How to Become a Social Influencer

She emailed me with the following question: “How big of an audience do you need before you’re considered an online influencer?”  I was tempted to insist we chat about gluten free donuts instead (because, really, that’s way more fun), but it got me thinking.

Everyone has different categorizations of “influencer” status, but the main thing to remember is that while numbers are impressive, not all followers are the same. 

For example, I’ve seen Instagrammers with considerably smaller followings outperform mega Instagrammers, so this begs the question WHY? 

There are social media accounts that consistently engage, interact, and create value for its followers.  These accounts are less about being impressive, and more focused on creating a tribe of like-minded people. 

As a result, when a company requests a call-to-action, its followers respond en masse.  It's incredible to see!


If you’re struggling to create influence for your business, I heavily suggest doing the three following steps to get the ball rolling:

  • Kontent is Kween

How do you get attention?  Do things differently.  Create valuable content that empowers your followers to learn/take-away/get excited about taking action.  You are an expert in your field, so show it off…not by talking about how great you are (even though me and your mama know it’s true), but how much you can HELP your followers with your advice. 

    • Your Assignment:  Write a value-filled blog post/podcast/newsletter once a week


  • Engagement (diamond ring not necessary)

In this day and age, it's not enough to simply use social media…you must be strategic and develop patterns of interaction.  You should leave comments on other pages, like photos on other accounts, respond to questions, and find ways to connect with prospective followers.  Basically, you need to let people know your account is there as a benefit for them if they know they should follow you after your initial point of contact.

    • Your Assignment:  Set aside at least 10 minutes per day to engage with your followers.  Leave comments, like photos, and engage on their platforms.


  • It Ain’t About You, Boo

Take a look at your last 10 social media updates.  If the vast majority are simply promotional updates for your business, you’re doing it wrong.  Ooooh, did I just go there?  Did I just call you out like a ball player on a court in Harlem?  Yes, boo, I did.  The best way to get people talking about your business is to let them do the talking based on insight, tips, and how-to’s you share with them.  Think of social media like an orchestra: you’re just the conductor, let your customers play the instruments.

    • Your Assignment:  Plan your next 10 social media updates and ensure that at least seven of them are value-driven, and not strictly promotional for your business.


One of my favorite quotes is by John Maxwell: “To be an influencer, you have to love people before you can try to lead them.”

Here’s to loving our tribe and becoming an influencer along the way,