A decade ago, social media influencers began popping up and gaining huge followings online. Over time, “influencer” has become a legitimate job title, with billions worldwide tuning in to what they have to say. There are influencers on everything from fashion to automobiles.
Unlike other influencers who focus on destinations and products, one type of influencer focuses on advocacy for the planet. Welcome the eco-influencer.
What’s an Eco-Influencer?
An eco-influencer focuses on topics surrounding sustainability, ethical practices, climate change and other topics related to the environment. Eco-influencers have varied advocacies and niches. Some focus on everyday sustainable living, while some tackle climate activism.
The goal is to inform audiences about environmental issues and encourage them to act. Ideally, an eco-influencer’s main goal is to create positive environmental change.
A survey shows that 77% of people want to live more sustainably. In the internet age, people seek influencers to give them real-life advice. People who want to live a more eco-conscious life are looking for like-minded influencers who will tell them exactly how to do that. Interestingly, the rise of eco-influencers has paralleled the growing trend in work from home jobs, allowing individuals to contribute to environmental sustainability by reducing their carbon footprint associated with daily commutes.
What Do You Need to Become an Eco-Influencer?
Do you want to spread awareness about the planet to a big audience? To become an eco-influencer, here’s what you need to start.
Becoming an influencer takes patience, consistency and a desire to be known and heard. However, to become an eco-influencer, you must also have a clear advocacy. Living a sustainable lifestyle takes commitment.
You have to be passionate about what you are doing to remain consistent. Your content will become empty and insincere if you’re not particularly passionate about the environment. People are quick to smell inauthenticity, and they’ll tell you what they think in your comments section.
Before you start on your influencer journey, think about your advocacy. What message do you want to send out to the world? Why do you want to dedicate your life to this mission? Always think about your advocacy when you make content to keep yourself centered on the cause.
Next, you need to choose your niche. You can tackle multiple niches, but starting with just one is best. What aspect of sustainability do you want to focus on? Here are some topics that eco-influencers usually cover:
- Eco-friendly Travel
- Sustainable Fashion
- Sustainable Beauty
- Eco-friendly Products
- Fighting Food Waste
- Ocean Cleanup
- Zero-waste Lifestyle
- Vegan Cooking
- Upcycling and Recycling
- Climate Justice
- Educational Content
After you select your niche, you need to develop your concept. Let’s say you want to tackle food waste. How do you want to approach the topic? Some influencers focus on teaching people how to cook with food scraps. Others create challenges where they have to cook with leftovers in their fridge. Meanwhile, some influencers concentrate on raising awareness on the food waste problem worldwide.
Think of how you can add something to the topic. Plenty of influencers already talk about food waste. What’s your fresh take on the topic? How can you contribute to the discussion and help people live more sustainably?
Once you develop your concept, don’t forget to come up with a catchy title, too.
One essential part of becoming an influencer is to develop your brand. After all, you must tell the world who you are before people can trust what you say.
Around 50 million people worldwide now consider themselves influencers or content creators. How do you set yourself apart from everyone else?
Here are some things you can consider when building your brand:
- What kind of role do you want to play? Are you an educator or a friend who simply wants to give advice?
- Who is your target audience?
- How much of your life are you willing to share online?
- How do you want to present yourself online? What is your “look?”
- What is your video or photo style?
- What is the general tone of your content?
Creativity and Technical Skills
When it comes to creating content, you should equally consider your message and your visuals. People are more likely to watch you when you present something both creative and informative. To do this, you need to develop some technical skills.
Here are some things you need to learn to become a successful influencer:
- Public Speaking
- Photo Retouching
- Video Editing
- Social Media Marketing
Although some influencers get by just shooting videos on an iPhone, that’s not always the case for everyone. User engagement is tied to video quality, which means people interact more with high-quality, high-definition content.
To achieve high-quality content, you must invest in proper equipment. The first two you will need are a laptop and a phone. Next, you need a high-quality camera. Afterward, you can focus on audio and lighting. Proper accessories can also help you set up and customize your workspace, especially if you shoot videos at home.
A Content Strategy
An influencer’s key to success is a good content strategy. Becoming a content creator means you need to make fresh content consistently. People need to see that you are worth following because you actively post interesting content.
Before becoming an eco-influencer, consider how much time you can dedicate to making content. How often can you post? How willing are you to interact with your followers?
Create a content calendar for yourself. Plan out your week and post at strategic times. Research the best times to post on different social media platforms. For instance, the best time to post on Instagram is on Saturdays, around mid to late evening or mid to late afternoon.
Mastery of Social Media Platforms
To become a successful influencer, you must learn the workings of different social media platforms. First, decide on what platforms you want to focus on. Do you want to create long-form content, or do you want to make shorter videos?
Take note of how long videos can be on each social media platform. Instagram only allows 90 seconds for Reels, while TikTok videos can last three minutes.
Learn about how platforms like Instagram crop your photos. What are the best photo dimensions to upload on the website? Once you learn these basics, you have a better chance of creating good content that can attract followers.
An Eye for Trends
To create content that people seek out, you should be able to ride current trends and put your twist on them.
To do this, you must spend considerable time online studying emerging trends. For example, what sound is trending on TikTok, and how can you use it for your content?
Many trends include buying new products, which goes against most sustainable advocacies. As an eco-influencer, you should also consider how to twist some trends to make them more eco-friendly. You can also check the community for what’s trending in eco-conscious circles.
Of course, social media is also about creating trends. If you have an out-of-the-box idea, don’t hesitate to put it out there for people to see.
Creating content is hard, and collaboration is one way to keep your content fresh. You can contact other influencers within or near your niche and offer opportunities for collaboration. You must build positive relationships with other creators to help you expand your online presence.
You can start by reacting to or stitching content from creators you admire. You can also go directly to their inbox and message them your intentions. The best thing about being a sustainable influencer is that your advocacy comes first. Ideally, it’s not a competition for who’s the better influencer. The more people collaborate to spread your message, the better.
Influence a Positive Change
More and more people want to become influencers. It’s easy to desire the admiration and trust online followers can give you.
However, it takes a real calling to advocate for environmental causes. With enough preparation and skill, you can become a successful eco-influencer who can inspire change in people.