Wednesday, August 1, 2018

How to Become A Social Media Influencer

Influencer marketing, if you're on any kind of social media and follow any celebrities, there is a good chance you've experienced it. Everyone is out there trying to get you to use their coupon code to get a wooden watch or a box of clothes or gummy vitamins to make your hair grow. (I know I'm guilty of this, check out my "referrals" tab on my blog navigation.) 

But how does one become a social media influencer, besides being famous?

Over the past four years of blogging, I've come to realize that I enjoy giving feedback and recommendations. I guess you could call me an influencer. While I don't have 10,000 followers on Instagram, I have managed to create a name for myself, locally and on the internet. If you're wanting to be an influencer and don't know where to start, you came to the right blog post. Here are some tips I've learned along my journey.

     Put yourself out there.
I guarantee that I'm not the only Victoria on the internet. My goal isn't to become a crazy internet sensation, but to be recognized. I enjoy putting myself out there, but I also find ease because I know what is on the internet with my name attached to it. I want brands to want to work with me, so I make sure to be nothing but my true self, and I always encourage people to do the same.

There are so many things that come into play when brands are looking for influencers.

frequency of posts
engagement with others
relevant blog content
age of blog

are a few things that come to mind. The thing is, you never know exactly what they are looking for unless the explicitly say so. You don't need 10K followers to get paid campaigns (I'm proof of that). You just need to put yourself out there and hope you're what they are looking for.

     Be in the know.
If you're looking to be a fashion or beauty influencer, it helps to know what is in style. You might see a lot of bloggers pushing certain sales, and it's because they are probably profiting from it. It's not a bad thing to use a blogger's affiliate link. Staying on top of what is in style, or what events are going on will show that you want to be involved.

     Attend events.

If you're looking to be more of a local influencer, going to local events would be a good place to start. I find a lot of my events on Facebook and always try to drag my friends along. Even if I'm not benefitting from the event or getting anything for free, I make an effort to document that I was there. (You can never post too many Instagram stories. The more you post, the better chance you have to recognized.)

     Be contactable.
If you want brands to reach out to you, it would help to have your email available for them. Put it in your Instagram bio, put it on your blog, make it easy for them to find. If they can't find a way to contact you, they are just going to move on to the next person.

     Connect with other influencers.
The first place to start, in my opinion, is Facebook. There are groups for just about everything: mommy influencers, fitness influencers, food influencers, local influencers, you name it. There are also Facebook groups out there that connect influencers with brands, but I personally haven't seen too much success with those. I do highly recommend joining blogger networks, as well. There are a ton of free options, along some paid networks (everything is just a Google Search away). From what I've experienced, the more you invest into getting quality campaigns, the better return on investment you will see. 

     Talk about brands you use and like.
You need to start somewhere, so why not talk about things you already own and like? This kind of content will give brands an idea of what you're capable of producing.

     Leave honest feedback.
Just because a company sends you free product does not mean that you owe them a good review. The best way to receive respect as an influencer is honesty. If something doesn't work for you, mention it. Not every product or experience will be the same for everyone, all you can do is give your input.

     Have a media kit or a business card.
This kind of ties into "be contactable" a little -- a media kit is essentially a blogger resume, containing valuable information like website or social media statistics, previous collaborations (if any) and information about your audience. This is a one-stop shop for brands to decide if you're a good person to collaborate with. Feel free to check out my media kit and use that as an example. Be sure to include pictures of you and your work!

I also suggest investing in business cards. These are great for when you meet with local brands or creators. Key information to put on the card would be your blog name, website link, email, phone number and a couple social media handles. I also included a professional photo of myself, to make myself stand out, and to remind the person when they look at the card weeks later.

     Contact companies.
You can't always expect companies to be knocking on your door, you need to put yourself out there too! I don't recommend contacting brands through social media as it could be easily overlooked, but it doesn't hurt to ask for an email of a PR person, or do some hunting of your own on their website to find the right person to contact. Initiative is sexy.

     Know your worth.
All brands have a budget for marketing. Some brands may try to be sneaky and offer you a discount or have you only pay for shipping, do not fall for this trick. Depending on what the brand is, you may be willing to work in exchange for free product and that is ok, but in the end, a free t-shirt or a box of makeup isn't going to pay your bills.

In addition to having a media kit (see above), I also recommend having a rate card, and knowing what you are worth (Social BlueBook is a good place to start). Negotiation is always an option. If they don't have a budget, or they won't work with you because your rates are too high, then they probably aren't worth working with.

     Always be professional.
I feel like I shouldn't have to say this, but when you're emailing with a brand, always use proper spelling and grammar, and make sure to say please and thank you.

While this may not be what you want to hear, it needs to be said. Not every brand or campaign is going to be handed to you. Not every brand or campaign is going to be what you want. Yes, rejection sucks. But as the saying goes: when one door closes, God punches out a window. As your friend (yes, we are friends), I want to encourage you to chase your dreams, but also remind you not to settle for less than what you want or deserve.

I can't wait to see you killing it out there in the influencer world.


  1. "I feel like I shouldn't have to say this, but when you're emailing with a brand, always use proper spelling and grammar, and make sure to say please and thank you." THIS GOES IN REVERSE, TOO. I'm always so confused when I get pitches from brands that feel like they wrote it on the fly with no thought toward professionalism. Weirddd.

    Anyway, great list. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I completely agree, I hate when brands don't spell/grammar check, or even give their email a glance over. I recently got called by the wrong name in an email, and it made me not want to work with the brand anymore.

  2. I love this so much. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. Xo

  3. Influence of social media is much more on customers than we think. Best and famous among all is facebook. Searched a lot of teams and experts and found facebook ads campaign management to help us conquering the market in shortest time possible. Their packages and techniques are satisfactory too.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your insights!! I definitely want to become a local Cbus influencer, just not sure what companies to reach out to or where to start!! Thanks!

  5. Quite informative blog. i liked it so much. Thanks
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