ep24 - Being an Influencer vs Being an Influence

ep24 - Being an Influencer vs Being an Influence

show Sep 22, 2021

Are you trying to be an influencer on social media or are you trying to be a business that has influence? There is a huge difference. They are actually two different business models. 

The good news: You don’t have to be an influencer to make money on social media! 

In this episode, I cover:

  • How Influencers make money on social media
  • How to be an influential business on social media
  • Steps to build know, like, and trust


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Being an influencer versus being an influence. That is what we're going to talk about today. Are you trying to be an influencer on social media or are you trying to be a business that's influential that is influencing people that is giving them a positive message. And the reason that I'm going to be talking about this today is because I think there was lots of confusion over the two.

I don't think everybody knows what it means to be an influencer and what it means to be a business online, trying to influence others. They are very, very different business models. So this is episode 24 of Megan's social media marketing shell. Today, I am talking with you about the difference between being an influencer on social media and being a business that has influence.

Megan’s Social Media Marketing Show is here because I want to help you grow your social media following to grow your business. Especially those female-owned entrepreneurs out there. Female owned businesses, female entrepreneurs, mompreneurs, all those who have a side hustle who are maybe, maybe you're at home watching your kids full-time and you're this business is your side hustle or you're working full time and you're trying to start something else on the side.

I fully realized that social media can be a whole side hustle to your side hustle. So I am here to help you. And then. I think is one of the topics that people get confused about and they get all stressed about, they think they need to amass a huge social media following to do anything or make any money online.

And that is just not the case. So what is the difference? What is an influencer and what does an influential business as I will call it? I will tell you that they are very different business models. The influencer has a very different goal than a business online. An influencer is there, their goal is to build a large social media following to them, possibly later, obtain advertisers and sponsors.

Their content is generally entertainment-focused because they're trying to get you there to get you to follow them, to build this, amass, this large following so they can attract those advertisers and sponsors. Influencers can make a lot of money. This is why you're hearing. I think a lot of teenagers now wanting to be YouTubers and the younger generation Gen Z, Gen Y, all of Gen X. All of them wanting to be TikTokers as well because those are two platforms that pay you if you have really high engagement on your platform. So based upon view. So literally I don't think a lot of people know that, that you get a check from YouTube if you have over a thousand followers and you sign up to be in their advertising program. You get a check from them depending on how many views you get on your content that month. Same thing with TikTok, depending upon how popular those TikToks are. You get a check in the mail from TikTok. How crazy is that? At least it was crazy to me. Instagram has also starting programs similar to that. So they get paid from the platform. They also get paid by sponsorships, just like professional athletes advertising. They have sponsored posts on their platform and they charge companies at varying rates depending upon really the size of their following is how it's gaged. So you can make potentially a lot of money being an influencer, but just like trying to be a professional athlete.

The chances of you obtaining that level are very small . Now juxtapose that with being an influential business, what I'm calling an influential business on social media and the great news is you don't have to amass a huge following to be an influential business because, you can do that, no matter what size you are.

So your goal on social media as an influential business is to influence people to action is to influence them. And you know what that is? That is the age-old marketing and sales strategy of know, like, and trust. That's how you build an influence. The reason that you are doing this is because you're spending your hard-earned time, energy, and effort to create content online.

And you want some ROI. You want to influence those people to action, to move from social media, onto your website, onto your sales pages. Wherever else you want them to go? Maybe you're a podcast or you want them to go listen to your podcast and you monetize from there, whatever the case may be. That's what you're trying to do.

And your content then is very different. It is not entertainment. Only your content is focused on that action is both inciting trust. and that know, like, and trust that likeability factor. And also encouraging them to move from that social platform to wherever you want them to go. So I think hopefully now you understand that the influencer and the influential business have very, very different goals on the platform.

And the good news is you don't have to be an influencer. You don't have to have hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers to help influence the people that you're building this community with to, to action, to be able to help them and whatever service or products that you're providing for them.

And I think where the confusion comes in as that some personal brands, some professionals online, some even businesses online have built a large enough following that they are in both categories. They are both influencers and influential businesses, so they can also run advertising and sponsored posts and do partnerships with other companies to benefit their brand and, and have a whole other arm of their company, a whole other avenue of revenue for themselves, which is fantastic.

So I think when that's where some of the confusion comes is when someone is both, but you or the average business, online small business, somebody who's just starting out. Your goal is not to be huge. Your goal is to help inspire people to action. And how do we do that? I'm glad you asked, because I will tell you to inspire people to action.

Like I said, the age-old,the basis of all sales and marketing is to comes down, to know, like and trust. And I will tell you exactly what each of those means because they can be kind of vague. So what that means on social media, knowing this is about them finding you, if they don't know who you are, they haven't discovered you it's the discoverability factor.

They can't follow you. So you have to get their attention in some way that these are usually called growth strategies. Some of my favorites are: collaborating with other small businesses. Guys, we gotta be all in this together. It's all about collaboration, not about competition. So put away maybe some, some old perceptions you may have of not working with others because you may be competing businesses, everything I've ever seen, all the data, all the things say that we need to work together to support one another. And what you're doing is you're exposing each other's audience to each other. As long as you just make sure that you have similar values and interests and talk ahead of time with that person about what you're, you know, making sure you have the same goal in this collaboration, whatever it is then it just does nothing but boost both of your platforms. So collaborating with those small business, that can mean being on each other's podcasts that can mean posting similar content, working on the same post on each site that could mean creating videos or resources or lead magnets together.

Other growth strategies include being active in hashtag feeds and forums like Facebook groups, or maybe there's some hashtags on Instagram where your people hang out. Hey, hang out there with them and give them free tips and strategies and comment on their things because that's how they can start to number one, discover you. Cause that's the whole point of this. 

And then number two, trust that you're in it to help them out. And then my third favorite growth strategy is guesting on blog, post or podcast. Those are great ways outside of social media to then get their attention to then follow you on social media. So that's the know, they got to know you, they got to find you, they got to discover you to then move on to liking you because just, just discovering you, it doesn't necessarily mean they'll like you, at first, you have to convince them that you're likable and they would like to follow you.

Yeah. So once you, every single post, I think the major way to grow likeability on social media is not necessarily posting about yourself personally. They need to know you as a person. They need to know your business socially. They need to know your values and what you, what you stand for and why you do what you do.

That's what increases that likeability factor. And that's as simple as reinforcing that with every single post, every single post is an opportunity for you to reinforce those messages. And I like to treat every single post as a first impression, because that may be, it could be that post, maybe the first thing they've ever seen from you and making sure that every single thing that you put out represent.

You and your company and your message is really important because it's essentially your first date or your first, I don't know. I don't want to use a Tinder questionnaire, but you, they need to swipe. Right. I don't even know which way is the correct way. All right. So moving on from that, before I get myself in trouble trust.

So if they've now discovered you, they know you, hopefully, they like you from seeing most of your posts and then the last hurdle is trust. They need to trust you. And that is only grown. Trust is grown over time. Trust is not instant. Usually, trust is built and tested over time. So it is that consistency.

It is consistently showing up. And that doesn't mean. If you always post Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and you miss a Friday that they're gonna lose all trust in you. That's not what that means, but that means that you do keep a somewhat consistent schedule and that you don't post once and then weeks go by and you post again.

Cause they're gonna forget about you in between there, or they're gonna, yeah, they're not gonna know who you are and trust that you'll come back. Also, trust is built in that they know that you're going to respond to them. If you, if they take their time to read or watch some of your content and comment on it, that you're gonna respond to them.

Or if they send you a DM from one of their story questions that you care that they responded and you respond back to them, especially in DMS. Cause that's one to one and very, very important. So trust is just built upon like I'm here. I am here to build this community. I'm going to respond to you. I have great content.

That's going to help you solve your problems. And that's the other part of the trust piece is having content. And this is very jargony marketing language. I'm going to use on you that solves their pain points, whatever those pain points may be and pain points are simply the things that they're struggling with, that you can help them with.

So it's knowing your person really well and addressing those things and ask for a business that usually means, think questions frequently asked questions that you're getting over and over again. Answering those before they have a chance to ask them. But also, what is it that your, your message, your product, your service does to make their life easier?

It's telling them that over and over again, reinforcing that and often demonstrating it by your expertise, like giving them all of your knowledge upfront that again sounds not intuitive that you would give away all of your secrets, but really what it does is it helps to build that trust enough for them to take the next step in that relationship, which is to follow you to your website is to push that buy button.

They're not going to push that buy button until they've seen a sample of your work. And social media is the ultimate sample that is, I think a good nugget to take away is that if, I mean, the length of my receipts at Costco is any indication and how samples the sampling strategy really works, it is super effective.

So think of that of like I'm giving you, giving you a piece of my hard-earned knowledge and in return, I hope that you trust me enough to then purchase my services, purchase my products, come follow me off of social media. So that is how we become an influential business on social media versus being an influencer.

Our goal is not to build a huge amass, a huge, large following to then I think most of us, our goal is not this to get advertising deals and sponsorship deals and all of that. We are on social media as small businesses to have people discover us like us build that trust to them, inspire them to action, because that's what influence is you're helping to inspire them to action, to improve their lives overall.

And I think that's something really worth working toward and spending your hard, earned time, energy, and effort. So I hope that really helps clear that up over the difference between the two and fun face this episode was actually inspired by my weekly newsletter this week in social media marketing. You can go to meganericson.com/newsletter to sign up for this weekly email.

I give you one trend in social media every single week, break it down what it is. And even if it makes sense to spend your hard earned time, energy and effort on. So if you would like that, go sign up for it. Like I said, it's like really good content every week, and it's really applicable to your everyday business life.

So thank you so much for joining me here today.