’s happening. That way, you’re on top of trends, news and learnings. This is especially true in the influencer marketing industry, which is quickly gaining more and more visibility. I subscribe to a few newsletters. These include:
- Marketing Brew: This is a holistic look at the marketing industry, which frequently includes news on influencers.
- Insider Influencers: From Business Insider, its weekly rundown on the influencer and creator economy.
- Talking Influence: Influencer marketing news and opinion.
- nofilter: Emerging trends, insider tips, and interviews with social stars from Influence.co.
- The Motherhood blog: Shameless plug, this is my company’s blog, but with our CEO practically inventing influencer marketing, we know our stuff.
I also follow journalists who cover the industry. I keep up with Stephanie McNeal from Buzzfeed (her Instagram account is also always updated with the latest, often scandalous news) and Amanda Perelli from Business Insider. Pro tip: Add those who cover the industry to a Twitter list to easily keep up with them. I still use and love Twitter lists for this reason!
Volunteer At Your Current Job
Let’s say you work for an agency and some of your colleagues work on influencer marketing and you do not. The easiest way to get in there is to speak up and help. Actively show your interest and volunteer to help them by maybe doing research or looking into rates. Chances are, they are swamped and would welcome the help. You could also share all the amazing industry news you’ve been learning with them. Send a quick email or chat message to showcase your knowledge. And, if your company doesn’t offer influencer marketing, offer to start it up. It could be a great way to start a new practice for your company, earning them revenue and you credibility.
Be an Influencer Yourself
You know the old Hair Club For Men commercials where he says he is not only the president, but a client, too? Well, that’s me! While I wouldn’t call myself a full-blown influencer, I have made a following and name for myself over the years with this blog and my social channels, and I occasionally work with brands. Being on both sides of the coin has really helped me see a 360-degree view of what working with influencers is all about. It’s been helpful to understand standard practice, rates, messaging, FTC guidelines/disclosures, etc. Is this necessary? No. But it has really helped me.
As the industry continues to explode, now is the time to get into influencer marketing. And if you are already working on your company’s social media, being involved in both is a great way to marry the two, as you can use influencer content in your company social and email, and boost influencer content to drive back to your website.