In this article, we’re going to explore how anyone can become a Nano Influence as a side hustle. Every two weeks we'll do a deep dive into a side hustle that YOU can build for some extra 🤑🤑🤑.
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What is a Nano Influencer?
Nano influencers, or micro or niche influencers, don’t have massive followings - “between 1,000 and 10,000 followers” - but they’re well known in their niche with high rates of engagement.
Nano Influencing as a Side Hustle
Lots of people nowadays say that the best way to start a business is to first build an audience.
However, building an audience is a slow & risky process - it’s not something you can do as your main hustle from day one. Going down the path of building an audience while maintaining your job gives you the option to play the long game.
Once you’ve built an engaged audience, the options to monetise are limitless. You can build a product, service, consult or even just do product placements for other people.
👩🏽🎤 Who should become a Nano Inluencer?
Have Siddharth and I become nano influencers? We have about ~1k followers on Spotify & ~1.5k on WhatsApp so I guess we fit the category.
You need to:
Have Genuine Interest & Curiosity.
Be Patient & not motivated only by money.
Be Commited to play the long game.
Not be afraid of ridicule.
This is why we started down this journey:
a) We were genuinely interested in the topics that we’re covering. Every newsletter you’ve read or Podcast you’ve heard started with one of us curious about that topic. The best example is our coverage of Seaweed Farming.
b) We were not motivated by money. The influencing/content creation game is a long, slow process where you may never see any monetary rewards. Amit Verma, India’s most famous podcaster, told us “that you need to have a passion for what you're doing because content creation is a labor of love. To be a successful content creator you need to care more about the work than the number of views or downloads.”
c) We were committed to do it regularly for an extended period of time - Siddharth and I made a pact at the start that we’ll do at least 26 episodes of the Podcast before deciding to quit. We’ve now done 65.
d) We were not afraid of ridicule by family or friends. Despite that, it took us 7 months to start shamelessly marketing ourselves on Social Media. However, regular words of encouragement like the one below help us continue what we’re doing.
e) Eventually, we realised that we wanted to build a community of like minded people who were interested in the same topics as us.
Being Small Also Has its Benefits
High Engagement -> Brand Deals
Niche audiences result in higher engagement rates which digital marketers care about for influencer marketing campaigns.
According to Business Insider, “a lot of brands prefer to work with niche- or micro-influencers because they’re a lot more focussed and more targeted to their followers and audience.”
Smaller accounts also have more authentic followers.
Young People Trust Nano Influencers because they are Authentic
Nano influencers posting everyday about a specific topic are more likely to be seen as authenticaly interested in that topic.
“82 percent of consumers … reported they were highly likely to follow a recommendation made by a micro influencer.” Real life people who are passionate about what they are recommending are much more likely to drive buying decisions than large, popular (i.e. generic) influencers.
You can get noticed in a Niche
This is the same reason we promote traditional SME businesses at TID instead of VC backed business building.
The chances of winning in a niche (business or influencer) are much higher than your chances of becoming the next Charli D’Amelio. With such a large pool of competitors - it pays to find a niche and stick to it authentically.
How do I become a Nano Influencer?
Step 1: Pick Your Niche
We pretty much covered this niche finding exercise in the Content Website newsletter.
Personal Interest is much more important if you want to be an influencer. Authenticity is the key success factor as an influencer.
Do any of the topics below interest you? Could you flip the narrative by becoming a male influencer in a female dominated space or vice versa? For example, Jeffree Star and James Charles are two of the largest Beauty influencers in the world.
You don’t have to pick something from this list but you need to choose something that is uniquely YOU. For example, Karina Garcia became a YouTube sensation by uploading videos of slime after initially trying to be a beauty influencer like everyone else.
Step 2: Pick Your Platform
The choice of platform boils down to one simple question:
Where does your target demographic hang out?
To answer that question you need to know:
What is your niche?
What is your target demographic? What is their A/S/L?
Will your content be written, visual or interactive?
Short-form Videos are in Vogue
Instagram is the dominant social media platform globally. But talk to any Instagram influencer right now and they’ll tell you that posts are dead. Reels are being heavily promoted by the platform. YouTube just launched Shorts.
Can you make short, funny videos about your content? If yes, Reels + YouTube Shorts may be the perfect place for you right now.
Overall, Instagram & YouTube are the most popular platforms for digital marketers looking to spend money on Influencer Marketing. I was surprised to see blogs at #4 on this list.
However, if you break it down by age and sex, Youtube does much better amongst men while Instagram is better with women overall. Unfortunately, LinkedIn is completely absent from this list.
As a 31 year old, I have never used Twitch, Snapchat or TikTok but all those platforms are much more popular amongst younger audiences. (TikTok is present because this is US data).
When picking a platform, you are commiting to creating content for the long haul - make sure that you have the interest and the tools to regularly create content for this platform.
Twitter - can you write short punchy copy?
YouTube - are you willing to edit videos every week?
Step 3: Focus on Creating High Quality Content
I find the best way to create high quality contetn is to satisfy my own curiosities. Ask yourself:
What am I curious about in this niche? What questions are unanswered for me?
What are the challenges I usually face? How can I solve it?
What are the best brands or products in this niche?
How can a beginner get to where I am? What are the mistakes I made? How can it be done cheaper?
Step 4: Iterate your way to Success - Listen to your Audience & Engage with them
The Indian Dream started just like any other business podcast - interviews with succesful business owners. It took us 6 months of feedback from our audience to eventually start Business Munchies & Side Hustles.
Business Munchies is the single most popular piece of content we produce. We wouldn’t have made it if we didn’t ask for and listen to the feedback that we receive from our listeners & readers.
These Side Hustle newsletters are a direct result of audience feedback as well.
Step 5: Be Consistent by Creating Processes - Content Calendar & Automation
This is the business nerd in us.
Creating processes for content creation makes life so much easier because you have one less thing to think about.
You can think about the Content Creation process in 5 main steps:
Researching your content: keyword research, content research, audience research
Content ideas: brainstorming and coming up with content ideas based on target keywords
Planning your content: content types, what platforms, additional content
Content creation: writing and creating your content, editing it
Publishing and promoting your content
The first step to creating processes is to make a Content Calendar.
Here are some tools you can use to make your own Content Calendar. We use a Notion page at The Indian Dream. Though, my favourite Content Calendar tool was a template that I found on ClickUp - check it out.
After making your Content Calendar, you should automate the actual posting & scheduling of your content.
Social Media Scheduling Tools
Step 6: Growth - Collabs, Giveaways, Contests, etc.
Partner with creators, do giveaways, and be creative when you’re looking to grow your following.
Step 7: Build a Website & Funnel Followers to an Email List/WhatsApp Groups
Social Media Platforms can kick you off the platform without warning.
Just ask Pradeep Poonia who was kicked off LinkedIn without warning for criticising WhiteHat Jr.
Start funneling your Social Media followers to your website and your newsletter (email or WhatsApp or wherever else) so that you have total control over this list of people. You can now build a direct relationship with the people in your list without intermediaries like Instagram & YouTube - thus securing the work you’ve done so far.
Step 8: Monetisation
Once you’ve built an engaged audience, the options to monetise are limitless. We’ve written extensively about the first 3 options.
Sell your niche expertise as a consultant.
Sponsored Posts & Shoutouts - UrPopular - an India & Micro Influencer focused influencer marketing platform you can use to attract sponsors.
Other Opportunities in Nano Influencing
Build a micro influencer marketing platform or agency.
Most Digital Marketers find it difficult to find the correct influencer and most agencies and platforms will want to focus on the larger influencers.
You can build an agency for the nano influencers & brands to connect - start by focusing on a specific niche like beauty or travel.