A career as a social media influencer can be quite a lucrative prospect. Even if you’re not one of the celebrity icons pulling in millions in revenue, it’s still possible to earn thousands of dollars for each piece of sponsored content. This can make for a viable and stable source of regular income, not to mention some interesting career experiences.
As a prospective queer influencer, you can certainly make a positive impact in the LGBTQ+ online community alongside a great income. But it’s also the case that the social media influencer landscape has become more nuanced. There are challenges you need to navigate and best practices to adopt. Becoming an influencer is certainly achievable, though, with some hard work, focus, and dedication.
To help set you off on the right track, we’ve put together a guide to becoming a queer influencer.
Establish Your Niche
Setting up the shotPhoto by Steve Gale on Unsplash
As influencing is becoming more nuanced, this means that there is greater scope for specific content focus. As such, you can be both more effective and interesting in your approach by selecting a solid niche within the queer influencer space.
This could be industry-based, with a focus on highlighting queer voices in underexplored sectors. Your content focus could surround your unique perspectives on living a creative life as an LGBTQ+ individual. Don’t be afraid to go as extremely niche as you’d like to push this. You’d be surprised at just how many people will still be able to relate to your ideas and connect with you meaningfully.
Your niche could also be directed toward activism. There is no shortage of challenges facing the LGBTQ+ community and when you focus on a specific issue you can really magnify its importance. General activism can be fine, but homing in on specific, less well-publicized causes and efforts can be valuable to you and the community. This doesn’t mean you need to solve these challenges, but you can have a tangible effect as an influencer by consistently raising funds and awareness.
This doesn’t have to be the entirety of what you do as an influencer. You could focus on a couple of different niches, balancing the activism with content on what personally or professionally drives you. You’ll also find these niches can be mutually beneficial. Making comedic TikTok videos can help you shine a light on the absurdity of prejudice, for instance. The point of picking a niche is to focus your content efforts and help your audience to understand what to expect from you.
Treat Influencing Seriously
Check your lightingPhoto by Lucas Davies on Unsplash
It should go without saying, but if you want to be a successful queer influencer, it’s vital to treat it seriously. That’s not to say it can’t be fun and you can’t express the more playful sides of your personality. But you’ll also find you’ll tend to increase your social media influence more effectively and sustainably if you pursue it with professionalism.
Firstly, it can be effective to create a professional space in which you can work. No matter what niche you’re in you’ll be utilizing this resource to plan content, create it, as well as interact with potential brand partners. This doesn’t have to be expensive to achieve, either. You can create a glam room on a budget by implementing a few simple decor changes. This includes upgrading existing spaces in your home with fresh paint and upcycled furniture. Utilizing natural light sources not only makes the room look great, but it also helps you achieve higher quality video and image content.
Taking your behind-the-scenes activities seriously also encourages others to take you seriously. It doesn’t matter how worthy the cause is, business or fellow influencer partners aren’t likely to support you if they don’t have confidence in your professionalism. Therefore, regardless of your on-screen persona, all your communications, brand outreach, and community interactions should demonstrate how seriously you take your role as a queer influencer.
Build a Community
If we’ve learned nothing else from the history of LGBTQ+ rights, it’s that efforts for change and positivity are always stronger when we act as a community. The same goes for your approach to forging a career as a queer influencer. When members of the community are passionate about what you’re doing, they are more likely to be proactive in sharing and boosting your content. This enthusiasm can spread and empower you to be more effective in your ambitions. You’ll also find that the clear presence of a strong community makes you more attractive to sponsorship partners.
In online spaces, often the best way to find and establish a community is through regular live streaming. There are increasing audiences here and there are usually extremely active interactions. Communicating your commitment to LGBTQ+ causes doesn’t always have to be central to your streaming content. You can achieve a lot here by applying some key best practices for staging your live stream backgrounds. Go beyond the basics of clear surfaces and good lighting that improve the quality of shots. Carefully choose your space so it gives you room to decorate with pride flags and queer iconography. Dress your set with posters for key LGBTQ+ causes. In this way, you can passively connect with the community no matter what the subject of your content is.
The important thing to remember about cultivating any community as an influencer is to maintain authenticity, though. Your audiences are not just tools to further your career aims or bolster your activism. They’re people, like you, with a range of needs and challenges. Treat them with respect. Make efforts to respond to their comments and interact meaningfully with them. Encourage user-generated content and collaborations wherever possible. The more genuine relationships you can build with your influencer community, the more powerful an impact you can have.
Should You Be a Queer Influencer?
Choosing to become a queer influencer can open you up to meaningful experiences and a viable career. However, it’s important to approach the matter in a focused fashion. Choose a niche that represents your interests and intentions. Take the process seriously by treating all your activities with the utmost professionalism. Remember that building a community can make you more attractive to sponsors and boost the efficacy of your activism.