This is a sponsored post.
I started blogging on this website, Energya, back in 2009. I joined Facebook in 2007, Twitter in 2009 and Instagram in 2013. I even dabbled in Snapchat for a while between 2017 and 2018 but I found the lack of a strong discovery feature to be a major obstacle to find new content.
Beauty and lifestyle were the core topics of the website and over the years I have included food, walking and foraging. I consider lifestyle to be a very comprehensive topic and the way I treat it is less to do with aspirational content and more with relatable content.
Growing a Following
I found Twitter to be my ‘natural habitat’: being a writer and preferring brevity over long essays, I enjoy sharing quick thoughts, some ironic comments or simply musings on daily life. Using hashtags strategically has helped with my following, as well as engaging with profiles that have a large number of followers.
Reviewing products and services that I purchased and sharing my experience of using them has also helped boost traffic to my website as well as followers to my social media profiles.
While I am still a microinfluencer, I am privileged to have a loyal and engaged following. I encourage conversations and exchanging ideas. I believe that having a genuine interest in other people makes a huge difference. In fact, the secret to selling is to understand the customer’s needs and meet them with your product or service.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Being an Influencer
The first advantage of being an influencer that springs to mind is when you first receive free products. There is a huge sense of satisfaction of being acknowledged as an influencer and being approached to review a product.
Another advantage is when you receive requests for sponsored posts: these projects can make a difference to your cash flow. While receiving free products can be fun and useful, the amount of work required to write about your experience may not match the monetary value of the product itself.
As an influencer you need to judge each opportunity and calculate your return on investment.
For brands having influencers on board can make a huge difference in acquiring new customers: influencers are becoming their creative and sales representatives across social media platforms.
The disadvantages of being an influencer include:
- getting numerous unsolicited requests to review products for free, even though the company commissioning the project has the budget for a sponsored post;
- the unpredictability of the workload, as you may go without any projects for months;
- the initial capital outlay from investing in a website to spending time on social media to build your following;
- and finally, the risk of alienating your audience if you start posting sponsored content too often.
This last point is very important: as an influencer you are only as good as your engagement with your audience. It’s so easy for people to vote with their feet and unfollow you without a second thought because they feel you are trying too hard to sell to them.
You also need to be aware of the constantly changing regulation about advertising on online platforms. You must put the work in to be always up to date and ensure you communicate clearly.
In conclusion, the job of an influencer can be great fun (especially if you specialise in travel and get to see beautiful places around the world!) but it is still a job and as such it requires commitment and perseverance. Do you think you have what it takes to be an influencer?