So often I get questions on how I got started as an Influencer. To be quite honest, it was a role that I kind of fell into my lap. I created my Instagram account (@naurallynella) to share hair tips and tricks in order to encourage women who look like me to embrace their natural hair. I was consistent in sharing content and the next thing I knew, I had an audience of over 10k. Now after three years, my audience is over 60k. Somewhere along the road, I met others in the same space and learned that being an Influencer is a full blown J-O-B. I by no means have a desire to be a coach, but I really wanted to share this information to help that person who wants to get started and doesn't know how. If you're that person, keep reading!
LITERALLY GET STARTED! There is no secret formula on starting your journey to becoming an influencer. Over the last three years, I've gotten to know many successful creators and everyone has a different story on how they got started. The one thing they all have in common is that they actually went for it. It is so easy to get caught up in overthinking your strategy, how you want your content to look and being fearful, that it may lead to you not getting started at all. I'm not saying you shouldn't do any research because of course you want to at least understand what you are getting yourself into. But, what I am saying is that you need to physically create your IG account, Youtube Channel, Blog, etc or else you're already delaying your goals. It's simple...JUST DO IT.
PICK YOUR NIÇHE. I've heard many people say that they want to be an influencer but have no idea what they want to post about. Sit down and take some time to really think about it because this is what you'll be "known for". Think about what skill you have that others may benefit from. Creating content should of course be about sharing things that interest you and make you happy but be sure to consider your target audience. Are you into fashion? Do you love talking about hair? Do you have tips on motherhood/parenting? Maybe you're great at DIY projects. Whatever it is that you're passionate about, make content about it.
GET A CAMERA. If you plan to use Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, a blog, or social media in general, you will need a camera. It doesn't have to be really fancy or expensive. Believe it or not, a good camera phone will take you a long way. I used my Samsung note for a while and was able to land partnerships with major brands using it. I later upgraded to a DSLR camera because I wanted to elevate the quality of my content. Don't let not having a professional camera delay your start. Whip out your iPhone, Android or whatever camera you have and start creating. You can decide later based off your own circumstances if you are ready to upgrade.
BE CONSISTENT! Consistency is something that many creators struggle with and I am not an exception. I've had my fair share struggles with remaining consistent because I had a hard time balancing content creation, a full time job, being a wife and being a mom. What helped me is planning. I cannot stress enough how important planning out every detail of your content is. Jot down how often you want to post, what your posts will be about and when you want to publish it. I promise if you do this, consistency will become a part of your everyday life. Not only that, showing up will show brands and your audience that you are serious about what you do. If you're someone who desires brand partnerships, just know that consistency will need to be a regular part of your life.
BE CREATIVE! Being creative will help you to stand out. Think of different ways to deliver your content. What will captivate your audience's attention? Is it that you'll show off your latest winter outfits via IG reels? Or maybe you'll share a hair tutorial using trendy music and transitions. No matter what you decide to do, tap into your creative spirit. Who knows, it may lead to viral content or even your first paid gig.
BE YOURSELF! Being yourself is the ultimate flex. You can't copy someone else's blueprint because what works for them, may not work for you. It's okay to be inspired but avoid blatant copying. Your audience and brands want to see the real you. If you're playful, show that in your work. If you're corky, show that too. Being yourself is what allows people to better connect with you. Many of the partnerships I've landed were because the brand loved that I am myself and that I have an authentic connection with my audience. Authenticity will take you a very long way.
In summary, you can be a successful content creator if you are willing to put in the work. Don't be fooled by the final results of pretty pictures or nice videos. I guarantee you that hours were spent on the one piece of content you just hit the like button for. At the end of the day, being an Influencer "looks fun" and to be honest, it is. But the reality is that it is a full time job for many and it isn't as easy as one may assume. I strongly believe that if I can do it, anyone can. I'm just a regular girl who decided to believe in herself and put in the work. Now, I can officially say that I exceed my salary as a registered nurse and boy was the hard work worth it. If you want it, go get it! YOU GOT THIS!