Daily Outfits Winter

BEING AN “INFLUENCER” – MY STORY

March 8, 2017

Happy international women’s day my babes!

I don’t know if I ever mentioned this before, but I am the only girl out of 4 children in my family. Growing up with 3 brothers wasn’t easy, but wasn’t difficult either. It’s not like any of them protected me. I remember always being on my own, doing my own thing. I think the most vivid memory from my childhood was not being able to watch girly TV shows because my brother wouldn’t let me. HAHA. That was pretty much the extent of my brothers bullying.

As a woman from my early years, I’ve been super independent and had an entrepreneurial instinct. I give credit to my parents who raised us to take care of ourselves, but never pushed us into becoming someone they thought we should be. I was able to follow my instincts with no pressure from my family’s side, but only pressure from myself. I’ve always been in control of my destiny. Once I wanted something, I put my full 150% effort into making sure it happened. In that time I was able to own a business, and do what I loved for 20 years (I know right, 20!).

Fast forward 20 years later, as my passion for my business dwindled, I knew I needed to find something that was going to be able to sustain a living, but also make me happy. I knew I wanted to continue to be an artist and be in a creative space. When Instagram came out, I never imagined it would be a platform for me to do something that could be lucrative but also satisfy my creative inkling. I am so so so thankful that I find myself here. Being able to tell you my story is kind of surreal. It’s humbling to me that you’re even interested in reading this!

In the beginning of my Instagram days and to this day, it was all about what interests me and what I could put out into a picture that would make me happy and satisfied. And more importantly that it kept in line with my “feed”. YES, it’s a struggle to keep up a consistent aesthetically pleasing feed. I was also still trying to find my “style”. Once I honed in on that, my all consuming obsessiveness came to an end. A lot of grammers plan their feed ahead of time. Some have the help of an app, but nowadays I do it with my naked eye. It used to take me hours to plan my next picture and now, winging it has freed up so much of my time for more important things – like creating more content, haha. I don’t really care much to have a perfect feed. I mean, a perfect feed to me doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a perfect feed to you. In my opinion, the post itself is what is most important.

I wanted to be able to tell my story through my everyday style to my travels and what I like through hashtag “ThatsoteeMoments”. These days, I’ve been having so many special moments thanks to my job as a digital influencer/ content creator/blogger. Who knew that people would want to send me free things on a weekly basis, and send me away to amazing destinations without me having to pay a cent. Am I dreaming? Is this reality? You betcha it is. And the best part is, you can get paid to do this. But where there is constant love and attention from brands, there comes the pressure to do better and be better. To be quite honest, it’s stressful. Not on the content creation side, but the numbers side. Ever since Instagram changed and keeps changing their algorithm, things have been different. I used to find the engagement on my posts were quite high and these days have taken a depressing dip. I’m sure a lot of my blogging babes can attest. But is this something that will hinder myself as a business? *Knock on wood*, not so far. I think many brands that look at a creator, look to what you can do for them. And that starts with looking at your Instagram feed and blog content. Being in the “lifestyle” category has given me opportunities to work with so many different types of brands from travel to food to fashion and beauty. I find this is definitely more fruitful from a business point of view.

As my boy Pyro would say, DON’T GET IT TWISTED. If you want to make this work, you need to put your constant time and effort into it. I felt like I was always on Instagram and it took up my life at one point. But it got me to where I am today. And despite ignoring my duties to my husband and prior business, I made it! Let’s face it. Unless you are a beautiful bombshell with luck on her side, you need to HUSTLE. And if you think this is a sustainable source of income (I can attest it is), then ENGAGE. I mean, make your presence known.

DO…
• Genuinely like and leave positive comments on strangers pictures
• Tag inspo accounts on your post
• Use hashtags
• Do giveaways. (although I dislike those loop giveaways)

DO NOT….
• Spam others
• Use bots to like/comment on others pictures. Stay genuine!
• Press the follow/unfollow button and then follow again the next day (cus I do notice and that’s annoying).
Buy your followers/likes/comments. This is a big NO NO. I unfollowed people (not all) because of this. And I’ve even cut off relations to some. If you are doing this, I probably know you are. It’s easy to spot the fakes if you know what you’re looking for. And if I know you are, brands probably know it too. However not all brands do their homework and it’s frustrating to see someone undeserving receive a paid campaign versus one that has integrity and is deserving. Being honest and transparent is the best path to take and will only give you great things in return. And more importantly, it makes you a good person. 🙂

WHEN ENGAGING WITH BRANDS…
• Be a professional – Submit your work before the deadline. Answer important emails in a timely manner (usually within the hour or as fast as you can). However, I have to give many thanks to the help of my management IAMINFLUENCEALL – they take a lot of weight off my shoulders!
• Be flexible – not everything is black and white. As long as you think it’s fair, then try to work with them.
• Be easy to work with. Noone likes to work with a difficult person.
• Go above and beyond if you want. Whenever I receive a campaign, I tend to always give them extra love and trust me, that goes a long way and is appreciated.
• Show your face. Go to the events and network! Free food and meet new friends!

Now a question that comes to a lot of people’s mind is WHAT DO I CHARGE or SHOULD I CHARGE? It’s a tricky situation especially if you are a micro influencer (50K and under). But the rule of thumb is a resounding (mostly) YES. If you built your numbers honestly, these are real people that have a genuine interest in what you do. And that is one of the reasons why brands want to work with you. Your Instagram is your business. If brands are making money, so should you. But I don’t charge for everything! I receive gifted items weekly, and if I happen to love them or it is part of a post, then I am more then happy to tag them. However, if the brand is looking for something specific, that is considered a job or a campaign and at that point, you negotiate your rate. I’m not here to divulge what I charge, but I can tell you, it’s a fair rate. It’s not too high that brands will want to ignore you, and not too low that it seems unfair to me. Have no fear, I’ve given you an example to kind of get a sense of what a normal rate would look like. As you go higher in your following, it will be different from one creator to another.

EXAMPLE:
15,000 Followers
Charge $100-$125 per post

I hope you all enjoyed this post and was somewhat helpful or insightful. This is really just a small fraction into the life of an influencer. There is so much to say, but I think I’ll leave more for next time. Feel free to comment below if you have any questions or if you need help!

Xx
Tee

WHAT I WORE:
LULUS Sunglasses
HM Scarf (sold out online), but here in Pale Blue, in dusty pink, longer version in dusty pink
Zara Coat (old) but love this affordable option from HM
Distressed Skinny Jeans
ASOS Pink Nude Heels
Alexander Wang Bag, in black

SHOP THE LOOK:

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18 Comments

  • Reply Nina March 9, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Loved reading this babe, I appreciate your honesty always! Xx

    • Reply Tee March 11, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      Thank you boo! Love you! Xx

  • Reply Arama Okesse March 9, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Easily one of my fav blog posts this year! Thank-you so much Tee for sharing this info; it’s really helpful particularly for micro-influencers like myself.

    Question: what do you think is the most effective way to reach out to a brand you’re interested in obtaining a campaign with?

    Thanks in advance! P.s. – super cute outfit as per usual 🙂

    • Reply Tee March 11, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      Hey Arama! Thank you for reading and happy it helped in some way! To answer your question, it’s always nice to have a media kit on hand to forward to brands that you would want to work with. It should tell your stats, bio and include images from your social media. It’s informative for brands and it helps in the decision making process. And it couldn’t hurt sending them an initial email to see if they are interested! Good luck on your journey babe! Xx

  • Reply Vic March 9, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Yay babe, loved the honesty of this post!

    • Reply Tee March 11, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      Thanks boo! Happy to be surrounded by babes like you who keep it real! Xx

  • Reply Chef Sous Chef March 9, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Perfectly summed up, Tee! Simple, to the point and honest.

    • Reply Tee March 11, 2017 at 12:26 pm

      Aww, thank you so much friend! Xx

  • Reply Nikki March 9, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    This was a great post Tee! Thank you for always being an inspiration and for your honesty. Love your blog and your Insta feed! ❤❤

    • Reply Tee March 11, 2017 at 12:26 pm

      Thank you so much Nikki! Lots of love! Xx

  • Reply Charlotte March 10, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Your honesty on this industry is so refreshing! I love that you’re willing to open up and share all this. As a beginner to blogging I find this extremely insightful and helpful. Continue the awesome work babe xoxo

    Charlotte
    http://www.deconstrut.blogspot.ca

    • Reply Tee March 11, 2017 at 12:26 pm

      Thank you so much Charlotte! Honesty is the key! Good luck with your journey babe! Xx

  • Reply Stephanie March 13, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    I love this, Tee! So genuine! It’s so nice to see how much you’ve grown and improved as an online influencer. Kudos! Also, I really love your style even though it’s minimalistic because it’s versatile and sophisticated! More power to you, and you deserve to be recognized as an online influencer even more with that creativity you have xx

    • Reply Stephanie March 13, 2017 at 8:11 pm

      Ooh I forgot to mention – you should also try vlogging too! Haha

      • Reply Tee March 16, 2017 at 4:42 pm

        Hey Stephanie! Absolutely loved reading your kind words! Thank you so much for the love, really. I have been V-logging the last few trips and I’m hoping to get some videos up soon, so stay tuned for that! Xx

  • Reply Desirée March 25, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Thank you for your honesty! Like you said, it’s frustrating to see other bloggers who ‘buy’ their followers but even if it takes me longer, I’d rather stay true to myself and know I grew organically. Thanks for your advice for those of us who are just starting out! Love your feed!

    • Reply Tee March 26, 2017 at 4:39 pm

      Absolutely babe! At the end of the day, it comes down to integrity. I would feel awful for lying to anyone especially if this was my way of making a living. Thank you for your sweet message! Xx

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