If you are working on growing your presence on the internet, I offer you my most humble condolences. Just kidding – building a personal brand or presence online is one of the most time-intensive, demanding, rewarding personal, life, and career projects you can take on. Many people who decide to become influencers (whether intentionally or not) know what they are getting themselves into, while others do not. By now you have probably learned a few tips and tricks and have hit your stride – or a stride of sorts. In today’s article, I am going to cover some myths you may have heard about content, social media, online marketing, and influencer marketing that could be throwing you off course and keeping you from your end-goal: a successful influencer with loads of healthy brand sponsored endorsements.
Top 3 Myths That Are Throwing You Off Your Influencer Game
1. Everyone and their brother is becoming an influencer – the industry is saturated – and I have no chance of making it big (or becoming successful enough to make a decent living).
This may be true, and it may not be true. Sure, hundreds of thousands to millions of influencers are building personal brands with hopes of “making it big” with brand sponsorships, but not everyone has what it takes.
What it Takes = A strong, personal, unique voice that draws a loyal, dedicated audience who cares what you have to say, the recommendations you make, and await your every post.
Competition exists in every form of business, and influencer marketing is no exception. If you are working on growing a following as a fitness influencer, you will find millions more doing the same. While there is some truth to this myth, there are ways to avoid losing your focus:
- Find your niche and build your personal brand around it.
- Cultivate a wealth of experience for your audience so they come to look forward to your content.
- Not all content is equal, remember that when creating and posting.
- Consider collaborating with your competition – they might just be the key to getting you to the next level.
2. Brand sponsorships will roll in like a waterfall as soon as I have my social media sites up and a few thousand followers.
You have probably already learned that brand deals and campaigns are not waiting under your pillow like money from the tooth fairy (aka inevitable). Instead, brand sponsorships are often hard to come by, particularly those that resonate with your brand’s messaging, and that you would feel confident sharing with your audience. In fact, it is a good idea to:
- Create a list of brands you would love to work with on sponsored content.
- Email each brand and see what comes of it.
- Have a price list and contract details ready to send off in case you get the job (and in case the brand is new to influencer marketing).
- If you don’t get responses immediately, follow up. It could take hundreds of emails and months to years to win the contracts you desire.
- You might only need a few thousand followers to win brand sponsorships – it’s not all about the numbers contrary to popular belief, although for many brands follower count is still a requirement.
3. Working as a social media influencer is the idyllic job offering freedom, flexibility, and a carefree life.
For any of who did not know that influencer marketing and working as a social media guru, marketer, and blogger was a real career, Essena O’Neill blew the lid on this myth. An 18-year-old who cracked under the pressure of the limelight (read = modeling for photos was hard work and not the vacation she expected!), influencers still make life look carefree, yummy, and simple as cherry pie. We know the truth:
- Working as an influencer often takes more man hours than an office job, 6-7 days, 65+ hrs/ week for some.
- Travel bloggers get to travel, but they are working the entire time – writing, doing photo shoots (not glamorous, folks!), and on a clock.
- The images influencers post on Instagram and other platforms like their blogs make life look picturesque. That’s because they work their butt off with a photographer for hours upon hours to get the perfect photo. Often this is a much harder job than the average model who has makeup artists, a few professional photographers, and directors all fawning over them.
- There is flexibility in this job in the fact that most influencers can work from home or wherever they want, they can set their hours, and take care of their needs – perks that are not always available when you work for someone else or at an office job.
- Caveat: The hard work will hopefully pay off so that you can live the life of your dreams.