Full time influencer and consultant @justskai shares her top tips to find an equilibrium between her two identities.
I joined the influencer marketing industry before the word ‘influencer’ even existed. I remember managing my Uni degree, part-time retail job and starting my blog 5 years ago. I definitely didn’t start thinking it would become anything apart from being more of a journal for myself - especially starting a fashion marketing degree I felt like I needed an outlet for all my creative ideas (and to also stop spamming my aunts and cousins on facebook).
I remember my first few blog posts I was writing about new window displays on Oxford street, I did a couple of outfit photos and even an experience on my very first internship. It was very much just a diary of my life for around two years - I wouldn’t have even called myself a ‘blogger’ at that point. I simply just started, without thinking too much into it I just published it.
As the years went by I carried on keeping up with my blog and Instagram as well as doing tons of internships for magazines, in-house brands, and creative agencies. After graduating I landed myself a job in an agency and worked my way up from a few days in the week as a ‘Marketing Assistant’ to joining a new team as a full time ‘Project Support’ which then lead to being a ‘Campaign Manager’ looking after lifestyle and beauty brands.
I’ve been working solo as an Influencer Marketing consultant the last 6 months with beauty and lifestyle clients as well as influencers with a goal to educate, inspire and get the best results for their brand promotion via social media and influencer marketing. It was a tough decision to make as it meant I had to leave my full time job and rely on myself but it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.
As on my personal blog, I write everything in Top 5’s I thought it would only make sense to chat through my personal Top 5’s of how I manage to work in two positions as a consultant and influencer:
1. Create a To-Do List
I couldn’t stress enough how obsessed I am with working alongside a to-do list. I genuinely would (& do so) watch Netflix and Youtube videos all day if I didn’t. I still get people laughing at me today when I whip out my paper diary in meetings. In-fact I have two paper diaries; one that’s more of a calendar so I plan out all my hour-to-hour meetings, shoot days and admin days, whereas the second one is more of a plain one to write down ideas.
2. Know When To Switch Off
As much as two jobs can take up your 24 hours, 7 days a week I am very keen on knowing when to also switch off - I struggle with this every single day. Working for yourself as fun as it may sometimes sound also means you have no one asking you to stay from 9 – 6 so you just keep going. Especially when social media can really affect your self-esteem– seeing all the ‘best versions’ of everyone at all times. Brands put out their most positive reviews, best quality photos of their products and influencers post their best version of the 2439 photos they’ve taken to get that perfect Monday morning shot. Everyone working in social media will relate as the more time you invest in being online and engaging the more you are seen - so it can be a pretty damaging cycle we face.
Emily from @stylelobster touched upon this in her recent YT video – how influencers are hands down one of the most hard-working people you’ll ever meet and I adore that, it’s so true. People can easily jump to conclusions thinking it’s the most glamorous job right now – however, I dare you to speak to a full-time influencer about their working hours. You quickly realise how easy it is to look past the never ending reports, planning, research and content creation all of it isn’t always as desirable as it may seem.
However, there is the new feature on Instagram you can actually see ‘Your Activity’ of how long you’ve spent on Instagram which can be quite scary to reflect on! The new iPhone update also includes ‘Screen Time’ feature showing how long you’ve spent on Social Networking, Creativity, Productivity etc. What’s cool about that is that you can set limits for apps you don’t want to use e.g Instagram past 8pm!
3. Plan 3 months ahead
If I didn’t plan ahead financially I would’ve never been able to leave my full-time job. I learned to plan ahead when working at the agency and having to call up magazines about their Christmas page while wearing my print summer dresses in July. But I surely then learned that if magazines and brands are planning this much ahead – I should step up and make sure when they hit me with an opportunity I am just as ready as they are.
4. Take Yourself Seriously First
Becoming an influencer marketing consultant was a difficult transition I had to face, I had doubts and worries in my mind about it being taken seriously for a long time. I know many content creators who are influencers as a job part-time that were also afraid to commit to their title for a very long time. So first things first - believe in yourself and people will believe in you.
One of my favourite influencers right now Frassy Audrey, @frassyaudrey has written about how she worried calling herself a photographer because of how people will take that (even though she had tons of experience) – until she titled herself a photographer and jobs started to come through! I totally go by this myself and think until you work hard, believe in yourself and title yourself – no one will take you seriously.
5. Do What Makes You Feel Alive
‘Whatever you value, act it out constantly’ is a beautiful quote by @rhiannonjohanna (I love reading her short poems and quotes first thing in the morning!) and it’s so true without your values, beliefs and goals you simply wouldn’t be able to run a job, let alone two at once!
I say do what makes you feel most alive and you will never work a day in your life. One of the biggest challenges I face with my ‘influencer’ title is people not taking it is a serious profession. It can be very heart-breaking when you put in so much effort into a project, go through a full journey with the brand from emails, to planning with a photographer to then reporting back and still meeting someone who asks if it’s ‘a real job though?’.
‘Today in the buying process there’s a new step, the Zero ‘Moment of Truth (ZMOT), when the consumer looks online for information, reviews, opinions etc. S, the brand needs to manage this moment with content actions through influencers focused on their specific target’
– Stefano Ardito, Managing Director of TwentyTwenty
As soon as brands realise the power of correct influencer marketing and real influencers start to see themselves as a brand, that’s when it all shifts. As of right now every week is different, algorithm changes, new apps are launching and that’s the exciting part of both of my jobs.
I hope this article has given a little more insight into some steps of staying organised, knowing when it’s okay to switch off and of course - the importance of believing in yourself first.
Words by Skai @justskai
Market Research by Serena Bansal