I did not intend to become a social media influencer. In fact, I used to laugh when I thought about people watching others and taking their advice when it came to buying products. Then the pandemic happened and I found that I had too much time on my hands.
My sister, Megan, watches a lot of influencers' stories on Instagram and I started to do the same. One day Megan suggested that we sign up for Influenster so that we could get free stuff. I did and started reviewing things and filling out surveys with the hopes of getting something for free. Sadly, my 100 or so followers was not nearly enough.
Although I claim that I am not competitive (aka: not into sports), I do set a high bar for myself and I don't like to fail at things. So, I decided to try my hand at building my Instagram following. I am by no means an expert. After all, I've only been at this influencing thing for a few months. But as a "micro influencer," I decided to share some of the things that I've learned so that others do not make the same mistakes that I made.
The first photo I posted to Instagram with the intention of trying to advertise something. You can tell how bad I was at it. You cant even see the name of my Young Living Essential Oil!
- Find your niche or brand
- When I first decided I wanted to build up my following and see where this would take me, I floundered because I did not have a clear idea of what I wanted for my page.
- Now I know that I am a Christian mom blogger that loves cats and Disney with a passion for mental health awareness and Young Living Essential Oils.
- Start a blog
- If you don't already have one, it might be a good idea to start one so that you can delve deeper into the things you love while featuring them on your social media.
- If you are planning to take blogging seriously, head straight for WordPress and set up your own domain.
- Get your Pinterest in order and use it with your blog to promote yourself.
Although this was taken prior to learning how to use Instagram as an influencer, it is still one of my favorite photos. This was taken at a waterfall in Greenville, South Carolina.
- Find a group/page or two for engagement within your niche.
- I am part of a few mom groups.
- I also actively engage with faith-based groups, bloggers, and Disney lovers.
- Find yourself a mentor in one of these groups with a good following to teach you. That was one of the best decisions I've made!
- Look for genuine follow trains, but be careful!
- There are a lot of "Mega Trains" which are great for fast followers.
- Fast followers will boost your numbers, but not necessarily your engagement. They may also follow you and then unfollow you once you follow back, which means that your numbers yo-yo diet a lot.
- Whether you are doing follow trains or engaging with a group or just searching through hashtags, remember this advice when it comes to growth:
- GO SLOW
- Instagram has a very sensitive spam filter. I know because I was caught in an endless loop of being blocked from Instagram, getting back on for one post, and being blocked again. (Thank goodness someone gave me the tip to log out completely, clear my cache, and wait out my timeout + 1 day before logging back in - *knock on wood* things are going a lot smoother now).
- Read up on engagement tips. Do not post, follow, like, etc. too often. You would think that Instagram would be happy that people want to engage. It's a social media app, after all. BUT nope!
- On the other hand, I do appreciate that I am not getting spammed constantly by "princes" offering to pay me to be their girlfriend. Just kidding.
One of my recent collaborations was with Viral Defense Copper Masks. They are comfortable, kill germs and bacteria - bad breath, anyone? - and WILL NOT FOG YOUR GLASSES! Check out my Links page for a discount code!
I am still learning how to find collaborations and what is good versus what is not. One thing I have learned from my mentors: Never pay for a product that you're being asked to promote! (You know what I'm talking about - all of those "Amazon sellers" that will "send you a swift refund after review.") Here are a few of the sites that I've used for finding partnerships even as a "micro influencer:"
I know I still have lots to learn, but this is what I've learned so far. I hope some of it is useful. I would love to hear what tips and tricks you've discovered as well!
Blogs of Interest
I've connected with some amazing Bloggers to share some blogs featuring some influencer/blogging tips for 2021! Tips for growth, engagement, and more! Head to each of their blogs to check out what they are sharing.
How to Balance Time as an Influencer