The Biggest Mistake A Budding Influencer Can Make

It doesn’t take a magic spell to become an influencer. We’ve all been at that moment where we’re questioning whether we’re hot enough, successful enough, and talented enough to become one. The answer is if you’re dedicated to having a following and providing value to it, you will become one. I’ve seen a lot of stuff and guided some people through some online mistakes. However, I’ve narrowed down one biggest mistake a budding influencer can make.

Influencers are All Different

I work with a lot of different types of influencers. I work with women who are younger than me and working on brand deals. Each day I text moms that are just kind of breaking into the space. I have two clients that have written successful books you can find on Amazon!! Crazy. 

No one follower in your audience is the same. Sure, they might share interests. Like you and I, however, they all have different experiences and lives that make them really relate to different stories. Where one follower might go nuts with GRWM (Get Ready With Me) video from one influencer, makeup might truly not be her thing at all.

The need for influencers of different age ranges, sexual orientations, career paths, interests, ethnicities, and just general focuses is SO important. It’s what Instagram pictures are different when you’re scrolling through. It is also what provides valuable information to EVERYONE on the platform, rather than just Gen Z users.

The Big Whammy

If there’s one nugget of free PR advice you take from me when it comes to Instagram, it’s do NOT participate in buying followers. Buying bots to act as place holders for real people on your page does nothing for your journey to making money on IG. Sure, that number looks really pretty but it essentially means nothing. 

Companies can tell the quality of your interactions and your followers. When they see that you have 35 followers with a different variation of “@Sarah123456” you don’t look like a credible person to partner with. Also, you don’t really have a “following” to promote their product to as they’re not looking to market to bots. 

Engagement Rate

I’ve come across accounts that have hundreds of thousands of followers that get 1,000 likes on a photo. That’s a problem. That means that the quality of your following is low. Even if they are real people, they’re not actively participating in the content that you’re posting. Again, that’s a red flag that you couldn’t sell a product for a company aka no brand deals!

My clients at EmyD Media and I are ALWAYS working toward the golden 20% engagement ratio. It’s absolutely not easy and requires time, patience, and good content. Even with an amazing engagement rate, brand deals are not a given! For more information about where your engagement rate can use some tweaking, contact me through the “Work with Me” tab!

Bonus Advice

Just because I like you guys so much, I’ll even give you a little more information. Stop participating in those buy-in follow giveaways. It’s a waste of money to watch your engagement rate absolutely TANK.

If you want to do a giveaway where you’re spending money, buy the product/giftcard/etc yourself as an investment that you would have spent into the buy-in. Make yourself the ONLY person that you have to follow in this transaction. No user wants to follow 15 other accounts for a chance to win a gift card. Also, odds of all those people interacting with you after the giveaway is over is small – again, tanking your engagement rate.

Unless you’re consistently doing little giveaways, they are just another way of buying followers. Your content should be what attracts people to your page, not your money! Believe me, there’s influencers making a LOT of money who aren’t paying their followers a cent of it monetarily. They give back in more quality content, better equipment, and more opportunities to connect!

Was this helpful to you? Get in touch with me through any of my socials below!

Having the PR Perfect Instagram

A Public Relations degree has always been my safety net. Pretty much every field needs a Public Relations professional doing work as they reach a certain level of business. God knows that if something goes wrong, you absolutely need someone in PR to help sort out the chaos. Basically, my degree in PR was job security in something that I was decently good at. I’ve also gotten really good having the PR Perfect Instagram.

Did I think that I would be doing freelance PR at 23 years old? No, not really. In a global pandemic, we’ve all had to get a little creative in how we’re earning our money, how we’re planning on doing so in the future, and how we’re keeping ourselves sane. For our essential workers, that means leaving the house everyday. Teachers have to completely change how they connect with children and focus on the best ways to do so through a computer. For those of us in the internet sphere, it meant a lot more people and businesses entering the game. 

Listen, that’s not always a bad thing. From a PR perspective, quantity means more potential clients to hire me. However, also from the PR perspective, I only keep those clients if they see big, noticeable changes – which is hard in a super competitive space!  

As part of my consultation process, I offer an Instagram Profile Audit. This process basically takes a look at one’s profile through the lens of Public Relations. It asks the questions that businesses ask before they approach influencers for brand deals such as follower count, engagement levels, demographics, insights, active audience, and such. Follower count is something that anyone can see from just looking at your profile, right? Easy. But, if a company were to glance through your Instagram right now, would they see that you’re taking advantage of all the tools IG has to offer?

Having the PR Perfect IG

Obviously, I go in-depth with each of these in an actual consultation. My clients and I go over how just one word in your bio can change your look completely to a company! These three things, however, are something that I’m constantly touching on in my consults with influencers. They are something that I always ask them to think about and consider changing.

The PR Perfect Bio

I don’t want to put a lot of pressure on you, but writing a bio is extremely important when it comes to brand management and follower growth. A mentor of mine, Abby Helfer, once told me about my own Instagram that it’s like a boutique window. It shows us the pretty things to expect before we venture into the store (or our profile). 

Working with a PR Strategist to get this worded right can be game changing for your business. Like I said before, a simple change from the label “blogger” to “content creator” can be insanely effective. My biggest thing about bios is using the link that Instagram provides. My Instagram has links to my most recent blog post as that’s what I would like to direct traffic to. If you’re wanting to direct followers to a website, put it there. You can absolutely put a streaming channel like Twitch or Youtube in your bio. If you want people to click on a GoFundMe for Black Lives Matter (another one of my recent links), PUT IT THERE. 

However, don’t have it be a floating link. By that, I mean, that it’s an influencer’s job to explain why a click on that link is necessary. What value would that link give me as a follower?

The PR Perfect Highlight

If the bio is the boutique window, the highlights are the the first things you see when you walk into the store. They are the new releases, stuff on sale, and just beautiful ads that keeps everyone walking deeper into the store. 

Obviously, the way that you organize your Instagram highlights are up to personal preference. In terms of the best look for a brand, you want it to match the aesthetic of your profile. If you have photos with bright colors, highlights with those chromatics might be a good addition. If you post a lot of greens and landscapes in your photos, it might be worth your time to look for covers that match. Good old Pinterest has a ton of highlight covers that can be downloaded and used to your heart’s content.

At the end of the day, make sure that your highlights represent what you’ll find within your profile. They’re called highlights to be the absolute best moments from your story! Cohesive and clean are always best, but make sure that they’re representing you, your brand, and your product!

The PR Perfect Profile

Instagram allows us 30 hashtags per post. That’s 30 chances for people to find your content in a place where thousands of posts are going up every second. There is a debate amongst digital media experts about just how many hashtags you should be using in each post. Some say that you shouldn’t clutter your post – saying that 15 is enough. I, however, am part of the team that says that you should use all the tools that you’re given. If there’s an opportunity to use a hashtag, I say take it. You can see that in pretty much all of my IG posts. 

If I’m the first person to tell you that you should be using a call to action in your captions, I’m so sorry for the PR injustice you’ve been put through. All of your captions should call your audience to action in some way. It could be urging them to comment on the post (increase that engagement!), encouraging them to go to another page, or providing them with codes to buy your product or service!

Public relations that are more specific to and your profile are available with a FREE Instagram audit. Head over to the “Work With Me” tab to book yours!

Invest in Yourself and Invest in Your PR

Like every other business, you need to invest money to get it off the ground. For example, if you want to have a really successful blog, you will have to buy a domain or maybe invest in some writing courses!

Public relations and marketing online is absolutely worthy of your time and money investment. The best profiles have their target audience, collaborations, and business goals in mind when designing each part. Doing freelance PR has made me realize just how effective little tweaks in your profile can be. Your bio, highlights, and profile on Instagram are your first step in making more money online and connecting to your target audience!

Do you have questions about how your profile looks in terms of PR? Contact me on any of my socials below!