Micro-influencers have changed the way large companies market their products, services, and brands altogether. Impacting a wide range of industries, one thing remains constant amongst the influencers––they’ve found a specific niche where they thrive. Do you know what it takes to become a micro-influencer?
What Is a Micro-Influencer?
Micro-influencers aren’t people like Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, or Kanye West. They’re individuals who work or specialize in a particular vertical and frequently share social media content about their interests. Unlike traditional “influencers,” micro-influencers have a more modest number of followers — typically in the thousands or tens of thousands — but they boast hyper-engaged audiences.
For example, a fashion influencer might have 10M followers and write for a prestigious fashion blog like Vogue. A fashion micro-influencer might focus on a specific segment of the industry, like designer sneakers. By posting content that’s relevant to their niche, they can reach higher levels of engagement with a smaller follower base, which can translate to a better audience for brands and advertisers.
Finding Your Niche as a Micro-Influencer
BradHallShoe’s is a popular Instagram/Youtube Channel that reviews sneakers and has built a considerably large following since 2015. His content ranges from photos of his outfits to in-depth comparisons between the leather quality of specific sneakers like the Air Jordan 1. He provides satirical commentary on sneaker culture while also providing his audience with insights on new and trending shoes from Nike, Adidas, and many more. With less than 100,000 Instagram followers, (at the time of this blog he’s at 68.9K) brands like Yeezy, and Nike still sends him their latest due to the interaction he receives from his followers. Micro-influencers average a greater interaction rate in comparison to larger accounts. Brad replies to the majority of the comments he receives, setting him apart from larger influencers. This is more difficult for accounts with 100K+ followers to achieve––but it makes all the difference in the world.
“There are riches in niches.” – Denis McInerny
Luka Sabbat, a micro-influencer turned macro (congratz on 1.2M on Instagram), is a prime example of utilizing a niche for a viable business model. Since 2012 when I met him, he has amassed a large following and has started a budding acting career (check him out on Grownish) all while catering to his online fashion community. From modeling to being a brand ambassador for Evian, he has diversified his portfolio, becoming a creative entrepreneur. I recently caught up with him to talk about how he’s monetized his Instagram feed and the steps he takes to protect his brand.
How Do Micro-Influencer’s Generate Revenue?
The post above has 100K+ likes and loads of comments. When I asked him how much Cariuma paid for the post, he told me a cool $40,000. Now, I know what some of you are thinking… $40K for a single post? That’s insane! But nowadays, this is normal and considerably low in comparison to what a larger brand like Coke will pay.
Ever heard of DudePerfect? They’re one of the Top 10 YouTube channels, and the #1 US-based channel. I had a conversation recently with their management team, and they offer packages for sponsorship starting at $100,000 for a simple shoutout in one of their videos. Not bad for a channel that started with trick shots and ridiculous stunts by a couple of college kids.
How does this translate to micro-influencers? Every day, these same brands pay lower amounts for posted content on accounts with smaller followings. Influencer Marketing is ripe for disruption and we’re seeing more accounts pop on our feeds every day.
Micro-influencers are more authentic.
Micro-influencers are just like you and me, they’re actual people in the real world. This translates to their content. While celebrities have a social media manager to curate posts for them, micro-influencers have to rely on themselves and their followers to create authentic content. By replying to comments, staying engaged with what their followers are interacting with, micro-influencers can have a larger impact than celebrity influencers with millions of followers.
Micro-Influencers Focus on their Passion.
Finding your niche isn’t always easy, and it can take some time to narrow in on what you’re passionate about. For me, I find that I gravitate towards three specific interests: fashion, tech, and art. If you visit my Instagram page, you’ll see a mixture of the three, and my audience is a good mix of folks from all three worlds.
Are you passionate about art? Start a blog about your love of post-modern works in the early 2000’s.
Do you love Raf Simons? Curate an Instagram page that focuses on his early collections.
Big fan of Apple/Macintosh products? Start a YouTube channel looking back at some of their most iconic computers.
The possibilities are endless, and there is always someone out there looking to consume more content they can connect with.
You may be asking yourself… What does this guy know about micro-influencing? I’ve been working behind the scenes with some of the biggest brands on the planet and decided that I would share some of my tricks of the trade with the good folks of the internet. I’ve worked with brands like The Boring Company, Balenciaga, and even Smirnoff to name a few.
Here’s a photo of me with one of Elon’s infamous “not-a-flamethrower”.
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I want to give a big shout out to @elonmusk and everyone over at the @boringcompanyofficial and @spacex for the care package! As you may know, Elon and his team of #marketing #masterminds produced a limited run of what they’re calling #notaflamethrower! I wasn’t lucky enough to be able to purchase one (boy did those sell out quick!) but Elon and his team sent me over a sample production model to test out around the house! One of the coolest things about this bad boy is that it’s 100% safe to operate indoors! My cats @william_webster_winona really got a kick out of the big flames. I know that most of my posts have been #sponsored #ad as of late but I want to be clear that I’m making this post myself, they did not, I repeat DID NOT pay me to post about their incredible #notaflamethrower produced by @the_boring_company! Comment some 🔥🔥🔥 if you want them to do another production run of these killer products! #elonmusk #theboringcompany #spacex #tesla #denismcinerny
If you’re interested in learning more about how to become a micro-influencer, be sure to keep up with this blog. Every week I’ll be posting ways you too can become a micro-influencer, even if it’s only on a micro-scale.
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