How To Become An Eco-Friendly Influencer
Social media remains one of the most important communication tools we have and reports suggest the medium is continuing to grow. Over 4.26 billion people used social media in 2021 and this is expected to increase to almost 6 billion by 2027.
Most of us check in to at least one social media channel daily and it is a great way to connect with the people, activities, causes and even businesses that matter to you. Social media allows us to connect with others but it’s also an effective way to learn more about niche topics that interest you and impact your life, from sustainability and economics to tattoos or glassblowing.
It is also allowing more and more people to make a living as influencers, with an estimated 37 million on Instagram alone. If you would like to share your sustainable tips and help others embrace an eco-friendly way of life and make money doing it then influencing is a great opportunity.
But with so much competition online, where do you start? From how to develop your brand, which niche suits you and how to grow your audience, follow this guide to become the eco-friendly influencer you’ve always wanted to be.
Can anyone be a sustainability influencer?
It may seem like a pipe dream but with the right strategy and content, the life of an eco-friendly influencer is possible. To succeed, influencers must be creating content that people want to see or consume, build relationships with their audience and be trustworthy.
For sustainability, that could mean finding eco-friendly solutions to everyday problems, offering insights into the benefits of zero-waste principles or providing tips to master charity shopping. While you don’t need any qualifications there are some skills and qualities that influencers require:
- Great communication
- Understanding and spotting trends
- Being comfortable on camera
- Time management and editing
- Flexibility and adaptability
Although this list isn’t a blueprint for success, most successful influencers have these characteristics in abundance. But most importantly, influencers need to focus on content that people want.
Finding your niche
Whether it be vegan recipes, sustainable repurposing projects or gardening tips to help people grow fruit and vegetables, there is plenty of scope for an eco-friendly influencer.
You may find initially that you have more success focusing on a narrow topic that has the potential to grow rather than something more general which will have lots of competing influencers vying for audience attention. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be ambitious but it’s important to find your niche and grow your audience before expecting to rake in millions of viewers per video, likes per post or monetising your channel.
There is a wide range of markets that couple nicely with sustainability which helps to make them more niche. For example:
- Sustainable travel
- Eco-friendly business
- Upcycling and repurposing advice
- Beauty and sustainability
- Putting an end to fast fashion
Developing your brand
Whether you are an influencer, a small business or a giant corporation, marketing is essential for establishing your brand name and building trust among the public. For eco-friendly influencers that means making it clear from the outset what you stand for and how you want to help people overcome environmental or sustainable problems in their lives.
Authenticity is essential – you can’t fake sincerity and the more you try, the more inconsistencies your audience will experience in the content you create. Sooner or later people will catch on and to build an eco-friendly brand, in particular, you need people to trust in what you are putting out there.
You have to treat yourself as a business, which means getting serious about marketing, organising your finances and doing adequate target audience research. Once you have defined who you are and who your audience is, it’s time to create a plan of action to help guide you and progress your influencing career.
Visually striking content is essential
Influencers are also known as content creators and what you put out into the world has to be good to stop people from scrolling past your posts on their social media channels. That means figuring out what resonates with people in your niche and creating content that matches their expectations.
From arming yourself with effective live streaming equipment like cameras, lights and microphones, to stylish backdrops or locations, you must offer a visually engaging experience. Many people choose to become eco-friendly influencers because they want to help make a difference in the world but if people are skipping past your videos due to poor initial impressions then you won’t get to share your passion with many people.
Welcome collaboration with others
Many successful business leaders put a lot of effort into networking and you should consider a similar approach to your venture as an eco-friendly influencer. That means reaching out to others who perhaps have a larger following than you to help build your following and increase the potential for collaborations with your fellow influencer.
With confidence in your content, you can approach influencers with larger fanbases to extend your brand. You can also start endorsing sustainable brands that mean something to you and open up opportunities to work with them in the future.
But, when endorsing a product or brand you must ask yourself if it’s something you would buy or recommend to your followers, if it’s something you want to be associated with and, as a sustainability influencer, whether it is ethically and sustainably produced.
Sharing is caring
There is no magic formula for online success but if the content you create is genuine, interesting, informative and sustainably focused, you can make it as an eco-friendly influencer. It is important to produce regular content to help grow your channel, so if that’s advice for looking after houseplants, your favourite sustainable beauty products or cleanups of local areas, make sure that you provide regular updates.
This is the nature of an influencer and content creator but it’s important to highlight just how often you need to create new content. Influencers using platforms like Instagram or TikTok should aim to post a few times per week and no more than once per day.
If YouTube is your chosen platform then once per week is a good starting point. This doesn’t mean you need to create a video per week, you can create a batch of posts and drip-feed them out, which is great for evergreen content.
Is it worth becoming a sustainability influencer?
The good news for anyone with ambitions to become an eco-friendly influencer is that you can not only monetise your endeavours but also help people in their sustainability journey. While the world is waking up to the need to change our behaviours for the good of the planet and those who live on it, not everyone knows how they can make changes in their lives.
Sustainable influencers have a lot of possible niches to enjoy and as society continues to become more environmentally responsible there is plenty of appetite for eco-friendly content.