A close-up of a horizontal smartphone, the screen of which shows a woman rubbing lotion onto her cheek. The woman has freckled skin and dark, shoulder-length hair. She is seen from the chest up and is wearing a white camisole and a gold pendant. A pink hair clip holds her hair out of her face. The woman standing in a room with navy blue walls. The smartphone sits on a tripod in the middle of a ring light. In the background behind the filming phone is the woman seen on the screen, larger and out of focus.
To find an audience, your influencer business should pursue a product niche, such as fitness, travel, or makeup and skincare. — Getty Images/Westend61

Influencer marketing is an advertising strategy used by companies to create meaningful campaigns for their business via word of mouth. With the rise of social media, it has become one of the most used marketing strategies today.

If you’re considering an influencer marketing business, here’s what you need to know before getting started.

How does influencer marketing work?

Influencers serve as a bridge connecting companies with their intended target audiences. When a company utilizes influencer marketing, it’s increasing brand awareness and gaining consumer trust. Generally, companies will choose to work with influencers who are active on multiple social platforms and have a substantial following to whom the reach of their products or services can be extended.

Successful influencer marketing appears authentic and transparent: More than 50% of millennials trust product reviews from influencers and favor these forms of advertisement over endorsements from traditional celebrities. Similar to freelancers, influencers can become their own business and work independently, collaborating with brands to create content.

[Read more: Get Connected: Top 5 Social Media Influencers in 9 Industries]

How to set up an influencer business

Setting up an influencer business requires creativity, engagement, and strategy. Follow these steps to get started:

Craft your niche and identity

Whether it's fashion, fitness, travel, or tech, a well-defined niche will guide your content creation and attract the right brands. Building a community around your influencer identity requires genuine interaction with your audience. Respond to comments, engage in discussions, and show appreciation for your followers. Authentic engagement fosters a sense of loyalty and trust.

When a company utilizes influencer marketing, it’s increasing brand awareness and gaining consumer trust.

Build your content strategy

Compelling content is the cornerstone of any successful influencer venture. Create content that not only showcases your expertise but also reflects your personality. Posting consistently and maintaining high-quality visuals and engaging videos will foster a loyal audience. Different social media platforms offer unique advantages, catering to distinct demographics. Whether it's Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, or others, choose platforms that align with your niche and target audience.

[Read more: What Is a Hashtag Challenge? How to Create One for Your Brand ]

Register your business

The most common way to register a business is to form an LLC, which will protect you from personal liability if the business is sued. Other options include a sole proprietorship or a corporation. While costs for starting an LLC will vary from state to state, obtaining an EIN is free. This step allows you to register for state and federal taxes.

To protect yourself and your business, open a business bank account and establish a line of credit. You should also check state guidelines to see what permits, licensing, and insurance may be required.

Grow your audience and monetize your influence

To help increase your social audience, directly engage with commenters and anyone interacting with your profile. Engagement ratings, a common analytic most social platforms offer, are a key factor in determining how often and how far spread your content is shared. Continuing to nurture your existing community while gaining new followers is vital for an influencer’s ongoing success.

As you grow your audience, consider exploring various income strategies for your influencer business, including affiliate marketing, sponsorships, or creating a digital product.

[Read more: Insider Marketing Tips From Social Media Influencers]

How to mitigate common challenges influencers face

Despite the allure of influencer marketing, the world of online influence comes with its share of considerations. Follow these steps to ensure your influencer business not only resonates with your audience but also creates meaningful connections with brands.

  • Stay relevant. Connect with other influencers and join branded retreats to help keep up with emerging trends. Stay up-to-date on social platforms to connect with an audience.
  • Respond to feedback. Ignoring negative feedback doesn’t make it go away. Instead, address comments as soon as possible and showcase your appreciation for the feedback.
  • Balance profitability with authenticity. Consumers want to know you actually use and enjoy the products you are promoting. Showcase items in your everyday life to help send an authentic message.
  • Maintain legal compliance. Brands and influencers often find themselves in trouble related to copyright, disclosures, securities laws, and defamation. Research any companies you choose to work with, as well as any legal requirements for influencers and partnerships, to help mitigate some of these issues.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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