Our day-to-day life we are constantly surrounded by ads on ads from companies that are striving to sell themselves in hopes to catch our eye. Whether it’s billboards, magazines, TV commercials, radios, print and more we are exposed to various corporations trying to capture our attention.
However, as our world begins to transform into the future of technology human beings are spending less time buying magazines, listening to the radio or watching commercials and more time online. That being said companies and brands are forced to focus their attention on advertising their ads in a similar manner. In this generation that is social media and our favorite, Instagram!
Ever wondered what it is like to be an Instagram Influencer and what it takes to be successful to do so? We have luckily garnered some amazing success making thousands of dollars monthly and building up our following and “influence” across social media. Thus, I want to share some tips and ideas to help you get there as well as the highs and lows with being an “influencer.”
First it is important to understand that brands are spending a ton of money on influencer marketing these days. Whether it’s free trips to exotic destinations around the world or charging for promoted instagram posts, leveraging a following on instagram has become a lucrative way to be your own boss and earn money online.
Becoming a successful instagram influencer is all about interest, personality, passion and the willingness to dedicate the majority of your day on instagram aiming to increase your following and engagement on your page. If you want to be successful you first need to realize that you have to be in it for the long run. You need to appreciate the growing of your instagram as it will take work and time. It takes a lot of trial and error when first starting off. You need to learn and experiment what your following is interested in to simply give them what they want.
My sister and I started our Blondes Who Eat Instagram about 4 years ago. At the beginning it felt like it was in slow motion and it was going nowhere. We actually never saw this as a business type outcome, however it has turned into the greatest gig out there. This is also an important point as we were truly just doing something we loved and were passionate about. We weren’t doing it for likes or to be popular and make money, we just loved it. Four years later we are now food influencers or “foodies”. We are basically walking advertisements for restaurants, food brands and moving more into travel as well.
However, in the beginning it took a lot of time and effort. The first 2 years we were struggling to get a following and it just didn’t seem to make sense for us to spend this amount of time and money constantly going to 2-3 restaurants a day photographing food and posting it on our page. Yet, we didn’t give up and we got a huge hit about 2 years ago when we posted a picture of us with enormous slices of pizza, it went viral and that is when we took off. We grew about 15,000 followers in one week and soon after our instagram hit over 50,000 followers and it was fantastic.
It was then that we started to get invited into restaurants for free meals in trade for advertising them on our page. So yeah, you may say “oh they live the life, they get free meals everywhere they go”. Yes that may be a plus but it is a lot more effort than you would think. Our brand is known for us “blondes” being in the pictures with the food, therefore we are constantly having to travel as well as get ready for photos to be taken. Sometimes we go to 3 restaurants in one day and are driving across multiple cities. It was definitely fun but it was not as though we just walked in and got free food, it took tons of outreach, emails and back and forth just for one meal.
The good news is that it didn’t stop there. As our following kept increasing so did the incoming emails regarding partnering with food brands and more. We finally hit the engagement numbers needed to capture the eye of businesses and for companies to start paying us to be featured on @Blondeswhoeat. We have worked with companies such as UberEats, Smashburger, Kroger, Pizza Hut, McDonalds, 7/11, and more. And that is just a few of the bigger brands, and not to mention the hundreds of smaller restaurants and brands. It truly is crazy to look back on our accomplishments and how much we have done and grown.
Each day is always different and we are constantly learning how we can grow our platform. The ever evolving social media world keeps you on your toes as there is something new to learn continuously. Still to this day, 4 years later, it is still a trial and error system. In the last year we even had to learn the process of negotiation along with what it takes to partner with huge brands. There are days where no money is brought it but on the bright side there are days where thousands are brought in. My sister and I have truly worked our butts off in hopes to make this our full time gig in the next few years.
Thus, if there is any advice I can give from my first hand experience it is that success will not happen overnight. It starts off very slow when you are building your brand and it is not until you have a good following that you will see a drastic change in numbers. People want to follow accounts that already have a good following, but you have to work to get there. There will be days that you will not want to continue, but you have to remember to engage, engage, engage with your audience and work at it.
You need to be passionate about what you are doing and truly just do it because you love it. People will see through if you are just posting to try and be famous or for “likes” as they want authenticity. We also were lucky as we were early adopters with Instagram in the food space where now the supply of “foodies” is starting to outweigh the demand. See if there is a niche you can fit in to be unique as there are plenty of “x who eat” these days so it might be a bit saturated.is slowly taking the place of all other media platforms and companies are beginning to realize that the majority of our lives are spent staring at screens forcing them to switch up their delivery methods. So if you have already started your “business account” and want to be able to travel and work remotely, I highly suggest to keep your eye on the prize and to just keep chugging along and you will make it.
It will take time, effort, sacrifice and luck but be authentic, share what you love and hopefully over time you can see some influencer success as well!