So what is it you do? Why has a brand asked you to work together? What is it you have to do? Do you get that for free? You’re so lucky getting all that for nothing. And so many other blogging myths.
All questions and phrases that have been chucked at me since I got into the little bubble that is blogging/content creation. And something I feel like I have to defend more often than not.
There are so many misconceptions, myths and whatever the hell else around this area. And to be honest, I shy away from confrontation and smile and nod along. But no, I do actually work really hard and I want to debunk all of the conjecture out there.
I work full time in an insurance firm in London, however on the side I have my blog and my social channels. The blog and the social channels have led to some really cool opportunities with some dreamy brands wanting to work with me, and eventually I would like to leave my 9-5, and work for myself taking this full time.
Well, influencer marketing is the new kid on the block. With the likes of Instagram and Twitter, we are consuming much more advertisements through these channels rather than traditional methods. E.g. television adverts, printed media etc. Brands are now putting a focus on advertising themselves and reaching us through these apps and advertising themselves and their products that way.
So as I have an audience of xyz followers who are (sometimes) interested in what I have to say, my opinions, style and so on, a brand will want to work with me to reach this targeted audience. It is easier to build a lasting relationship with an influencer, the creativity is left up to me to interpret differently to their usual brief. Plus it is also a lot cheaper to work with me than it is to have a celebrity endorsement like in traditional advertisements. So it’s a win/win for the brand and for myself.
For paid/sponsored work, the brand will approach me/ I’ll approach the brand with a brief of what they are looking to promote/what I want to promote. It could be a new clothing line, a beauty relaunch, a new restaurant, what the hell ever. They will have a few crucial elements that they want me to stick to, but I’m free to interpret however I want (usually). So for example, I got sponsored by a brand to promote a new line of instant fake tan, the things the brand wanted from me were; a main feed upload to my Instagram of me wearing the tan in my usual ‘fashion style’, they wanted me to mention the colour I had chosen as there was a choice of base colours, that the formula was vegan and to use the hashtag they had created for this campaign.
So I have to sign a contract (with the more professional companies) saying that my services will not be compensated if I deviate from the contract and the terms of payment. I then create the content (usually takes a while to think of a concept I think will work and to actually capture that idea), send it over to the brand to confirm if they approve of it as well as the caption I’m planning on writing, set a date to post and then send my statistics of the post over along with my invoice a few days later.
Well, yes it’s free in the way I haven’t paid money for it, however I pay it back in content. That’s time, effort, planning, creating and editing images, and whilst yes I am so lucky to be getting these incredibly opportunities I am paying for them. Just in a non-traditional way, and to be honest I’d much rather do what I love and pay that way.
The gravity of how lucky I am is not lost on me, every time something exciting lands in my inbox I have a little pinch me moment. I honestly cannot believe some of the amazing things I’ve been asked to do and join through my space on the internet; however I’ve stopped thinking of myself as lucky. As it isn’t just luck that’s getting me this far, I’ve worked for 2 and a half years on my blog and social channels.
Every weekend I spend my Saturday/Sunday shooting content, hiding and changing in gross toilets/down quiet streets, paying for camera equipment and travel, paying for the clothes I’m trying to showcase. Then it’s the time spent writing out content, whether it’s a blog post or captions for IG or stories, also the time editing images and videos, engaging with other influencers and the brands themselves.
It is a second job, and whilst I love it and it is my passion, all of this goes on behind the beautiful finished products. Influencers/content creators whatever you want be call us/be called work so hard behind the scenes. There seems to be no ‘off switch’ in a world where you always have to be active and engaged. I’ve been up into the early hours of the morning typing away, finishing a blog post, doing the SEO on a post, updating my media kit, fixing the broken links on my website. And yet, I really wouldn’t have it any other way.