Author: Julianna Vorhaus (page 2 of 3)

How to Monetize Your Influence

Finding ways to make money off your social presence and influence is not always as easy as it seems. Sponsored posts are often considered to be the best form of monetization but only about 20% of influencers receive these opportunities.

Luckily, there are many other ways to monetize your influence outside of sponsored content and most successful influencers admit they need multiple monetization methods to maximize their earnings. Here are four ways you can make money that mix well with sponsored content.

  1. Affiliate Programs – Earn commissions by promoting products, including ones you already use or have created content around. Affiliate programs are performance-based where you earn income by driving sales. Affiliate programs are especially popular with fashion and style influencers whose content is very product oriented. Check out influencer.co where you can search through 5 million products and 70,000 merchants to drive affiliate traffic to.
  2. Display Ads – Still the workhorse of content and blog monetization, they can also be placed on your YouTube channel in the form of video ads before your video plays or static ads overlayed on top of your content. Usually, you will get paid for every impression on these ads. Before sponsored content grew to the popular monetization strategy it is today display ads were the main source of income for most bloggers. Check out sovrn who helps pair you with the right advertisers to drive the highest earnings. You also receive access to metrics and analytics that can increase your earnings.
  3. Charge for Premium or Exclusive  Content – Bloggers can charge a monthly or yearly fee for access to premium or early release content. For influencers that don’t have a blog, there are new live streaming platforms like iGo.Live where followers can directly support influencers and ask questions during live video. Check out Copy Blogger for tips on how to make your blog a membership site and run it effectively.
  4. Educate Fellow Influencers – There are thousands of influencers who are just getting started and willing to pay for education that will help them become successful.  Creating eBooks, online course, and webinars are all great ways to teach emerging influencers the tricks of the trade. Check out creating e-books for how get started and see how influencer Melyssa Griffin launched her e-courses and made six figures in two weeks.

Diversifying your income sources as an influencer is a great way to ensure you are making the most of your presence online. Incorporating additional monetization strategies as well as collaborating with brands for sponsored content is a sure way to monetary success.

The Wrap Up from Coachella

The influence.co team headed to the desert in Indio, CA for Coachella weekend one. Eighteen influencers, with a combined reach over 20 million stayed on property at the influence.co and Sahara Ray Swim House. Events included a Friday night Pop-Up party with Blind Dragon, Saturday afternoon at the Bootsy Bellows Estate presented by Chevrolet, PACSUN, and H. Wood Group and an Easter Sunday Recovery Brunch to celebrate the launch of Katy Perry Footwear! Special thanks to all the amazing influencers who attended and all our partners.

Instagrammer Helen Owen had impeccable #festivalstyle and even matched the decor at the@kravestudios and @influenceco house party. Part of Friday night’s pop-up event with @theblinddragon.

Catch me matching the drapes ♦️🌵 @influenceco @kravestudios @theblinddragon

A post shared by Helen Owen (@helenowen) on

Model and Instagrammer Carmella Rose proves there is no better way to prep for Coachella than a pool party with all your besties. Hers include models; @charlottedalessio, @baskinchamp and  @bronteblampied_.

Girls on girls on girls @sahararayswim @influenceco @kravestudios

A post shared by Carmella Rose (@melwitharosee) on

Katy Perry was looking for some help launching her new shoe line, so we co-hosted a recovery brunch with her to help her out!

We can’t wait for next year!

Interview with Loki the Wolf Dog

One of my favorite things about working in the influencer marketing industry is the influencers. They all have interesting stories about how they came to be influencers and why they choose to live their lives via social media.

Plus, they have first-hand experience working with brands and valuable expertise for other influencers. I love that I have the ability to not only learn from them but also to share their experiences with other influencers and brands.

I have been very lucky lately to connect with some of my favorite influencers and sit down for “Ask Me Anything” interviews. We kick off the series with an Instagrammer who is truly fan-worthy, Kelly, the human behind @Loki_the_wolf_dog.

See the Full Interview Here 

 

If you are interested in being featured in an AMA or have specific questions you’d like answered, contact Julianna at [email protected]

Building an Authentic Editorial Calendar

As with most professional endeavors, having a schedule as an influencer is of the utmost importance. Creating an editorial calendar is as easy as setting up a spreadsheet or filling in dates on a template. Building an editorial calendar that maintains your authenticity, however, takes thoughtful planning and strategic execution.

The most important part of editorial calendar planning is creating the right balance of sponsored to unsponsored content. This does not mean you should have an even 50/50 split. Approximately 5% – 25% is the average for what should be sponsored. This will shift throughout the year depending on your area of influence. In general it is always better to post more unsponsored content than sponsored.

Regardless of the amount of sponsored content you create, maintaining authenticity across posts is vital. Influencer marketing works because of the continued narrative across content whether it is sponsored or not. Studies have shown that readers don’t mind sponsored content as long as it is as educational, entertaining or otherwise as informative as your other posts. Your audience will stay engaged regardless of a sponsorship if the content is high quality and is what they have come to expect from you as an influencer. Here is a great example of a post that is sponsored but is still highly valuable to me as a reader.

As you build your calendar, look as far into the future as you can. Planning for an entire year in January is hard, but it’s not hard to sketch out which holidays and events you know you’ll incorporate. Additional planning will be much easier once you have sketched out the basics. It is easier to agree to sponsored work when you know what else you have planned. For example if you are a travel influencer, you will want to schedule in trips you have planned and the content you’ll create from them.

Well organized influencers never commit to sponsored work without consulting their calendars. Nothing ruins authenticity and turns off an audience like posting for competitors within a short timeframe. What that timeframe is will depend on the brands and how closely they are competitors. For example, fashion influencers post for different brands regularly. But if you are a vegan food influencer who just created a post sponsored by Silk Soymilk, you should give your audience a break before posting for another soy milk brand.

Keep your calendar up to date and stay on top of changes or delays that cause posts to move around. This will help ensure your balance of sponsored content and that you are not overlapping brands. As you look ahead you should also look behind you and see what recently shared posts can be cross promoted (this is especially handy for bloggers and vloggers). See paragraph four above where I linked to a previous blog post about holiday content.

Authenticity is what makes influencer marketing successful and maintaining it will ultimately decide which influencers rise to the top. Using a thoughtful and strategic approach to plan your editorial calendar is a sure fire to stay on top of your authenticity game.

5 Types of Content and Why we Love Them

It is easy to get stuck in a rut when writing blog posts and creating content all day. We all get into routines and the next thing you know every post looks the same! To help break out of the mundane, here are five of our favorite types of content that are great for blog posts, Instagram and other social channels.  If you are looking for ways to spice up your editorial calendars or new ways to approach content we suggest you give one or all of these a try!

Snackable videos these short and fun videos gained in popularity thanks in large part to Tasty by Buzzfeed. They have really taken on a life of their own with many other cooking channels jumping on the bandwagon. Not to mention craft projects, home improvements and  DIY. They’re easy to consume without needing to read a full step-by-step guide or have the volume on. They work well when used as a teaser to drive traffic to another site or to push views on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat.

Flat Lays are a staple for any Instagrammer. Regardless of your area of influence (fashion, travel, food, parenting, etc.) there is value in creating these both for the wow-factor of their look and the stories they tell. If you have not created a flat lay before, check out some great tips on creating the best images. There is more nuance to do flat lays well than you might think.

Printables have been a blog and Pinterest standard for as long as I can remember. They are great for creating checklists and are a handy addition for meal plans, crafting/DIY posts, gift ideas, personalization or anything parenting related. They add valuable content for readers in any post and present a tangible take away. One of the reasons I love them? They’re easy to add to a sponsored post providing an unexpected benefit to both readers and the brands you work with.

Blog Post Collections and Roundups are an easy way to gather and cross-promote related past content. They are also a fun way to showcase other influencers whose work you respect or admire. We see them frequently used for specific recipe types like crock pot, game day or summer grilling. They can also be utilized for seasonal outfit inspiration, favorite accounts to follow, or even gift guides.

Facebook Live and other live streaming video are all the rage these days. Live video creates highly engaging experiences for both influencers and their audience. It’s an incredibly easy way to get started with video. There is no need for major production equipment or a prepared script. Simply use your phone and engage with your audience by answering their questions while you are live.

Experimenting with different types of content is a great way to attract new followers and engage with your current audience. Let us know your favorite types of content and why by sending an email to [email protected]

influence.co | Everywhere You Want To Be

We were thrilled to attend and sponsor Model Volleyball in Miami on March 11th – 12th. It was a fun filled weekend with top model agencies battling for South Beach volleyball supremacy.

Now in it’s 8th year, the event is held at the iconic 8th & Ocean Drive beach. It’s an amazing event with models from top modeling agencies, fantastic brand sponsor, and influencers galore! Runways the Talent Group claimed victory and $15,000 was donated to the Jack Brewer Foundation. Here is a pictorial breakdown of the event from our eyes. If you’re in Miami next year, you shouldn’t miss it!

Competitors pose for a picture with influence.co

Our sponsor tent was a must visit for influencers and their agents.

We had a great time meeting these guys and watching them compete!
Look for us at Coachella April 14th – 17th and stay tuned for more details!

 

How Influencers Get Into the Holidays

In today’s world, every day could be a “holiday”. National Drink Margarita Day, Arbor Day, Belly Laugh Day, International Women’s Day, and the list keeps going. Not to mention all the other regularly celebrated holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentines and St. Patrick’s Day.  Holidays are a great source of content ideas for brands and influencers alike. Brands have figured out they can utilize these major and minor holidays to create events that align with their brand message and audience. Influencers should be taking the same approach.

It can be hard to keep up with so many holidays. Sorting through which to include in your editorial calendar and which can be ignored is daunting. However, if you use a strategic approach holidays are a great way to bolster your content planning both for sponsored and unsponsored posts.

 

Step 1: Determine which holidays will resonate with your audience. First, you’ll need to consult a calendar or two for a complete list of all the holidays. I recently discovered this one which is by far my favorite. It has an extensive list of holidays and national days. You can also search for specific days (when is National Donut Day?) and sign-up to receive a nightly email if you need reminders. You might also want to consult a National/Federal Holiday calendar so you don’t miss anything obvious. Second, read through all the holidays and make a list of the ones that *could* fit in for your audience per month. For example, if your main category is food you may want to include National Ravioli Day and National French Bread Day on your list. Now that you have an extensive list for each month you want to narrow it down to 3 or 4 holidays that will really resonate or are the most common. For example, food, fashion, lifestyle and parenting influencers can all capitalize on St. Patrick’s with recipes, outfit ideas, Irish themed quotes or craft projects. National Grilled Cheese Day is a great fit for food influencers, whether you share a recipe of your own or a pic of an epic grilled cheese enjoyed while dining out.

 

Step 2: Decide what kind of content you want to create and which channels you want to post on.  Not every holiday calls for long form content such as a blog post or video. Sometimes it’s just about acknowledging the day with an inspirational quote or re-sharing a printable from the previous year. The type of content you use likely determines where that content should be shared. Recipes generally need a blog post or video. Quotes and infographics are easy to share on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. For example, there were over 2.7 million posts to Instagram for #internationalwomensday but I only saw a handful of blog posts.


Step 3: Figure out which holidays could incorporate sponsored content. Likely these will be the more popular and nationally recognized holidays. However, if you are an influencer along with your pet National Pet Parent Day would be a perfect fit for a brand collaboration. Knowing which holidays can support sponsored content is a great reason to pitch a brand you’ve been wanting to collaborate with. You can show them ideas of past work you’ve done for the same or similar holidays like; recipes, stories, outfit ideas/ what to wear, gift guides, meal plans, printables, inspirational quotes, etc. Around the most popular holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving and the Christmas season, you may even consider leaving dates open for brand collaborations. Many brands won’t begin their outreach until one or two months ahead of the holiday and you’ll want to be able to work with them if there is a fit.

 

“Holidays” are a great way to build an informed and fun editorial calendar that stays current and topical for your audience.

Creating Your Best Instagram Grid

Since it’s founding in 2011 Instagram has quickly become one of the most important social channels for influencers. Brands have learned they can use the platform to quickly gauge an influencer’s aesthetic fit for their campaigns. The current aesthetic trend is away from individual photos and towards a cohesive looking “grid” (the classic 3×3 Instagram layout). Influencers are embracing this shift and we are seeing amazing layouts that approach works of art.

There are two crucial steps to creating your best Instagram grid. First, select a preset which will maintain the same general color levels for all your pictures. Second, plan your grid. Planning your grid is adding photos in a way that all the photos fit together and users see a coherent look when viewing your profile. Let’s dig deeper.

Step 1: Selecting a preset.

If you’re looking to experiment with presets and don’t want to make a huge financial and time commitment we suggest the VSCO App. It is free and you can choose from a number of free presets (you can also purchase additional Preset Packs for $0.99-$3.99). If you want to make additional tweaks to a picture you can do so in the Instagram app. VSCO also allows you to post photos to a feed automatically creating a tumblr-style blog. The app is only available on mobile and thus is a great on-the-go option.

 

We suggest  Adobe Lightroom ($149 annually or $9.99 per month) if you are ready to make a greater commitment with time and money. It’s available for download on your desktop or laptop and allows you create a Lightroom Preset or purchase one. Purchased Presets have a huge range in prices, but quality ones are around $35-$40 and are worth the money. These presets work best when used on RAW images out of a DSLR or Mirrorless camera but an iPhone is also a good option if you haven’t invested in a camera.

Step 2: Planning your grid.

After your photo is edited you’ll want to use a planning app to design your grid layout. We like PLANN as a free option. While it doesn’t synch with Instagram or give you insights, it’s a great free option for putting together your photo layouts. PLANN makes it easy to see what your feed would look like if you want to delete a photo or drag and drop new ones.

At $8.99 per month Planoly is the best option if you are willing to make the investment. It automatically syncs with Instagram so you don’t have to update it when you post a new photo. Plus, it gives you the same stats as Instagram Business and it also works for personal accounts. If you’re not sure you are ready to shell out the money they have a great free 30 day trial.

If you’re serious about attracting brands, thinking about the instantaneous aesthetic you convey is a worthwhile endeavor. With a cohesive looking Instagram grid, brands are better able to see your aesthetic and who you are as an influencer. It is a great step for creating a professional presence.

Instagram Introduces Carousel

In another effort to make their platform more interactive, engaging, and always a step ahead of SnapChat, Instagram recently announced the launch of Carousel. Carousel gives Instagramers the ability to share up to 10 photos or videos in a single post. Followers swipe through the series and get a more captivating experience.

Carousel is being released to users over the next few weeks on Android and iOS devices. We are already seeing some influencers play with the new feature and are excited about all the possible ways it can be used.  Here are 6 ideas about how to get the most out of this innovative update:

  1. Create a step-by-step series for a recipe, skin care routine or work out.
  2. Capture the most complete experience from an event like #NYFW
  3. Stop stressing about picking one “best of photo”. Whether it’s food or fashion, give your followers multiple perspectives.
  4. Tell the whole story about your #OOTD and give each piece in your outfit it’s own image
  5. Keep your images 100% authentic. Share brand products on later slides or anchor the post with a brand message or coupon code at the end.
  6. Maintain a cohesive looking Instagram grid. With the ability to apply multiple filters, you can use your custom filter on the first slide and apply other filters to additional images.

And the best part? We’re just scratching the surface of all the ways Carousel can be used.  How will you take advantage of the new feature?

I’m a Micro-Influencer, Now What?

Of all the trends for 2017, micro-influencers seem to be getting the most buzz. There is article after article discussing the huge opportunity that brands have in working with micro-influencers. And well-known brands like LaCroix and Kimpton Hotels are utilizing micro-influencers in their marketing strategy.

As influencer marketing has gained in popularity, larger influencers are experiencing fatigue and struggling to maintain the balance between sponsored and unsponsored content on their channels. Their rates are rising and marketers are having a hard time increasing their budgets to meet the demand.

Micro-influencers on the other hand, tend to charge less and are eager to work with brands that are a natural fit for their audience. Brands are discovering that they can work with a larger number of micro-influencers and that these influencers are able to deliver better engagement than their peers with a larger reach.

So, what is a micro-influencer? The most commonly agreed upon definition is a digital influencer with between 1,000 -100,000 followers. Many of whom are creating content in niche categories.

If you are a micro-influencer, this is the most important trend of the year. Here are a few things you need to know to capitalize on your status:

1) Know your rates for all your social channels. Even if it is just a ballpark estimate, you should have this on hand for every conversation you are having with a brand about sponsored content.

2) Have a media kit or public profile that you can send to brands which showcase your best work. There are a large number of micro-influencers and those who present themselves in a professional way are more likely to stand out to brands and receive sponsored work.

3) Be picky about who you collaborate with. Sponsored posts can be more easily spotted with a highly engaged audience. Ensure you are working with brands who are an authentic fit and that you’re able to create content that stays in line with who you are as an influencer.

4) Maintain a balance between sponsored and unsponsored posts. You have created a community that follows and engages with you for a specific purpose. Don’t sacrifice engagement with them for sponsorships.  Continue to nurture and interact with your followers the same way you always have.

5) Learn how to pitch brands and go after collaborations you know will resonate with your audience. You will likely see more inbound requests coming from brands and agencies this year. However, it is essential to build relationships with the companies your audience will relate to.
As a micro-influencer, you are in an advantageous position in 2017. You can increase your income from sponsored content and benefit from one of the industry’s biggest trends for the year. Establish a professional presence and continue to focus on your audience to do so. Get started by creating a free influence.co profile today.

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