This post contains sponsored content, but all reviews and opinions expressed in this post are my personal view.
After much personal back and forth about whether or not I actually like the term “influencer,” I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s a pretty convenient way to refer to someone like me. While I try to refrain from referring to myself as a “fashion” or “beauty influencer,” I openly welcome the fact that others may look at me this way.
But wait, why am I telling you this?
Well, the truth is, I like to think of myself as a creator, and as such, surviving in this industry requires you to take yourself out of all the glitz, glamour, freebies, and perks, and think long and hard about your actual job at its core. If you want any kind of longevity in this space, you’ve got to do your job well and block out noise that surrounds you. Here is an influencer’s guide to survival as I see it:
Understand what kind of influencer you are, and keep providing value in your space.
“Know thyself” is a quote that never gets old, but sometimes it also pays to take a step out of your shoes and into someone else’s to understand their perception of you and the value that you provide. Often, the best way to learn about yourself is through others.
Taking feedback from followers, family, and friends, listening constructively, and analyzing what does well on your platforms are all crucial elements in being able to consistently give out value. And, you can only truly grow if your content’s value, and consequently, your platform’s value, gets better day by day. Here’s a list of five other wonderful individuals in the space who are pros at this!
Just a little disclaimer: yes, you should listen to any and all feedback you get, but be a little selective about what you actually believe and implement. Take some time to think about where feedback is coming from, and unless it’s coming from a genuine place, it may not be worth worrying about.
Build yourself up to your worth.
No–I’m not going to be talking about “how to grow your following” here. This is more about learning how to make the most out of your capabilities, and slowly building yourself to a point where you can demand your fair price. The key here is to diversify your income streams, and offer a tailored, package value as opposed to a single service.
If you’re good at photography, great! Don’t just take amazing photos for your own social media, offer content creation services for brands to use on their websites and channels.
If you’re someone who is an exceptional video creator, there’s actually so much more you can do with that than you know. YouTube is of course, a no-brainer, but depending on the types of videos you create, you can make accounts on platforms like TikTok, PrismPop, Instagram (IGTV or in-feed videos), and the list goes on and on.
If you’re an avid food reviewer, by all means, you do not have to limit your services to your own platform! There are plenty of media outlets that look for food reviewers and having a presence elsewhere always elevates your personal platform, and allows you to demand a higher rate.
Create something that cannot be easily replicated. Whether that’s the unique service you provide, or the sheer amount of platforms you use to create and influence, do something that makes you feel confident charging what you know you’re worth.
If you’re wondering just about how much income you could make (whether you’re starting out on social media or several years in), here’s an article that reveals how much money 7 different influencers make. Just keep in mind what I said–the more verticals, the better.
Stop trying to be the same. Carve your own path.
I remember back in the day when I started Stylebymalvika, I was so inspired by two bloggers in particular. Both of them, I realized, were managed by the same agency, and would partner with similar brands. I kept thinking: “One day, I want to be able to partner with those brands!” Now, there’s nothing wrong with this, and both of these exceptional young ladies do create content in their own unique ways, but by wanting what they had, I was already limiting myself as far as my goals were concerned. Instead of stopping and taking an objective look at my lifestyle and the brands that would make sense for my content, my audience, and well, my life, I was trying to replicate what had already been done. Though, who wants to be second best?
I thought I’d end our little discussion on a very fitting quote. Here goes:
“Beauty is being the best possible version of yourself, inside and out.” –Audrey Hepburn