How to Become an Influencer: Be Authentic

People like to talk about being real it but they aren't really being. To be authentic is to be human and to speak your truth. There are a variety of ways to speak your truth- it doesn't necessarily mean tweeting about every personal detail of your life or trying to cull sympathy with a sob story in an Instagram caption.

1. Feeling Stuck? Be Honest about Your Situation and Circumstance

The problem with Instagram now is that everyone's starting to look the same. We assume that to build followers means shelling out money to go to Banff purely because we see a photo of a girl with a hat in a canoe that's received 8,000 likes.

You wanna know how I built my Instagram? In 2016, I posted a photo of the Star Ferry and told people I was struggling to love living in Hong Kong and decided that photographing the city would help- if not force- me to see the good in it. While I still can't stand some things about Hong Kong, I always receive DM's from people telling me they love looking at my photos because they miss Hong Kong and it makes them nostalgic.

2. Know What You Like

In Grade 5, I fell in love with photography after taking a picture of a fruit tree- I just loved how I could record what I saw. I consider myself blessed to be living right now in an age where photographers and artists can be influencers. In the past, to be successful as a photographer, you either had to be Annie Leibovitz, Mario Testino or working for Nat Geo. Photography was never considered a viable career and now millenials consider it a dream job. Passion speaks emotionally to your audience even if you're just sharing something and not saying anything.

3. Be Transparent about Your Struggle and Process

Rather than always delivering a witty caption for Instagram, there are times where I'll just tell my audience how I wish the outcome of an image was different. On Instagram Stories, I've shared about my struggles in the industry of Influencer marketing or trying to educate clients how a free hotel stay is never enough to cover the amount of work I do to create content for a brand. Recently I've also started to focus my Instagram Stories on behind-the-scenes videos of our client shoots because people are interested to see the raw footage of our curated Insta feeds. You'd be surprised that people are drawn to 'the boring stuff' in life because it's relatable while your job or your Instagram might be aspirational.

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Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and hit me up on my Instagram if this helped you!

Sam WongComment