Hi friends! Adriana here, and today we're going to chat about the business of influencing. Last week we asked you what you'd like to know more about when it comes to being an influencer, and today I'm answering all of the questions that you submitted! I'm looking forward to diving deeper into this topic with you, and so excited to share more of what I've learned through 8 + years of blogging on Leopard Martini. So, let's begin! (Side Note: If you don't see your answer below, not to worry! We'll be layering them onto the next installment of the business of influencing.)
The best way to grow an audience is to be completely authentic & organic with your content. You should always stick to your true and genuine self. (Let your voice shine through!) Today, most people are looking for a connection and a way to get to know you on a more personal level. The best way to grow your audience is by giving them a reason to return to your blog and Instagram time and time again by just being you, and sharing what you love.
Being considered an influencer consists of a variety of different things, but first, let's dissect the actual definition of an influencer. Influencer: a person or thing that influences another. Influencers within social media are those that have built up a reputation for their expertise and knowledge on a particular topic. In other words - those who are experts in their field.
When I first started blogging in 2011, I instantly knew that my main niche would be fashion (with a few other extras sprinkled in!) I initially launched LM so that I could share my love for fashion and style with others. I wanted my blog to serve as a visual representation of my passions, as well as a creative outlet that I could come back to time and time again. The beauty of blogging and being a content creator is that you can morph one passion into so many other things along the way. My love for style has now transformed into a love for cooking, decor, travel, and so much more which has now created more of a lifestyle platform for the blog. (Find what you're great at, and what you love and stick to that!)
Even today's biggest influencers had to start somewhere. Just as there are a beginning and a growth phase, there's also a fruitful and rewarding phase. It's important to see what takeaways you can gather from each phase, and how to grow and learn during all of them. Remain consistent, have fun, and stay true to your niche and passion.
Everyone's posting formula is different, and there are so many ways in which you can approach it. It honestly just depends on what works best for you and your posting schedule. I typically like to post at least once or twice a day and sometimes even skip a few days too! (I always, always engage though - even if I'm not posting! And am constantly sharing on IG Stories.) P.S. - Don't forget to use our content calendars to help you keep track of everything you're posting as well as the Planoly App and new StoriesEdit Tool to track insights and manage your content on Instagram.
In order to negotiate collaborations that offer a win/win outcome, you must first be able to provide reasons as to why the partnership will be satisfactory to both parties. All great collaborations stem from avid lovers of both the brand AND the influencer! Most of the brands I've partnered with are ones that I use on a daily basis! Always make sure that the brand, as well as the influencer, know the deliverables, key takeaways for the collaboration, and have a clear idea of the posting timeline.
Play around with different color schemes, create mood boards (Pinterest is great for this!), and gather inspiration from your favorite websites or influencers. Whenever you're deciding on the theme of your feed, it's also best to plan out images that resonate with your new aesthetic ahead of time too. Cue: PLANOLY! I've been using PLANOLY since they launched, it's honestly been the most helpful and powerful tool when it comes to keeping up with my theme and aesthetic, as well as planning out future content. (You can also refer to our previous blog post on Curating a Color Story for Your IG Feed for more tips!)
Your followers are ultimately looking for a way to connect with you on a more personal level. One of the best tools in doing so has been through the use of Instagram Stories. You can share videos, and interactive live sessions, as well as fun polls + Q&A's! This will lead to more engagement and a way of getting to know your audience better. Which in turn, makes for better content for your site! Make use of our Comment Management Tool to reply to your IG comments, track stats on the app, and plan IG Stories through StoriesEdit to save more time while engaging!
Unfortunately, the algorithm has been kicking everyone's booty lately. My biggest piece of advice would be to continue to stay true to yourself and your content, and always post what you're passionate about. The more you authentically share and engage with your followers, the more it will resonate with them and you'll, in turn, continue to grow.
I would suggest creating a shortlist of the influencers you'd like to work with. (Some that resonate with your brand's voice, style, and aesthetic.) They can range from all sorts of different follower counts too! Craft the message that you want the campaign to convey, and see which influencers would be an organic and great representation of that brand message.
I remember the first time I landed my first paid opportunity for the blog. It felt like I had just won the lottery and I couldn't believe a brand wanted to PAY ME!! TOP TIPS: 1. Be Consistent, 2. Create Engaging Content, 3. Tag or organically feature brands that you love (sans promotion), 4. Always Remain Authentic, 5. Pitch to the brands you love!
Here are a few of my favorite ways to increase engagement: 1. Be active on social, 2. Interact with your followers via DM and email, 3. Respond to reader/follower questions in a timely fashion, 4. Create polls, Q&A's, etc... to continue the conversation and build engagement, 5. Be real and genuine with your audience, 6. Share different content on all platforms, 7. Create thoughtful content for both your feed and IG Stories by using our new tool: StoriesEdit - we've also shared several posts on engagement here Connecting With Your Audience. I hope you enjoyed reading today's segment of The Business of Influencing! I loved answering all of your questions, and can't wait to dive into more with you soon! Xx