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Top 4 Reasons Why Most Influencers Fail

December 1, 2020 | Web Marketing

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Here are the 4 most common reasons online influencers fail to achieve success in 2022.

I’ve made all 4 of these mistakes as an online influencer.

So, take 7 minutes to read this blogpost so you can avoid the mistakes I’ve made.

  1. You can’t find your niche
  2. You can’t measure your impact
  3. You can’t engage your audience
  4. You don’t understand the paradigm shift that has led to the rise of the online influencer

Disclaimer: This site provides free tools to local influencers, like doctors and salespeople, to go viral online.

You Can’t Find Your Niche

The first way to fail is to try to be everything to everybody.

A survey of 603 marketing and communications professionals conducted in June 2015 found 75% of respondents said identifying the right influencers for their target market was a challenge.

One way to develop your niche is to look to businesses that have already developed a local niche and how they did it.

This is where local, small business owners have the advantage over influence marketers – mostly women – who give everybody access to a curated version of their lives.

Fashion, food and travel is a very crowded market – what is it about YOU that is unique and different?

Are You a Local Professional?

Do you have a license or a credential?

Small business owners (SBO) – doctors, salesmen and professionals of all sorts – usually have an extremely narrow target market.

Your typical local dentist might only have a few thousand people in the community who are potential customers.

Here is a chart that describes the typical levels of online influencer:

Nano Influencers Micro Influencers Macro Influencers Mega or Celebrity Influencers
1,000-10,000 followers10,000-100,000 followers 100,000- 1 million followers More than 1 million followers
How To Leverage The Power Of Nano- And Micro-Influencers

While your local dentist is definitely influential, most dentists are not attempting to be online influencers.

Yet, every one of that dentist’s 1,000 customers follows her advice and most will be customers for years and years.

What can online influencers learn from local influencers, such as dentists?

Most local professionals specialize in a very narrow niche.

  • Dentists only fix teeth. If you need braces, that’s actually a DIFFERENT type of specialist (an orthodontic dentist).
  • Car salesmen sell ONLY 1 or 2 brands of cars (eg: Ford OR Chevrolet)
  • Real estate agents sell ONLY certain price ranges or neighborhoods of homes.
  • Doctors treat ONLY certain types of patients (eg: Orthopedics OR Family Practice)
  • Dance instructors ONLY train ballroom OR hip hop, usually not both.

“The riches are in the niches”

Anonymous, wealthy wise man

Pick your niche and stick to it.

How to pick your niche as an online influencer

  • What is a question from your followers that you’ve answered over and over?
  • What do your followers WANT you to talk about and share? Even if you’ve already shared it before?
  • Which of your products sells best?
  • Which topic gains you the most Likes, Comments and Shares?

These 4 bullets can help you to pick your niche for posting online content.

Your niche may be a product, a region, a cause, a profession, a gender or anything that helps to focus your posts.

Don’t try to be everything to everybody.

  • When you focus your posts, Marketing Managers understand who your target market is.
  • When you can confidently define your target market, you can ask higher prices for your posts.

For example, our audience for training people to be online influencers is primarily female entrepreneurs with a bricks-and-mortar storefront between the ages of 26 and 49 years of age living in the United States.

You can’t measure your impact

The second way to fail is to not understand your numbers – how much revenue or how many sales leads can you generate for YOUR customer?

Remember, the business paying you to post online for them is your customer.

Your followers are not your customers.

On average, businesses are making $6.50 in revenue for each $1 spent on influencer marketing.

  • In fact, almost 3 out of 4 of these businesses are earning $2 or more for every dollar spent on influencer marketing.
  • And, the top 13% of businesses are earning $20 or more for every dollar spent on influencer marketing.
  • But, 30% of businesses who invest in influencer marketing are only breaking even on influencer marketing.
  • Or, they are failing to generate a return on their investment.

So, how much will a business earn from you?

In other words, what is their Return on Investment (ROI)? If a business pays your $100 for a post, will they generate $200 in sales from your post?

Can you prove it?

Show your potential clients how much money THEY can make and you will improve how much money YOU can make.

Tips to appeal to the CEO

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of most companies look to influencer marketing to generate 1 of 2 things:

  1. Sales
  2. New leads

Forget about Likes, Shares and Comments – CEOs don’t care about these things.

One more thing, get analytics data from some of your old posts that show the following:

  • Posts that lead directly to sales for the business
  • New revenue to the business from some of your posts
  • New email leads from some of your posts
  • New customers from some of your posts

This data will improve your negotiating position when you can appeal directly to your customer by focusing on ‘what’s in it for them’.

You can’t engage your audience

The third way to fail is to talk AT your audience rather than talking WITH your audience.

A survey of 603 marketing and communications professionals conducted in June 2015 found 69% of respondents said finding the right engagement tactics was a challenge.

Some engagement tactics just don’t work.

Some engagement tactics don’t work more than once.

The Ice Bucket Challenge is frequently cited as a viral engagement tactic that worked – ONCE.

The Ice Bucket Challenge raised $15.6 million dollars in 2014 for the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) foundation by challenging people to dump a bucket of ice over their heads.

However, this challenge has not been repeatable.

Even the ALS Foundation has struggled to re-create the Ice Bucket Challenge after the initial, viral wave of popularity.

Tips to Engage Your Audience

Most of the engagement advice comes down to this:

  • Post frequently
  • Analyze the response to your posts & look for your most popular content
  • Ask follow-up questions to your most popular content
  • Update your old posts to incorporate your most popular content
  • Add new posts about your most popular content

Engagement is simply having the conversation your audience wants you to have.

You can be a ‘thought leader’ but, remember to stay in your lane. Don’t try to post content outside of your niche.

Your followers may get distracted, confused or bored with you.

You don’t understand the paradigm shift

The forth way to fail is to think that online influencers are a ‘new thing’.

Online influencers aren’t new.

We’ll, yes the online part is new. Some of the specifics are new, like social media networks.

But, we’ve always had social influencers.

And, we’ve always looked to other people for social proof before making a purchase decision.

Online influencers have replaced newspaper, TV and print journalists.

The trade press has also imploded since 2007 and the handful of business magazines still being published now have skeletal editorial staffs.

So, not as many journalists are influencers, anymore.

We get little sense, in 2022, for how news organizations like CNN, Fox News and MSNBC used to be held in such high regard.

The old TV channels NBC, CBS and ABC used to be the ONLY source of news content.

The same is true of trade magazines that supply insider information for doctors, lawyers, executives, small business owners and all manner of professionals.

When the Old Paradigm Began to Change

These all began to be replaced beginning in 1999 with web logs, or ‘blogs’.

Blogs gained in influence and began to overtake mainstream journalism in 2002.

Influencer marketing grew directly out of blogging:

“In the early 2000s, canny marketers started approaching influential bloggers and forum moderators, asking them to promote products in return for freebies, and later for cash.

This process became supercharged with the founding of YouTube in 2005, Twitter in 2006, and in 2010, Instagram – which is now most influencers’ platform of choice.”

The Week, 20 May 2021

As blogs and then online influencer traffic grew, so did advertising dollars.

Those ad dollars flowed, in large part, directly away from newspaper ads.

decline in newspaper workers chart
Online Influencers replaced newspaper workers

As you craft your posts and curate your content you can ask yourself WHY are people turning to influencers online?

People used to get ALL their information from TV (only 3 channels) and newspapers (typically, only 1 newspaper per city or town).

The media had a monopoly on information.

That monopoly is broken.

The Rise of the Influencer

The rise of the influencer is still happening in 2022 but it’s not over.

Some influencers will rise in 2022 while some will fall.

In other words, there is a ‘gold rush’ going on but the ‘gold’ is the eyeballs and the attention of shoppers and consumers online.

You are grabbing the attention of your online followers with your posts, images and videos.

Some of your posts will go viral – see what makes content go viral in 2022.

If you don’t honor that attention you’ll lose your online traffic to some other influencer.

You’ll lose this online gold rush by 1 of the 4 following ways:

  1. by being too broad
  2. by not understanding your value (in numbers)
  3. by not talking to your followers and
  4. by not understanding why this paradigm shift is occurring.

Get the free app – save time and $$

If you are an influencer who deals face-to-face with people, like a dentist or a real estate agent, you can become an online influencer using short, testimonial videos on popular social platforms.

We can show you how.

Do you like all the hosting and posting?

All the hashtags, hypertext links and tech-y stuff?

If not, just let the WOW Promoter app do it for you – for free!

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