The Truth About Influencing: The Good, Bad and Ugly

When I started my blogging journey, my initial goal was not to become an influencer. I just honestly wanted to share my life long passion for fashion with people. I wanted to show my outfits, share style tips and tricks and encourage people to embrace their style at any age and any size. But naturally as my sharing grew, my following grew. Now I’m nowhere near a mega influencer, but I have become what they call a nano influencer over the past year. Along with being named an influencer comes a lot of misconceptions about your life and what you do. Well I’m here to dispel some of the myths and at least shed a little light on this whole influencer biz from what I’ve experienced.

Influencers Make A Lot of Money:

Yes there are some that do, but there are a lot that do not. Some, like myself do it for the sheer joy of it. But I would be a fool to say that I like to leave money on the table. Let’s just say though the money comes, it comes surely but slowly. You have to build up a following, and trust with your audience. When I first started I started with 0 followers so I haD to organically grow to my audience. Now this is not a lot compared to some other influencers, but the good thing is I have is trust. MY audience trusts me because I engage authentically with them. But this took about the whole entire year to gain, after I started doing this seriously.

But once you establish that trust, and those that do have a nice following can make money. You can make money through Adsense, sponsored social media and/or blog posts and Affiliate links. Affiliate links are a great way to link products through programs like RewardStyle, Shopstyle Collective and Magiclinks. These things can add and make a nice additional stream of income. But like I said this definitely takes time. I only just started to really see a return from affiliate links and currently that averages around $100 a month. Larger influencers can make a few thousand per month from affiliate links. but remember, following doesn’t equate to dollars. If you are sharing valuable info and items for your particular audience; you will convert.

Influencing is Not a Real Job:

Now this is by far the most absurd statement and I guarantee it is indeed a “real job”. It may not always start out that way but it has certainly become one. Some people think it’s just taking cute pictures and posting from time to time, getting free products, etc. Well let me tell you, I have a full time job and feel like I have another doing blogging/influencing.

Let’s take a photoshoot for instance. you must spend time planning a concept, planning your outfit, location and poses. Then you must plan to hire a photographer or do it yourself, shoot the content for hours sometimes in bad weather conditions, edit, plan your post in an app like Planoly or Unum, follow up and engage with said posting (most which has to be done within an hour of posting). Now this is just for a photoshoot; imagine doing the same thing for any video content you may have. And for 5 separate platforms, this is easily 12+ hours of work and exhausting.

Read about the 4 steps to prep for a photoshoot here.

Now add on engaging with other influencers content, writing blog posts, emailing and follow up with potential sponsorships and collaborations, making organic content for potential collaborations, posting on Instastories, posting across all social media platforms, engaging across all social media platforms (Insta, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin, Clubhouse, etc, etc, etc) linking all products through affiliate programs, and so much more. All of this and we didn’t even account for any time to yourself or for family.

Guys seriously. Even people doing this strictly as a hobby, it indeed feels like a full time job. So let’s be cognizant to show respect for those in the field and not treat it like a hobby. Respect peoples time, and pay creatives for their intellectual property. It is hard work, and most all influencers I know, nano or mega, put in hours upon hours of hard work.

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We Don’t Buy Anything/ Everything is Gifted

This is so far from the truth. I have only just started to receive free gifts and offers of free items in exchange for a review. Granted my stance though, I’m sure there are other influencers who receive a lot more free items. But honestly, most of us buy about 90% of the things we advertise. For me in particular, I think it comes across more authentic when it’s not something I’m forced to review or critique. I’ve actually declined many offers if I’m not sure that it’s a reputable brand or something that I’ve actually used myself. I never want to lose the trust I’ve gained with my followers, and this is one of the aspects I’m pretty adamant about.

Gifted items are also part of the ugly that I have yet to mention. Sometimes these gifted items come with too many stipulations. Which goes back to people respecting and paying creatives for their time and concepts. Many want to give you free products but the amount of work and free advertising you have to do for them is not equivalent to the creative’s stress and time you put in; most of the time with no reward for you. One of my decisions this year going forward is actually not to do any gifted sponsorships unless it is a organic fit to my brand and/or something I love and use anyway. Anything else needs to be where the money resides. LOL

Only Mega Influencers Get Partnerships

This seems like it would be true but so far from it. These days, many brands are looking to work with more micro and nano influencers. Why; because they have a greater reach. What good does it do to have tens and thousands of followers and can’t influence or sell one thing. Engagement and reach have become more important to brands over the years, more so than followers. For that reason, many of us have been getting partnerships. According to a few seasoned bloggers and social media strategists, the time to start pitching is at 1000 followers. So this shows that there’s room and something for all influencers to make money.

Influencers are an Overnight Success

Now I’m not saying everyone thinks this way, but this is a misconception for many. Again I’m debunking this myth. Yes there are a few viral influencers that may have become successful rather quickly. But the God’s honest truth is you have to put in the work. Many of my favorite influencers have been doing blogging and such for years, some as long as 10 or 15, and are just getting the recognition they deserve. Check out Monroe Steele, Awed by Monica and the Mattie James. All fierce ladies with bomb content who have been in this game for the long haul.

Most influencers have been putting in the hard work for years, but are only recently getting the flowers the deserve. Just check their archives. I’m sure in a few years, people will think where did Angela Baltimore come from, not knowing I have been blogging and laying the ground work for years, but only just now reaping the benefits.

I hope my few bits of insight have helped clear up or shed light on the influencer world. Now again, this is through my lens and some of my friend bloggers, so this may vary for different influencers. But I believe it always helps to share your experiences so that people have more perspective into certain worlds. I hope you enjoyed. And if I didn’t cover a certain topic, or you have a specific question you want cleared up; feel free to drop a comment below.

If you’re curious to hear how my perspective may have changed after my first six months as a blogger, check this post out below.

6 Months as a Blogger; My Takeaways

This post contains affiliate links in which I may receive a small commission from a purchase. thank you in advance for supporting your girl!

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2 Comments

  1. March 3, 2021 / 11:37 am

    Great read sis! Influencing is definitely not all glamorous butting I’d you’re doing what you love, it makes all the difference 🥰

    • angela1983
      Author
      March 7, 2021 / 10:34 am

      Exactly. Thanks for reading sis!

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