In 2017, influencer marketing saw an exponential growth of 198%. A lot of this can be attributed to its efficacy in building brand awareness and improving business sales.
A perfectly executed influencer marketing campaign looks incredible and does a whole lot of good for brands. An objective third party might even call it effortless and organic.
But let’s be frank.
There is no playbook. No rules or guidelines. No framework that you can use to design that perfect campaign.
Influencer marketing is a tricky landscape to navigate with its ever-changing nature and emerging trends.
Each day presents new challenges which leave even the best of influencers stumped about how to improve engagement.
What works for one brand may not work for another. This uncertainty leaves them more susceptible to making mistakes.
While some influencer mistakes are more common than others, it’s important to be aware of all of them. After all, only when you’re aware of any pitfalls, can you avoid them.
Typical Influencer Mistakes
Before we move on to hear from the experts, let’s take a quick peek at some common influencer mistakes.
Saying “Yes” to Everything
I’ve seen this a few times with new influencers. They tend to say yes to any brands that approach them without considering whether or not the brand aligns with their niche.
Other than that, they also tend to agree with anything the brand or agency tells them to do.
It’s important to question whether the brand and the content a brand is suggesting will fit well with your audience.
Ignoring FTC Guidelines
Another common influencer mistake I see new and experienced influencers make is ignoring the FTC guidelines.
According to the guidelines, it’s critical that brands and influencers disclose their paid partnerships to consumers to ensure they make informed decisions.
Not everyone understands which partnerships call for a #ad or #paid hashtag.
Buying Fake Follower and Engagement
The biggest influencer mistake an influencer can make is buying fake followers and engagement. Whether it’s through comment pods or using bots, either way, it’s just wrong.
I understand that it’s a numbers game, but using fake numbers only tarnishes your reputation and that of the industry.
There are many other mistakes influencers make. The important thing is learning from your mistakes and those of others.
That’s the aim of this expert roundup. So, without further ado, let’s hear from the experts about the biggest influencer mistakes they’ve made in the past, and how you can avoid them.
Please note: This roundup has been structured in ascending order, and not according to expertise.
#1. Andrea Learned – Learned On
Whether you have 500 followers in your very specific niche sector or one million in another if people are starting to “listen” to you and are re-sharing what you have to say – that’s a responsibility.
Be proactive, not reactive. Make your own policy about how you want to engage and what you most hope to contribute to the conversations.
You DO have a unique perspective and deep wisdom that can help others – and you probably have that right now. (You don’t have to be in the C-Suite to be an influencer, either – p.s.)
#2. Andy Crestodina – Orbit Media
The biggest influencer mistake: For years, I contributed to everything possible: contributor quotes, roundups, interviews and HARO requests. Some contributions went live, some never even saw the light of day.
I never paid attention or followed up. Then I gradually learned that a lot of these could be repurposed and combined into bigger pieces of content.
So now I save all of these little-emailed conversations, quotes, and contributions. They go in a folder and once a year or so, I dig in and look for opportunities to repurpose all of those answers …and it’s a gold mine.
It’s turned into a fast way for me to create high-value, keyphrase-focused content. It still takes work to hammer 12 contributions into an article, but it’s faster than starting from scratch!
#3. Brian Carter – Brian Carter, Keynote Speaker
The biggest influencer mistake: If you’re a bootstrapping influencer who came out of nowhere – in other words, you didn’t inherit millions from daddy you can spend on a publicist- then it takes consistent hustle to create and maintain your influence. And the more consistent you are, the more your influence grows every day, just like a savings account.
It helps to love what you do, but you also need to watch out for ADHD. One of the biggest influencer mistakes I’ve made is jumping from one fascinating strategy or platform or channel to another a little bit too much.
I might get all focused in on Facebook video or Instagram for a while and neglect the other platforms and channels, and they don’t grow or benefit me as much as they could.
I haven’t been as consistent as I could have been with blogging every week, tweeting all the time and continually answering HARO requests.
The lesson is, you should create a consistent doable plan (don’t bite off more than you’re going to be able to chew), and delegate any parts of it that you can, or parts you find to be drudgery so that you get consistent results.
You can find affordable virtual assistants on websites like Upwork or Fiverr. Create an influencer growth plan and execute it consistently every week.
#4. Brian Hart – Flackable
In my case, it was my witty, edgy and honest tone that helped me stand out from others in my industry and prompted my online following to snowball.
Initially, I responded to this surge in influence by softening my tone and playing it safe, reluctant to take risks that could turn off a portion of my following, however small it might be.
What I found was that by trying to please everyone, I was no longer inspiring or motivating anyone.
Since coming to that realization, I have shifted my tone back to where it had been, embracing my true personality, passion and humor.
#5. Cameron Conaway – Solace
I ended up taking on what for me was an exciting experience but not one that resonated with my audience.
The lesson: It’s essential for those considered influencers to have a deep understanding of the micro-audiences within their overall audience, and to make decisions accordingly.
#6. Chad Pollitt – InPowered
The biggest influencer mistake is at the beginning of this year I embarked on three high-commitment influencer projects involving ebooks and grossly underestimated the amount of time they would take to execute. The end result – grossly underpaid. It wasn’t the client’s fault, it was mine.
Whatever time you think it’s going to take to execute a high-commitment influencer campaign make sure to add another 20% to 60% (the range is broad because some people are better at estimating project timelines than others) to the estimate. That’s your cushion. One of the projects I worked on actually took me twice as long as originally estimated. Build in a cushion you’re comfortable with.
#7. Charlene Li – Altimeter
There have been a few times when I’ve succumbed to the pressure to post something, anything to just be present.
That’s not enough — every time I share or post, I need to push myself to be as relevant as possible.
If my palms aren’t sweating at least a little, I know that I’m just dialing it in.
#8. Chelsea Krost – Chelsea Krost
By that I mean, wait for the brand to suggest creative, activation platform, budget, etc.
What I have learned over the past 10 years working in this space is that this landscape is foreign to most people and they need to be advised on what YOUR capabilities, creative concepts, and dominate channels are.
In many cases, it is easier for an influencer to ask for a creative budget and share with the client what creative and scope of work they can do within that budget.
This helps streamline the conversation and eliminate endless email chains. As the influencer, we know what are audience interests and engagement behavior is like.
We need to run the show and educate the brand on the most authentic way to connect with our community! Try this tips to avoid influencer mistakes as an influencer.
#9. Chirag Kulkarni – Medly Pharmacy
Not only do you get to form a deeper relationship with someone, but you can also leverage each others networks to grow faster.
#10. Chris Abraham – Gerris Corp
When you’re being reduced to being an influencer, you’re professionally productized for your ability to meet business KPIs. It’s more akin to a cattle call or auditions.
If you dot all the I’s, you’ll be successful. But if you don’t know your value proposition, both positive or negative, then you’ll have less of a chance of being successful.
Don’t be either a primadonna or a shrinking violet. It’s only business, only showbiz.
#11. Dan Knowlton – KPS Digital Marketing
The biggest influencer mistake is thinking that being named as an ‘Influencer’ has any other benefit other than helping get your foot in the door is a biggest influencer mistake you made as an Influencer.
I’ve been ranked as an Influencer various times, sometimes data was used, sometimes no data-backed method was used at all.
The only real benefit I’ve seen is it’s helped me get my foot in the door with potential clients, collaboration opportunities, speaking opportunities etc.
Once my foot was in the door, being named as an Influencer means nothing. I have to deliver on whatever is expected of me.
Because of this, my #1 tip is to focus on getting good at your craft, not becoming an influencer.
#12. Deirdre Breakenridge – Deirdre Breakenridge
You have a responsibility to them first and to live up to their expectations. When you develop this kind of bond, endorsing products is all about what your community likes and needs.
Your fans will quickly tell you when they’re happy about what you’re offering through a collaboration with a brand, and what they don’t like.
Who you align with can be a win-win for everyone.
But, if you don’t fully research the company and product, and believe in the community benefits, then you’re fans will realize quickly that it’s not their best interest you have at heart.
#13. Douglas Karr – DK New Media
The problem was that it wasn’t a match for my followers and my community pushed back – thinking I just sold out.
I realized that I put a decade of trust and authority on the line for a few bucks… something I’ll never do again.
If you don’t believe in the brands, products, or people you’re promoting, don’t do it!
#14. Eric Enge – Perficient Digital
Generally speaking, it’s because of some well formed set of messages or value you bring to your audience.
In my case, this was based on two decades of time invested in SEO and content marketing, and a willingness to freely share anything and everything I’ve learned.
At the heart of that was putting in the effort to learn the material very well, and then to ALSO put in the effort to the presentation or content that I developed around what I learned.
Over the past five years, I’ve had a couple of experiences where I ran out of time to put together a killer presentation for my audience for a speaking event.
My background on the material I’m presenting is usually strong enough that I can still do OK with such a presentation, but OK isn’t good enough.
I strive to provide the best possible experience for people to come hear me speak. When I know I’ve nailed it, it’s an extremely gratifying feeling, and when I realize that I fell short, it’s such a disappointment.
Never let lack of preparation be the reason you don’t give your best show on stage.
Each time you get on stage, it’s an opportunity to help people, and to make a difference in their lives, even if it’s only in some technical aspect of how they do their jobs. Don’t ever waste it!
#15. Evan Carmichael – Evan Carmichael
I knew it wasn’t a fit with my values but tried to make it work because I wanted to help my client out.
We stopped it after one month, it was the most work I’ve ever had to put into a relationship, and it wasn’t a win for either party.
I never made that mistake again.
#16. Gerry Moran – Cognizant
Winning in the influencer game is to be present on social, in blogs, and on search. Our common biggest influencer mistake is the inability to be found and be relevant—and it has been my biggest mistake.
The biggest challenge of any content marketer or social media expert is to create a regular cadence of educational and engaging messaging that rises above the content cacophony. This steady feed of content helps influencers remain relevant and top-of-mind. The problem for many of us, is we run a large brand’s content marketing or social media strategy and find it hard to carve out content creation time.
My five recommendations for any of us to fix this production and visibility mistake are:
1. Address Pain Points. Pay attention to your company’s or client’s ecosystem and identify acute and singular breaks in the system to write about.
2. Use Your Unique Voice on Social Media. Connect pain points with insights that you go ‘aha’, while using a unique voice.
3. Write Smaller Posts. Throw out the idea you need to write a 2,500-word blog post because it’s best practice. Just write something so others can find it.
4. Avoid Best Practice. If we all did things according to best practice, then we’d all be mediocre, right? Of course, you need to do things the ‘right way,’ however, innovation and creativity are not pages out of today’s best-practice playbooks.
5. Find Your Own Influencer to Kick You in The Butt. Find your own cheerleader or influencer to challenge your exposure or lack thereof. You need someone who will support and challenge you to get out there and share with the world, so it becomes a better place, even if it’s just content marketing (in my case).
So, get out there and win the influencer game by playing more to increase your odds of being found and having a positive impact!
#17. Grant Cardone – Grant Cardone
People look at me and think I’m suppose to know everything, that I’m supposed to be the pro and the guru guy, and that there’s just a handful of us leading the way when it comes to social media, sales, and business.
Nobody always knows what they are doing folks. That includes Gary Vaynerchuk, Tai Lopez, Tony Robbins, or any other top influencer.
So instead of feeling bad, take action.
I’m still learning each month how to do things better.
The biggest influencer mistake I made in the past was thinking that I had “made it” and stopped trying to further grow in my knowledge.
The moment you think you’re the man (or woman) who is the top influencer, you stop growing and began to contract.
So never ever stop learning.
I am a top sales trainer but I’m still looking to improve my skills!
#18. Holly Pavlika – Inmar
The biggest influencer mistake: A personal tip, if you want to become an influencer then you need to take the time to answer everyone who reaches out regardless of who they are and their perceived level of influence.
I am connected to other influencers and I find all too often they will share my content but then when I directly ask them what they thought of the piece I only get crickets.
This makes an influencer feel used for their content and name.
Of course, I’ve made mistakes along the way because that’s how you learn.
I was in a Klout contest and in the spur of the moment chose a hashtag #momthevote which went a bit viral.
I had not done my research and apparently this other organization felt they owned that hashtag even though you can’t own/trademark a hashtag.
The organization got ugly about it. I apologized and changed my hashtag and they disappeared back into the atmosphere.
Moral of the story is: do your homework.
#19. Ian Brodie – Ian Brodie
The biggest influencer mistake: For me, the biggest influencer mistake is to rest on your laurels – to think because you’ve “made it” (in your own small world) that now it will all happen automatically and you don’t have to do all the things that made you an influencer in the first place.
Of course, that’s not true.
You need to keep up with whatever it was that brought you influence in the first place: high quality blog posts, live video etc.
You need to keep being the person you were (e.g. interacting and helping your audience) and not somehow think you’re something special because you’ve been named in a few “top 10” lists and got quoted a few times.
#20. Ian Cleary – OutreachPlus
When you start off and want to build influence you need to build the list of influencers and start building relationships with them.
But, you need to keep evaluating this list and watch out for the up and coming people.
If you can spot talent you can invest time in them at an early stage and this will reap huge benefits in the longer term.
#21. Jaime Masters – Ownerbox
I’m very opinionated in my business views, and trends and I wouldn’t share things that I thought would have too much controversy.
I remind myself a quote my father used to say, “There’s an ass for every seat.”
Everyone is going to have an opinion and online there will be a lot of craziness. But that doesn’t mean you have to keep quiet.
Shine that light! And set up a process to shield you from reading the craziness. Have your assistant go through comments and email before you.
#22. Jeff Epstein – Ambassador Software
#23. Jeff Sauer – Jeffalytics
I guess the biggest influencer mistake I made along the way as an “influencer” was creating content that I thought was needed in the marketplace, and sharing it online.
It was a mistake because by doing something I am passionate about, I became an influencer by accident.
If you want to become an influencer, you can probably get there a lot faster by not following my path.
But then again, if you want to be influential and effective, you should share your passion with others.
So I would say the biggest influencer mistake you can make is to try and become an influencer in the first place.
The way to avoid that mistake is to be influential and genuinely helpful to your audience. If you can accomplish this, you’ll be an influencer without really trying.
#24. Jill Schiefelbein – The Dynamic Communicator
Make sure you have every part of an influencer agreement outlined with specifics–what you’ll provide, what they’ll provide, and the timelines for each and every deliverable.
Also, be sure that your contract specifies if you’re paid per activity (like an Instagram story) or for engagements (clicks on links).
Knowing what a company considers their KPIs for each campaign is also useful, as you can cite those data points in future negotiations.
#25. Jim Wang – Wallet Hacks
You may have to share a piece of work several times before your audience will see it and while it feels unnatural to share something so often, many of your readers and followers will have only seen it the one time they happened to catch it in their feed.
#26. John Boitnott – John Boitnott
When you’re able to drive a lot of traffic, connect a lot of people, or in some other way move marketing mountains for companies, you let things get to your head.
You don’t always treat people with the respect they deserve.
When someone with less experience asks for a favor, even if it won’t help you much in return, do the best you can to help them. Give back.
I think the biggest influencer mistake many influencers make is failing to pay it forward.
You worked hard to get where you are. Honor those with less experience who are busting their butts looking to grow and achieve success like you have.
#27. John Hall – Influence & Co.
The biggest influencer mistake is to remember just because you are an influencer doesn’t mean you are above people. When you first gain influence it’s easy to get overconfident and it’s important to remind yourself to use your influence to help others rather than feeding your ego.
#28. John Rampton – Calendar
Becoming busy with a startup led me to produce less thought leadership content and miss opportunities where I could influence others through blog posts and articles.
To avoid that influencer mistake, I now take more time to identify all opportunities and then deliver my thought leadership to influence potential customers and other stakeholders.
I have a team that also helps to identify these opportunities while I also have automated much of the content sharing process.
#29. Johnathan Dane – KlientBoost
I think a lot of people focus on being everywhere and highlight that they’ve spoken at conferences, contributed to Forbes, or have 10k connections on LinkedIn, without haven actually built anything.
In my opinion, influence comes from practicality and a track record of something worth influencing from.
The goal is not to speak at conferences, write articles, or have connections – the goal is to build something that improves people’s lives.
The biggest and best influencers are the ones who try not to influence but let their walking do the talking.
#30. Josh Steimle – Influencer Inc
I’ve said things that sounded right and nice when I thought of them, but then somehow they came out the wrong way.
I’ve pushed members of my audience away because I got political.
I’ve been inconsistent in publishing content.
I’ve lacked focus. I’ve focused on the wrong things.
I’ve forgotten what I wanted to say while speaking. I’ve said things I wish I could unsay.
I’ve published writing with typos.
I’ve been proud. I’ve been arrogant. I’ve been insensitive. I’ve taken my audience for granted.
Despite all the mistakes I’ve made, there’s a clear winner for the biggest influencer mistake I’ve ever made:
If you want to be influential, you must do something.
Influence = action.
My biggest regret isn’t the video I wish I wouldn’t have made, it’s the video I wish I would have made.
It’s not the article I wrote that got me in hot water, it’s the article I never wrote, so I have no idea what would have happened.
“For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, ‘It might have been.'” – John Greenleaf Whittier
#31. Juan Merodio – Juan Merodio
The reason of this picture was because we are working on a charity project, but a lot of people on social network attacked me for uploading that picture because they were thinking I was supporting the politician.
So, I think it is better don´t merge political issues with your personal brand because people could understand different things and affect your reputation.
#32. Kat Sullivan – Marketing Solved
If I could go back and start from the beginning, I would review our stats much more and in more detail.
Data is really the key to unlocking exactly what your audience likes (and doesn’t like) so you can focus on giving them the content they truly enjoy.
I would also focus more on engagement numbers and less on likes. Likes are great – but engagement is better.
When you have something people click on or comment on – that’s where you know you’ve made a connection and are serving your audience.
Once you uncover the trends and patterns, you can identify what works best for your brand and build better relationships with your community.
#33. Keith Keller – Global Social Media Coaching
The biggest influencer mistake I have made about being an influencer is not realising soon enough that I was one. You just never know who you are influencing so be authentic and share what you know generously.
Plenty of people are looking for encouragement and we can all provide that with good quality content. Whether it be video tutorials, blog posts, podcasts or whatever else you are naturally good at.
Be Yourself – The World Is Watching!!
#34. Larry Kim – Mobile Monkey
Compare this: “Hi, I’m Larry Kim and today I’m here to talk to you about the future of search engine rankings…”
To this: “Imagine a day in the not too distant future when everything we know today about search engine rankings is gone and replaced by machine learning algorithms.”
Don’t waste your intro by introducing yourself. People can always look you up.
Introduce your presentation content in an interesting way right off the bat.
#35. Laura Pence Atencio – Social Savvy Geek
There are a few general misconceptions about the path people take to influence and their motivation for doing so. You may even have run into this line of thinking, yourself.
Contrary to popular belief, most of the speakers, authors, and podcasters I work with were initially reluctant to step into the spotlight; they aren’t trying to show off.
They are focused on their mission, their purpose, and their clients to the exclusion of nearly all else.
I was no exception. I was so focused on helping and serving others that I didn’t stop to consider leading from the front, rather than staying in the background. It simply didn’t occur to me that I should be on stage.
Leaders are passionate and devoted, so taking time to cultivate their own image is usually the last thing on their minds, until someone else steps in to point out that they are doing their potential audience a disservice by not sharing their expertise to a wider audience.
I was helping my clients to sell more books, get more and better paid speaking engagements, and grow their businesses through finding, engaging, and converting their ideal clients.
It took me longer than it should have to realize that I should be doing the same for myself.
To avoid the influencer mistakes I made make sure that you don’t overlook yourself while you are serving others.
Pay as much attention to your own business as you do to that of your clients. Show yourself the same grace you extend to others; it’s not selfish to take the time to focus on you.
Once you have looked inward and step up to share your vision, you will impact more people and change more lives for the better.
Your audience needs you, just as mine needs me. You can do this. Your time is now.
#36. Lee Odden – TopRank Marketing
The biggest influencer mistake: When influencers don’t put an appropriate value on what they do, I think it’s a big influencer mistake. This can go two ways – overvaluing what your efforts or undervaluing your worth. I’ve definitely made both mistakes.
I see many people who self-identify as influencers error on the side of overvaluing their ability to have impact.
Once achieving superficial popularity numbers in their network size, they’ll often equate those metrics with the ability to influence what the brand wants – sales, engagement, advocacy. Popularity alone is not the ability to influence change or action.
On the other hand, there are many subject matter experts with engaged communities of like-minded followers who are not cognizant of the influence they have. They don’t realize the things they do to be helpful have value and that their good nature can be taken advantage of.
Influencers mistake is avoidable by being aware and honest about the quality of their expertise, their network and how well their community engages.
Being accountable to performance for influencer activities should provide pro influencers plenty of justification for the fees they charge.
For subject matter experts, especially in the B2B world, don’t assume everything you do in partnership with a brand has to be solely beneficial to the brand.
The value exchange, whether in the form of exposure, access or compensation, should be equitable.
#37. Leonard Kim – Leonard Kim
Because of that, I’ve been told that I’m below others, that I’m lazy, a dick, a disgrace to entrepreneurs (even though I’ve never called myself an entrepreneur…), a spoiled crybaby and so forth.
What I got angry about is how food delivery services like Postmates don’t deliver to my door when every single other company like Pizza Hut, Dominos and small Korean restaurants have always found a way to make sure food gets straight to my door.
I only used delivery services twice a month, and half the time they failed to come up to my door.
This has led to arguments with drivers, with customer service representatives and so forth about how I couldn’t understand why other smaller companies were able to figure this out when a company that specializes in only one thing couldn’t figure it out.
To prevent this from ever happening again in my life, I have deleted all food delivery apps from my phone and have sworn to never order using a delivery service like Postmates again.
Sorry wifey, but if you want delivery, you’re gonna have to order it on your own because I’m not allowed to go anywhere near a food delivery app again.
Other can avoid making the same influencer mistakes by staying away from food delivery apps like Postmates as well.
#38. Lilach Bullock – Lilach Bullock
The biggest influencer mistake: Thankfully, I haven’t really made any big influencer mistakes; but thinking back at the beginning, when I was just starting to gain influence, I remember how flattering it was to receive so many requests from brands to work with them…and how difficult it was to say no!
However, as influencers, we need to try to work with brands that we believe in and that would be relevant to our audience: if it isn’t something that your audience would need or want, what’s the point?
#39. Lisa Sicard – Inspire to Thrive
I’ve had this happen again just yesterday with a new post. I use spell checkers and grammar checks but there are still times that errors happen. They may be spelled right and be grammatically correct but the word means something else.
I’ve always been one to do things fast. My first grade teacher used to tell me to slow down and get it right instead of rushing through it.
I don’t let these errors fluster me anymore though. I used to want to hide under the desk until the error was corrected. I’ve had over 500 posts and and I’d say it happened about 5 times. I’m striving for 0 in the next 500 posts.
Luckily I have great friends on Twitter like Adrian Jock who let me know right away when he saw the error. I was able to fix it immediately.
Now I have a person that can now proof for me before publishing. I didn’t want to overwhelm them with proofing my own posts for Inspire to Thrive. They do proof my clients posts and ghost writing materials.
Thus, I must learn to delegate more going forward too.
#40. Maria Sipka – Linqia
The prevalence of fake followers, bots, and other fraud-based influencer marketing practices have diluted the prestige of once-revered metrics like reach.
As audiences and marketers grow savvier, Influencers must invest more time creating engaging content that truly resonates, and less time bolstering follower counts in the name of perceived influence.
The best way to cultivate a strong following is to:
1. Be bold and anchor your storytelling on an emotional journey or experience that connects you with the reader.
2. Listen closely to the drumbeat of your audience on each specific platform (i.e comments, engagements, views, saves, CTR) to verify that the content you share resonates in an authentic way.
3. Once you’ve learned what works best with your core audience, use relevant hashtags to reach a wider, relevant audience with your performance-tested methodology.
With a focus on creating true value for your readers, in time you’ll see your followership rise in tandem with the effort you put in.
#41. Mari Smith – Mari Smith
I’ve relied on brands/businesses reaching out to me in a variety of ways, so it’s all inbound. I do feel fortunate to be in this place; however, I know I could’ve done much more ambassador work over the years.
For other influencers, I recommend proactively including in your social channel bios, website, Messenger chatbot etc., that you offer influencer marketing services.
Apply for Facebook’s Brand Collabs Manager at and fill out your portfolio once accepted.
Approach sponsors and joint venture partners for your Facebook Live broadcasts to help monetize your efforts better.
Also, proactively seek out and join a number of influencer marketing service platforms and/or agencies that can bring you consistent qualified ambassador clients.
You’ve worked hard to build your platform so make sure you’re optimizing and monetizing by bringing your audience highly relevant, quality offers.
#42. Mark Traphagen – Stone Temple
I gained industry prominence and reputation by becoming an expert in a particular platform, but then that platform lost its shine.
I’m still trying to find my next focus. Right now I’m known for a lot of things, which is good for getting more diverse opportunities, but the magic happens when you become the “go-to person” for a particular topic.
What you want to be hearing is, “Oh, you want to know about X? Go talk to Mark Traphagen.”
#43. Meghan DuCille – Mention
If you have an audience that flocks to your channel for key topics or themes, and you abruptly share content outside of this wheelhouse, you risk decreasing your credibility as an influencer.
The Influencer Marketing industry is evolving, very quickly. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that you take ownership of your own brand: be strategic about the partnerships you choose, and ensure they are the best fit for your audience.
If the brand values of a product or service don’t align with your brand story – you audience will notice.
Unsure if your content is authentic? Leverage your audience metrics like sentiment and engagements to develop insights on what content is working, and resonating with your audience.
#44. Michael Brenner – Marketing Insider Group
My advice for other influencers is to find a strategic partner where your expertise and passion aligns with their goals and work with them only on a strategic basis (12 months or more.)
#45. Michael Kawula – Dinner Table MBA
If you’re going to use your influence to recommend a product or service, know the product or service as much as you can prior and who you’re about to have a relationship with.
When you get into a relationship with a company and decide to use your influence to recommend that product or service to others, you ultimately are the one who will be held responsible should that product or service not deliver.
This just happened to me.
I invested in a startup for the last 3 years and thought I knew fully who I was working with. I was only a minority shareholder, and thus had little control over the direction of the business because the Founder and the board of investors were majority shareholders.
I did though use my Social influence to promote the company and drive its growth.
Upon realizing my recommendations to the company weren’t being listened to, I resigned, but it was too late and they closed the company shortly after my resigning, which reflected back on me.
Though I had no control, I do take ownership in my decision and it’s a lesson I think we all can learn from as influencers.
Fortunately, I’ve always maintained good relationships with others who know what I stand for and they’ve all been extremely supportive, even though individually, I feel terrible.
The one thing that I can share with you after being an entrepreneur 20+ years now is you learn daily.
As I move forward on my next new venture, for me personally I’ve made the decision that anything I do with using my influence will only be something I have control over its direction.
I know this isn’t possible for every influencer, but should you not have control, be willing to cut ties fast and have the “ABILITY & POWER” to use your influence to share why you’ve cut ties to those you’ve influenced.
#46. Michael Schiemer – Lean Startup Life
When you diversify your focus too much, stop grinding daily, or don’t follow the nuanced changes in social media platforms then you start to fall behind.
There are countless people out there hustling to be the next YouTube Creator or Instagram influencer that will devote all of their energy to being the next big thing and taking your place.
Also, enjoy the organic traffic while you can because it is fleeting on all platforms just like on Facebook!
#47. Nadya Khoja – Venngage
Now I say this, because when I was first trying to build me “influence” I approached it with an inflamed ego, and the people I looked up to as influencers acted in a way that I tried to mimic.
These “influencers” were very cocky, self-involved and had no interest in talking to anyone at events or even via email if it didn’t benefit them exponentially.
Eventually I stopped trying to mimic this behavior and instead actually focused on trying to create content that helped people, staying around after a talk or session at a conference to answer questions 1-1, and being generally open to learning from all other people’s experiences (no matter what their level of “influence” is).
And of course, surrounding myself with more people like this, rather than those who considered themselves “too good” to talk to newer and less experiences marketers and entrepreneurs.
#48. Nellie Akalp – CorpNet
I’ve made the influencer mistake of partnering with some brands and the content we produce has not been aligned with what I normally share, so it feels a bit unnatural.
When you’re an influencer, your community uses you as a resource so it’s important to remain authentic.
But when getting paid from a brand you of course want to make them happy as well. It’s OK to push back a bit on the brand so you can ensure the content you produce together is a natural fit with what you normally share.
By following this tips to avoid influencer mistakes in the long run, it will create a more successful campaign because you will see positive engagement from your audience.
#49. Rebekah Radice – Rebekah Radice
As an entrepreneur and creative, it’s easy to fall into this trap. But what ends up happening is a spiral of continuously creating and rarely implementing.
I let this become my norm for the first year of my entrepreneurial career. I had many big ideas, but let perfectionism get in the way of taking action.
Don’t get caught in that cycle.
Ideate, create, launch.
Realize that good is good enough. You’ll only improve over time when you remember that a solid plan of action today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.
#50. Ruben Gamez – Docsketch
The biggest influencer mistake: I’m the type of person that doesn’t like to be the center of attention. Instead, I prefer or my products to be the things that become famous and attract all of the attention.
Because of this, when I first started being asked to speak at conferences or do podcast interviews, I would be too conservative in what I shared and it took me a while to open up (if I didn’t turn down the opportunity).
After a while I realized the the more I shared the better things went. If I felt a bit uncomfortable about how open I was being, it was probably a good thing.
So I’d tell others that have a similar personality, to open up more than what feels naturally comfortable. It pays off in many ways (and I really haven’t found much of a downside).
#51. Sheryl Plouffe – Sheryl Plouffe
The biggest influencer mistake: I’m a video marketing strategist so I create videos all the time – both public (social media) and private (client training) but the one thing I’ve struggled with is consistency.
I think a lot of entrepreneurs can relate to that.
The biggest influencer mistake that I made was waiting too long to commit to a weekly show.
Committing to a show means not giving yourself an out. It means dedicating yourself and sticking to your show schedule no matter what life throws at you that week.
My recommendation is to dedicate yourself to producing a show on a schedule that works for you.
#52. Stefan James – Project Life Mastery
For example, early on in my career as an influencer I had an opportunity to promote something to my audience that would’ve made me a good amount of money.
I didn’t do enough research to ensure that what I was going to promote was truly going to benefit my followers. Unfortunately, what I promoted ended up backfiring, because it wasn’t quality and didn’t serve the needs of my audience.
As a result, I ended up losing some trust and goodwill that I had established with my audience. It was a foolish mistake, being influenced by the money instead of truly wanting to serve my audience.
Since that one experience, I always remind myself to put my audience and followers first. If I share anything, it must benefit them first and foremost. If it can benefit me secondary, great, but that’s not my sole focus.
I believe that if I serve my audience first, with passion and honesty, that the financial rewards will follow that.
#53. Ted Rubin – Ted Rubin
The biggest influencer mistake I have made as an influencer is thinking brands are starting to understand and value those relationships beyond the post itself and the media value… awareness, impressions, clicks, etc.
The vast majority do not have a clue and do nothing to build and enhance the relationship. They don’t engage with your content, share or syndicate it, or use their effort to enhance the value in any way.
So do not make the mistake of thinking the brands that reach out will make any effort to make more of your content and influence beyond you simply posting.
#54. Tom Augenthaler – The Influence Marketer
The biggest influencer mistake: For too long I neglected marketing my own expertise and knowledge by allowing my client work to dominate my focus, time and energy. When I re-emerged and took a look around, I found it was much harder to gain mind share within the niche which I had helped pioneer. Don’t let this happen to you.
Always work on promoting your own expertise and experience no matter what. Doesn’t matter if you are working in a huge corporation or a small business. You’ll be better for it.
#55. Warren Whitlock – Warren Whitlock
The biggest influencer mistake I’ve made is that I have misjudged my value to corporations many times. Often allowing myself to think that working for free or a small sum will show them I am a team player and good fit.
Marketing staff and agencies don’t really care much about this. They have budgets and goals and need to fill orders.
Just as dumb is the opposite. Acting like a celebrity or unprofessional.
Your value for audience and your ability to perform are vital but like every human encounter, business is about relationships.
Finding the balance of when to say yes and when to hold out will multiple your earnings. Try this tips to avoid influencer mistakes.
#56. Yann Gourvennec – Visionary Marketing
The biggest influencer mistake is once I handed over my blog to some SEO expert for optimization purposes and he came up with some weird statements, fumbled in my blog, tweaked things in search console and wrecked the thing up completely.
I then decided to take everything he did away and doubled my visits in a week.
One should always be weary of people using vocabulary you don’t understand even though you know quite a lot about the subject.
The SEO discipline is crammed with pseudo experts who, at the end of the day, have no clue about the way that Google indexes your content.
As a matter of fact, I’m not even sure one person knows at Google, they keep tweaking the algorithm and I’d very much doubt that this is in the hands of a single person/team.
Anyway they don’t make announcements about that for obvious reasons.
As to SEO, influencers should keep to simple, down to earth, things and produce good content for their audiences. They will be the real amplifiers of your content.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.