More and more people dream of becoming famous on the internet with their content and sharing their passions – they want to become influencers. But how does the entry into the world of likes and hashtags look like? What tips are there for success in the digital world? In this article we give an overview of the most important steps you should consider if you want to become a (successful) influencer.
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Become an influencer: The most important things at a glance
Influencers are people who have a large following on social media or other digital platforms and share content to write, photograph or film about their passions and interests. They are also known as content creators as they create and produce content themselves.
- The most important social media platforms for them are Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and blogs.
- It’s important to post content regularly and maintain engagement with followers.
- There are various ways to earn money as an influencer, such as through cooperation with companies, affiliate marketing or by selling your own products or services.
- Working as an influencer is taxable in Germany above a certain income.
What is an Influencer?
An influencer is a person who has a large following on social media or other digital platforms. Influencers are usually experts in a particular field or have built a loyal fan base through their unique lifestyle and personality. They use their platforms to write, photograph or film about their passions and interests while promoting or recommending various products or services. Influencers can be active in different areas, for example in the fashion or beauty area, in the lifestyle or travel area, in the sports or gaming area. They share their experiences, opinions and recommendations via social media, blogs or YouTube with other people and thus have the opportunity to influence the decisions and behavior of their followers. Influencers can build a special connection to their followers through their content and authenticity and are therefore often interesting for companies as cooperation partners.
Influencers vs Content Creators
Influencers are also often referred to as content creators (“creators” for short), since they create and produce content themselves, which they post on their channels . This content can be, for example, photos, videos, blog posts or live streams. Influencers are not only “pure” influencers, but also independent content creators who realize their own ideas and content and share them with their followers. This gives them the opportunity to express themselves creatively and to show their own personality.
On which platforms are influencers active?
Influencers used to be mostly active on their own blogs.
Today, influencers move mainly on social media platforms, as this is where the greatest reach and the best opportunity to get in touch with other people and share content is. The most well-known platforms for influencers are:
- Instagram: Instagram is a photo and video sharing platform that is primarily used by influencers in the fashion and lifestyle sectors.
- YouTube: YouTube is a video platform where influencers can upload their own videos and share them with their followers.
- TikTok: TikTok is a video platform that is particularly popular with younger users. Influencers on TikTok usually share short, entertaining videos on various topics.
Influencers can also be active on other platforms such as Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest, depending on which platforms are best suited to their topic.
What are my Responsibilities as an Influencer?
Many cannot imagine anything concrete under the work of an influencer.
As a creator, you have various roles and responsibilities:
- Creating and publishing content: Your main job as an influencer is to create and publish new content on a regular basis. This content can be photos, videos, blog posts or live streams and should be relevant to your topic. So you need to have a good idea for your content and be able to execute it effectively.
- Maintaining the community: As an influencer, you are also responsible for maintaining your community. This means that you regularly interact with your followers, for example by reacting to comments or answering questions. You should also listen to your followers’ requests and suggestions and try to establish a good relationship with them.
- Working with companies: Influencers often have the opportunity to work with companies. This can take a variety of forms, such as introducing or promoting products, attending events, or creating content as part of a paid collaboration with a company. As an influencer, you have to work professionally with companies and adapt to their wishes and requirements.
Overall, you can think of the work of an influencer as a mix of creativity, community management , and business orientation. Not only do you need to be able to create good content, but you also need to be able to target the right audience and capitalize on monetization opportunities.
What do i need to become an Influencer myself?
There are some material and abstract factors that are needed for the desired career path. These include, for example:
- Reach: As an influencer, it is important that you have a certain reach so that you can draw attention to your content and reach your target group. This reach refers to the number of your followers or the number of people who see your content. The greater your reach, the more people can benefit from your content and the more interesting you are for possible cooperation partners.
- Equipment: As an influencer, you should have the necessary equipment to create your content. For example, this can be a good camera, a tripod, a good microphone or good lighting, depending on the type of content you want to create. A suitable location for recording your content , such as a home office or studio, can also be part of your equipment.
- Own topic and strategy: As an influencer, you should have your own topic or niche in which you specialize. This topic can be in the fashion or lifestyle sector, for example, in the sports or gaming industry or in a completely different area of interest. It’s important to focus on a topic that you’re passionate about and knowledgeable about so you can keep your followers entertained. You should also have a clear strategy on how to publish your content and how to reach your target audience .
- USPs : As an influencer, you should also have USPs that set you apart from other influencers. This can be, for example, your personality, your experience or a certain expertise . Your unique selling points allow you to stand out from the crowd and better address your followers.
- Contacts and a network: As an influencer, it is important that you have a good network and contacts so that you have the opportunity to collaborate with other people or companies.
How do i find cooperation partners?
There are various ways in which you as a content creator can find cooperation partners:
- Contact companies directly: You can introduce yourself directly to companies that fit your topic and talk to them about a possible cooperation. For example, you can write an email or write to the company on a social media platform.
- Research cooperation exchanges or platforms: There are now many platforms or exchanges on which content creators and companies can meet. Registering there and being found by companies can be very beneficial.
- Activate your network : A good network can also help you to find cooperation partners. Talk to people in your network and ask if they know anyone who might be a good candidate to work with.
- Use social media: You can also use social media to draw attention to yourself and thus find cooperation partners. Publish interesting and relevant content regularly and use the opportunities that the platforms offer you to get in touch with companies.
It is important that you behave professionally when looking for cooperation partners and make a good impression. Show that you are knowledgeable and that you know how to use your reach to help the company achieve its goals.
How hard is it to be an Influencer?
The workload as an influencer can vary greatly and depends on various factors, such as:
- The nature of your content: If you create long and elaborately produced videos or podcasts, for example, the work as an influencer will probably be more complex than if you mainly share photos or short videos.
- Activity and engagement: In order to be successful, influencers must regularly produce new content and interact with their followers. Activity and interaction are important because they help an influencer build a strong relationship with their followers and increase their reach. The more an influencer posts and engages with their followers, the more opportunity they have to spread their brand and attract new followers. The frequency with which an influencer posts depends on many factors such as the niche they operate in, the interest of their followers, and their own capacity to produce. It’s important that you, as an influencer, find a rhythm that works for you and your followers.
Of course, it is also possible to work as an influencer as a part-time job. Many influencers have other main jobs and use their influencer status to make money on the side. If you want to do influencer work as a part-time job, make sure you have enough time to produce fresh content and engage with your followers on a regular basis. In doing so, you must not neglect your other obligations and responsibilities. If your business as a content creator is going well, you can still consider whether you should focus on it professionally for the long term.
Start as a Micro or Nano Influencer
If you want to start your career as a content creator alongside your main job, you can get your first jobs and paid cooperations with a comparatively small number of followers.
- Micro-influencers are people who have a relatively small number of followers on social media compared to the big influencers, who often have a huge reach. Micro-influencers typically have between 1,000 and 100,000 followers, depending on what niche they operate in and what social network they are active on. They typically have a very engaged follower base and high engagement rates with their content. Many followers appreciate the authentic appearance of smaller channels.
- Nano-influencers typically have fewer than 1,000 followers and tend to operate in a very specific niche.
However, having a smaller following does not mean that the activity is less time-consuming. Because the time that you have to spend as an influencer depends not only on the reach but also on many other factors, such as the frequency with which you post, the quality of the content you produce and the type of interactions you have with your own community has.
When do i have to pay Taxes as an Influencer?
As a content creator, you will have to deal with the tiresome topic of taxes for better or for worse.
As a content creator, you may be subject to tax on the following:
- Value added tax
- Income tax
- Trade tax
This is usually dependent on your earnings. It is essential to consult a tax advisor for this!
Value Added Tax
As an influencer, you are an entrepreneur within the meaning of the Value Added Tax Act if you are self-employed and with the intention of generating income. It doesn’t matter whether you want to make a profit or not: As an entrepreneur who is subject to VAT, you must submit a VAT return for the calendar year in any case. However, if your sales, including the applicable tax, were not more than EUR 22,000 in the previous calendar year and are not expected to be more than EUR 50,000 in the current calendar year, there are some simplifications for you.
The income from your work as a creator is generally subject to income tax. However, you only have to submit an income tax return if this income together with other income (e.g. as an employee) in the calendar year exceeds the annual basic allowance of EUR 9,408 (2019: EUR 9,168).
Trade tax is only payable if your trade income (rounded to the nearest 100 euros) is higher than 24,500 euros. The trade income is calculated from your profit and increased by certain additions and reduced by certain reductions.
Salary: How much can i earn as an Influencer?
It’s difficult to make a blanket statement about how much an influencer can earn, as it depends on many factors, such as their level of recognition, the industry the creator works in, and the engagement of their followers. Some influencers only make a few hundred dollars a month, while others can make thousands of dollars or even more. The most successful content creators on Instagram earn five-digit amounts with a single paid cooperation.