Hey girl hey! So, I’m guessing you’re here to get the deets on this Influencer Lifestyle. If so, you’re in the right place. This is not a typical blog of mine, or style rather – but that’s what it’s ALL about. Stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things. I actually did write a blog back in January of this year called, Instagram Influencer Lifestyle. However, so much has changed. To be honest, just about everything has changed. Change is good, sometimes. It’s like any other “job” and/or career. You get used to the flow and rhythm of the lifestyle.
I’m going to break it down for y’all, step-by-step, as I give you inside information with the 13 most ABSOLUTE Must Haves for being an Influencer/Content Creator. Yes, 13 instead of 15 in honor of today, Friday the 13th. This blog will be blunt and direct, possibly jam packed full, but with lots of good intel. So, if you’re wondering how I’m earning income by utilizing my social media platforms, let’s get into it.
Obviously, if you plan to utilize social media as an income outlet, you’ll need technology to make that happen. I’m using the term “social media”, because Instagram is not the only income source out there for content creators. Just about any sociable linked site can be utilized to earn money. If your tech device has picture taking capabilities, you’re good to go. It’s 2019, I’m pretty positive companies don’t even make phones without a camera of some sort anymore.
Tip: Instagram users – A smart phone works best for this platform. I have used Instagram on a browser and/or laptop, and until the change is completely made to send and receive messages, view all comments, etc. I’ll be sticking with my iPhone. As for Android users, the Instagram features are a tad bit different, but definitely not in a negative way. There are options I love that the iPhone has that an Android does not, and vice versa.
2.) An Open Mind
Before you start this new Instagram lifestyle journey, be sure to have an open mind. You MUST be willing to be public, open, real, all while being careful. My page went from being set on a private account to public almost a year ago. Was I nervous about going public? Yes! Was I nervous about being open? Yes! Remember, it’s all about being yourself and stepping out of your comfort zone. As for being careful, be sure to surround yourself with genuine people/friends/connections, etc., trust me.
3.) Followers + ENGAGEMENT
These two key aspects go hand in hand. When I started, I did everything backwards. I got so excited to see followers coming in, and to follow a bunch of random people back, because supporting women, right? WRONG.
There are plenty of ways to genuinely “grow” your followers. In my personal opinion, the easiest and most effective way is to BE YOURSELF. Everyone has something different to offer the world. With that being said, just be yourself, give what you have to offer, and be patient. It can happen over night, trust me, I’ve seen it. However, those followers will just be a number, you will not actually be engaging with them, and well, what’s the point in that?
ENGAGEMENT is key! While growing your following, engage with as many other likeminded people as you can. Have fun with it! You’ll be surprised by all of the amazingly talented women you come across. That’s how growth and women supporting women works.
4.) A Door To All Platforms
So, remember earlier how I said Instagram is not the only income source out there? When connecting to Influencer Platforms (which we will get into later on), you’ll be asked to connect any and all social media platforms you have. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, SnapChap, Pinterest, WordPress, etc. You’re not “required“ to have connections to all of these platforms, but it looks better in the long run. For example, when you post a sponsored post to Instagram, you already have the capability to connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts to automatically share there as well. Meaning, more of an audience reach.
5.) Presentable Profile
I LOVE a nice flowing Instagram feed, not going to lie. You need to be comfortable with mixing it up a little. You can mix it up by taking different pictures at different locations with an eye-catching background or shooting images in different angles, and so much more. I believe we all have creativity inside of us, it just takes a little inspiration to bring out your creative side, and DON’T be afraid to do it. I’ve always been a computer/graphic guru, and would constantly second guess myself. I’m opening up my creative side more and it feels amazing. Not to mention, people LOVE that shit. Sorry not sorry, and you’re welcome.
Tip: Listed below are the first key points someone looks at when tapping on your profile.
– Profile Picture (Stand out, make it colorful/noticeable).
– Bio: Your bio is your welcome mat. Your bio should have a little intro about you, what you do, biggest city nearest you, maybe a hashtag or two (for searches), all while having a clean layout.
– Highlight Covers: Maybe this one is just me, but I love highlights and in my opinion, they tie a page together. I’ve also made my own before, which is really cool. The reason I chose to make my own was due to the fact that people were selling colors and/or tones on Etsy to “match” your feed. Lindaaa, listen – if you want the plain colors to match the tone of your feed, send me a DM. Seriously. As of now, I just use Pinterest images, if were being honest.
– FEED: Flow + Colors/Tones – I use presets on my images. Some people use filters. Others use VSCO (a filter app). Whatever floats your boat. You can have or create a nice flow with any of these. Let me explain the difference between presets and filters. A preset pulls colors/tones from your image to make the image pop. A filter is placed over the whole image. Personally, I prefer presets because they help keep the flow of my feed, and you can still adjust them.
Like I said, being an Influencer is a legitimate job/career. If you’re still questioning that, google the annual salary. Thank me later. So yes, you need a portfolio or a “media kit” as it’s called in the Influencer world. I used Canva to create my first media kit. Canva is a good app to use for those starting out. Canva is packed full of design templates that are ready to be edited and used for just about anything. As of now, I use Adobe Spark Post, which is also an app. Working on this app was a little hard at first but once you’ve messed with it enough, it’s AMAZING to use for your media kit, rates kit (which you’ll eventually need for making that money), even your Instagram stories.
I have about 30 apps downloaded specifically for social media platforms. I have story apps, editing apps, preview apps, font/text apps, etc. Just to clarify, I’m not telling you to go and download a billion apps to run one platform. These apps have certain features I like to use for editing or story posts from time to time. So having them downloaded, definitely comes in handy. For example, Preview is an app I use to plan my posts for Instagram to keep the flow and color tone going. There is an option to purchase the app to schedule your posts, but I personally use the free version.
8.) You’re Your Own Boss
So you run the show. These are your platforms to post as you’d like. Remember, you’re public. Anyone can and will view your page. Keep it clean. Keep it PG. Carry yourself with professionalism in whatever you’re doing with any social media platform. If you want to post dumb shit, by all means. Just make a private account for those close friends of yours that also post dumb shit. (INSERT SHRUG EMOJI).
9.) Influencer Platforms
So you’ve got your feed flowing nicely, you’ve connected with amazing people, and you’re engaging with your followers and inspirations.
* What I mean by engaging: Did you know that by LIKING, SAVING, COMMENTING, SWIPING UP ON A STORY, and VIEWING IN GENERAL, you’re showing support to the person and their post? If you’re viewing some stories and happen to see the option to swipe up, DO IT. If you see a slider with an emoji, SLIDE. If you see a poll on a story, VOTE! If you see a box on a story, TYPE. It’s not hard. Support your friends.
Okay, back to the platforms. Once you’ve got everything set up and good to go and you’re ready to start reaching out to brands, please understand that you will not get paid right away, maybe even for the first few months. That takes time. There are Influencer Sites and Apps you should use starting out. Heartbeat is an app I used when first starting out. As for the Influencer Sites, that list goes on and on, believe it or not. You should know that brands/companies will have “terms” or a contract for you to agree to and sign. Within this agreement, they usually provide you with a posting time frame, how many posts, key notes, tags, certain hashtags, etc. They may even require you to submit your content in for approval before you post. Just in case they want you to add additional notes or if they need a different type of image from you.
Unless you’re hella good at remembering everything down to the wire, get a planner. Either a physical planner, a planner app, or your notes app will do just fine. This will help you keep everything in order as far as deadlines, posting dates, a place to jot down ideas, and more. I’ve used the Corie Clark Purposeful Planner, and loved it! Tap the link to check it out. I’ve also used the Passion Planner, and loved it as well.
11.) Photography Skills
Gotta have them. I am not the best by any means, and I learn something new every single day. I get my inspiration from a few major (genuine) Instagram Influencers and Pinterest.
As for photography equipment: I started with an iPhone X, then onto an iPhone XSMAX (which the cameras aren’t very different, but still) – then onto a Canon EOS 4000D / T100 Digital DSLR Camera. I’m actually in the process of upgrading to a Canon EOS Rebel T7i DSLR Camera. YouTube my friends. YouTube the hell out of unboxing camera videos on as many brands of cameras that you’re interested in! That’s how I made my decision.
I also have a studio lighting kit, that I actually never use because I have no idea why the hell I got it in the first place or what the hell I’m actually doing. I don’t even like to take pictures past a certain time due to the lighting. *Photography Key Note* lighting.
I do have a tripod that will extend if needed, Bluetooth capability, and hold my camera or phone. Check it out here.
Some days you will feel overwhelmed. Some days you will feel like you aren’t getting anywhere. Some days you will feel like giving up. DON’T. If you’re passionate about being an Influencer/Content Creator, keep going. We all start somewhere. I started a year ago with 88 INACTIVE followers. Yes, 88. If I can do it, you sure as hell can do it. Reach for the stars and smash your goals. Keep on keepin’ on. You’ve got this. On days where you feel less than, or like you don’t have it in the bag, DM me, we can hash it out together.
13.) SELF CARE
While this is my “job”, I come first. Always. You have to put yourself first, so you can be the absolute best version of you. Taking a few days to unwind, or a social media break rather, is completely fine. In addition to that, DON’T ever feel obligated to explain yourself to anyone unless you absolutely feel like you should in certain situations. Want to go off the grid for a few days to take a breather? Go ahead girlfriend, do your thing. I’ll catch up with you when you get back. Trust me, I know what it’s like. Self care should always be top priority. Remember, best version of YOU. Don’t let the lifestyle consume you or control your emotions. Believe me, it happens. I mean, after all, it’s just an app. If an app makes you feel negatively towards yourself, whatever you’re “getting or gaining” from it, isn’t worth it. Stay true.
XO – Chels