Five Social Media Experts on How to Build your Online Influence

Building your personal brand on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube isn’t as easy as it looks. Behind every picture-perfect selfie, cheerful video, snappy tweet, and subtle product placement, people are working hard to create consistent, compelling content that keep their audiences captivated and coming back for more.

If you want to be an influencer, but aren’t sure where to start, Skillshare’s got a library of classes taught by social media mavens to help you grow your personal or professional brand. Want a sneak peak into what they have to offer? Check out our round up of their best advice and you’ll be on your way to better posts in no time.

“The number of people isn’t nearly as important as the quality of those relationships on Instagram” - Tyler McCall, Iconosquare and Instagram Marketing Strategist

In his class, Instagram for Business: Build an Engaged Community, Tyler McCall talks about how important it is to visualize your ideal Instagram audience, their personalities, psychological profiles, and social activities so you can build content that speaks to them. When you are intentional about the kinds of people you want to reach, you can more effectively craft the kinds of messages and visuals that will connect with (and grow) your community.

“If you think about the caption as an opportunity to tell a story, it helps your overall approach to Instagram….it’s a storytelling platform” -  Tyson Wheatley, Photographer

Tyson Wheatley developed an interest in Instagram after moving to Hong Kong and using the platform to share images with his American friends and family. In his class, Mobile Photography Basics for Instagram Success, he says that the most compelling Instagram feeds are those that either gives insight into a far-flung locales, showcases the visual details of an exciting job, or expresses the creative instincts of a particularly artistic individual.

“Instagram Stories...gives me instant feedback if the content I am producing is relevant to the people and fans that are following me” - Lolo Jones, Olympian & Social Media Influencer

In her class on Social Media Stardom: Making the Most of Instagram, Olympian-turned-Social Media Personality Lolo Jones talks about the practical ways that she employs Instagram’s features to push her content, craft her message and hone her voice. As an influencer with legions of followers, it’s critical to her to ensure that her content is always on-brand, and she uses Stories, among other tools, to track and adjust her content accordingly.

“Hashtags are super vital. It’s a great way to put you on the map. Helpful to anyone who is trying to get attention from a specific brand, anyone who is trying to grow their following...it’s a great way to group your content and it’s also a great way to find that niche” - Sophia Chang, Designer and Illustrator

As a professional Designer and Illustrator, Sophia Chang has had a ton of experience using Instagram to find clients, grow her brand, and build her following. In Analytics & Authenticity on Instagram: Crafting Your Digital Presence, she teaches practical lessons on how to set goals, track analytics, and create searchable content so that you can use Instagram in a more polished, professional way.

“Think about your content as an open-ended question..respecting the person on the other end of the phone, think about what would be interesting to them. You want to make sure you’re add value...think about the reaction that you want...how people are going to be consuming it.” - Kate Arends, Founder, Wit & Delight

Kate Arends is a lifestyle blogger who began her social media journey as a way to find freelancing opportunities. Today, she has a personal brand with strong corporate relationships, a growing product line, and fans around the globe. As a part of  her class, Building Your Online Presence: Personal Branding through Social Media, Arends talks about ways to be intentional about your social media goals, content, and channels so that you can grow your following and attract business partnerships.

Salt farm, Salinas Grandes

A post shared by tyson wheatley (@twheat) on

“If your end goal is to be commercially successful, I would encourage you, rather than imitating and stealing...to try and distinguish yourself as a unique individual because at the end of the day brands and anyone that is going to pay you to take photographs is going to be much more interested in working someone who can create a unique image that is also technically beautiful ” - Tyson Wheatley, Photographer

In his class, Instagram Best Practices: Grow Your Community, Work with Brands, Tyson Wheatley talks about the importance of creating original content that attracts and builds your audience organically. Post uniquely engaging images with a fresh perspective, he says, and you’ll be much more valuable to companies that want to partner over the long term.

 

 

 

Have you used social media to promote your professional or personal brand? Give us your tips and tricks in the comments below!