Laura Rychlik: How to Become an Influencer in Your Industry
So you want to be the next Gary Vee or Casey Neistat? I mean I hear you, who doesn’t?!
When it comes to making your mark in a field, the first step is usually to network, develop contacts and build your career - especially at the student/new grad level. I mean really, when you break it down it’s alway comes back to the connections you have.
Personally, I got my first job through connections at the Stratford campus. I spent just over a year at Gravity Partners Ltd. where I ran the social accounts for Coca-Cola, Absolut Vodka, Sobeys, Nandos, Jacob’s Creek, Stoneleigh and Campo Viejo. From writing content, organizing photoshoots, and managing crisis’ like getting sued via rap video by the Out For A Rip guys - I’ve seen it all.
And I’ll let you in on a little secret, it’s a MILLION times easier to write for a brand than it is for yourself. I’m sure you’ve all been there, sitting there twiddling your thumbs trying to come up with a caption for that fire insta post of yours, drawing a blank, and then proceeding to just post a Taylor Swift lyric cause #whynot.
Trust me, I’ve been there a million times. So then how do you get over the internal struggle of “is this funny/innovative/thought provoking enough, and truly become an influencer in your industry? I’ve broken it down into 4 key steps
1. Treat Yourself Like a Brand
Just like Beyonce and Sasha Fierce, sometimes it’s easier to take yourself out of the equation. When you start treating yourself like a brand, or develop a persona, it can definitely take the stress out of what to post or how to word it. Instead focus on what your brand would say about a certain topic and it will make it a heck of a lot easier.
2. Join the Conversation
There’s no better way to have your voice heard, than to break down those walls and join the conversation. Start off by following a bunch of people in your industry (both big and small), as that will give you a whole bank of content to share with your audience. But remember to add your own thoughts to it rather than just straight up re-tweeting. Besides that, comment on peoples posts, ask questions, and engage in trending topics when you can - and I’m telling you, people will notice.
3. Know Your Audience
Sit down and take a look at those analytics. Who are the people that are currently following you? What are their interests? Where are they from? Does it make sense for you to post at 8am when most of them may be halfway around the world and sleeping when you post it? If you’re just starting out maybe it’s just your family and friends smashing that like button - so in the meantime, joining the conversation in step two will help you start to build a more niche industry audience.
4. Be Consistent
Think of it this way - your social platform is someone else's source of news or entertainment. If you choose to be an influencer on YouTube or via blog in your certain industry, your audience will look to your platform on a regular basis, like a TV show. From an audience's perspective I’m sure you would be pretty bummed if the new episode of Suits came out a day later than it normally does without warning. Same thing goes on social! In terms of Twitter or Instagram, with the newsfeed constantly updating it can be easy to have your content lost in the sea of posts, so the more consistently you post, the more your voice will be heard in your industry.
Laura Rychlik, GBDA '16
Social Media at KPMG, YouTuber
Laura Rychlik is an inaugural Global Business and Digital Arts graduate, who has since pursued a career in social media marketing. She has worked for brands such as Coca-Cola, Absolut Vodka and KPMG, as well as small start-ups like BalloonBarTo. On the side, she manages her own social channels, where she promotes lifestyle content, music, and works collaboratively with a variety of brands such as Nike and Daniel Wellington.
Outside of work, you can find her at various PR events around the city, exploring nearby cafes for the best coffee, or hitting the pavement with her newfound love of running.