Influencer marketing…what it is, how do you get started, do I recommend it?! I am gonna answer all those questions and more in this blog post.
I get tons of questions in regards to being an Influencer. Some of you are just curious and some of you are interested in becoming one yourself. Well, hopefully I answer all your questions here. If I missed anything, please leave a comment and I can always do a part 2!
If you are new around here, my name is Amanda. I am an influencer. I have a blog, a YouTube, and of course an Instagram as well as all the other social media platforms. I focus on fashion, luxury, and lifestyle. I’ve been doing this for over 6 years, so I know a thing or two about influencer marketing. In this post, we will dive into influencer marketing and more. This is going to be very high level, if you want me to dig in deeper, let me know in the comments.
What is an influencer?
The technical definition is: a person that influences another. When thinking in terms of influencer marketing, it is the perfect all-encompassing word. In many cases, an influencer becomes known for a specific niche. However, some niches, like lifestyle can mean a variety of topics are covered. I started LuxMommy in the luxury niche, while luxury is still a huge part of my platform, I now share lots of fashion, beauty and lifestyle too.
Did you always want to be an Influencer?
No. I didn’t even know what an influencer was, even after I started LuxMommy. It wasn’t until well into starting LuxMommy that I became familiar with the term and it wasn’t until more recently that I have felt comfortable referring to myself as one. I think the term influencer originally had a negative feeling, now I think influencer marketing really is the only term that makes sense for someone like me that is a blogger, on YouTube, and on social media like I am.
What made you want to be an Influencer?
I never wanted to be an influencer specifically, what I wanted was to build a community and safe space for luxury and fashion lovers. I’ve always loved fashion, handbags, and shoes and throughout my life, others in my life would give me a hard time for that. I knew I wasn’t alone, so I just needed to find my luxury and fashion family! That is why I started LuxMommy.
Would you recommend becoming an Influencer?
It’s really hard to say yes or no to this question. There is a lot to be considered if you want to be an influencer. One, it’s harder than it looks. I think a lot of times it’s assumed that it’s this fabulous lifestyle. Maybe it is for some, but for others, it’s just an extension of your regular life. It can be hard to create a work/life balance as you can make content out of anything you do in life. I make a conscious effort to have down time and boundaries and I still spend a lot more time on LuxMommy than most people may realize. With that said, being an influencer can be as much or as little work as you want. But, as with anything, you will get out of it, what you put into it.
What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about being an Influencer?
My favorite by far is the community. Having a community of friends that have the same love and passion for things that I do… I like to call them, my cherries on top when it comes to life. It feels amazing to be a part of something bigger than myself. Yes, it’s my blog, my Instagram, and my YouTube channel, but we all created this together. I am just the face of the operation, it’s a group effort!!
My least favorite part is the judgment that comes from it. People have this idea that because we are online, negative comments and rude behavior “comes with the territory”. That just feels like an excuse to be judgmental to me. It feels like a way to feel less guilty for being a not-so-nice person. I really wish people would treat others how they would if they were right in front of them, in person, in the flesh. It’s easy to be “brave” enough to be a troll hiding behind a fake account with no profile picture. We’ve got to do better and change the mentality that it “comes with the territory”.
What is the hardest part of being an Influencer?
The comparison. I’d consider myself a pretty confident person in the grand scheme of things, but being an influencer it’s hard to not see other influencers and feel like you’re not…pretty enough, creating enough content, making better content, present enough, skinny enough and on and on. I know, as an influencer, you may be saying the same about me but I try to make it clear my life isn’t perfect. I have all the same struggles, issues, and stresses as you do. Which is another reason I started LuxMommy. Yes, I started it to meet others that loved fashion and luxury, but I needed it to have a place for me to go to when life was tough. When I catch myself doing the comparison thing, I have to snap myself out of it. Which I can, but I can sometimes go down a rabbit hole.
What is an Example of Influencer Marketing?
Many brands use influencer marketing to reach their target audience to improve brand awareness, increase traffic, and drive messages to a target audience. The collaboration between an influencer and a brand allows businesses to expand their reach by leveraging an influencer’s platform. Influencer marketing, if done right, is a win-win for both the brand and the influencer.
What do you prefer for Influencer Marketing, YouTube or Instagram?
I love both my YouTube and Instagram platforms. I feel like I am able to be creative differently on both, which makes it easy for me to express myself creatively on either platform. I love creating beautiful photos for Instagram with my photographer, but I also know that more casual photos are preferred, so I try to do a mix of both! On Youtube, I feel like I have a ton of flexibility. I can talk and share anything I want. It may not perform as well, but I love that I can do something more casual or something more niche. So, I feel like having a diverse platform option is good for someone like me, that wants to do it all and share it all!
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start an Instagram account for Influencing?
Just start sharing… but niche down. If you want to do fashion and lifestyle, maybe start with fashion first to start off with. Niching down initially will allow you to reach your target audience faster so you can grow sooner. Over time add in more categories if that is your goal but wait until you’ve established a following already.
How should I start to monetize my YouTube and Instagram as an Influencer?
You should immediately start with affiliate links. You can sign up for affiliate marketing without a following in some cases. Some affiliate programs may have an application process, but you can definitely start monetizing with affiliate links right away.
For anyone questioning this, this doesn’t mean you get into influencing for the money, but it does mean you value your time. Whether it’s time away from family, kids, or friends, creating content takes time, effort, and money. So, whether you are doing it for fun, as a hobby, or as a potential career path, you should value your time enough to use affiliate links when you can. It doesn’t cost a viewer anything extra but it is a way to say thank you (when they use your links) for creating the content that they are enjoying!
Influencer Marketing Strategy
Influencer marketing strategy is so important. I honestly wished I learned this earlier on. When I say, I was green when I started LuxMommy, I am not even a little bit exaggerating. In the beginning, it was all about the community for me, which I love but it also started to feel like I was being taken advantage of as an influencer by brands. At the time I didn’t care, but in reality, all influencers are valuable no matter what your size. Our time is valuable and influencer marketing is a proven marketing strategy, so brands want to work with influencers of all sizes. No matter what your size is or where you are at in your influencing journey, it’s crucial to look at what you are doing as influencer marketing from the beginning.
How do you make money as an Influencer?
All influencers are different, but I make money through affiliate links, partnerships, brand work like ads, and ambassador work. I recommend diversifying. Don’t just create one stream of income. As your influencer marketing business grows, add more streams of income. I recommend starting with affiliate marketing, which will bring on partnerships and then other streams of income over time. You can make as much money as you want, the sky really is the limit. This is very much dependent on your follower/subscriber count. So, before you even think about money, I suggest focusing on building a community first. At the end of the day, the money is great, but the community you’re building is what’s most important.
How much money do you make as an Influencer?
I don’t feel comfortable sharing a specific number. I know, I am no fun… booo!!! Sorry, it’s just not something I feel comfortable with. I will however say. There isn’t a set salary for influencers. It all depends on the work you put in, your follower/subscriber count and so much more. Even two influencers with the same exact follower count will not bring in the same money. I also just want to say, don’t focus on the money. If you go into influencing with that mindset, it’s not going to work for you. That’s not what this is all about, at least not for me.
What affiliate companies do you recommend for Influencers and how could I get started on them?
When it comes to influencer marketing there are a few top affiliate programs I recommend signing up for. Amazon affiliates is a great place to start. My first affiliate partner was with LTK. I’d be happy to refer you if you are interested, just send me an email at email@example.com with the subject line “LTK Referral” and I will be happy to do that for you. I also love working with MagicLinks, you can apply here. Those are my top used affiliate programs, but there are others.
Well, there you have it. Lots of influencer marketing information and some FAQs answered. I love sharing details about my journey and growth as an influencer. If you have any additional questions, make sure to leave them in the comments. If I get enough I will do a part 2.
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I wonder about how the taxes / expenses / insurances work. Did you set up an LLC for your business? Always interested in the business side of it. It’s so much more than sharing a mascara. Ladies, always be smart about your business!