As you’ll know if you usually follow all of my posts (you’re my favourites btw), I fell into professional blogging accidentally. I was looking to create something short-term that I could use sort of like a portfolio to break info fashion PR. My old boss (now one of my best friends – she’s about to give birth to my god child. I have told her I’m going to be his godmother yet but sure she’s gunna be cool with it) used to give me flexi time to build it up and help me score ‘the job of my dreams’, not knowing that I was quickly falling into a whole new dream career that I never even knew I wanted.
Within a month of the blog going live I was receiving invitations to restaurants and being offered products in exchange for content on my feeds. I realised that I adored this work and rather than planning to stay in a company for my career progression, I’d go freelance and work with clients on their social media, influencer PR and copywriting as well as build up the blog on the side.
I always ‘knew’ this world as I worked in it, but gaining insight from the influencer’s perspective has been such an amazing learning process that I wanted to share some of my knowledge to those of you considering trying it for yourself.
Don’t buy followers: We’ve all seen accounts with five posts and 30,000 followers and think ‘she can’t be serious’. Well, when you’re in the influencer world it’s as obvious to everyone around you if you’re buying followers even if you only buy ten a day. There are apps, sites, analytics platforms and an abundance of plugins that will flag up to brands and also just the general public if your followers aren’t legitimate and it’s simply embarrassing and completely career ruining if you’re found to do it. I know building your following organically can seem like a long process, trust me, but it’s the only way and you’ll feel all the more proud for it.
Make connections: Take time to meet new people whether it be online or at events, as although you might not think it at the time, these can likely come in very handy down the line. In my instance, when I started out I’d say yes to almost anything. I’d go, put my brave mingling face on and shake as many hands as I could. I met Astrid and Miyu, now one of my favourite brands to work with, when I was on 6,000 followers. They and I recognised growth and relationship potential and I continue to work with them today. You never know who’s going to go where and who’s behind the next event door you open.
Don’t feel obliged: It can’t be disputed that bloggers regularly get a bad rap (as we all saw in the case of Elle Darby!). You’ll have many brands asking you to do work for them for free or on terms you don’t like because they think you’re a little blonde girl making money off of being vein. You’ll also find that they may argue their case and try to persuade you in if you’re on the fence. If you feel something isn’t right, stick to your guns. You’ll gain more credit this way and you’ll develop a higher quality feed. Saying this, also be smart enough recognise when working for free or on ‘strange’ terms works to your advantage or is sometimes simple a kind thing to do. For me, I’ll always work with charities and work with a select number of independent or new brands that I know I will really be able to help by working with them.
Don’t copy anybody else: Just because you saw ten other bloggers go to THAT cafe for THAT backdrop, it doesn’t mean you should do the same. If we all did that, nobody would need to follow more than one blogger as it’s all the same content anyway. Find your unique style, tone and approach to your blog and own it. If you’re being insincere on your channels it shines through and puts people off.
Be honest: The ‘Instagram vs reality’ hype is something I’ve been waiting for so long to see. Social media can be such a damaging thing and it’s our responsibility as ‘influential people’ to do good with it. I edit my photos, absolutely. It’s the nature of the platform; it feeds off aesthetic beauty. However, I also often share the before and after edit posts on my stories and talk about very real topics that I struggle with in my life.
Similarly, if a restaurant you visited was not good, don’t feel obliged to give it a shining review just because it was free or because you want to keep your PR agency happy. Let the agency know it wasn’t great and explain that you won’t be able to post about it.
Research: Find a good camera, your filters, decide who you think or want your audience to be and make sure things are in place before you get started. My feed started off as an absolute aesthetic and directional shambles and it slowed down my growth significantly.
Work hard: There are so many bloggers out there fighting for air that your channels can’t afford to be substandard and your following and recognition simply won’t develop if that’s the case. On the business side, brands work with influencers who put their life and soul into their work. We are being paid or otherwise rewarded for our content so make sure it’s 100% perfect every. single. time.
Be kind: Not much to say.. just be a good person! Support other women and influencers, respond to comments and DMs, and don’t allow the number of followers you have to have you believe you’re bigger or better than anyone else.
As always, drop me an email or DM if you have any more questions about this topic!❤️