11: Becoming an Influencer? Here's what to invest in when getting started.
This week on Phenomenal Impact we are talking all about what to invest in when getting started or when you want to uplevel your career as an influencer. I drop some hot tips, truths, and must-know information about where you need to spend your money and time in order to create real impact.
The word invest is a little loaded - for most people they immediately think of money, large investments like stocks, bonds, homes, and other monetary positions. However, when you are starting out as an influencer or content creator, in order to be the most successful that you can be, it’s important to make investments in yourself. There are a lot of misconceptions around what you should and shouldn’t spend money on when getting into the digital content world, so today I want to break down my opinions on the best way to spend your money and time when getting started.
First of all, lets discuss the fact that the time you spend doing various activities is also considered an investment. Your time is extremely valuable, in business and in life in general. You taking the time right now to listen to this podcast or read this blog post was a choice you made, and I can only hope that I provide enough value, whether it be entertainment value or business value, to make you feel like spending your 30 minutes was worth your time.
So first of all, I would invest in podcasts, like Phenomenal Impact and other business podcasts, where you can learn valuable lessons about the influencer media industry, or any industry or topic that you might be interested in. I have learned so much from podcasts - information about mindset and work ethic, to taxes, finance, and so much more. Next time you have a commute or time to spare, download some new podcasts that provide value to your life and soak up the information like a sponge.
For those of you who are photographers or videographers - this probably wont come as a surprise to you but you don’t need to go out and buy a very expensive camera in order to be successful. You can do amazing work with a simple DSLR that costs less than $1000, and in some cases even less than $500. On the other hand, you can even use your phone! If you listened to the episode last week, having good content is not that difficult if you put some thought into it, and in almost every situation the camera on the back of you iPhone can produce a quality that is definitely good enough to work with. If you missed last week’s episode, definitely go back and check it out because I dropped some big truth about the influencer world and the role of good content in actually being successful.
What about editing software?
Adobe has a subscription plan for 9.99 a month you can have Photoshop and Lightroom for your computer - and considering the full price of the software is hundreds of dollars, this can be a great option if you are looking to just get into the photo editing world for minimal commitment. That is still the plan I use and it works well for me.
When going into this business you need to decide what angle you want to take - do you want to be an Influencer, or do you want to create lasting impact and grow an online business and digital brand? If so - there are so many steps you can take that go beyond just being an “influencer”.
If you are serious about becoming a social content creator, and growing a business that could eventually be bigger than just yourself, or bigger than just sponsored posts on Instagram, I would definitely recommend starting a website to serve as a home base for your content, host a digital portfolio, and direct traffic in directions you want it to go.
Great - so what does that investment look like? Well as I’m sure you all know, there are many ways to make a great website. Squarespace is my favorite platform for easy website building. The cheapest plan starts at $12 a month, and it has a huge amount of tools built in to create a website that is everything you need to get started. This is an important investment if you are serious about going into the social content industry.
So why do you need a website anyways thought? In a lot of instances when working with brands, having the extra distribution platform like a blog can really sweeten a deal and lead to larger dollar amounts or just putting more deals together in general. When you write a blog post, you have more room to tell a story, explain a product, share your review, an include more visuals of the product, destination, or experience. You can direct your audience to learn more about the brand deal on your blog, and you’ve created a digital experience for them through your blog post that is so much more than just a photo on Instagram. Now that is truly content creation, and something that brands love.
So besides a blog why else would you want a website? Well this is the subject of future courses, episodes, and many further discussions, but growing an email list is one of the most impactful things you can do for your business, and the best way to create landing pages and give your audience offers to sign up with their email is through your own website. Now if that goes over your head or is just too much to digest, just sit tight because we have episodes and blog articles coming in the future that will explain everything to do with the mighty email list and what you need to do to make that happen for yourself. The point here is that investing in a website is laying the groundwork and creating the foundation for a successful content creation company.
So what else should you be investing in to grow your business? The biggest one of all, and the most fundamental is investing in yourself.
I feel like people preach this all the time and I’m sure a few of you may have rolled your eyes when I said that but hear me out, investing in yourself and your knowledge is the best investment you can make. Whether it’s a $1000 course or a $10 book - when you learn valuable information about your industry or things you care about, you take that knowledge with you and apply it to so many situations that can lead to 1. more money, 2. better content 3. better engagement 4. more effective communication - and all of these things are incredibly important when you are running a business or becoming an influencer.
So what are the first steps to investing in yourself? Well a great way to point yourself in the right direction is to get recommendations from people you trust. And when I say people you trust, I really mean that. Getting advice from someone who you don’t trust, or who isn’t in a similar industry or going a similar direction, is essentially worthless. The amount of times that I’ve received bad advice about my industry from people who are not in it, don’t understand it, and truly don’t know what they’re talking about is shocking. What’s even more shocking is the amount of times I have listened to them! I have finally almost learned my lesson about not taking advice from the wrong people, but I wish I had someone tell me that years ago.
So find a creator you trust, who are they learning from? What are they offering in terms of value? How do they show up in a way that gives back to their community? What do they specialize in? How can you learn from them? What are they reading? Who mentored them?
These are all questions that can make a phenomenal impact on your business, career, and direction.
So to wrap up - invest in yourself through your time, thorough your knowledge, and through your intentions. The power of showing up and being committed is incredibly important in business and in life in general, and will get you past the competition every time.
I want to say a quick reminder that my new Lightroom preset pack is available now for purchase through my website! Make sure you go and claim your 2 free presets today, and if you are interested in getting the looks that I actually edit with, you only have until the end of June to get the free editing course that comes with the pack, teaching you how to use presets, balance images, and curate content.