It’s timeeeee! This piece is really close to my heart, and I wish I knew these things when I had first started. But, I am still learning and hope to keep updating you guys on my journey as I grow. In the meantime, I hope this answers some of the questions you may have as an aspiring blogger/influencer.
By definition, an influencer is somebody who has an above average impact on a specific niche. This can be individuals that you may follow for fashion advice, beauty tips or makeup and hair tutorials. Typically, these people work with brands and other outlets to help drive consumers to their products.
Honestly, I just did. I had discussed this idea for some time, constantly waiting for the right moment and even doubting myself. But one day, I set my mind to just giving it a go. So, I created this blog which gave me creative outlet to share some of my interests. It wasn’t until I moved to New York, that I decided to focus on blogging and content creation full-time.
It started off with me being a double major in college. I wanted to go into Medicine and become a physician, but at the same time I was also taking some business classes. As I took more business development classes, I started exploring my options and fell in love with the business aspect of things. With the love for business, I wanted to create something of my own and be my own boss, while being able to communicate with others on my creative outlet. Blogging, and as a result becoming an influencer, gave me the opportunity to create my own brand, work with businesses and build strong relationships.
Growing my following has been a learning experience for me. And, to be fair, what works for me isn’t necessarily what will work for someone else. But, I think a few of the most important things for me have been:
When I first started, I was creating content for myself. I was just doing my own thing. I would post about recipes I enjoyed cooking, clothes I liked wearing and really anything I enjoyed doing. So, don’t be fooled thinking that brand relationships and money are the start of blogging/being an influencer. Like any startup, the first thing you have to do is develop a product and a customer base. Eventually when my content matured, brands took notice and started reaching out for collaborations (full disclosure: I reached out to quite a few brands myself).
When you first start, its important to build relationships with brands and sometimes you may just have to do posts for mutually benefitting exposure. This means that a brand will gift you a product for you to review and share with your followers. By doing so, you’re exposing brand’s name on your platform and they’re providing you exposure by sharing you on their platform.
As you continue to grow, you’re fully responsible for pitching ideas, creating contracts, reviewing them, and even coming up with a a base rate for what your work is worth. Often times these brands are young brands, or people’s passion projects and they don’t have marketing budgets. Other times there will be growing or established brands. So, depending on what your vision aligns with, you’ll need to be flexible with negotiating terms.
No, I am currently not with an agency. However, I’ve been fortunate enough to be surrounded by people that have helped alert me about opportunities, review my contracts, figure out my own worth, and understand how to deal with brands and clients.
I love this question! Most of you think its our dog, Marbel. But really, 99% of the time It’s my husband who takes my pictures! And other times, I collaborate with local photographers to help me create my content.
I made ALOT of them, but here is a few:
…and there you have it! I hope this truly helps and answers some of your questions!
Maryam Ishtiaq is a content creator and social media strategist who currently resides in Dallas, Texas.
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