As A Micro-influencer or shall I call it “Nano- Influencer” ( Nano-influencer is an influencer who has a smaller following but creates quality content) you should know that you’re needed in this industry as well. When I started to get into this industry I was told if you do not have the following of mega influencer, then the brand will not work with you. As you all know that’s far from true. Those of you that have been following me in the last year can see that a chick was out here working working! You do not need huge numbers to start and to be compensated for your time. Now grant it you may not be making huge money, but you can eventually make what you feel you’re worth. So here’s how I started:
I attended my first that I knew nothing about. I originally applied to work for Palmers Street Team during their Coconut Walmart Tour. Well in that same week they hit me up about working the Bella Kinks Expo as a Brand Ambassador, I excitedly took the offer. It was such a great experience to see all the brands, influencers and learn about this new world I was about to put myself in. I showed up confident and sassy wearing my Palmers shirt with an orange blazers and cute brown boots (picture below). I was working with Yolanda Renee (Etcblogmag on IG). When she arrived she was so nice, sweet, uplifting and was just bigging up your girl. Her approach automatically made me feel welcome. I started making goodie bags for attendees, walking around with samples to drive sales back to the booth, engaged with other brands, introduced myself to other influencers especially the ones I’ve been following for a while. Here are some tips while attending your first event whether you’re working or just going as an attendee. Make business cards with your picture, social media handles contact info ( I prefer an email address or P.O. Box). Show up ready to speak a lot especially if you plan on pitching yourself to the social media managers that attend with the brands. Wear something that makes you stand out (you just never know who you may bump into IJS). BE READY TO WALK A LOT!!!! Don’t be like Tiffany and end up with swollen feet because she was trying to look cute while working the event BRING FLATS OR SNEAKERS. Make sure you get contact cards as well especially if you can’t really chat or pitch yourself, this way you can follow up with an email after the event. And most of all ENJOY yourself. I consider myself a people person so chatting was pretty easy ( sometimes I talk too much), but if you find yourself to be more of an introvert do more observing, but try and speak up if you feel the vibes are right. Working the events has volunteer opportunities as well. I volunteered once and that was during the HUE Affair Austin 2018. I had the pleasure of being paired with Eden Body Works. During that event, I was able to meet the assistant marketing manager and the owner of Eden Body Works. I felt that I was knowledgeable about the brand and was enthusiastic about getting those products off the shelves. I kept in contact with both ladies and was even able to secure two paid partnerships by the end of the year. So volunteering and working for free is not a bad thing especially when you’re just starting out. I would just say try not to make a habit with it unless this is just a hobby for you. I was blessed that moving forward every event I attended was paid and travel was included.
My camera which was my phone ( Iphone 7Plus) back when I started in Early 2018. My quality was not there and is something that I’m still working on. However, I knew I wanted to help people with their hair because Lord knew I struggled with mine in the beginning. I also wanted to create a platform for women and men where I can be myself and showcase all that I know. I was not consistent with my content as a matter of fact I stopped or should I say Quit maybe 5-10 times last year. Why? because I wasn’t growing like the other people around me at a fast pace, because I thought I don’t fit the look they are looking for ( my skin complexion or my coily thick hair). It was when I found my purpose I said I want to showcase the struggles I have as a Mother, Wife, Nurse, Friend, an aspiring Entrepreneur. So I took a step back and wrote down all the things I want to accomplish in 2019. I wanted to do a blog from the beginning of this journey, but I didn’t have faith in myself. I sat down and spent so much time making this platform and the response that it received in 2 days was overwhelming. THANK YOU! After every event, I would keep the deposited money in my Paypal and save up for equipment. The first item I purchased was my Newer Ring Light from Amazon. This helped make my pictures more bright, but my quality was still not there. So by my next event, I had enough to purchase a Canon T6 Rebel, I should’ve done more research ( it’s a learning process) the camera was horrible it did not have autofocus and was just too complicated. I went to Best Buy and with my gift of gab, I was able to exchange it after 6 months of having it. I purchased my baby a Cannon M50 which I love so much. It’s mirrorless, has 4k capability, autofocus, and a lot more features. Really great beginner camera. By January of last year, I saved enough for a MacBook Pro. My MacBook Pro was my last investment, my last couple of events towards the end of 2018 is still sitting pretty in my account. So when I have creative ideas that I want to record I pull from that. When I say creative ideas I mean make up looks, clothing ideas for a photo shoot ( which I’ll be doing more of in the near future), paying for a photo shoot( which I have not done yet) Take the time to re-invest in your craft.
Make sure your content is clear with great lighting, that is really key to getting reposted and companies look at that. I’m still working on different creative ways to edit. Right now I use iMovie on my MacBook Pro, I play around with the editing tools a lot. Most recently I stumbled upon some gems and how to use them. I want to upgrade to Final Cut Pro which is an app on the Mac. This app cost $300 but I think I’m ready to invest in that this year. Just as long as you are not pulling from an empty cup. I tried my best not to take money from my household to start this up. I can literally tell you I spent a good amount of $200 on my startup. All my equipment was bought with money from events and paid partnerships. I have 4 kids like I told you all before and although I was working full-time hrs as a Nurse, we have bills at home and 6 mouths to feed. I did not want my dreams to interfere with my family.
To get these partnerships and working with companies at events, I took a leap of faith and pitched myself. It worked and I established meaningful relationships. Most of the people I’ve met have been encouraging and so sincere. We will not speak of those who did the opposite. There’s always a negative side to each industry. Do not dwell on that, what’s for you is for you and no one can interfere with it. Go out there believe in yourself and your brand.
How To Get Paid Partnerships As A Nano-Influencer:
As an influencer, you can wait for brands to seek you out to work with you, or you can pitch yourself. Last year when I started I did a lot of pitching to get myself out there. It worked, I believe they love to see the initiative and enthusiasm on your part. To be honest I pitched myself to every paid partnership I had last year. This year I’m taking a new approach I’m just putting in the work, bettering my craft and most companies I’ve worked with at the beginning of this year has reached out to me. Will I pitch brands this year? Maybe, or maybe not. Right now I’m just creating and having fun while doing it. If a brand reaches out to work, that I would love to partner with of course I will.
So here’s what I have found that has worked:
- When companies reach out to you and ask if you are interested in promo, demoing, creating a video (60 sec or youtube video) First think about if this brand represents your mission, what you believe in and what you talk about the most on your platform.
- When they email you back and send numbers ALWAYS NEGOTIATE. Marketing is a huge chunk of their budget and ain’t nothing in this world free.
- Come up with rates you feel are great for your engagement and quality of content you will be providing. Add in some Tax sis especially if you’ve invested in equipment to enhance creativity and quality.
- There’s nothing wrong with getting free products, I’ve tried out products and fell in love. After that, I sent my pitch. I actually like to try the products first, because what if I don’t like the products? Now I’m stuck in a contract and I have to be honest with my followers, but I don’t want to disrespect the company.
- You can still critique without bashing. Just list anything positive and alternatives for what went wrong.
- Always remain professional, give them a professional read if they try you. For example “Payment should have been received Monday per our previous email and contract.”
- Always make sure you have a contract and everything is specified so there’s no misconception
- Last but not least make sure you submit all content in enough time to be approved by their manager, just in case anything needs to be changed.
- Learn how to create your own invoice and submit them for payment after approval of content.
I hope these few pointers help you some, especially if these aspects are new to you. I will not speak on growing your following as of yet, because I ‘m still working on that. However, I’ve seen a significant change in the rate of my growth ever since I decided that I will be TIFFANY, and if someone does not like it they can simply unfollow. I’m pouring into all my family like how I wanted people to pour into this little black girl when I was younger. If you have any other Questions you can leave them in the reply section under this post and I will answer. Like I said before please do not be afraid to engage, all my platforms are an open forum. We are going to speak about anything and everything. I love yall and thank you for rocking with me.