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The Not-So-Secret Guide to Becoming a Social Media Influencer

Jun 18, 2024 | computer design programs, News

Year after year, social media influencers and content creators have dominated the social media space. Followers watch as their favorite social media influencers live, which seems like lavish lifestyles. For those active on social media, some may have asked “How do I become a social media influencer?”

This secret guide to becoming a social media influencer covers just that. Learn about what it means to be an influencer, the various types of social media influencers out there, marketing growth as an influencer, and how you can earn a social media degree to become an influencer yourself.

What Is a Social Media Influencer?

A social media influencer is a social media user with a massive following. They are either popular figures or credible individuals within a specific field like fitness, food, video games, or beauty. Social media influencers have a ton of influence on their followers, whether that’s information sharing or brand marketing.

The world’s top 10 influencers in beauty have a social media reach of 135,000,000 people just on their own.

Types of Social Media Influencers

Social media is home to all different types of social media influencers that range in the size of followers and topic areas. These are the types of social media influencers and how they are categorized:

  • Nano Influencers – 1-10k followers. Nano influencers have a following ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 followers and are considered to be mid-tier influencers. Influencers in this category can earn anywhere from $50 to $250 per sponsored post.
  • Micro-Influencers – 10-100k followers. Micro-influencers cover social media influencers with a 10,000 to 100,000 following across social media sites. Social media influencers in this category earn anywhere from $100 to $1,000 per sponsored post.
  • Macro Influencers – 100k-1 Million followers. Macro-influencers are those with a follower range of 100,000 to 1,000,000 followers. This category covers social media influencers with much more prominence on their social media platforms and can make $1,000 to $5,000 per sponsored post.
  • Mega Influencers/Celebrities – 1 Million+ followers. The mega influencer and celebrity category contains the biggest social media influencers across social media. These influencers often achieve celebrity status and can become household names. The pay-per-sponsored post in this category can potentially reach $25,000 or even more.

social media influencer

Types of Social Media Influencers

Here are some examples of social media influencers and celebrities with the highest followings:

  1. Addison Rae
    A dancer and social media influencer on TikTok with a net worth of around $2 million.
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo
    A Portuguese footballer with over 631 million followers on Instagram.
  3. Kylie Jenner
    An influencer with 252 million followers on Instagram who shares her modeling, socialite status, and makeup empire through her posts.
  4. Emma Chamberlain
    Emma Chamberlain is an American social media influencer with 15.2 million followers on Instagram. Chamberlain has a YouTube presence and a popular podcast. She also won the 2018 Streamy Award for Breakout Creator.
  5. Bella Poarch
    Bella Poarch is an American social media influencer and artist with 12.3 million followers on Instagram. Poarch has over 90 million followers on TikTok and has a record deal with Warner Records.

By Types of Content

A social media influencer who falls into this category of content typically maintains their own website. Their website usually contains general posts about their activities as well as videos, stories, and pictures for followers to keep along with.

Social media influencers can also take the route of video content for their followers, and some decide to use the platform YouTube as the driving force for their content. These social media influencers are also known as “YouTubers” and cover subject areas primarily through the video format.

Another sect of social media influencers decide to deliver their content in audio form. Commonly known as “Podcasters,” these social media influencers cover their subject area in a conversational episodic format that can be listened to on a variety of different platforms.

Social Posts only
Then, there’s another grouping of social media influencers that strictly post on their social media of choice. Whatever content they cover, these social media influencers utilize the regular posting format to their advantage.

Unlock Your Influencer Potential

Join our expert-led social media programs to level up your online presence. Let’s turn your passion into a successful influencer career together!

What Do Social Media Influencers Do?

Social media influencers are social media-based content creators who share information with their audience to drive engagement on their posts and topic areas. Here is what social media influencers commonly do:

  • Create content
  • Gain a following across social media platforms
  • Schedule content
  • Brainstorm possible content
  • Analyze feedback and platform analytics
  • Engage with followers to build a community
  • Attend events and guest spots

Influencer Marketing Growth Statistics

The growth seen across social media influencer marketing seems to reach new heights with every passing year. The influencer marketing industry is set to make $22 billion by 2025, compared to the $21 billion mark hit in 2021. Here are some social media influencer marketing growth statistics worth noting:

  • Micro-influencers have the highest engagement rate and are most in-demand.
  • ‍63% of Gen Z and millennials say they trust social media influencers.
  • Engagement rates for posts created by or with influencers are 4.7 times greater than content without influencers.
  • 53% of women have purchased something through a social media influencer’s post.
  • 93% of marketers use video to communicate with their audience; 86% of them also use it to generate leads.
  • 80% of companies are dedicating a specific budget towards influencer marketing.

Influencer Marketing Growth Statistics

Influencer Marketing Growth Statistics

How To Become a Social Media Influencer in an Easy Way

When looking at how to become a social media influencer and get paid, these are the areas that will create the best path towards achieving that.

1. Choose Your Niche
Find your area of coverage and expertise. By finding your niche, you are finding your place in social media circles.
2. Optimize Your Social Media Profiles
Next, you’ll want to optimize your social media profiles to get ready for posting. Set up your profiles in the best way you see fit to tackle your area of expertise to drive engagement and create a relationship with your followers.
3. Understand Your Audience
A big factor in driving engagement is understanding your audience. Look towards other successful social media influencers and how they become successful with their audiences, but also make sure to put your spin on it.
4. Find a Strategy
Once you understand how to reach your audience, carve out a strategy to drive engagement to your content and move forward to building a bigger community. This step will differ depending on the topics covered and social media platforms used.
5. Develop an Editorial Calendar
Set a schedule for your work as a social media influencer. An editorial calendar is a great way to visualize your workflow.
6. Create a Story and Be Realistic
At the beginning of your social media journey, you’ll want to create your content’s story, but be realistic. This can include your introduction to your followers, your background with your area of expertise, and the vision of your content creation journey. Be grounded in your expectations and be realistic with your followers.
7. Maintain Consistency
One of the most important factors in becoming a successful social media influencer is consistency. If you maintain a consistent output of content, not only will this provide a plethora of content your followers can consume, but showcase your dedication to your area of expertise and will drive more engagement.
8. Grow Your Audience
Growing your audience is a driving component to earning a sensible living as a social media influencer. There are many ways to go about this, examples include:

  • Community interaction
  • Sponsoring content
  • Collaborating with other content creators
  • Maintaining consistency in your posts

9. Use SEO
Social media influencers should also use SEO (search engine optimization) to their advantage. By using a variety of SEO tools and analytics, more clicks will be generated towards your website as it has become a more prominent search result.

Earning Your Social Media Degree to Become a Social Influencer

Making a living as a social media influencer is a lucrative career path. If you want to become a full-time influencer, obtaining a social media degree at the Erie Institute of Technology will provide you with the marketing skills and fundamentals to achieve that. Get started today.


Do social media influencers get paid?
Yes! Social media influencers can get paid by ads on the platforms that they post on and by sponsored posting for other brands and companies.

How many followers do you need to be an influencer?
Once you obtain 1,000 followers, you will then be classified as a nano-influencer.

How to measure the success of an influencer?
The measurement of success can be different depending on what a social media influencer values the most, but high follower counts and the number of sponsors and sponsored posts is a good measure of success.

What qualifies someone as an influencer?
To qualify as an influencer, an individual must be a social media user who creates social media-based content in an area of expertise to drive engagement.

What skills do you need to become a Social Media Influencer?
To become a social media influencer, you should have excellent communication, creativity, time management, and writing skills.

Can you make a living as an influencer?
Yes, you can. Social media influencers can make this profession a living by the money they make from sponsors, sponsored posts, and ad revenue.

About Author:


Ross Aresco


Ross Aresco is the CFO of Erie Institute of Technology. Erie Institute of Technology (EIT) is an Erie Pennsylvania technical/trade school providing training programs for medical, computer, electronics, manufacturing, and technology careers. EIT offers programs in many different areas to suit your interests and talents.

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