How do you balance being an influencer with your everyday life?
Let me just say, it’s really hard. I work over 40 hours a week, go to the gym everyday, have my own place to take care of, and Instagram is a full time job in an of itself. I try really hard to get all my content planned and drafted for the week on Sundays so that I’m ready to go. That really helps me. I usually go on after work to reply to comments, messages, and stuff like that.
How did you start?
I never really wanted to be an influencer, per say. It kind of just fell into my lap. Me and my friend Kimmy joined a group chat with other influencers and I thought, “hmmm, I’d like to try that.” I started posting daily, using hashtags, and connecting with other influencers.
What motivates you on your down days?
Honestly it’s really hard to stay motivated and I definitely get into funks. I really just ride it out until I feel motivated again.
What apps/websites do you use for collaborations? Which is your favorite?
I prefer direct contact with brands, but I do use AspireIQ and Octoly regularly.
What’s your favorite part of being an influencer? / What’s the best part?
Being an influencer has given me so many amazing opportunities. Not only is it another source of income but it has helped me discover products I love and repurchase. It’s also super fun to work with well known brands that I already use regularly.
What were your goals as an influencer?
Like I said before, I never really wanted to be an influencer. It honestly just fell into my lap.
How long have you been doing it?
October makes 2 years!!!
How do you choose your collaborations and decide which to accept or deny?
I would say that I reach out to about 80% of the brands that I work with. When brands reach out to me, I usually end up denying because I won’t use the product, it doesn’t align with my lifestyle, or it’s a scam.
How do you know how much to charge?
The general rule of thumb is $10 per 100 followers but you can charge more or less depending on your engagement and if you offer other things. For example, you can charge more for a blog post, Pinterest pins, IGTV, story slides with a highlight, etc.
How do you decline a collaboration, especially when it’s unpaid?
Most times I just don’t even waste my time replying. If it’s something I will use but I don’t want to post to my feed without being paid, I’ll offer product exchange for story slides.
What tips do you have for an influencer just starting out?
Consistency. Don’t give up because it takes a lot of time and dedication. Research hashtags and engage with other bloggers. Sign up for platforms to help you get started on getting collabs. Make a media kit.
Best tools? Camera, lights, apps, etc.
- I use a Canon T7 but my iPhone camera is great too
- Lightroom app + presets for editing
- Airbrush app for editing
- Inshot app for editing
- Photoshop fix app for editing
- Milkshake app for bio links
- Preview app for planning content
- Pinterest business account
- A blog/website
How do you stay organized with your blog and instagram posts?
I was using a notes in my phone. I had one note for collabs and I had other random notes with content ideas. For collab emails, I just have a folder in my email labeled “Current collabs.” I never really saved old emails or contacts, I would just delete them as I finished the collab.
Now, I have everything in a spreadsheet. I use a content planner on one sheet and plan out post and story ideas and then cross them off as I post them. I have another sheet where I organize my current collabs and I include the date, the deliverables, the platform and contact for the brand, if I’ve received the product, posting dates and submission requirements, any caption requirements and then any notes. Once I complete the collab, I file the email under a past collab sheet. This has honestly been lifechanging.
How do you get more story views?
The more often you post stories, the more views you’ll get. If you’re consistently posting stories throughout the day, you’ll be the first bubble for all of your followers. Using all of Instagram’s features helps too, such a music, polls, question stickers, slider boxes, all that good stuff!
What was your first paid collaboration?
I truly don’t remember… maybe Hello Fresh?
When are the best times to post?
This depends on your account! If you have a business account (which I definitely recommend) you can go to Insights > Total Followers > scroll all the way to the bottom to Most Active Times.
How do you get in touch with companies?
I usually email the email address on their Instagram. If there’s not one, I DM and ask for it!
How much time do you spend working (creating content, engagement, etc.)?
Soooo much. Maybe I should keep track one week. I usually spend a few hours on the weekend creating content and drafting it for the following week. But then I go on Instagram for an hour or so every night to do engagement, respond to comments and DMs, etc.
Have you ever changed your handle?
I actually did! I think around 5k followers. I was starting to grow pretty fast and regularly get brand deals, so I didn’t think “allison_xoxo” was too cute anymore. I actually asked for suggestions on my story and sent someone a giftcard for the one I chose!
What has been the hardest part so far?
Honestly, it’s just a lot of work. They aren’t kidding when they say being an influencer is a full time job. It can become a lot to juggle with regular life.
Feel free to DM me with any more questions and I can do a part 2!