Being an influencer, one question I am most frequently asked is, “How did you get to do what you do?” You can insert: product review, attend that event, show, celebrity interview, etc…. How can I do that?
My blog began as a simple online diary of my adventures and challenges of being a mom. It was a lifeline for me. I wrote for fun and as a release from “mommy” life. Being an influencer never crossed my mind when I started this journey. Not too long after I began, I was sent an email asking for me to review a product for free in exchange for an honest review. Honestly, I thought they were kidding. What could I have to offer? Well, I soon learned that I had plenty to offer. Personally, I trust the advice of friends and family over a celebrity endorsement. For my blog readers and social media followers, I am their friend, as they are mine. I’m their neighbor, a fellow mom, and we connect, even though it might only be on a virtual level. I am trustworthy.
After a few honest reviews, and one that might have been too honest that it cost me a relationship with a major brand, more and more offers poured in. I began receiving compensation for my thoughts. The next thing I knew I was being driven to events, doing celebrity interviews, and making several new friends who were also influencers. We understood each other and had each others backs. We still do.
Several people have also asked me where to start and my answer is always, “Just start writing!” For me, becoming an influencer meant bringing people closer to products and things that I enjoy and want to share. It was never about making money or connections. That came later and it came naturally. People want to follow an influencer because you are honest and your voice and experience makes them connect to you. That is what a business partner looks for when working with an influencer. A voice that connects with their brand. You can’t fake it.
The worst mistake you can make is to not be authentic. As corny as it might sound, just be yourself. That is all you need to succeed. Once you have established your voice and created your brand, you can sign up for different companies that can connect you to businesses looking for what you have to offer. You can not only gain free product, but make money as well.
Being an influencer isn’t for everyone. It is hard work and requires you to be consistent. Consistent with posting and consistent with your word, so your followers can find you trustworthy. Businesses should look towards developing relationships with influencers, especially on a local level. The cost is far less than mainstream advertising and more authentic. I know that I look at my local social media feeds and they hold a huge influence over me. When I see images, read a post, or a Tweet about a local establishment it makes me want to go there! I also love it when local establishments comment on my Tweets or invite me to try something at their place. When we work together we can succeed. This is why I love what I do!