Probably one of the most frequently asked questions I receive: how do you start with becoming an influencer. Let’s start with the word influencer, which has a bit of a negative meaning to me because you want to inspire others and not influence them. That’s why I like to call myself a content creator, someone who enjoys creating things that makes others happy or inspired. With this guide I will help you start with your journey such as creating your concept, your content plan, approaching companies for receiving PR packages and collaborations.
What is my passion
First start looking what you are passionate about and want to share with the world. Only when you do something that you really love, it will work. These days a lot of content creators start a Lifestyle platform where they talk about all of vary things like fashion and beauty, which also works amazing. But stay true to yourself!
Creating social media accounts
Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube are just a few platform that are available these days. Depending on your interest some platforms will work better than the others. Blogs are a great way to share in-depth articles while a TikTok is a fast way to share tips. Brands really look for content that will be available for a long time of period and can be used by them, so I would definitely advice to start with Instagram, a blog or YouTube. TikTok is still relevant new and as I work for different brands I know this is not the first place where we will invest our money into it. I own all these platforms but my one true moneymaker is my blog, even tho I’m not that active here compared to my Instagram. This will vary from what your passion and content is, but brands are always looking for some ways to improve their Google Search (SEO) and blogs and YouTube are the only things that will be scanned.
Depending on you platform you will start creating content to express your passion and how you want to inspire others. If you start with Instagram the Reels and video’s will create a bigger reach than posts these days. Start sharing some routines or funny video’s of ‘how to’. Photo’s are a beautiful way to capture a story, but the caption should active your audience to also create some action such as a comment, share or a like. Start searching for a way or routine how you want to create your blogs, video’s or pictures: plan them! I usually create my pictures during the weekend and my blogs are written during the evening as I have this writers mood during late hours. Try to create a batch of content so you are never running out and can always post something when you feel that your audience is active. Keep in mind that you want to create something that is a reflection of what you love and who you are, find a personal branding so people will instantly recognize your video’s or pictures in their feed or homepage.
Consistency is key
Post your content on a regular base so your audience won’t forget you. Trigger them with exciting new content once a week or maybe every other day. What works best for me is to create a content calendar so you know when to have your content ready and also the best when you will have a lot of collaborations with brands with deadlines. On some platforms your account may disappear in the background if you don’t post content often, so keep in mind that you need to create that batch of content so you can post anywhere, anytime!
Brands will not discover you within a month or two to collaborate. It takes some time before you will get noticed. To get their attention try to create content with their products. I invested a lot of money to review products of my favorite brands, but in the end they did see me! Interact on their social channels and maybe send them a message when you posted something about their brand, they love to see user generated content! Often they will even offer you some free products to create new content for your own platform. Keep determinated and motivated, one day you will receive an email in your inbox (;
You have your concept, your content creation, a platform filled with amazing video’s blogs or pictures that you are happy with: what now? I started with my first sales pitch after 10-12 months after I started my blog and Instagram. Only when I was satisfied with my channels and not embarrassed to approached them. Brands will receive mails everyday from all kinds of different content creators who want to collaborate with them for free products or even money. So how will you stand out of the crowd and overflown mailbox?
- Make a catchy subject line such as: Hi, An here! or Ready to make some amazing content with your products!. Don’t put something dull such as “Collab”. I usually skip those emails (;
- Tell them who you are and include all of your important social channels and maybe some followers statistics.
- Include some of your work by sharing a link or a One Pager in the attachment to show your talents. It would work even better if you already created content of the brand and share this with them, this will have a huge factor if they will answer your mail or not!
- Tell them what you would like to do and how you are going to do it. As a PR manager I often get mails with: I want to collaborate. Okay, and now? Always tell how you vision this collaboration and instantly come with a suggestion. Brands are always busy so if you already do a part of their job it would make it easier for them to select. Something like I would love to test X product so I can share this with my audience! I have oily skin and I think I can review this product perfect in a skincare routine by creating a video where I will mention your brand with tag and why they need to try this.
When brands react on your mail just try to casual answer their question and how excited you are to speak to them! If you have the balls you can instantly ask them if they have a budget for this collaboration BUT I would first try to create a relationship with the brand so they will know who you are and what kind of work you deliver.
I’ve worked with many brands for barter deals which are collaborations without payment, but you will receive the products. Try to keep this as long as you can, because that is how you will build up the goodwill. In some cases the brands will appreciate your work and they someday will approach you when they have budget for influencer campaigns. They will remind you as the person who created all the awesome work and they will award you with a paid campaign.
If the brands approaches you for a paid campaign, never say yes to their first offer! There is always room for negotiation. When they stick to their first offer you know that the maximum amount, but never say instantly yes. If the brands ask you what you would like to receive, never come with an amount. Always ask them ‘what is your budget’ so you know how much room there is. If they offer less than you are worth it, try to negotiate with them and tell them what your normal rates are.
Talking about rates, these vary depending on how much work you put in your content and the amount of followers or reach on your channels. I always say for Instagram: 10k followers = at least $100, 15k = $150, 20k = $200 and so on. These are bottom rates, so they can definitely be higher if you want and depending on the brand!
Stay true to yourself and keep your head up high
Why am I saying this? Because this world can be cruel. You need to fight against some huge content creators who are doing this for years and maybe have 10x more followers than you, but don’t be demotivated by that. Brands do really see the talented people and numbers are not always where they are looking for. For my work I prefer to approach 10 micro influencer who are passionate instead of 1 huge influencer who advertises about everything. But it is important to not focus on the numbers and be polite on the internet.
Also when you want to work with brands and stay in touch with them. You can better DM or mail brands when they release new products and say you are really excited about the new launch instead of just saying how are you doing, can I get some products? I really get annoyed with some content creators email me every other week about a potential collaboration when I already said no or another time. It is not like we have samples at the office all the time and sometimes we need to schedule some campaign, so timing is also key. I understand that you want your name out there, but sometimes there is a fine line between getting noticed and being desperate.
Over time you will receive PR packages when the brands know you already created a lot of content for them or that you love their brands. It is a bit of both ways: you create free content and they will gift you products and later maybe offer a paid campaign.
After all it is all about consistency and creating amazing content that makes you proud. Only then you will become a successful influencer one day!
Was this article helpful for you? Do you need more tips about the journey of an influencer or maybe a point of view of a PR manager who works for multiple beauty brands?
Very helpful information. Thank you for sharing An!