Think of your Instagram page as your digital portfolio or resume.
With every post, you are branding yourself and in essence showing brands what you can do to advertise their product or service.
Before you post anything, make sure to convert your personal Instagram to a business one in order to track how your posts perform. This is how brands will be able to track your branded content as well.
First, think of a product or service that you love and use every day… THAT YOU WOULD RECOMMEND TO YOUR BESTIE.
NEVER promote something you don’t believe in.
- Your audience is your biggest asset AND money maker.
- Access to your audience through your influence is what brands pay for.
- Don’t break their trust.
Think about this, if your friend recommended a product to you and you tried it and got terrible results, would you trust your friends judgement again?
The more engaged your audience is with you, the more they trust you, the more they like your posts, the more they would consider buying something from you or the company you’re representing.
I usually straighten my naturally wavy hair every day. One of my besties from college @chelseaevelyne loves it when I keep it curly and always encourages me to do so, but I rarely do simply because I didn’t have a tool that could imitate my curl pattern to help me fix it up a bit in the morning so it didn’t look messy to me.
That was before @thebeachwaver sent me their Coast Pro Ceramic Hair Styling Iron Straightener! It’s basically a straightener with two curved and removable attachments that is actually designed for a salon blow out finish, but the curve was exactly what I needed to imitate my curl pattern!
Note: Get in the habit of tagging everything in your posts regardless if it’s a sponsored post or not.
Notice how the product solved one of my personal problems so I was more than eager to promote it to my audience.
Also notice how I tagged @conair in there as well. This is setting me up for when I pitch them to send me product to review so they already see what I am capable of and see who else I have worked with.
Now, I received another hair product @procabello which I actually had to pay $10 for, which was the ‘influencer discount’.
Some companies will send you stuff 100% for free in exchange for a review, others will provide a coupon code and this is how you initially start building your influencer status.
I was going to buy the ProCabello Infrared Straightening Brush anyway since I had been dying to try it after seeing some reviews online, so I didn’t mind. Also I really believed that it would change my whole morning routine and cut my straightening time in half.
Normally I have to brush my hair then straighten it then brush it while I straighten it, so I figured since it’s shaped like a brush I would simply have to brush it though my hair once or twice and be done with it like what I saw other influencers doing.
However, I found it hard to get close to my roots and hard to straighten the ends of my hair. Since there is only one heated side I actually had to keep putting heat on my hair and brushing it way more than if I had just used a normal straightener.
There are obviously pros and cons to every product or service and the best reviews point out both, but if you don’t like a product, either say it in your review or don’t promote it at all.
Trust me, your audience will thank you for your authenticity. Read the second comment.
After you get several reviews under your belt, companies will not only provide free product, they will also pay you!
How do you get there and how does it work?
If you want to work with smaller brands, email them your pitch directly. If you want to work with larger brands, the best way to start is by joining an influencer platform. I would suggest doing both!
NOTE: Until you get really big, companies are not going to be coming to you – you must pitch yourself to them or join influencer platforms.
What is an influencer platform?
Companies who want to work with influencers sign up for a monthly fee to get access to the influencers on these platforms. Some are competitive to get into, others all you need to do is sign up.
Here are some platforms that can help you get started;
This is not a full list of platforms out there, these are just the ones that I have personally tried and liked!
After you sign up, make sure to complete your bio to the full extent on each platform. If there is any missing information that the brand might want to know that’s not readily accessible, they more than likely won’t reach out.
Make it easy for brands to work with you!
Make it crystal clear in your bio what your personal brand is all about and what type of brands you want to work with. If you don’t have a focus, brands won’t contact you.
Make sure that you’re posting consistently to Instagram, but not limiting yourself to one platform. If you can manage a Twitter and Facebook account as well, do it!
The more active you are on social media, the better!
I mean that’s what being an influencer is… having a large audience online.
However make sure you’re not stretching yourself too thin. If you can only handle one account, focus all your attention on that one account and post on it EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Why every single day?
If you’re not consistently showing up for your audience and producing GOOD CONTENT DAILY, you will be forgotten! There is SO MUCH information out there right now, so why should people pay attention to you? MAKE THEM… by being consistent.
When I started my first blog, LadyBossBlogger.com, I didn’t fail to post on there every single day for 365 days at 6PM CST. It’s been a year and a half now and I just hit 100K followers.
Did I work hard to build my audience?
Was I rewarded because I kept showing up?
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao-tzu, Chinese philosopher
And they wanted to work with ME!!!
They weren’t interested in my Instagram, but they were in my Twitter account, which is why I mentioned earlier to not put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to social media accounts.
Try growing them together and all at once.
Make it easy on yourself and simply share the same content on all of your accounts.
At that point I had about 8,000 followers.
All I had to do was follow their post guidelines, take a picture and post!
It took me a total of about 30 minutes to come up with my concept, take the picture, write my caption and post it to my twitter account.
30 minutes for $100?
Now that’s pretty sweet!
Now it’s your turn to make some money.
Make a list of the brands you want to work with. They can be either a service or product provider.
Brand to consider;
- If you’re a blogger @ConvertKit
- If you love fashion @shopakira
- If you love shoes @teva
- If you’re into makeup @ultabeauty
Now that you know what brands you want to pitch, reach out to them! Go to their website, send them a pitch via email, interact with them on their social media channels, etc.
You never know what the best way to find the right person to talk to is, so you might as well try different avenues!
Don’t be scared if they have a ton of followers.
The worst that can happen is that they say no.
The more persistent you are, the more opportunities you’ll get. Such is life.
Quick personal story: My husband asked me out 5 times over the course of 6 months before I finally said yes! Now THAT is persistent… or creepy haha but it worked!
Anyway, so I had reached out to celebrity stylist @SarahPotempa’s team (she does the Victoria Secret Angels hair for the runway) to see if I could interview her on my first blog, LadyBossBlogger.com, which they gently turned down.
I reached back out in 5 months with proof that my blog had grown immensely in hopes of interviewing her again and they presented me with another opportunity instead! 👇
So don’t worry if you’re rejected.
THE MONEY IS IN THE FOLLOW UP!
That goes right back to what I said about showing up consistently. If you keep popping up, people will take notice and eventually provide you with the opportunities you’re looking for – or in this case it wasn’t what I was initially looking for but helped me launch my review section!
If you have any questions about being an influencer, feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com and I would be glad to answer any questions you may have!
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Latest posts by Elaine Rau (see all)
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