Sitting and waiting for opportunities to fall in your lap doesn’t get you anywhere as a creative or influencer. To be successful you have to be proactive, and hustle.
Simone Perele silk cami | ASOS shorts | Boohoo coat | EOS heels | Bag from Cambodia | Le Specs sunglasses
SHOP THE LOOK NOW
For 98% of influencers and bloggers, their success online came about thanks to a lot of hard work. Everyone has different measures of success – it may be measured by the rapport someone has built with their audience, the number of likes someone can attract on Instagram, or how much money they can make in the world of WordPress, Instagram and Youtube – but one thing remains constant, and that is that no matter what your measure of success, true success can’t be achieved without working for it. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, but if my high school science and math classes taught me anything, it was that the exceptions are extremely rare.
A comment I hear frequently is ‘you look like you have the most amazing life’, and I often get asked if I ‘ever actually work’. As much as the comments grind my gears, I do forgive anyone for having an impaired view of what it is influencers actually do. We do curate what we put out online, so it is only natural that people get a certain impression of what our lives are like. The truth is, while we do get to do some pretty amazing things on a weekly basis, we also have to work out butts off to make sure we keep the ball rolling for ourselves and our businesses.
You can’t wait for success by waiting for things to come to you.
Behind all of those champagne shots and pretty brunches, there are way too many unopened emails to comprehend, a bunch of quotes to send out and shoots to be planned, paperwork coming out of our ears, and networking/interacting galore. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes that a lot of people never get to see. Additionally, a lot of the work that is created, we have to generate ourselves. Influencers have to be proactive and hustle hard to get the results we want.
If you are chasing goals of monetising your blog and/or social media channels, below is just a part of the necessary hustle…
You will have to generate fantastic content free of charge, pro-bono, and even at your own cost.
Yes, even the people with huge followings and a healthy bank account (thanks to their online efforts) will create content for nothing. I remember Amanda Shadforth telling me that she still works with brands pro bono because she really loves them and wants to create content for them. Jarrad Seng started out his career by photographing at night clubs, and furthered it by sending himself to amazing places that he really wanted to shoot to grow his brand.
You have to start looking at some of the tasks you take on as ‘brand building’, instead of ‘free work’. If you want to further yourself and your brand, you will do whatever it takes to get great content, even if that means you have put money into it yourself. Dedicating time and money into a business is necessary for it’s growth.
Scouring influencer networks daily (if not multiple times daily) will become the norm.
If you aren’t signed to an agency, then the job of scouting for potential new work falls on you. Your daily routine will include searching Hypetap, TRIBE, Shopping Links etc. for new briefs that you can apply for. Formulating pitches to send out to new and existing clients will become second nature, because sitting around waiting to be told what to do isn’t the most efficient way to build your brand. All creatives have to hustle hard to find new leads, and so too do influencers!
It is like the old adage – if you don’t ask, you don’t get. If you don’t chase the things you want (i.e. some work with a financial reward attached), then you won’t always get them. Again, there is an exception to this rule as you will start to see jobs landing in your inbox, but that isn’t always going to be a constant.
When you aren’t out networking, you will be spending your free time doing your networking online.
Make no mistake, networking is an influencer’s bestest friend in the whole wide world by a long shot. Going to an event isn’t just about the bubbles and cheeseboard (although they are huge draw cards), it is about striking up conversation with anyone and everyone, making yourself familiar to people. The more people you become familiar with and to, the more opportunity awaits. When networking isn’t happening face to face, it is all about interacting with people on social media and emailing the contacts you met when out. The further you can spread your network, the better. You never know what will come from each interaction!