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As one of the fastest-growing sectors in digital media, influencer marketing has seen a phenomenal shift when it comes to the popularity one can achieve and the ability to monetise a lifestyle on social media. Today, we see influencers in every niche right from fashion, food and travel to finance, education and more. While earlier this was a limited number, with time, the number of people moving towards becoming influencers is only increasing.

This development has opened up newer ways for brands to collaborate with credible people and for influencers to monetise their content in ways that gave them the freedom to quit their full-time jobs. However, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes of this picture-perfect and glamorous job and people who want to take up influencer marketing as a full-time career need to know about them.

The waiting period

Social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels make it look like 30 seconds is all one needs to achieve fame but in reality that holds absolutely no truth. For the majority, growing your content takes a lot of time, consistency and great work. Going viral is not a definite formula and no one can trick the algorithm. So, the waiting period is inevitable. Many times, young people who start their influencer journey, get demotivated by not achieving instant success or gratification and lose interest in content creation. Patience is integral in influencer marketing, just like any other career and it is the work put in every single day that eventually leads to success.

Hustle behind the hype

What looks like an effortless video on social media actually requires a lot of thinking and conceptualisation. Anybody can dance to a viral video on a mobile phone but very few actually sit to create sketches that translate into credible content. A good understanding of videography, script-writing and production goes a long way in establishing original and unique content which overall contributes to the quality of production. Most people begin this journey while being full-time employees because obviously, this is not going to give instant money so the hustle only gets harder.

Content production

Once you have started taking all the efforts and your work is getting recognition, remember the job does not end here. If you are assuming the path is clear now, that may not be the case until and unless you are consistent and bang-on with picking up on what kind of work the audience is accepting. Constant improvisation for a long period is how successful influencers have carved their niche. Moreover, you need to find deals and cross-collaborate with bigger accounts to help increase your reach.

The creator life cycle

Once you put in all the hard work and do get the results you wanted, it is now time to shine. Yes, this will be the glory period of any influencer and everything will flourish right from reach, and awareness to brand deals and money. Yes, at this point you can say influencer marketing can replace your full-time job. But, hang in there, because this is where you have unlocked a new level of competition. Now, the game is all about sustaining and being relevant for a longer period of time which can become extremely difficult because it is a unique journey for each influencer. The world population just reached eight million and that is enough proof to say that it is very easy for the audience to move on to newer faces. As much as we do not want to be negative, this is just the reality. Levelling up and improving your content is the only way successful influencers can stretch their life cycle.

Leveraging growth for business

After putting in all this work and showing up every single day, there is another aspect of insecurity that always hangs around and that is the social media platform itself getting replaced. In 2020, TikTokers in India was just beginning to pick up fame and the government decided to ban the platform. Luckily for these creators, reels were a good switch. So one never knows what would happen.

In order to dodge this, influencers need to start leveraging the audience they have built and use their fame and recognition to start building a business that allows them to stay independent irrespective of all the digital platforms. This can be done in many different ways. Influencers who think content creation is their biggest strength can start marketing consultations or join teams that pay them exceptionally for content strategies. Others who feel they have a good grip over the business environment can do that while creative souls can begin their own ventures in areas of expertise. This is one of the most important growth factors to keep in mind that not many influencers actually end up doing and in fact the only way you will never have to worry again about getting replaced or exhausted.

Diversify your skills

Opportunities are everywhere. Definitely, it takes a lot of hard work and patience but there is never a time when opportunities are limited. Our world is coming closer than ever before and capitalizing on these opportunities is one of the biggest assets a person can have. When a person is into content creation, they are bound to pick up on many skill sets. Often times you will come across opportunities that give you the platform to use them and grow - take them. Diversify your options and don’t be afraid of changes because it is only in the unknown that one often finds the most success.