A Fashion Blog By Gemma Talbot

Thursday, 8 June 2017

5 Job Pressures An Influencer Experiences

With influencers increasingly falling under scrutiny for a number of different reasons, I thought in today's post I'd share with you the pressures I frequently experience as an influencer. Whilst blogging may not technically be classed as your 'typical' 9-5 job, there's no denying that we all put in the hard graft. The (ignorant) stereotype 'oh so you take pictures of yourself for a living' is a far cry from the demands of what bloggers/influencers actually do, myself included. I often feel there aren't enough hours in the day to achieve what I want to and I think this is partly to do with the fact that social media is so fast paced and ever changing. It can often be hard to keep up and take advantage of each and every opportunity that comes your way. 

1. Varying Your Content

From the get go I've always taken pride in my work, particularly the content I create for my blog. I often sit for hours composing a post from editing the photos through to acquiring all of the embedded links you see in the body of a blog post. Within the last year, I've really noticed a massive shift in the importance of social media which is why I have tried to vary my content thus giving people a real reason to want to click through to read my latest blog post. We live in a generation now where people want to see things instantaneously which is why Instagram has become so popular. People don't always want to read why you love that gingham dress as much as you do they just want to see one photo and not necessarily double tap it either. 

More and more brands just want Instagram content which is great in some respects but not so great in others. For me, it makes creating content much quicker but I've also noticed a dip in my overall engagement due to the new Instagram algorithm which means that less people than I'd like are actually seeing my content altogether. The latter is stressful enough in itself. Stressful because you worry that this may jeopardise your chances of working with a brand altogether. This leads me onto my next point. You don't want a brand to question 'has she bought her followers' which is something that some influencers are increasingly under the microscope for in recent months. I'm talking bots, boosts and follower buying. I can hand on heart say I've never bought any of my followers but when your social engagement is low it's natural to worry. One would presume that with approximately 33,300 Instagram followers I should be averaging on at least 1000 likes minimum. This is the case for some of my photos but not all of them I can assure you. It's not just me though, it's across the board and even influencers with more followers than me have less engagement. I have to keep reminding myself of that. 

2. Unique User Statistics a.k.a website traffic

I'd say that generally my unique page views is pretty good but then I don't really have anything else to compare it to. One thing I will say is that although social media has gained significant momentum it may not stick around whereas I will always have my blog. As long as I want it anyways. My fashion style portfolio as I like to call it which is why I still take pride and effort in creating aesthetically pleasing content for my blog. 

When a brand approaches you with regards to a paid collaboration often a defining component of the contract you are required to sign is to declare your unique user statistics after the post has gone live. Some brands even want to know before collaborating as it's likely to determine the sort of influence you are going to have. It makes total sense and I completely understand why a brand does it but from an influencers point of view this can be stressful and often leave me worrying whether my work is good enough. My stats to me may be good but are they good enough from a brands perspective?! It doesn't stop there either, often brands want a full social media breakdown and by this I mean the number of likes, comments, saved posts, total impressions, overall reach and engagement. Arguably being an influencer is not as straight forward as some may seem. 

3. Follower Growth

I touched on this briefly above. Whilst I can hand on heart say that I have not nor will I ever buy a follower this is not the case for all influencers, some who have been called out in recent weeks. 

Whilst I am grateful for the small success I have had, like anything you can always do better and it's also healthy to aim to be better. The way I look at it, this industry is cut throat and it should be seen as a marathon and not a sprint. With that said, it can be slightly discouraging when you see someone pop out of nowhere and completely over take you in the social statistics game that is Instagram. I know it's not all about numbers but if a brand can see that you are growing it makes you an asset as well as a deciding factor as to whether they wish to work with you or not. It's fairly logical really. If you are growing rapidly, it means you are liked and have influence and from a brands point of view this means sales and more brand awareness for them. 

I will also be completely transparent here, the more followers you have the more money you can expect to receive from a brand. There are a lot of brands that will still try to get away with gifting you an item(s) in exchange for an Instagram post but personally since hitting over 30K followers, I feel that I am starting to be taken more seriously. By this I mean knowing my own worth and a brand understanding that influencers are no longer willing to simply do things for free

4. Professionalism and Integrity

As an influencer you fall under the category of being self employed. As such, your blog and Instagram is your business which means you have a reputation to uphold. I've heard through the grape vine of some bloggers being incredibly difficult, demanding and basically putting the capital D in D-I-V-A. I'm mentioning no names but it's cases like these that give other bloggers and influencers a bad name. Have you heard of the phrase 'the blogging kind'. Well it hasn't come out of nowhere I can assure you.

I would never wish for a brand to think badly of me which is why I am always professional and polite both over email and in person. It's not always easy  (believe me) especially when you receive some rather infuriating emails from PR's who think they know it all or consider gifting in exchange for an Instagram post as an amazing 'opportunity'. I just try to look beyond the urgent, flagged emails or shouty capitals in the body of the message and see the bigger picture. Ultimately, I'm doing a job that I love but also learning along the way. Like anything, it's a little bit of trail and error. If you stick with the notion that you treat and respect others the way you want to be treated then I'm pretty sure the rest will take care of itself. I always vow to keep my integrity and would also like to think that I wouldn't be swayed to do something because of the money but rather the passion I have for it. 

5. Payment

One thing I absolutely hate is chasing invoices and believe me I've done my fair share of chasing. I don't even know why it fills me with such dread but it just does. At the end of the day, I've provided a service which I have every right to be paid for. Whilst we're being completely honest, the longest I have ever waited to be paid is four months and this is from the date of invoice. I know some who have waited longer than this to be paid too. As you can imagine, this would leave many in a financial predicament and sometimes it can make budgeting really difficult. Last week over brunch, my friend Sophie even commented "I just don't know how you budget each month". I've learnt to keep on top of my finances even if this means stating on my payment terms (in bold) how and when I expect to be paid or even mentioning it in the email when formulating a contract with a brand. You need to be smart about these things and as I'm sure many of you may know it's better to have things in writing. At least it gives you some sort of security anyways and a leg to stand on so to speak. 

So there you have it, some of the pressures I experience on a daily basis as a blogger and influencer. I'd like to think I have been as open and honest in this post as possible and hopefully it has opened your eyes to the sorts of things that my job entails as well as other influencers. As blogging is a relatively new industry I completely understand why people may not know what it entails. It's just frustrating when people know and still want to pass judgement when they don't really get the bigger picture. As we spend so much of our lives working, we are bound to be stressed on a daily basis. Every job is different and indeed stressful, even the atypical ones like blogging and being an influencer. It might be a different kind of stress but it is still indeed work related stress.

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  1. Follower growth and payment - killers. I also get SO stressed with engagement levels - the emotional rollercoaster when they go up and down 😂 You look gorgeous in these photos xx

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