What does being a full-time Instagram Influencer really require?
UK travel and hotel influencer marketing is a fast-growing sector which offers a lot of opportunities for would-be influencers. But becoming a full-time Instagram Influencer can often feel daunting – it’s not every day that you drop everything to follow your passion for social media. To help you figure out what full-time influencing is all about, we’ve put together an article covering the do’s and don’ts:
Know where your expectations should be.
Be prepared for a pretty labour-intensive career; becoming an influencer isn’t easy. On the upside, however, you’ll get to be your own boss: as an influencer, you’ll decide everything from work hours and brand affiliates to the kind of content you produce. Figure out which times suit different platforms best for releasing content. Try to produce as much new content as reliably as you can – whenever possible, have backup material just in case something keeps you exceptionally busy in your day-to-day life.
Hone your budgeting skills and choose a lifestyle to suit you. Be as practical as you can. Don’t jump from zero to a hundred, and where possible try to ease yourself into the career change. You should only really be considering becoming an influencer if you already have an established audience which you can further grow. What you do for a living may well be underrated or misunderstood, so be prepared to explain it!
Establish yourself as best you can. Maintain your professionalism and integrity.
Set a regular schedule to post content on your social media pages, even if it’s not sponsored. Explore your niche a little in preparation and see if you can find any useful inspiration/advice/contacts. Networking is a key part of any career, and influencer marketing is no exception. If you find a community of like-minded, passionate individuals, share content and engage with them creatively. Not only does this add to your own credibility, but it can help you keep track of individual trends within the community.
Whilst a big follower count helps, it’s not the last word when it comes to setting up as a full-time Instagram Influencer. What matters more is that your audience is engaged and active. Venues for travel influencer marketing in particular are waking up to the possibilities offered by micro-influencers with audiences ranging between 10,000 and 500,000. Whilst influencers of this size may not have enough backing to make it full time, it’s a good place to start. Growing your audience and keeping it authentic until you can place priority on your influencing career is a brilliant way to get into the business. After all, brands will only want to work with someone who has already established their ability to influence others.
Understand the responsibilities of being an influencer.
Understand the responsibilities you’ll be undertaking as a brand advocate. Make careful and thought-out decisions when picking which venue or brand to work with. If you have a proper grounding in their business values, it will come across to your audience. Becoming a sought-after full time Instagram Influencer takes a lot of time and effort. In order to do so, you have to consistently create high-quality content and keep on top of your own relevance.
Prepare yourself for everyone to have opinions. Try not to take it personally. The older generation may not understand exactly what you do for a living, and the younger one will almost certainly critique you. Try to maintain a thick skin and focus on positive feedback. Often, this is where the previous point can come in handy; if you’ve already got an established, supportive and like-minded community, then any negativity will quickly fade into the background.
Develop healthy habits.
Each influencer got to where they are in a completely unique way. Don’t stress too much about there being an exact formula, because there isn’t one! You won’t always be able to keep 100% on track, and it’s not the end of the world to fall behind. As long as you take the time and care to make sure you catch up, your schedule should align with your natural body clock.
Make sure to break out of your ‘work space’ on a regular basis. Locking yourself in an office or bedroom in order to edit and create content will quickly lead to an inspiration burnout. If you can, try to establish a base outside of your own home. Not only does this stop creative isolation, but it can also expose you to a lot of different skill sets. No one has every part of the process down, and it doesn’t have to be a one-man business.
Whatever you do, don’t do this.
Do not be tempted to buy fake followers or likes or defraud venues or brands. You will lose your reputation overnight and be blacklisted by services like ours. You need to question your moral integrity if you are thinking about this, and more importantly it takes less than 2 minutes for us to find this out. We have the first fake follower detection system in the hospitality industry and our clients around the world use this regularly, so just don’t risk it.
And if you’re not quite there yet…
If you’re not ready to become a full-time Instagram Influencer, you can always keep it as a side hustle. Either way, make sure to research Instagram Insights and set up a business account.
Finally, define a value for your sponsored posts, and don’t undersell yourself! Figure out the rate at which you need to create content, and stick to it. You can easily research standard rates dependent on following size, and you can always apply more flexibly to venues if your production slows down. Sign up to Swayy, apply to some listings and get going!
NB: The images in this blog by @swayy.me are re-grams of Influencer images and credit goes to them accordingly.