BY TIFFANY JOHNSON
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There were so many gems dropped in the book, #Influencer Building Your Personal Brand In The Age Of Social Media by Brittany Hennessy. This book is a wealth of knowledge for those like me who are embarking on the journey to build a brand and need a blueprint to help you get started. #Influencer informs you of the ins and outs from naming your brand to obtaining an agent to helping you secure partnerships for your brand.
If you are like me, and just getting started, you may be more interested in the basics. This blog post is dedicated to you!
1) NAME IT AND CLAIM IT
Taking the time to name your brand is the first step to being on your way. There are a few things you need to know as you get started. “Naming your brand may be the hardest thing you do as a content creator.” (Page 14)
No matter what you name your new baby, remember two things:
2) PLATFORMS … AND NOT THE SHOES
Quality over quantity rings true. You are welcome to stick with the core group of poppin’ social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. However, Hennessy mentioned “I would recommend securing your preferred username on every platform so someone can’t steal it, you should only be active on platforms you have plans on updating.” (Page 16)
Purpose of Platforms
3) OWNERSHIP – THE BLOG WAY
This should be the holy grail of your brand, because you control your narrative and the content you share. If that is not reason enough, advertisers love when influencers create blog posts on their website.
“Any of these social media platforms can delete your profile at any time without warning, or prohibit you from promoting your other channels, but if audience members know your blog URL, they’ll always know where to find you.” (Page 18-19)
Be social! Be sure to link your social media accounts to your blog and have them be up-to-date, visible, and easy to locate.
Remember expert tips that Hennessy included in her book on Page 23:
4) BE A CURATOR! DON’T BE SHY!
Consistency: Brands want to know that you take your role as an influencer seriously to some extent. Be present in the minds of your audience and brands you desire to partner with in the near future as they check to see the date of your last post. Share the love evenly across your platforms. Creating a posting calendar can help you better plan.
5) GET ENGAGED – AND I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT A RING
Brands want to know how many followers you have and the extent of your engagement rate (number of likes and comments). This allows for them to get an idea of how not only how many times consumers will see their advertisement in partnership with you, but also gives them an idea of how many consumers will take the time to provide appreciation and feedback towards their collaboration. Engagement is key, bots/spam can go on a liking spree easily, but remember the ultimate purpose of your collaborating with a brand is to increase their sales.
6) EARN YOUR RESPECT, DON’T BUY IT
Click to set custom HTML
These days having followers seems to be the goal, but don’t be the one that’s super pressed. Most brands heavily factor engagement on your social media accounts.
We have all seen accounts that have a spike in their followers in what seems like overnight with 10k+ followers, but only have 50 likes on their pictures. Either that or they have 200 likes and they’re all from bots or spam. Quite frankly, it’s wack.
Don’t clout chase in that way because it detracts from your credibility. Use that energy and money towards creating quality content. *drops mic*
7) SHARPEN YOUR SKILLS – LIKE A PENCIL
“Knowing how to pose for a photographer, speak on camera, and work the red carpet are skills every successful influencer must have.” (Page 81)
Tips that Hennessy shared:
8) PRESS, PRESS, PRESS, PRESS, PRESS – YOUR BLOG NEEDS SOME PRESS
Keep it cute, clear, and current. Circling back to owning the content on your blog, two pages need to be A1 a.k.a flawless: “About” and “Partnerships.” Upgrade your page with these essentials that Hennessy shared:
About Page (Page 101):
Contact Page (Page 106):
You can be a bit more basic on this page since your other pages, i.e. About and Partnerships, are very detailed.
I would keep in mind that both of her examples included customized domain email addresses vs. an @gmail.com or @yahoo.com email. If your brand has a customized domain email address, you increase your professionalism. Think about it from your own perspective, would you be less likely to work with a company or brand if they didn't utilize a custom email? If the answer is yes, then be the difference and purchase a custom email for yourself.
9) ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF
PR Mailing Lists: Find the contact information for your favorite brand and send a message that includes –
10) MONETIZED – BLING, BLING $$$
Now that you’re poppin’ all through the net and on social media, Hennessey offered a few tips help you level up:
Price is influenced by 5 factors (Page 137-138):
She went on to talk about how many influencers today have agents, but as I mentioned earlier, this blog post highlighted the must-knows for rookies, like myself. This book definitely opened by eyes to a new space that is for the taking … if done correctly. Don't feel the need to soak in her exact words as you should remain true to yourself and pull the tips that speak to areas for your own improvement.
Remember as we embark on this journey together; let’s agree to be ourselves and to show our genuine spirit through our content.
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