Self Help

Influencer - Brittany Hennessy

Author Photo

Matheus Puppe

· 41 min read

Here’s a summary of Building Your Personal Brand in the Age of Social Media:

  • Part 1 focuses on building your community. It discusses choosing a username, creating high-quality content, engaging with your audience, and growing your following.

  • Part 2 discusses packaging your brand by developing a unique style and voice. It also covers pitching yourself to press and media to gain more exposure.

  • Part 3 explains how to monetize your influence through brand deals, sponsorships, and ambassadorships. It provides advice on negotiating fees, understanding contracts, and finding an agent.

  • Part 4 discusses creating long-term goals to take your influencer career to the next level. It recommends turning one-off campaigns into long-term partnerships and even developing your own product line.

  • The book includes advice and stories from successful influencers as well as warnings about common mistakes. It aims to provide a helpful overview of building an influencer business.

  • A glossary at the end defines important terms related to influencer marketing and social media.

Overall, the book covers the major aspects of becoming a successful social media influencer, from growing your audience to monetizing your influence to planning for the future. The author’s experience working with many top influencers provides useful insights into the industry.

  • Influencer marketing has become popular in recent years. The term ‘influencer’ is often misused to describe anyone with a social media following, but there are really two main types: content creators and lifecasters.

  • Content creators actively create content for their channels, like blogs, vlogs, and Instagram posts. The main types are bloggers, vloggers, experts, and accounts centered around animals, kids, objects, or memes.

  • Lifecasters share their daily lives and special talents. The main types are people with special skills like cooking or dancing, entrepreneurs, models, celebrities, notable public figures, and ‘real people’ with relatable lives.

  • People become influencers to add value to their careers, promote a business, or make money. Influencers can increase their impact, build their brands, find new customers, and make a living through sponsorships and collaborations.

  • Many influencers start by focusing on one topic like beauty or style, then expand into lifestyle influencers as they gain more influence and money. Influencing can become a side hustle or even a full-time job.

  • Follower count and engagement are important to businesses looking to partner with influencers. While talent and skills are still valued, social influence has become crucial for success in many fields like comedy, acting, and modeling. Influencers need to build their social presence to adapt to this reality.

  • Although the examples given focus on women, influencer marketing also applies to men. The advice in the book can benefit influencers of any gender.

Does this summary accurately reflect the key points about influencers and influencer marketing? Let me know if you would like me to clarify or expand on any part of the summary.

In the early days of your career, experiment as much as possible with your content and branding. This is the time where you can try new things and make mistakes. Once you’re on the radar of more brands and you have more followers, any changes you make will be scrutinized, and unsolicited feedback will be given. If you’re lucky, this phase will only last about a year, so get all your experimentation in while you can.

To build your community:

• Make sure your search results on Google look professional. Set up an alert for your name to monitor new content. Controlling your narrative is important.

•Choose a consistent name that you won’t regret. Either use your real name, create a brand, or mash-up names. Just keep it simple and avoid numbers or underscores.

•Focus on the major platforms: Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. You don’t need to be on every network, but secure your username on each. Only be active on the platforms you will dedicate time to.

•Start a blog. It’s easy to setup and a great way for brands to track partnerships. You can use photos from anywhere and don’t need advanced video skills. Many influencers miss opportunities by not blogging. Viewers can always find you through your blog URL.

•Buy a domain, setup hosting, and use Wordpress to build your blog. Back up your content regularly in case anything goes wrong. Pay a small fee for automatic daily backups.

•Once you quit your job to focus on your blog or vlog full-time, you’ve reached the “promised land”. It’s challenging but rewarding if you find success. Learn from the advice in this book to increase your odds of making it.

The key is to start building your audience, find your voice, create quality content, choose a solid name and platforms, launch a blog, and commit to your goal. With hard work and the right strategy, you can build a dedicated following.

• is the free version but you can’t customize it. requires a host but allows customization. Ask your host about installing Wordpress.

• Choose a theme and plugins. Free or paid. Check to find themes/plugins used by blogs you like. Consider hiring someone to design a custom theme.

• Add social media links prominently. Link to the correct accounts.

• Have a point of view. Be unique. Don’t let social media drive decisions. Focus on your aims.

• Content is key. Written, video, podcasts, images, etc. Build a community, not just followers.

• Use data to inform decisions but trust your gut.

• Network online and offline. Stay visible and relevant.

For video:

• Have an intro and catchphrase. Simple and brand-friendly. No cursing.

• Thumbnails: Simple, minimal text, easy to read. Brand-friendly.

• Trailer: Explain your channel, content, and why to subscribe. Update quarterly. Brand-friendly.

For Instagram:

• Profile photo: From shoulders up, smiling, well-lit. For presentations.

• Bio: Simple. “Creator of XYZ, NYC-based influencer.” Add location pin and link to blog/latest post. Include real name.

• Contact info in bio. So brands can contact you.

• Include your email in your Instagram bio. This makes it easy for brands to contact you for partnerships.

• Use an archive button to remove old or unsuccessful content from your feed without deleting it permanently. This is useful when a campaign ends or content doesn’t perform well. However, never archive content during an active campaign.

• Have high-quality, cohesive photos. While professional shots aren’t required, put thought into your photos’ look and presentation. Using the same filter or theme can help.

• Have a well-written bio. Your bio should be concise yet compelling, highlighting what makes you unique. Include your location and contact info.

• Post frequently and consistently across topics. Post often, especially in the categories you want to be known for. An editorial calendar can help you keep track of and schedule content.

• Be inclusive of major brands in your industry. Mention competitors in your posts and roundups. Brands will search to see if you post about them, and they may be less likely to partner with you if you ignore them.

• Avoid being overly negative or positive. While warning your audience about terrible products or services is okay, ranting is not. Similarly, don’t call every product “the best ever”—it hurts your credibility.

• Create diverse content. Post photos of yourself, your surroundings, flat lays, bag spills, and video. This shows your ability to create different types of engaging content.

• Be authentic. Your content should feel honest and genuine. Don’t create content just for money—you must personally enjoy and stand behind what you post.

  • It is crucial for influencers to create video content. Video is becoming a major part of branded content. If you don’t want much video, focus on stories. influencers need video to be considered for campaigns.

  • Follow a 70/30 rule for balancing organic and sponsored content. For every 10 posts, 7 should be organic and 3 can be sponsored. Don’t do too many sponsorships or your audience will get annoyed. Only do sponsorships you genuinely like.

  • Influencer Jada Wong says influencers’ sponsored content often looks the same. She prefers seeing how influencers style things they bought themselves. That shows their skills and personality more.

  • Sponsored posts should make audiences excited to see an influencer partner with a brand. Don’t do too many similar sponsorships. Say no to most offers and only do ones you actually like.

  • Be passionate and authentic. Audiences can tell if you’re not genuinely interested in what you’re promoting.

  • Influencer Heidi Nazarudin founded The Ambitionista, a style site for successful women. She has a media company, a subscription box, and an influencer network.

  • Heidi took time to learn before becoming a blogger. She read fashion books and took writing classes. She started with a few freelance clients.

  • Heidi follows an 80/20 rule, with 80% of her Instagram being organic. She turns down offers that don’t match her values or audience.

  • Great photos require storytelling, high-quality equipment, and editing. Don’t heavily edit photos so you’re unrecognizable.

  • Heidi recently got an agent to help with campaigns and free up her time. She has a team including an assistant, social media manager, and editor.

  • Heidi didn’t aim for her Marie Claire Malaysia cover. She set smaller goals and worked toward them. To appeal internationally, have unifying content along with content for specific audiences.

  • To network, be genuine and friendly. Compliment others and be helpful. Give freely and generously.

  • When dealing with haters, Heidi took direct action. She posted the hater’s emails and told him to “bring it.” He apologized. She learned who supports her and that addressing issues directly can be effective.

To gain followers and build your audience:

•Start with a small following of friends and family and work on perfecting your content and voice. Experiment to find what works for you.

•Once you have a regular posting schedule down, join online communities like Facebook groups to get feedback and gain new followers. But avoid “Instagram pods” that promise follow-for-follow. You want engaged followers.

•Around 2,500-5,000 followers, start using 5-7 targeted hashtags per post to increase visibility. See which hashtags drive the most new followers and engagement.

•From 5,000-10,000 followers, follow and like the posts of influencers with similar content but fewer followers. Also like posts from any influencer using hashtags you follow. The goal is simply to get on more people’s radar.

•At 10,000-25,000 followers, you’re a “micro-influencer.” Start pitching media outlets and influencer roundups. Keep networking and engaging to continue growing your following.

•The keys to success are: Find your passion or “why” and stick to it. Be consistent and committed. Build relationships by networking with other influencers. And focus on the long game rather than overnight success or money.

That covers the broad steps to building an audience and gaining followers on Instagram to reach 100,000 and beyond. The key is starting small, finding your voice, and building a community by engaging with others and providing value to your followers. Though it requires hard work and patience, growing an audience of engaged followers is possible for anyone with a passion or message to share.

At the 25,000 to 49,999 follower stage, influencers should start collaborating with other influencers who have a similar brand identity. Doing collaborations helps expose influencers to new audiences, provides creative inspiration, and helps combat the loneliness of the job. Successful influencers incorporate friends, family and community into their content.

Influencers should connect with other influencers and attend industry events to find potential collaborators. Everything is more fun with friends, so grab a “squad” and create content together.

At 50,000 to 100,000 followers, influencers can start approaching brands for paid campaigns. Hashtags, contests and sweepstakes are good ways to get featured by brands and gain new followers. However, influencers should make sure to actually follow the brands they want to work with.

Engaging with followers in the comments section is key. Answering questions and liking comments turns casual followers into a real community. Brands want to work with influencers who have an active, engaged community.

Negative comments and “haters” are inevitable as influencers gain popularity. The advice is to not overshare personal details, ignore trolls, delete hateful comments and block problematic followers. Most haters are just extreme fans, so influencers shouldn’t feed into their negativity.

In summary, at this stage influencers should collaborate with like-minded influencers, engage with their community, approach brands for campaigns, and not engage with “haters”. Building a supportive community and working with brands are the keys to success.

  • To stand out as an influencer, you need to have an edge over the competition. This could be high engagement with your audience, specialized skills or knowledge, or producing high-quality content.

  • Engagement rate is one of the first metrics brands evaluate in influencers. It measures how actively your followers interact with your content. To calculate your engagement rate for a post, divide the number of likes plus comments by your number of followers at the time of the post. Calculate based on your last ten posts for a broad engagement rate.

  • High engagement (over 5-10% for larger followings) shows your followers are genuinely interested in your content. Engagement trumps follower count. Focus on creating captivating content and interacting with followers.

  • Niche or specialized skills/knowledge provide value to certain brands. Become an expert in a topic or learn skills like photography that you can apply to your content creation.

  • High-quality content that is consistent and on-brand is key. Images should be well-composed, in focus, and not overly edited. Writing should be compelling yet concise. Video content should have good lighting, audio, edits, etc.

  • Developing a unique voice or style helps you stand out. But stay consistent and on-brand in your messaging and aesthetics. Your audience and potential brands need to recognize your content instantly.

  • Collaborating with others, participating in influencer networks, and media coverage or features help to increase your visibility. But don’t overdo it, and make sure any collaborations or media coverage align with your brand.

• Knowing your engagement rate and audience demographics (age, sex, location) is important for influencers. Most brands prefer influencers with high engagement rates (over 3%) and audiences that match their target market.

• Influencers need skills to be successful, like posing for photos, speaking on camera, and working events. Influencers should be able to take direction, sell products effectively, have a signature pose but also show range, limit editing and accessories, and relax their look.

• For video shoots, influencers should be comfortable on camera, able to work with scripts while sounding natural, have engaging body language and facial expressions, and avoid filler words like “um” and “like.”

• Live event coverage requires researching the event, preparing questions, dressing professionally, filming steadily and clearly, engaging the audience, and promoting the coverage.

• Free work, like live streams, can help influencers build experience and their portfolio to land paying gigs. Influencers just starting out may need to offer some services for free to gain experience.

• Having a YouTube channel, even with a small following, helps influencers get comfortable on camera and provides content and experience to show brands. YouTube experience translates well to other video work.

• The most important skills are being able to represent brands well, engage audiences, and create high-quality content. Influencers who master these skills will be in high demand.

In summary, influencers need to build up their skills and experience to be successful. Developing an engaging social media presence, becoming comfortable on camera, and offering some free work to build a portfolio are good ways for influencers to improve their skills and land more opportunities. The influencers who focus on skills that serve brands well will thrive.

Here are the key points from the summary:

  1. Come prepared with good questions. Don’t ask basic or generic questions that the interviewee has likely answered many times before. Do your research and come up with thoughtful questions that show you understand their work.

  2. Dress comfortably and appropriately. You want to look professional on camera but also be able to move freely and be relaxed. Ill-fitting or uncomfortable clothing will impact your mood and performance.

  3. Remember that the interview is about the other person, not you. Avoid trying to steal the spotlight or be rude and unprofessional. Your role is to highlight the interviewee.

  4. Focus on high production value. For branded content, don’t just do an amateur shoot at home. Use the budget to secure a great location, photographer, equipment, and editor to produce content worthy of the brand. Location and lighting are key.

  5. Build your network. Connect with publicists, photographers, and venues that may be interested in collaborating with you to gain access to great shooting locations. A strong network will help set you apart.

  6. Offer more assets than required. When booked for a campaign, provide extra photos, quotes, etc. to show you go above and beyond. Be prompt and professional in communication.

  7. Know your strengths and be authentic. The influencer industry is crowded, so be uniquely you. Focus on what makes you stand out. Build a genuine connection with your audience.

  8. Travel and new experiences inspire great content. But balance creating a lot of content with avoiding burnout. Getting enough rest and taking care of your health is important, especially when traveling frequently.

  9. Foster a positive, engaged community. Respond to comments, answer questions, and interact with your audience. Be selective with ads and partnerships to maintain authenticity. Meet and greets are a great way to connect with your audience in person.

  10. Influencer icon Alyssa Bossio started as a fitness influencer but transitioned to lifestyle and travel as her interests and brand evolved. She focuses on high-quality, unique content, close interaction with her audience, and maintaining authenticity. Travel inspires her content creation.

• Ensure your digital house is in order with a professional website that includes an “about” page and “partnership” page. These pages should provide detailed information about you, your background, interests, and experience to allow potential partners to determine if you’re a good fit for their campaigns.

• Your “about” page should include:

› A friendly, professional headshot › A short bio highlighting your personality and audience › An embedded video, like a YouTube trailer, to showcase your on-camera presence › 3-5 of your favorite Instagram posts spanning different content categories

• Your “partnership” page should include:

› A different professional headshot › Your name, profession, and 3 words to describe you › Where you’re from, where you live now, and your education › Your work experience and path to becoming an influencer › Interesting personal details and hobbies › A list of the types of partnerships and collaborations you’re open to, like ambassadorships, blogging, video, events, and more › Your promotion offer and rates

• Be as well-rounded in your biography and as detailed as possible to allow potential partners to fully understand you and see you for various campaigns. The more they know about you, the more opportunities may arise.

• Reach out to sites and brands you’re interested in partnering with, using your professional materials to express your interest and show why you’d be a great fit for their goals. Building relationships and networking is key.

  • Do NOT include logos of all brands you’ve worked with. Only include sponsored posts links.

  • Contact page:

If brand wants to collaborate, email

-Blogger roundups:

Email the writer of roundups you like and send a note thanking them. Mention you recently hit X followers and are interested in future roundups. Offer to send press kit.

-PR mailing lists:

Email product publicists offering to review their product for your blog in exchange for free product. Mention your stats and what you’ll provide (blog post, photos, social promotion). Ask for founder quote to personalize post.

-Brands and casting agents:

Find influencer marketing contacts on LinkedIn. Message brand social media handles if needed. Email a intro, mention you’re a fan and your stats. Offer to provide press kit. Keep short and sweet.

The key points are providing an professional introduction, specifying what you can offer in return, and pointing the company to your online portfolio so they can evaluate whether you’re a good fit. Building relationships and experience with PR partnerships and blogger roundups can help open doors to bigger brand deals.

• Joy Cho is an influencer who built her brand Oh Joy from scratch. She started as a freelance designer and grew her business into multiple product lines, collaborations, and books.

• Cho recommends focusing on content that feels authentic to you and sharing ideas you genuinely love. For her, there isn’t a big difference between “organic” and “branded” content. She aims to bring joy to her audience with everything she posts.

• Cho recommends working for free or little pay when you’re first starting out to build your portfolio and audience. Once you gain momentum, you can raise your rates and be more selective.

• Running your own business requires a lot of time and work. It may seem like you’ll have more flexibility, but the time is just distributed differently. Cho works long hours, often late into the night and on vacations.

• Cho has become more selective about showing her family on social media as her brand and audience have grown. She aims to share personal moments that add value for her audience and are comfortable for her family. She recommends being careful about oversharing details that could compromise your privacy or security.

• Cho financed her business through credit cards and revenue from her work. Although not ideal, it allowed her to get started when she didn’t have much savings. She doesn’t recommend going into debt but says timing and results may have been different if she waited to start her business until she had more money saved. Her product lines are now licensed, so she doesn’t have upfront costs.

• Cho’s advice for influencers is: focus on content you genuinely care about, be authentic, work hard, set boundaries to protect your family’s privacy, and find creative ways to finance your dreams. With time and dedication, you can build a successful brand and business.

The influencer started out working alone from home in 2005. She hired her first employee, an intern, in the early years. It took her 8 years to feel comfortable hiring permanent employees. She started with a part-time employee, then added more part-time and full-time employees over the years. Now she has a team of people handling different areas like designing, styling, crafting, social media, and new business. She oversees them and the creative direction of the brand.

A goal of hers was to design a collection for Target. She pitched her work to brands to build up her portfolio. In 2014, 10 years after setting the goal, she released her first collection with Target. Hard work and persistence helped her achieve her goal. Her advice is to keep putting yourself out there, show the work you want to do even if no one hires you yet, and reach out to brands to pitch ideas.

She loves that women dominate influencer marketing. No one lives an “Instagram-ready” life all the time. Influencers are aware of turning it on and off. Instagram Stories provide a more authentic look into people’s lives. Her advice for influencers is to do research to provide unique content, be genuine by posting about what you love, and not worry too much about numbers or growing an audience. Staying true to yourself is most important.

She wouldn’t change anything about her journey. The hard times shaped her into who she is. While social media is important, the most important thing is being yourself.

• If you’re excited to work with a brand even for free, that’s great. But creating content costs money, so you’ll need a budget.

• Figure out how much you’re worth based on your followers, engagement, content quality, name/skills, and audience demographics. Then add your talent fee for creating the content. Charge within the reasonable range for your tier.

• Negotiate your compensation. If the initial offer is in line with your fee, ask for details and a contract. If it’s for free products, determine if it’s worth it by considering if it’s your dream brand, includes travel, or promotion. If not, turn it down.

• If the money offered is too low, check your ego and determine if it’s fair. If not, counteroffer with your rate and ask for details/a contract. The key is knowing your worth and not being afraid to walk away from a bad deal.

• Most people, especially women, are intimidated to negotiate. But knowing your numbers builds confidence. You can lower your rate to meet a brand in the middle, but remember you have expenses to pay.

• Whether for a blog post, Instagram post, or YouTube video, your fee = distribution fee (based on followers, engagement, content quality, recognizability, skills, audience) + talent fee (costs to create content and your hourly rate). Increase your rate as you gain experience.

• Keep negotiating and don’t roll over. Half the battle is not letting others take advantage of you. Stay strong in what you’re worth. When a campaign performs well, brands will pay more. Invest money from campaigns into improving your content.

• Walk away when a campaign isn’t worth your time or will alienate your audience/competitors. Focus on your organic content to get paid work. Don’t risk it unless the opportunity is really valuable.

The key takeaways are know your worth, don’t be afraid to negotiate, and don’t settle for less than you deserve. Compromise when reasonable but stand up for yourself. Say no when a deal is really not in your interest. With experience, you’ll get better at evaluating opportunities and maximizing your influencer income.

  • It is normal for influencers to feel nervous about countering a brand’s offer, but you should provide a fair price and not be greedy. The brand will either accept your counteroffer or deny it. If denied, reevaluate if the campaign is worth it for you. If so, respond professionally and positively.

  • If passing on an opportunity, do so politely and gracefully. Provide a polite reason, such as the compensation not being enough or the campaign not aligning with your brand. Make it clear you appreciate the consideration. This maintains a good relationship for potential future work.

  • Choose campaigns wisely based on compensation, brand alignment, and ensuring you don’t cut off future opportunities. Build relationships with brands you genuinely care about.

  • Teni Panosian is a successful beauty and lifestyle influencer. She has 1M+ YouTube subscribers and a large Instagram following. She recently rebranded her blog from MissMaven to Remarques to reflect her growth and maturity.

  • Teni recommends consistent, high-quality content to grow on YouTube and working with the algorithm. For Instagram, focus on visuals your audience will enjoy rather than strict formulas.

  • Teni signed with a talent agency when she was being approached by major agencies and found one that aligned with her vision. Her agent has been instrumental in her success.

  • Teni started in beauty but branched out to fashion and travel when her audience showed interest in those areas. She diversifies her content while still providing what her followers expect.

  • Influencing in your 30s can be challenging to keep up with trends targeting younger audiences but catering to a more mature niche is possible. Teni considers going back to school but continues influencing for now.

  • Teni is somewhat private and selective in sharing personal details on social media, unlike some other influencers. She prefers to focus on her professional life and the content her followers expect.

• Read over the entire contract thoroughly before signing. Don’t skim or blindly trust your agent or lawyer has reviewed it properly.

• Provide accurate personal information like your legal name, address, phone number, and email. Disclose if the name you use professionally differs from your legal name.

• The contract will specify the campaign details including who hired you, what brand or product the content is for, the shooting schedule, and deliverables. Read these sections carefully.

• Be professional during a campaign shoot. While on set, focus on the job. Don’t disappear for hours to run personal errands.

• Deliverables refer to the content you are obligated to provide, like Instagram posts, captions, blog posts, or product photos. Make sure you understand exactly what is required and provide high-quality work.

• Don’t make excuses or ask for extensions unless absolutely necessary. Meet deadlines and be responsive to avoid frustrating the team you’re working with.

• Act professionally and treat a campaign product with care. Don’t take the item out of the country or put it in unsafe conditions where it could be lost, stolen or damaged.

Does this summary cover the key highlights from the advice provided? Let me know if you would like me to clarify or expand on any points.

  • The agent had trouble securing influencer photos by the deadline for a brand campaign. The influencer finally sent the photos at the last minute. Although the campaign was successful, the brand manager is furious with the influencer’s unprofessional behavior. As a result, the influencer has been banned from working with the brand in the future.

  • Influencer contracts typically include terms like:

› Term summary and flight dates: The length of the agreement and when content will go live. Influencers usually cannot delete content during the “flight dates.”

› Exclusivity: Restricts influencers from working with competitor brands for a period of time. Influencers should charge higher fees for longer exclusivity periods, holiday seasons, fashion weeks, etc.

› Usage: Dictates how the brand can use the influencer’s content. Common types include paid social media ads, pre-roll ads, print ads, in-store displays, etc. Influencers should charge higher fees for additional usage.

› Payment: Includes the fee amount, payment terms (e.g. net 30 days), and necessary paperwork like invoices, tax forms, payment forms, etc. Influencers can sometimes negotiate better payment terms if the fee amount is non-negotiable.

› Travel and expenses: Covers influencer travel and accommodations for campaigns. Influencers typically do not fly first class or make unreasonable demands. Doing so can damage relationships and opportunities.

› FTC regulations: Require influencers to properly disclose when content is sponsored using hashtags like #ad or #sponsored. The FTC monitors social media and can issue warnings, fines, and even pursue legal action for violations.

› Moral of the story: Influencers should remain professional, reasonable, and compliant to build strong, long-term relationships with brands and agencies. Making unreasonable demands or violating FTC rules can severely damage opportunities and credibility.

• Alexandra Pereira started her blog Lovely Pepa in 2009 as a hobby to share her passion for fashion. She named it after her French bulldog Pepa.

• She started posting on YouTube in August 2017 to allow her followers to get to know her better. Her first videos were not good enough so she discarded them. She says YouTube allows for more real and engaging interactions with followers.

• Alexandra creates content in both Spanish and English to connect with more people. However, it requires extra work and can lead to burnout. She recommends studying it carefully before investing in it. Her Spanish followers know her for that so she can’t stop.

• Alexandra says the key to high-quality content is preparing it in advance. Her team brainstorms content ideas daily, coordinating travel, locations, and outfits. Spontaneity also works but preparation is key. Sponsored content is created like organic content while maintaining her identity.

• Alexandra finds her lifestyle complicated but enjoyable. She gets excited discovering new places like when she first traveled at age 5. She leaves 4-5 days to edit content before publishing, sometimes less for time-sensitive content. Her team spends at least 4 days editing.

• In summary, Alexandra started as a hobby blogger, posts in two languages, focuses on high-quality content through preparation and spontaneity, and enjoys a complicated travel lifestyle. She is cautious about sponsored content to maintain her identity.

• Influencers at the top of the industry often have a team to help them handle the business side so they can focus on creating content. This team may include:

  • An assistant to handle emails, scheduling, and logistics
  • A manager to provide career advice and help expand the influencer’s brand
  • A publicist to gain media opportunities and publicity
  • An attorney to review contracts
  • An agent to find and negotiate paid opportunities and brand deals

• Agents are important members of an influencer’s team. They help book paid campaigns and brand deals, taking 10 to 15 percent of the influencer’s income from those deals.

• Good agents are invaluable for finding opportunities and negotiating the best deals for their clients. However, some agents can be frustrating to work with for reasons like:

  • Poor communication and lack of responsiveness
  • Fighting over small details and not knowing when to compromise
  • Lying about their client’s interest in a deal
  • Pushing for deals that don’t actually benefit or align with their client’s brand

• The agent-influencer relationship requires trust and shared goals. Influencers should find agents who understand their brand and values. Agents should work to find opportunities that genuinely match what their clients want to promote. Compromise and open communication are key.

• Sometimes agents make mistakes in negotiations that end up costing their clients opportunities. Influencers should be aware of the deals their agents turn down on their behalf. Agents should admit when they make a mistake and work to remedy the situation.

The summary outlines the role that agents play in an influencer’s team, the pros and cons of working with agents, the keys to a good agent-influencer relationship, and examples of mistakes agents sometimes make. The overall message is that agents can be extremely helpful, but influencers need to choose agents carefully and stay involved in the decision making. Communication and shared goals are essential.

The author works as a influencer agent booking campaigns and maintaining relationships with influencers and brands. She meets with influencers regularly to stay up to date with their interests and availability. She tracks all this information in a database to effectively pitch influencers for campaigns. Sometimes agents decline campaigns on the influencer’s behalf when the influencer actually wants to do it. The author cites an example where an influencer’s agent initially declined a $10,000 campaign but the influencer stepped in and said she wanted to do it.

The author advises influencers to choose agents carefully by:

  1. Looking at the agent’s full client roster to ensure a good fit. It can be good if an influencer fills a niche, but agents may be better connected in certain areas. Influencers should consider if they want to work with an agent’s other clients.

  2. Meeting the agent in person or via video chat to determine if they connect.

  3. Speaking to an agent’s other clients to get references and understand the agent’s communication and pitching style.

  4. Reviewing the contract to understand fees, payment terms, and negotiation process. Some agencies don’t pay influencers until a certain earning threshold which influencers should consider.

  5. Researching an agent’s experience and connections. More junior agents may be good for smaller influencers but influencers should still vet them.

  6. Pitching themselves to agents by understanding the agency’s niche, finding the best contact, getting referrals from mutual connections, and being prepared to show their value. Influencers can offer referral fees to connections who introduce them to agents. Cold emailing and attending conferences are other options.

The author shares an example from an influencer, @heygorjess, who found the right agent after being in the industry for 3 years. The influencer trusted the author’s suggestion, connected with the agent personally, and knew the agent could help her grow and negotiate better. The influencer recommends getting an agent to open more opportunities.

The key steps to securing a long-term career as an influencer are:

  1. Get repeat business by exceeding expectations. Do small things to show your value like:

-Send thank you notes after campaigns. Small gestures like this make you memorable.

-Provide mood boards or extra photos. Giving more than asked for impresses clients and makes them want to work with you again.

  1. Lock in long-term deals and ambassadorships. Long-term partnerships provide stability and credibility. To get them:

-Approach brands you genuinely love and use. Your authentic enthusiasm will show through.

-Suggest creative partnership ideas that extend beyond just social media posts. Collaborate on products, events, donations, etc.

-Be willing to negotiate. Don’t just accept the first offer. Counter in a professional, data-driven way.

  1. Start your own business. Transitioning from influencer to entrepreneur is challenging but rewarding. Some tips:

-Leverage your existing audience and expertise. Create products or services that resonate with your followers.

-Build a team to complement your skills. Surround yourself with people whose abilities balance out your own weaknesses.

-Be willing to learn and grow. Running a business takes knowledge and skills that can be developed over time. Stay open to feedback and advice.

-Focus on your mission and values. Let your business decisions be guided by what is authentic to you. Audiences will see through anything less.

The key is adapting to changes in the industry while staying true to your brand. With hard work and the right strategy, influencers can achieve long-term success. But never stop improving, learning, and exceeding expectations. Consistently wowing your partners and followers will set you up for continued achievements.

• Throwing in an extra blog post, Instagram photo or Instagram Story for an advertiser is a great way to overdeliver and build goodwill. They will likely be delighted and it can lead to more work and opportunities.

• After a successful campaign, pitch the idea of a long-term partnership to the advertiser. Come prepared with a media kit detailing the specifics of what you would provide. Don’t give a price upfront; just excite them about the idea. You can work out the details later.

• Major collaborations with brands are a huge milestone. Look for smaller brands that may want to partner and create a proposal highlighting what you can offer. Networking is key to building opportunities.

• The formula for influence is persuasiveness x network. While there will be critics, influencer marketing is growing and the future is bright. Getting started now positions you for success.

• Sona Gasparian chose a friendly, relatable name for her blog, Simply Sona, to connect with her audience. She shares beauty, fashion and lifestyle content and has built a cosmetics line. Her brand is approachable but her success is anything but simple.

• Choosing a blog name is hard but important. Pick something inviting and relatable that can evolve with you. Share a mix of content to give readers a well-rounded view of your expertise and interests.

• Overdelivering, making personal connections and sharing a mix of content on social media and your blog are keys to Sona’s success in building her influence and brand.

  • The author shares lifestyle content to connect with her readers on a personal level. She shares personal stories to show she is human with imperfections like everyone else.

  • She used to curate her Instagram feed to look perfect but now focuses on relatable, authentic content. She gives her followers value from sponsored posts rather than just promoting a product.

  • To have a good on-camera presence, be professional but also be yourself. Practice and experience have helped the author become comfortable on camera and connect with her viewers.

  • The author gained most of her knowledge from work experience, not from makeup school. Practice and experience are the best ways to learn.

  • The author’s husband manages the business side of her brand. They set boundaries to avoid talking about work in the evenings.

  • The author has learned to focus on her own work and not get too close to others in the industry due to jealousy and hurt. She mostly gets constructive feedback from her viewers.

  • The author launched her own cosmetics line to offer something different to the beauty market. With hard work and goals, she has grown the brand. She believes in dreaming big but taking action.

  • The author thinks it is good women have become successful influencers but some set unrealistic expectations through editing. Influencers should find a balance between editing and authenticity. Aspiring influencers should be themselves and consistent.

  • The author believes asking “why not me?” and taking opportunities even if not fully ready are keys to success. Having confidence in your abilities and being willing to learn and grow are important. Saying yes and figuring out details later has led to exciting opportunities for the author. Hard work, persistence, and patience have been instrumental in the author’s success.

  • The author’s advice for aspiring influencers: don’t overthink, find your unique offering, be yourself, make connections, work hard, be persistent, and be patient. Success will come.

The author tells a story of traveling on short notice and meeting a friend who later helped her get a job at Hearst which led to writing a book. The key lessons are:

  1. Say yes: When presented with an opportunity, say yes even if you have doubts. You never know where it may lead.

  2. Ask for forgiveness, not permission: Take initiative and do what you need to do. Apologize later if needed. The author put ads on her blog without permission which led to getting paid ad campaigns.

  3. Give freely: Don’t hold back in networking and building relationships. Tell people how they can help you and offer to help them in return. The author met her husband this way and they got engaged on their first date.

To become an influencer:

  1. Create content on multiple platforms: Be a blogger, vlogger and Instagrammer. This makes you versatile and attractive to brands.

  2. Find your passion topic: Pick a topic you care deeply about to build your influencer brand around. Your passion will fuel your content creation.

  3. Set a big goal and work backwards: Dream big about what you want to achieve and accomplish and then lay out the steps to get there. Many influencers build empires from humble beginnings.

The glossary provides definitions of terms commonly used in influencer marketing like advertiser, agency, ambassador, approvals, etc.

Overall, the key messages are to seize opportunities when they arise, take initiative, build relationships, create great content around your passions, dream big and work hard to achieve your goals. With determination, you can become a successful influencer.

• u will be expected on set—You will be required to show up for a photo or video shoot. The details will be provided in the call sheet which provides the schedule and important information for that day of production.

• Campaign—A branded marketing initiative with a specific timeline. You are hired to help promote a product, service or message.

• Casting Call—The process of finding and hiring influencers and talent for a campaign. Multiple influencers may be seen in a short period of time.

• Category Exclusivity—When an advertiser prohibits you from working with competitors for a period of time. Common categories include beauty, alcohol, and accessories.

• Celebrity—An influencer who is primarily famous for their offline career like movies, music, TV or sports. People follow them on social media because they are already a fan.

• Circle Back—A polite way of saying I will follow up with you or get back to you later.

• Client—The company or person paying you for a campaign or sponsored content. You need to satisfy the client to continue the working relationship.

• COB—Close of business which usually refers to 6 pm. But the exact time will depend on the time zone of the person using the term.

• Competitor—A rival company that sells a similar product or service. Advertisers want to know how you can help them gain an advantage over their competitors.

• Connect Offline—Discussing something further after a call has ended.

• Content—The photos, videos, blog posts, and social media posts you create.

• Contract—A legally binding agreement between the influencer and the advertiser detailing the campaign specifics and requirements.

• CPC—Cost per click. The amount an advertiser pays each time someone clicks on content or an ad. Calculated by dividing the total amount paid by the number of clicks.

• CPV—Cost per view. The amount an advertiser pays each time a video campaign content or ad is viewed. Calculated by dividing the total amount paid by the number of views.

• Deck—A presentation, usually in PowerPoint or Keynote, outlining a proposal or campaign ideas. Agencies have to create them for clients even though most people dislike making them.

• Deliverables—The photos, videos, blog posts, social media posts you are required to provide as part of a campaign agreement.

• Disclaimer—Important information provided to clarify something or set the right expectations. Often seen in blog posts to disclose paid relationships or affiliate links.

• DocuSign—An electronic signature service allowing documents to be signed digitally instead of printing, signing and scanning.

• Engagement—The total number of actions (likes, comments, shares) on a social media post. Used to measure influence and audience interest.

•Engagement Rate—Total engagements on a post divided by the number of followers. Gives a percentage of how many followers interacted with a post.

• EOD—End of day which typically means by midnight or when you start work the next day.

• EOW—End of week, usually meaning by or before the start of business on Monday morning.

• Exclusivity—The period of time an influencer cannot work with a competitor after doing a campaign.

• Facebook Live—A real-time video broadcast on Facebook. Viewers can watch and comment in real time.

• Filter—An effect added to a photo or video to alter the look in some way.

• Flat Lay—A photo of items laid out flat, often showing what’s inside a bag, suitcase or outfit.

•Flight—The period of time a campaign runs or content needs to remain live.

• FTC—The Federal Trade Commission regulates advertising to ensure consumers are not misled. Their guidelines shape disclosure requirements for influencer marketing.

• Gallery—A group of images or videos, displayed together in a scrollable format. Can be used on blogs, Instagram and Facebook.

• Glam Squad—A team of hair stylists, makeup artists and wardrobe stylists who help prepare influencers for photo shoots.

•Go-see—A meeting where influencers meet with a casting director or agent in person. Allows the director or agent to see how someone presents in real life.

•Hashtag—The # symbol used to tag posts on social media and link them to a common topic or theme. Popular hashtags increase visibility and help content be discovered.

• Haul—A popular type of YouTube video where influencers show items they have recently purchased. Anti-haul is the opposite, showing items you do not plan to buy.

• Impressions—The total number of times a post or content is displayed, no matter if it is clicked or acted upon. Used to measure potential reach.

• Influencer—Someone who can drive awareness and interest based on their knowledge, expertise or relationship with an audience. Relies on content creation and social media to influence.

• KPI—Key performance indicators refer to the metrics used to measure the success of a campaign like impressions, engagements, clicks, time on site, purchases, downloads, etc.

• Lifecaster—An influencer who broadcasts live video of their daily life and activities. Followers feel a sense of direct connection and access into the influencer’s “real life”.

• Listicle—A post presented in list form, like “Ten Ways to Boost Your Mood” or “The Top Five Travel Gadgets You Need Now”. Easily consumable and popular.

• Manager—Helps guide an influencer’s career. May also help pitch and book influencer for branded campaigns in the absence of an agent.

• Mention— Tagging a brand or advertiser by using their @username in a post. Done to get their attention or attribute shared content.

• Mood Board—A visual representation of a theme or aesthetic for a campaign. Provides examples of locations, clothing, styling, poses or other inspiration. Used for brand approval and guidance.

• O&O—Owned and operated refers to content that can be used on the advertiser’s own platforms like their website, blog or social media accounts. Specified in campaign agreements.

• Publicist—Responsible for managing media relations and public image. Works to garner positive press coverage, manage reputation and handle any PR issues that arise.

• Redline—Edits made to a digital document, like a contract, that are highlighted for review. Makes it easy to see and approve or discuss proposed changes.

• Retail—Physical locations like stores. If a campaign agreement includes retail use, content may be used in the advertiser’s brick and mortar stores.

• ROI—Return on investment. The amount of money generated or value gained from an expenditure. In influencer marketing, a good ROI means the money spent on a campaign had a meaningful impact.

• Rolling Lunch—Food is brought in without an official dedicated lunch break. You eat whenever you have the opportunity on a busy day of shooting or production.

• Roster—The full list of clients an agency represents or influencers they pitch for campaigns.

•Sentiment—The overall feeling or impression left by a piece of content or message. Positive, negative or neutral.

• SOW—Scope of work. Outlines the specific responsibilities and outcomes expected from an influencer for a campaign.

• Tag—Mentioning a brand by using their @username in an organic social media post. Done without a paid partnership in hopes of gaining their notice or repost.

• Takeover—When an influencer gives an advertiser control of their social media account, like Instagram, for a dedicated period of time, often just 24 hours. Viewers see content created and posted by the brand.

• Tutorial—An instructional video, often found on YouTube, showing how to do a skill or task step-by-step.

• Usage—How content from a campaign can be used, referred to in the agreement. Specifies if content can be reposted on advertiser owned platforms like their website, social media or paid ads.

• Vertical—A category of influencer focus like fashion, beauty, home decor, fitness, travel, etc. Influencers typically concentrate on a specific vertical or a few related verticals.

• Wordpress—A popular blogging platform used by many influencers and brands. Easy to use with many customization options.

The author expresses gratitude to many people who supported and helped in the development of this book:

  • Jade Sherman, for the introduction to the agent and providing quotes

  • Steve Ross, the agent who found the right publisher

  • Denise Silvestro, the editor who guided the author

  • The team at Kensington, the publisher, for believing in the book

  • Jacqueline Deval, for the compliment on the book proposal

  • Alexandra Carlin, for the support at Hearst

  • Allison Keane, Liv Ren, Lee Sosin, Laura Kalehoff, and Keri Hansen for helping the author’s professional growth

  • Sam Gladis, for the constant support

  • Influencers like Alexandra Pereira, Alyssa Bossio, Cara Santana, Heidi Nazarudin, Joy Cho, Sazan Hendrix, Sona Gasparian, and Teni Panosian for providing insights

  • Influencers like Brittany Xavier, Cynthia Andrew, Iskra Lawrence, Jeanne Grey, Jenny Tsang, Jessamyn Stanley, Jessica Franklin, Krystal Bick, Olya Hill, Renee Hahnel, and Tania Sarin for sharing their experiences

  • Experts like Beca Alexander, Chloe Watts, Hannah Kluckhohn, India-Jewel Jackson, Jada Wong, Jane Lim, Jennifer Tzeses, Jessy Grossman, Maximilian Ulanoff, and Rana Zand for their business insights

  • The author’s mom, for keeping her first written book

  • Friends Carolyn Landis and Mike Mathewson for their support

  • Zlata Faerman, for the positivity

  • Everyone who attended the author’s events and social media followers for their questions and support

  • God, for the opportunities and talent given to the author

Author Photo

About Matheus Puppe