When trying to figure out how to be an influencer, it’s essential to understand why people follow content creators. A creator needs more than consistent or catchy content to gain new followers. They need to give their potential and current audience a reason to stick around.
What will make a person hit the follow button varies significantly. However, if you’re eager to figure out how to become an influencer, knowing how to grow your audience is important. If you’re wondering where to start, here are some of the top reasons people follow influencers.
Why do people follow creators?
1) They feel like a close friend
When a person joins a social media platform, they usually start by first following their friends. They want the people who pop up on their feed to be familiar to them. The same goes for when a person decides to expand their following.
For example, influencer Tinx rose to fame during the pandemic. She took on the unofficial nickname of TikTok’s big sister. Her relatable and down-to-earth style videos made her audience feel connected to her in a best-friend way.
Influencers who are vulnerable and authentic allow people to feel like they’ve known them forever. That type of persona and content can make it easier for someone to follow someone they don’t know in real life.
2) They share their expertise
People go on social media for many reasons. One of those reasons is to learn something new while they scroll. If you’re brainstorming how to become an influencer, consider what expertise you can share.
On social media, people share information on every topic out there.
Even if your area of focus is niche (for example, tips on labor and delivery or the beauty of seashells), you might attract a curious audience who will continue to follow you for more information and advice.
When brainstorming your areas of expertise, think about hobbies, skills, and interests. Spend time writing down topics that catch your attention and pick one you’d like to explore as a creator.
3) They teach people how to do something
How-to content on social media tends to be engaging. Not only do people learn something new, but they have actionable steps they can take themselves.
If you become an influencer who shares consistent content how-to content around a topic your audience cares about, you can grow your following.
The Cocktail Snob did this by sharing weekly videos on how people can create delicious and unique at-home drinks. Her content is well-made, and her drink recipes are easy to repeat.
4) Their content is unique
A simple way to attract an audience as an influencer is to create exciting content. One way to do this is by choosing a type of content series that’s engaging.
For example, influencer Remi Bader made a name for herself when she started posting realistic try-on hauls from popular brands. She picked a topic that her audience cared about (trying on clothes from popular fashion brands as a plus-sized woman) and infused the content with her personality.
Another example is Girl With No Job, Claudia Oshry, who released a unique food series. Every few weeks, she shares a new video for a series she does where she tastes food she’s never tried before.
5) They respond to messages and DMs
Becoming an influencer is more than just strategizing how to grow your audience and get followers. It’s also about how to foster a community online.
People will want to continue following you if they think they can have a conversation with you. If you have the time, replying to DMs and comments makes your followers feel heard and seen.
If you can’t respond to all comments, doing weekly Q&As on your Instagram stories is another way for followers to connect with you.
6) They share behind-the-scenes information
People scroll through social media anywhere, from their couches to their cubicles. They want to see the behind-the-scenes of other people’s lives or careers they don’t have access to.
Actor and influencer JJ Niemann shares behind-the-scenes videos of what it’s like to be in a Broadway show with his 970,000 followers on TikTok. His content allows people to see what it takes to be a Broadway actor, even if it’s not something they aspire to do.
7) They provide quality entertainment
One of the perks of social media is that people can consume it anywhere, at any time. Whether a person is scrolling through a platform to waste a few minutes or hours, it’s easy to indulge with entertaining content.
Often that content hooks them in with emotion, storytelling, and a unique angle, just like the first few minutes of a TV show.
So if a creator can produce consistent content that entertains people while on the go, they could attract a loyal audience.
This type of content feels like you’re watching short episodes of a TV show. Comedian and influencer Alex Graham does this with short, funny skits for her 867,000 followers on TikTok.
8) They make us feel an emotion
People often enjoy following influencers who make them feel an emotion, whether happy, sad, or motivated. Self-help creator Lewis Howes has continued to grow his audience by sharing inspirational content that pushes his audience to live a better, more fulfilled life.
When thinking about how to be an influencer, think about how you want your content to make people feel. For example. Lewis Howes wants his audience to feel productive, motivated, and unstoppable. He puts out content that frequently touches on those topics and gives his audience a consistent experience.
9) They are relatable
You might think an influencer with a million followers won’t be relatable. But that’s not always the case. When people feel like they share something similar to another person, they might be eager to consume more of that person’s content.
Even though Sarah Merrill Hall has over 500,000 followers on Instagram, her content attracts an engaged audience who all feel the same way about growing up. She shares funny and relatable advice and thoughts on navigating the adult world.
10) Other people follow them
Some people follow an influencer because all their friends do, and they want to stay in the loop. When trying to become an influencer, you can’t always plan for this to happen. However, there are some things you can do to help your audience grow by tapping into your follower’s audience.
For example, some influencers will host giveaways that encourage their followers to share their content or tag their friends in posts. Other creators might encourage their followers to duet, or use the influencer’s video content and add in their own content side-by-side.
But if your content attracts a specific audience and goes viral, chances are people will share your content with their friends. However, this doesn’t mean your followers will stick around after you’re no longer a hot topic. This is why influencers have to stay relevant and find ways to engage their audience through their content consistently.