We are seeing a strong increase in influencer marketing these days. Is it possible to become a full-time influencer and still be able to pay your bills?
As an influencer, your product is your audience.
Brands pay to get in front of your audience - this is why it's so important to be crystal clear on who your audience is. If a brand isn't sure of your audience, why would they waste money promoting to the wrong people?
This can include branded content sponsored posts on your blog, Instagram, YouTube or other social channels. The benchmark rate is about $100 per 10,000 followers, though this is not set in stone.
This is where you promote a brand's product and receive a commission if your audience buys through your personalized link.
There are two types of products - physical and digital. Physical would include something tangible like...
One of the most-asked questions I get is this:
"How much time does it REALLY take to be an influencer?"
There's a decision to be made here. The most successful influencers are the ones that commit the time and push through. Think of it like a business -because it is!
Maybe you want to try it out for a month and decide to quit - that's fine, but it will be a HOBBY for you instead of a BUSINESS.
Now if you want to create your business, you will probably not see a return until you've grown your following. I started getting collaborations with brands around 2,000 followers and brand sponsorships around 10,000 followers. These numbers DEFINITELY are not set in stone - members in my Influencer Academy are getting sponsorships with fewer than 10,000 followers - it depends on the brand.
I recommend spending ONE HOUR per day working on Instagram to my students for consistent growth....
So many influencers are relying on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook to grow their following but as entrepreneurs and business owners, it’s really important to build your email list.
Here are 3 reasons why influencers like you should make the effort to build your email list:
Reason #1. You own it
You own your list and no one can take it away from you. You don’t own Facebook or Instagram and they can decide to change anything they want. In fact, as you know, these platforms don’t show your content to 100% of your audience, that’s because they want you to pay for that reach. When you email your audience, 100% of your emails reach your audience, it just depends if it lands in spam, or in the promotions section, or if they choose to open it.
So in this case, it’s up to you to optimize your email or create a really good subject line, but you don’t have the option to pay for it to be seen.
Reason #2. To sell
People are still buying via...
An influencer is someone who has a following - there’s really no definition of how big that following is.
We have those mega-influencers with millions of followers.
This includes celebrities like Selena Gomez, Chrissy Teigen and the Kardashians.
And it also includes bloggers like Chiara Ferragni and Sincerely Jules and YouTubers like Michelle Phan and Ingrid Nielsen.
But don’t get discouraged!
You don’t need to have millions of followers to be an influencer!
For example, I’m an influencer and I have over 100,000 followers on Instagram.
I’ve worked with tons of brands like Nike, Target, Starbucks, Lexus, and more! And I’ve gotten paid to create branded content on my channels.
And that’s because brands LOVE my audience! My audience is millennial women in LA and even if I don’t have a million followers they love that I have an engaged following.
That’s measured by how many of...
Every influencer wants to work with brands, but some of them don’t know how to get started or what they need to have ready.
Here are the 3 essential elements that you’ll need in your influencer portfolio if you want to work with brands:
1. A Media Kit.
This is sort of like a resume for jobs and your media kit will have all the information including your brand name, description, if you have a blog, your social channels and your stats like how many followers you have on each platform, views, reach, engagement. It will also have your audience demographics and brands you’ve worked with before, pretty much everything a brand would want to know before they choose to work with you.
Now when you’re just starting out, you may not have a lot to put into your media kit and that’s okay. That’s why if you’re just growing your following, you really want to work on that every single day and doing as many brand collaborations as you can.
Think of it as...
I’ll be honest with you, it’s not an overnight success! It’s something you really have to put time and effort in if you want to do it.
That said, it’s certainly not impossible!
These are the top 5 strategies on getting to your first 10,000 followers:
Strategy #1 Post every day
This is not a secret! Most successful influencers post every single day, some more than once a day. It’s not magic, it’s consistency! It’s about showing up daily for your audience and attracting your target followers. The trick to doing this is to plan ahead so that you’re not always worrying about what to post that day.
My favorite tool to schedule my Instagram content is PLANOLY and you can plan out how your grid will look, it’s a really fun too to use!
Strategy #2 Stay on brand
Make sure you’re not just posting for the sake of posting. Staying on brand means that your content aligns with your brand’s core values and serves a purpose.
If you’re just starting out as an influencer, you may not be able to get paid brand deals yet but you may be able to do some collabs, meaning get free products and featuring them in your channels. It really depends on a lot of different factors including your audience, brand, content, and engagement.
So if you are just starting out, I definitely recommend doing as many collaborations as you can even if you’re not getting paid yet, so that you build up your portfolio.
Here are the 5 steps to pitch to brands as an influencer:
1. Do your research.
Look for brands that have the same audience as you, because those will be the brands that will want to work with you.
You can also find brands who have already worked with influencers before because influencers tag them in their sponsored posts.
2. Find the contact.
So you’ll want to contact someone on the PR or marketing team. You may be able to find the PR contact in a recent press release or through the agency website....
You've seen it on your feed as you're scrolling on Instagram.
An influencer adds #ad or #sponsored when they're promoting a brand.
So...how does that actually happen?!!
Well for one, brands are looking to work with influencers every day so if they notice you and want to work with you, they'll reach out.
As an influencer, you can also reach out to them.
There are different ways to work with brands:
Collaborations: This is when you receive free products, event tastings, etc. from brands. There is usually no payment involved here in addition to receiving the free product or experience
Partnerships: This term is used in different ways sometimes for collaborations or paid sponsorships
Sponsorships: This is usually a paid partnership where a brand offers compensation to an influencer at a flat fee in addition to receiving free products and/or experiences.
When you are just starting out, you want to aim for collaborations.
Brands may reach out to...
Instagram is not just about how many followers you have anymore! It’s about engagement.
So first off, what is engagement?
Engagement is simply how much your audience interacts with you.
It’s measured by the number of likes and comments that you get.
So to calculate your engagement rate, you’re going to add up the number of likes and comments that you have and divide that by the number of followers and multiply by 100.
Yes, it requires a bit of math!
Some like to average out their engagement number throughout their last few posts.
So why is engagement so important?
Brands look at engagement to see how active and responsive your audience is.
This way, if they do want to work with you and for you to promote their products and services, they can gauge how much your audience is interested and if they will buy whatever it is you’re selling.
When you work with a brand or sponsor as an influencer, you are providing advertising services for them.
Another thing to know...
The amazing thing about the time we are in that you don't need much to start out. When I first began, I had my blog and a Twitter channel. Focus on your main platform and a secondary platform to avoid overloading yourself.
I would recommend every influencer to create a blog or website because it is a channel that you own. As much as we love Facebook and Instagram, if they disappeared tomorrow so would all of your content.
When you start as an influencer, you need to decide who you want to learn from and how much information you want to take in.
The influencer industry is just that - an industry. Avoid making mistakes and get to a successful place a lot faster with a mentor who can provide trainings and information on best practices.
I use Google Sheets for everything. Planning your editorial calendar is so easy to do and accessible...