How Influencers Can Leverage Their Following to Launch Their Own Businesses

You’ve done it. You’ve hit 10k followers — or more — on Instagram. You have plenty of people who are following you and buying products that you share on your profile. Businesses, brands, and PR agencies are talking to you regularly about partnership opportunities, such as sponsored posts or product mentions.

But what’s next?

You can continue focusing on building relationships with big names, or you can do something different and use your name to launch a business.

Here’s where you start:

Launch Their Own Businesses

Select your business

First things first, you need to decide what type of business would work best for you. What industry best combines your — and your followers’ — passion?

If you’ve made a name for yourself as a beauty blogger, try a private skin care line. If you’re a fashion blogger, consider opening a clothing boutique. If your Instagram feed is full of beautifully-designed living rooms, consider home decor or maybe even a home good boutique.

The most important thing is to start a business you love. And with the way eCommerce is going, it’s easier than ever to launch your business without all the headaches.

Decide on your brand name/logo

Now you need a name and a logo for your new business.

Your brand name should represent both you and your business, so think of one or two words that embody your overall vision. Why are you starting the business? What feelings do you want the business to invoke when customers see your products? This shouldn’t be quick. Remember that you need to love it, so take your time!

Similarly, the logo should be clean and instantly recognizable amid a constant stream of content. Use those words and your vision to create the right logo. What do you envision symbolizing your product or service? There are plenty of services available to find freelance designers who can help you get started on a logo.

Build your website and claim your profiles

Once you have those finalized, you’ll need to put them to use on your very own website. And, keep in mind, today’s marketplace is competitive — you’ll need to have a website that stands out from the rest.

Either by yourself or with the help of a professional, create a website that’s easy to use and displays your expertise. Update it regularly with blog posts, sales, specials, photographs of your work and client testimonials.

Make sure it has its own domain, a prominent logo and a contact form.

Next, claim your social media profiles with your new business name and link them all to your website. Your website should also link to your social media profiles. Aim to upload new content to your social media profiles regularly, and use them to reach out to potential clients.

Announce it

Don’t forget that your personal, well-established social media presence is your biggest tool for success.  Cross post content to your personal accounts so your followers know where to look for your products and services.

You can also share tidbits on your personal profile and tease new products or services to generate excitement. If you’re launching a new product, for example, you can post a story in which you tease it and say, “I can’t wait to share the details!”

Perhaps you want to invite some very special followers to your own launch party. Your personal account gives you immediate exposure that other businesses are just dying to have.

Hustle Hard

Being an influencer on social media is no easy task. You’ve worked hard to engage your followers and create a loyal audience. But now that you have reached a certain level, your next step is to make your name profitable in a new way — and it won’t happen overnight.

This will sound cliche, but bear with us: Remember the days when you were just getting your social media presence off the ground? It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t quick. Starting a business will require that same drive. To really get your business working for you, you have to be working hard for your business.

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