A social media influencer, you say? What exactly does this mean? Well, simply put, it’s a new job or way of life, if you will, created in part by Millennials who want more flexibility than a 9 to 5 has to offer. It’s also the new #lifegoals for those up-and-coming Gen Z’s.
Most are seeing the glitz and glamour tied to the pictures of their favorite influencers. These influencers are traveling all over the world, wearing the latest and greatest shoes or bags, and shouting to the rooftops about their great new finds via their fabfitfun box. Sounds great, right? Well, in theory, yes – but there is also a lot of work tied to these accounts. Let’s dive in.
There is a chance that as an influencer your posts may go viral, and you have to be comfortable or thick skinned for what inevitably happens next. Constant criticism of your posts/body/hair/skin, etc. The truth is that the internet, while great, can be a mean place with keyboard warriors waiting to pounce on their next victim. Just remember, this happens to everyone who is brave enough to put themselves out there.
Being an influencer isn’t about setting up a few photos and going MIA for days – it’s about constant content for your followers. There is no other way to build up a following other than content. So even before you start, we recommend setting up multiple photoshoots so that you have a variety of posts on your feed to start out with and share with your followers. Create a content calendar for the entire year, and plan out as far in advance as you can. This way you’ll know what’s going up on what days, and you will be prepared. It’s also a good idea to pick which social media platforms you will be on and stick with them! Start out with one or two and really become an expert there before branching out to others.
The ultimate goal for an influencer is to work with big box brands and rake in some of that advertising money. Although exciting to receive an offer, it’s always a good idea to vet any offers coming your way and to make sure they align with your brand and morals. If you are posting pics of yourself eating healthy and promoting a healthy lifestyle, you wouldn’t want to be a brand rep for junk food companies that would put into question your authenticity online. Remember, you now have an online reputation to protect.
Having a blog is a great way for influencers to share more about themselves via their own website. But no one wants to see the same type of posts over and over, so it’s a good idea to choose topics that are diverse and will attract additional followers and readers. For example, you might be a travel influencer, so your blog would be about things to do in the destinations in which you have traveled, a packing list for said destinations, best places to eat, etc. Think of every way someone may choose to enjoy themselves on vacation, from those who like to kick back with a good book and relax to adrenaline junkies to foodies – and then appeal to every kind of follower.
Those influencers who are truly reaping the benefits of ad dollars and making the influencer lifestyle work for themselves are those who put in the effort. Don’t cut corners. Make sure you are posting daily and utilizing story features and hashtags to attract real followers. There are services that allow you to pay for followers, which is tempting if you are first starting out – but don’t. Brands can and will see through these strategies. You might think it’s about how many followers you have, and while that’s important, it’s also about engagement. Fake followers are not engaging, and you need real people that are looking to you for advice to attract the bigger advertisers.
Rome wasn’t built in a day! It’s going to take a hot minute for you to build up your followers and that’s okay. In the meantime, check out any local meet-ups for influencers and share tips and tricks. The more relationships you build locally, the better off you will be. The blogger/influencer community is a big one, so follow each other and support one another. It’s not a competition. Starting locally and branching out is a great way to build up your online and offline relationships. Just remember to stay authentic and be true to yourself – this will come through in person and on your social media accounts.
If you think the influencer lifestyle is for you and want to get started, that’s what we are here for! Let us help guide you in the right direction with branding, photography recommendations, and more. Contact us today for a free consultation or give us a call at 1-800-759-7996.