The answer is simple.. I dove into the water and never turned back.
I have been asked by so many through emails, DM’s, and comments how I became a social media Influencer making money from my phone. In all honestly I just got tired of watching others succeed and make money through Instagram so I woke up one day and dove. Lets go back in time a little.. In February 2016 our first baby, a little boy, was born. Matthew worked and I was home with our son, but we were tight. We moved into our own little apartment in July that year and I began trying some direct sales companies. After different ones, none panned out all that well and they just didn’t bring the income I longed for. I stopped all together. In July of 2018 my husband had a better paying job and things were slowly looking up, but I felt as though we still didn’t have a ton of wiggle room financially. I had a following of 12k on Instagram from being public while pregnant with my son and growing that way. A ton of Instagram friends had begun their Influencing journey already and were moving up getting more paid partnerships. It then dawned on me I was doing something wrong. I was sitting back and watching instead of joining. It took me a week of going back and fourth whether or not I was going to actually try. A friend at the time, who is now one of my best friends, was a huge reason I finally dove in encouraging me to give it a try. I remember sitting down with Matthew asking him if he thought it was a good idea or not since I had a private profile due to personal reasons and was hesitant to open up our lives for any harassment or problems that may come with that. Of course, he was supportive like everything else. So I woke up the next day, and began my official journey.
Now I had done a little bit of brand repping but brand repping and Influencing are two VERY different things. I had never made any money and went in with a blind eye. I began working on my page, making it flow and have similar editing. I grew my audience and engagement. I opened up my profile to a business page at 12k followers in August 2018 and just hit 55k followers a few weeks ago. All from time, dedication, and drive. I have worked with some big brands such as Pampers, JC Penney, Hyatt Regency Resorts, Vital Proteins, Kroger, and Sacramento Zoo. I built my brand in less than a year, even though I had a dedicated following before) and turned my Instagram into a work from home job. So as promised to many of you that have reached out, here are my 5 tips to becoming a successful Influencer!
BUILD YOUR AUDIENCE. With that, I mean grow your page. Use relevant hashtags, locations, and search the home page. Many think hashtags aren’t important but I have gained a ton of followers from using the proper hashtags! Cross post on other social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
ENGAGE ENGAGE ENGAGE. I can not stress this enough, engagement is so important for not just your posts to be seen but for your page to be seen. What I mean by that is comment back to those who comment on your posts, it boosts them to the top and helps tremendously. Go to the home page and just browse, commenting on photos you like or relate to. I have gotten many paid partnerships from commenting on not just others posts unintentionally but also the brands posts because it makes me stand out. Stay active on stories to help people know who you are and look forward to your posts.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO SEND THAT EMAIL. When I first started, I will be honest I probably sent over 100 outreach emails. May sound desperate or embarrassing I know, but it helped me get started. I was new and had no idea what I was doing. But see, it landed me my first paid partnership in my first week! Although not a ton of money at the time, I felt on cloud 9 and it pushed me to keep going. Don’t be shy to reach out and email regarding collaborations. I do it less now that I am bigger and have worked with more brands, but there is zero shame in reaching out. Don’t be shy!
FIND A STYLE AND CATEGORY(IES) THAT WORK FOR YOU. When I started I had never used a preset in my entire life. I bought my first one without my husband knowing (sorry babe) and fell in love. Fun fact, I have bought others since but still can’t break up with my original no matter how much I try! I have done primarily motherhood and lifestyle influencing with a splash of travel(although I’m trying to get more into travel) and fitness/Keto. Other influence types are food, beauty, diy, and home. There are many different influencing categories and you don’t have to stick to just one, but finding a balance between a few is really important.
DON’T BE AFRAID. I have worked with some amazing companies and some I have created a long term partnership with. The amount of time, dedication, and thought that goes into creating content for Influencing is more than many realize and deserves to be recognized. Don’t be afraid to request your going rate, this is actual work that we put our heart into. I started with product exchange and now rarely do product exchange because this is my job. Do what you are comfortable with and don’t feel afraid to stand your ground. I sometimes worry about my work or if my page looks okay. I compare myself to other influencers far to often, but here is the thing. We all strive for our own type of perfection. I have began to sit back and not worry as much about the little things, yet I’m getting bigger collaborations. Just like any job, keep pushing and striving to be the best you that you can be.
In all honesty, I never expected to be this far in my journey but it has been on of the biggest blessing to come to our family. Yes, as so many ask, we get items in exchange from companies but the income is what helps us the most. Each month I begin to make more and it gives me the freedom to stay home without worrying. It helps pay our car payment or buy the kids extra toys or decorations for the rooms. It’s taken us to some amazing locations and met so many amazing people. I look back and am so thankful I took that leap, Influencing has changed our lives!