The Influencer can be elusive to those who do not fully understand who this person is and the power they hold.  Influencer marketing all takes place behind the red curtain, which in our case is a social handle for the most part.  This means that industry standards, brand approaches, influencer insider knowledge, and best practices are, to a degree, kept for the inner circle and need-to-knows.

As the influencer industry becomes the mainstream practice for most businesses, it’s crucial for companies, marketing agencies, influencers, and anyone looking to join the industry, to gain a deeper understanding of the players and their experience.  We understand the challenges that exist for both brands and influencers alike, which is why we have spent over a year and a half compiling insider secrets from some of the top influencers in the industry.

Influencer Playbook Insider Secrets, Part I: What Does it Take to Become an Influencer?

We asked influencers what it takes to be successful in influencer marketing.  This information is not only useful to content creators and people who are dreaming of becoming influencers but for companies as well.  Understanding the way influencers think, how they work, what the job is all about, and what it takes to build a personal brand can shape the way brands think about and collaborate with influencers.   

“Have thick skin, stay persistent, and be you, while also thinking about branding.”  – Tiffany Morgan, Apparel Junky

“Network with other bloggers – talk to people that know what you’re doing, and you can bounce ideas off of!” – Chrissy Taylor, The Taylor House

Keep doing what you are doing. Love it, live it, work it and get out there and meet other influencers when and where you can.” – Stef Michaels, Adventure Girl

Consistency – I try to maintain the style, voice, and presence for the blog. I decided early on I would post three times a week and I’ve (mostly) kept that up no matter what.

Striving for Excellence – I work hard to put out good content. It’s not always perfect, but I continuously try to improve and get better.

Patience – there have been plenty of times I’ve thought about quitting, but I remind myself that if I keep putting out good stuff, I’ll eventually get there. People often quit right before they get success. It seems like every time I’ve thought about quitting, something really good has happened to keep me going.” – Stacey Freeman, Posh in Progress

“Make sure you AND your dog both enjoy it. These are dogs, after all, and we can’t take ourselves too seriously or push them too hard. Listen to what your dog likes. My other rescue, Cupid, doesn’t love posing for the camera, so I don’t force him to. Chloe sees a camera and strikes a pose. We do it because she enjoys it – but if your dog would rather be off doing something else, let them.” Dorie, Owner, Chloe Kardoggian

“Be nice and remember the manners that your parent taught you growing up, those apply BIG TIME in the digital world.” – Mr. Scott Eddy

“Shoot what you love the most, and show that passion in all of your photos. That will make people passionate about what you’re doing, and they will want to follow and start engaging with you.  Also try to get personal, and be authentic. Be yourself so people can engage with the person you really are, and they feel a genuine connection with you.” – Alejandro Moreno de Carlos, Photography Influencer

“It all starts with the mind frame: You can do it.  As long as you believe in yourself and you are consistent, anything is possible.  People are going to tell you no, and that’s part of it.  I remember when I was starting bodybuilding people laughed and thought it was so funny because I was a little thing, but I believed in me.  

There are going to be people who doubt you, but you just keep going.  You build your tribe of people who believe in you because I don’t think there’s anything a human can’t do.  It’s not even in my thought process.” – Christie Cash, Glutes ‘n’ Gloss

“Do it because you have something unique to say.  All bloggers say they start their blog because they “wanted to creative outlet” (which is one reason I started as well).  Now we’ve seen so many bloggers turn into designers, TV personalities, and lifestyle brands.  This shouldn’t necessarily be the goal when you start.  You should blog because you have something to say or share.  Today in fashion blogging you have to have something unique to say or come up with something no one else has done before.  You need to be authentic to maintain your brand (which all bloggers will tell you) and as much as new bloggers are probably sick of hearing that advice….it’s so true!  That’s why I don’t do strategic things on Instagram [to gain followers].  If I wanted to, I would post about pink peonies, my morning latte, or use bunch of hashtags, but that’s just not me.

Also, it’s important to remember that this works like any freelance job. You can make lots of money one month and no money the next month.  You read stories about bloggers making six or seven figures, but realize that’s not every blogger (it’s actually very few in the grand scheme of things). When I tell people I’m a blogger, they either don’t get it, or they think it’s the coolest job ever.  But know that you can’t turn it off — you work all the time.  You definitely have to be better with money. Before I was used to a paycheck every two weeks, but as a fashion blogger, you only get paid when brands decide to pay you.”  Jena Gambaccini, Fashion Blogger

Stay tuned for Influencer Playbook Insider Secrets, Part II!