The Spark Society: A Community for Digital Influencers

The 3 Different Ways to Work With Brands

So, what’s the difference between a collaboration and a sponsorship anyway? When working with brands, it can become tricky to figure out exactly what they're offering. Here are three different ways you can work with brands at any stage of your brand's growth.

The 3 Different Ways to Work With Brands

Collabs 

Brand collaborations are usually unpaid, but product is typically provided. Sometimes they ask you to buy the product or give you a discount code, but this is generally something to avoid unless they give you product for free. Why should you pay THEM for your hard work?

Partnerships

Partnerships may be paid or unpaid; the term can be vague  and you may need to ask the brand for clarification on what they're offering.

Sponsorships 

This is our big goal as influencers - a paid deal where you are offered payment for promotion services on your channel. 

What Should You Focus on If You Have Fewer Than 10k Followers?

The #1 thing you should be doing...

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The 5 Stages of Influencer Success

influencers Nov 07, 2018

When I first started The LA Girl in 2014, I had no idea what I was doing. It was just a hobby and it felt like nobody even knew it existed.

It took me YEARS to figure out the strategies to really start growing my following and work with brands.

Now, I have brands reaching out to me on a daily basis and I've worked with companies like Nike, Target, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Capital One, General Motors, United Airlines, and more!

This roadmap will help you walk through the stages of influencer success and what you should focus on at each stage.

Stage One: Build Your Brand

If you're just starting out, you need clarity on your audience, branding and content. The more specific you get on your audience the better. 

Stage Two: Map Your Strategy

Here is where you set your game plan. What platforms will you post on? How often will you post? What is your aesthetic?

Stage Three: Grow Your Influence

This stage is all about growth, reach, and engagement. You've got the basics down, now it's...

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5 Strategies to Get Your First Paid Brand Deal

monetization Nov 07, 2018

As influencers, we get tons of great perks. Free trips, products, and event invites, but these perks don't pay the bills. If you're serious about building your brand, you'll need to create a monetization plan.

Here are my top 5 proven strategies to attract and pitch to brands EVEN if you don't have a huge following yet. 

Strategy #1 Know and Grow Your Audience

Get into your analytics, find out what your audience wants, and narrow down your niche. It's vital that you're crystal clear on your brand before pitching to brands.

Strategy #2 Build Your Unique Brand

What is your big, huge brand vision? What is your brand's mission? What makes your brand unique?

 Strategy #3 Create Consistent Content

Think of your favorite, most successful influencers. How often do they post? It's important to be present on social media and your primary content channel. 

Strategy #4 Be Portfolio Ready

Your portfolio is like a resume for influencers. The three essential elements of a...

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The 5 Step Framework to Get Sponsored by Brands

influencers monetization Nov 07, 2018

Without brands, influencers wouldn't have opportunities to make money. If you are SERIOUS about your brand and want to create a sustainable income, it's important that you create relationships with brands. 

Here is my 5 step framework to attract brands to reach out to YOU for partnerships.

Step 1: Profile

Do you know who your audience is? If not, you're not ready to work with brands. It's important to become crystal clear on exactly WHO your audience is, their average age, their location, their interests, otherwise brands won't see the advantage of working with you if they're not sure they're marketing to the right audience.

Step 2: Position

Who are you as a brand? What do you stand for? It's vital to define your brand and how you present yourself to brands.

Step 3: Plan 

As an influencer, your #1 goal is to provide VALUE to your audience. If it doesn't help your audience - don't post it! Did you try out a product that you hated and was a waste of money? Don't promote...

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How Much Money Can You Make as An Influencer?

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?

What is your product?

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?

There are several revenue stream opportunities for influencers: 

Advertising 

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. 

Affiliate Marketing

This is where you promote a brand's product and receive a commission if your audience buys through your personalized link. 

Products

There are two types of products - physical and digital. Physical would include something tangible like...

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How Much Time Does It REALLY Take to Be an Influencer?

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.

How long it took me to work with brands and get my first brand deal

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.

The harsh reality of being an influencer

I recommend spending ONE HOUR per day working on Instagram to my students for consistent growth....

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3 Reasons Why Influencers Should Build An Email List

influencers monetization Oct 17, 2018

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...

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How to Become an Influencer

influencer Oct 17, 2018

What exactly is an influencer?

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.

What is engagement?

That’s measured by how many of...

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3 Essential Elements of Your Influencer Portfolio

brands monetization Oct 17, 2018

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...

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5 Strategies to Get Your First 10,000 Followers On Instagram

instagram social media Oct 17, 2018

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.

Before...

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