If you told me that I could be making over $10,000 in 3 months being an Instagram influencer and make a decent income out of it 2 years ago, I would have raised my eyebrows and told you it wouldn’t happen.
2 years ago, I used to think that there wasn’t enough space for us all to make money in this Instagram influencer game. I used to look at other influencers who would fake it til you make it and wondered if this whole Instagram game was something I wanted to take on. I used to think that you had to pretend to be someone else in order to score brand deals and make an income in this industry. I used to tell myself that brands wouldn’t bother paying us because there would always be someone else out there who would be willing to do it for free.
But boy, I was wrong!
Most of you know about the dramatic mindset change that happened to me towards the end of 2018. This mindset shift has helped me build a fulfilling business that aligned with my core values and who I truly am and attract more valuable clients to my business.
What I didn’t expect was that this mindset shift also turned around my side hustle of being an Instagram influencer & blogger.
I went from making less than $100 per Instagram post to signing several 4-figure brand deals. Better yet, these are the brands that totally value my worth, my creativity and my authenticity with my content. These are the brands that I didn’t have to bargain and prove my worth too.
The most interesting part was that I did not reach out to any of these brands? They found me instead.
You might be wondering how it all happened.
Today, I will share with you the 5 lessons I have learned from landing my first 4-figure brand deal as an Instagram influencer. By sharing these lessons, I hope that they also help you to remove your own limitations and start attracting more income and brand deals to you.
Lesson #1: You need to remove your limited mindset.
Negative self-talk does you no good but hinders your own success.
If I told you how much I used to charge as an influencer back in the day, you would laugh at me. I was selling myself so short. I had no belief in myself and it showed in the way I showed up, online and offline. It also showed up in bank account!
“I don’t think I could earn that much.”
“I don’t think they could afford to pay me if I am too expensive.”
“I don’t think I am good enough.”
Those were my self-sabotage thoughts that I had to delete completely out of my system to start attracting the right brands to work with me.
Lesson #2: Everyone’s business is not yours. Focus on yours!
I have to be honest. It was easier said than done when it comes to ignoring what everyone else was doing on Instagram, but it was worth the try.
Back then, I found myself constantly comparing my own effort to others on Instagram. I didn’t realize that comparing myself to others didn’t do me any good. I got stressed out often. My creativity was running out and I felt overwhelmed all the time. Who can relate?
Let me tell you something! It is so much more rewarding and motivating to build a brand that is true to yourself.
I stopped hiding my “not so pretty” posts and started to show up as my authentic self. I stopped looking at others and focus on working on my own brand. A brand that represents me and that is screaming out my name and my name only.
Lesson #3: Focus on building a relationship with your community & build your engagement
It doesn’t matter how many followers you have, if they don’t have a relationship with you and trust you, they will not listen to what you have to say. Growing your engagement as an Instagram Influencer is so essential.
When I say engagement, I am not talking about comments like “Nice!” or “Pretty!”. I am talking about real conversations, real relationships that you have with your followers. Can you relate to them? Are they looking forward to reading your post? Are you adding value to their life?
One of my tips is to continue the conversation with your audience on a personal level…to your DM, maybe? It shows that you value their inputs & care about what they have to say. Relationships are cultivated that way.
Furthermore, brands want to know that if they invest their money in you, they are getting an ROI back. I work very hard on communicating with my followers & my audience each time a post is being made. I want to know what they think. I want to know if my content is adding value to their life. At the end of the day, scoring a 4-figure brand deal requires a lot more work behind the scene than just producing beautiful pictures on your feed.
Lesson #4: Sharpen your negotiation skills
Being an Instagram influencer is no different from being a business owner. You need to learn how to sell your brand and also learn to negotiate.
I was lucky enough to learn this skill when building my own business. It’s not hard. You just need to be willing to learn.
The key for a good negotiation is when you can maintain a good relationship with the brand while ensuring that they see your value and know your worth.
If the deal is not something you are fond of, don’t afraid to walk away politely with a smile. There are always more opportunities for you in the future! I have had brands in the past that came back and worked with me when they finally increased their budget because of the relationship we have.
Don’t sell yourself short but at the same time, don’t burn any bridges either!
Lesson #5: Be prepared to score!
Even when your brand is not where you want it to be yet, never stop working on it. If you really want to make an income in this Instagram game, you need to realize it is your business.
What can you do to prepare yourself?
- Consistently produce high quality content on your Instagram feed
- Utilize Instagram Story Tools to build engagement and relationship with your audience
- Have a media kit in place
- Know your numbers (followers, reach, impressions & engagement rate)
- Set a goal to hit a certain engagement rate before reaching out to certain brands
- Be prepared to say “NO” to brands that don’t see your value and align with your personal brand.
- Always stay authentic
- Last but not least, be prepared to underpromise and overdeliver
Hope these lessons help!
Can’t wait for you all to score your first 4-figure deals as well and let’s make 2019 the best year!