Influencing 101: How to get started

1 Feb 2019

It's 2019 and times are changing. For starters, I said I was going to write more on here and that is yet to happen (oops) and it seems like everyone and their cousin is now a social media influencer right? But just what is Social Media Influencing, and what does it actually take. I don't class myself as an influencer, I prefer the term content creator because, for me, that's closer to what we do, we create content for both ourselves and for brands who like our content and want us to help promote them. Content creation is harder work than it sometimes looks but if it's something that you're interested in getting into, here's a couple of tips and tricks that helped me get started.

1. It takes work
Creating content for Instagram is not easy work, if any of you have ever been on shoots with me you'll know that! It's not simply taking a selfie and captioning it 'wow today's a good day to go and kick some butt' however some day's that might be what you do but you have to curate it, I typically have a weekly list for my Instagram content of what I want to post that week, and yes usually it will change and vary throughout the week. Again with sponsored and gifted content, it's not just about snapping a photo of the product and sticking it up on your feed with your discount code attached, it's important that all content you post, branded or not, feels authentic. Your posts shouldn't feel as though someone else has forced you to post them, they should still feel like content that you want to post yourself.

2. Don't sell yourself out
It's important when working with brands that you only partner with brands that you actually like and use products from. It's important not to just settle for any brand that approaches you and only go with brands that you'd be happy to be affiliated with. (also keep an eye out for scams but that's a whole other ballpark) Remember that episode of Hannah Montana when she was asked to promote that raspberry perfume but was allergic to raspberries? It's just like that. Don't let the premise of getting paid for something or getting something for free taint your authenticity. On this note for people who aren't bloggers/influencer/content creators or whatever you want to call them, please note that all our sponsored posts are actually not just us selling ourselves out but actual content that we've worked really hard to create for your viewing pleasure.

3. Disappointment is inevitable
Not every opportunity that you apply for is going to be successful and that's okay, not everything will be handed to you on a silver platter, you've got to work for it but that's not the only disappointment that you'll face. No, perhaps the biggest disappointment you will face is after you've spent so much time creating content only for your followers to just completely ignore it because it's 'sponsored content'. It's a known issue that sponsored content generally tends to not do as well as non sponsored content and although it sucks, it's just a way of life. People don't understand how much work goes into posts and also just assume that we're only posting them to get paid. So please don't be disheartened if your hard work doesn't pay off with the likes you were expecting, it's okay! You're better than Instagram likes anyway!

4. Engage and explore
People are way more likely to engage with someone who feels like a real person and not just a robot churning out content left, right, and centre. Make sure you engage with your audience it's a two-way relationship, give love to your fellow creatives and they'll likely give you all the love back, if other creatives have inspired you, let them know! It's a tough community and we've got to support each other!

5. Just do you!
Make sure that any content that you create reflects you, don't try and put out lies online to make yourself seem interesting, authenticity sells! Don't be afraid to get a little weird with things if it's the way you like to do things. Everyone's experiences are different and so will approach things in different ways, things that work for me might not work for you and vice versa, find your niche and own it!

6. Have fun!
While it is a lot of work, it is also a super fun job to have. If you're not enjoying the content you're creating, or feel burdened to post constantly, take a break, you come first before your content, it may cause your engagement to fall for a while but once you come back you'll create even better content than before and don't be afraid to experiment, if you have fun creating, you'll create better content!

Thanks for reading, if you're interested in getting started on an influencing journey, I'd love to point you in the direction of Brandbassador which is my favourite way as a micro influencer to get authentically connected with brands and it's a super great way to get started! Also if you have any other questions related to the mysterious world of social media influencing I'd be happy to share some more of my experience with you as well as some other ways to connect with brands that I use!

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