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Being a Nanoinfluencer (the cool, new way of saying Microinfluencer according to Google Trends) seems like a dream job. You can get paid to create content about what you already like? Finally, all those years of being a Laffy Taffy connoisseur is paying off!

But being in the affiliate marketing world, we’ve seen many attempts to become Nanoinfluencers only to wash out when they realize that it is a legit job after all. And like any other job, it takes dedication and effort to sustain a career as an Influencer. Let’s look at 5 specific strategic things you should consider if you’re headed down this path.

1. Stay an Expert

It’s easy advice to say “be an expert.” After all, you’re most likely thinking of becoming a Nanoinfluencer because you already know, and are passionate, about a particular niche. The tough part is staying an expert as that requires continuing education and commitment.

While you may always have some passion for your topic of choice, there’s a big difference between being a fan and being at the Influencer-level of expertise. A Marvel fan will go see the movies. A Marvel Influencer will see them opening night, maybe more than once, take notes so they can quickly write up the content that will hit their YouTube channel faster than 99% of other people, and then read and watch the critiques of their peers. Then they’ll get advanced copies of the official MCU encyclopedia and pour over it to look for additional nuggets. Then do it all over again.

“So tired… but must watch… Avengers 4 trailer… again.

Many of those who try to become Nanoinfluencers severely underestimate the amount of time they need to allocate to continue being experts in their niche. Especially when they start juggling the business side of things as well (emailing with partners, managing payments, etc.), let alone the time they need to spend constantly creating content (more on this in a moment).

The most successful Nanoinfluencers live and breathe their niche, always trying to keep abreast of the latest and greatest news. Being an expert got you here, but staying an expert will help your influence soar.

2. Create Content Like a Job

There’s a huge difference between creating content when you get inspired, and creating content because it’s a job. Taking the jump into becoming a Nanoinfluencer means switching over that mentality, and it’s much easier said than done.

Many YouTubers have a sort of catchphrase when they sign off their videos: “new content every _______day!” Fill in that blank with Mon through Satur. It’s their way of making sure their followers know that there will definitely be new content on the same day every week. That’s great for branding, but it also means they will be creating constantly, even when they’re sick, tired, and especially uninspired.

In general, if you aren’t utilizing a content calendar to map out what and when you’ll be posting, you’re not treating content creation like the job that it has to be for your success. The top Nanoinfluencers have mapped out 4–8 weeks of content in advance, because that’s the only way to juggle everything that has to get done. Instagram Influencers need to book photographers and shooting locations, as well as the outfits and accessories; YouTubers need plenty of lead time to script, shoot, and edit videos.

Treat creating content like a job, not as a hobby. It’s the only way to stay consistent.

3. Land on a Voice

Having a distinct persona and voice is important to establish yourself for your followers, but the reason we’re highlighting it here is more to establish yourself for the brands you want to work with.

Think of it as a Hollywood actor or actress. When directors hire Jason Statham, you know exactly what you’re going to get: a steely-eyed action type that won’t hesitate to punch out a giant shark. It’s his brand, and it’s very evident. The director knows precisely what to expect when they work with him.

Very on brand.

And the dirty secret is that brands would much rather prefer to work with Nanoinfluencers that are predictable, instead of strictly knowledgeable. Meaning, you might not be the foremost expert or the best content creator, but if you have a very specific personal brand, you’ll get more businesses looking to work with you. Why do you think the Logan Pauls of the world make so much money?

Remember, brands aren’t in the business of alienating their fans and/or losing money. Being predictable is very attractive to brands, because it’s a calculated risk. The Nanoinfluencer that only has 4,000 followers but laser-focuses on one type of humor (and thereby a specific audience); is more likely to get a sponsorship deal than someone with 10,000 followers but doesn’t have any recognizable persona.

4. Be a Sponsor Before You’re a Sponsor

The big difference between a person with followers and a Nanoinfluencer is simple: getting paid. No matter how good your content is, if you don’t earn any money off of it, you obviously won’t make the transition from hobbyist to true Influencer. And getting the sponsorships you want means being the squeaky, but on-brand, wheel.

Good Nanoinfluencers do their homework on which businesses are working with Influencers in general. They’re easy to find, usually by looking through tagged social media posts. This way, you can make a “hit list” of the brands that a) pay Influencers, and b) you can see yourself working with. Once you’ve compiled the list, you can start posting like you already work for them.

To be clear, this is a concerted strategy whereby you craft content specific to these brands. For example, if you’re an aspiring makeup guru, how about a Top 10 MAC Lipsticks video? This is not a sponsored video, but it’s thoughtfully created around a single brand. With enough views and likes, it’ll get on MAC’s radar and possibly strike up a paid relationship between the creator and the brand.

Strategic content like this will show exactly what businesses can expect if and when they pay to partner with you.

5. Don’t Focus on Numbers of Followers

Followers aren’t the right metric for a Nanoinfluencer to be worried about. After all, you’re a Nanoinfluencer for a reason. Having “just” 2,000 to 4,000 followers isn’t a bad thing at all because it shows a few things to the brands who are looking for such individuals:

  • You’re laser focused. Again, this is the entire point of a Nanoinfluencer. If brands wanted to, they would go find the social media leaders with millions of followers. But they are looking to work with smaller influencers for a specific reason: fan loyalty and trust.
  • You’re inexpensive. Meaning, you probably won’t (ie. can’t) demand hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single Instagram post. Many brands in your niche might not a) want to work with expensive Influencers, or b) not have that sort of ad money. Nanoinfluencers fall into their budget when other Influencers can’t.
  • You’re growing. Brands are savvy. Working with Nanoinfluencers isn’t just a quick cash-grab; they’re hoping to cultivate a relationship with a personality that they can invest in for the long haul. It’s just a better story to say “we’ve been working with this Influencer since they had 2k followers!” Do good work and they know that you’ll grow.

So what metric should you be focused on, if not the number of followers? Engagement. Specifically, the ratio of positive comments (and likes) to the number of followers you do currently have. Businesses will do the math (or get some online app to do the math for them) and see what your engagement rates are like. Even if you have just 2,000 followers, but each of your posts gets an astounding 1500 likes, that’s the sort of engagement metric that will make brands salivate. And that’s what you should be concentrating on.

Enjoy your time as a Nanoinfluencer. After all, one viral post can catapult your profile into full-fledged Influencer territory overnight. Work at the strategies we’ve listed here and you’ll earn your place within your niche, and earn your keep as well.