So, you want to be an influencer?
You’ve been slaving away at your desk for years now, and as you scroll through your insta feed on the way home every night, you start to think: maybe I could be an influencer?
Granted, the lavish lifestyle looks appealing, but there’s far more to being an influencer than taking selfies or posing artfully on a tropical beach. Just like any job, professional influencing comes with responsibilities, and requires certain skills; the jury is still out on whether being an influencer requires experience, given that if Baby Sussex had his own Instagram account he’d probably already be more influential than either of us. To give you a better idea of what it takes to be an influencer, and before you quit your day job, the below is a mock-up of what an influencer job description might look like. If the work it takes to live your life on the ‘gram still appeals, then do the job well for the price of a few grid posts and you’ll be sunning yourself in Bali with a Pina Colada in hand before you can hashtag #LivingMyBestLife.
Job Title: Influencer
Location: Anywhere With Internet Access
Duration Of Contract: Subject To Popularity
Salary: Subject To Popularity
Hours: Flexible (24/7)
The role is open to all and the below guidance will help you work out whether life in the online eye is right for you. First off, you’ll need to be a self-starter. From an outside perspective, influencing appears to be a pretty easy amateur modelling gig, but in actual fact it’s a 24/7 graft because social media never sleeps. Any freelance job is difficult, but when your currency is popularity, being seen and heard – for the right reasons – will be at the top of your priority list, constantly. To begin with, your primary concerns will have to be ideation, product selection, content creation, editing, editorial, finance tracking and relationship management – all whilst demonstrating ROI to keep the ball rolling, and retain client interest.
1. Content Creation
· Whether your platform focus is YouTube, Instagram or TikTok you’ll be responsible for capturing and creating content for the right feeds.
· You’ll need to be able to treat your feed like the curation of an art gallery, and be highly competent on apps like VSCO, FaceTune, Lightroom, Photoshop, Snug, Unfold etc.
· Identification using analytics of the right time to post for your specific audience is imperative, as well as ensuring upcoming content is scheduled across all social channels.
2. Client Management and Growth
· Unless you have an agent, you’ll need to be in charge of managing your clients’ processes, from proposals, quoting and budgeting, all the way through to project development and execution.
· Post campaign, you will oversee project evaluations, sharing all results and insight with the client.
· To maintain authenticity, we also recommend proactively growing your social accounts by organically posting alongside campaign work, to help ensure your feed remains genuine and trustworthy.
3. Influencer Profiling
· In order to grow your account and social network, your content will need to be featured on other profiles. This means you’ll need to ensure the influencers you collaborate and hang out with, are likeminded people with similar communities to you. Scrutiny and community ‘cancel culture’ will start to creep in if you are projecting one persona to your own followers, and another via someone else’s profile.
· It is paramount that your follower growth is entirely spontaneous, meaning under no circumstances should you buy a following, or involve yourself with someone else who has bought their following; it is illegal, will get your account shut down and builds nothing but distrust.
· Showing face as an influencer offline, is just as important as online. We highly recommend event attendance, giving you the opportunity to network with likeminded influencers and introduce yourself to potentially collaborative brands in person.
· Another idea is to join an influencer marketplace agency, to put yourself out there and connect with brands looking for influencers like you.
4. Public speaking
· Just as showing face is imperative, so is having your voice heard. We live in an entirely visual world these days, so it’s easy for people to make initial judgements at face value. Don’t let the world assume things about you – get out there and tell them who you are. Saying yes to panel events and speaker opportunities are a great way to do this.
5. Follower Community Management
· Dealing with hate from a range of sources is very much part of the job. You are never going to please everyone, so you have to be resilient enough to brush off the negative opinions and ignore or affectively deal with trolling.
· You also have to be a trend maven of sorts, meaning you’re someone people go to for inspiration of what to buy, where to buy and when to buy.
· Setting aside time to truly engage with your audience by replying to comments, answering DMs and commenting/following/liking other accounts is also imperative, so think of yourself as the leader of a conversation within a community, instead of a figurehead delivering a speech.
· When you first start out as an influencer, the chances are you won’t be able to afford an accountant or management. That means taking overall responsibility for your own finances, from quoting for a job, negotiating your fee and completing your taxes.
· Your salary is something that will be increasingly difficult to keep tabs on, since there are no set guidelines for how much an influencer earns, so it’s really up to you how lucrative of a profession it can be for you.
7. ASA Compliant
· The ASA are rightfully cracking down on the influencer community, and how they advertise online. Whilst this makes the entire community even more trustworthy, it does mean you need to be seriously in the know when it comes to understanding what’s legal and what isn’t.
Skills and Experience: What We’re Looking For
· Self-starting, hardworking, ambitious and bright individual
· Personally motivated to do the best possible job
· Strong track record of retaining and growing popularity
· A strong understanding of the social media space
· Good business and financial acumen
· An eye for design and aesthetic
· Ability to create compelling content
· Ability to engage/interact with an audience
· Knowledge of/expertise in a particular subject or niche.
· Ability to predict trends as well as acknowledge them
· Excellent presentation skills, both written and deliverance