Blogging, influencer marketing, and Instagram are exploding. As the influencer industry is projected to hit up to $2 billion this year (source: Forbes), more and more people are trying to capitalize on the opportunities. I’ve seen incredible abundance in the space and also an incredible amount of confusion.
As a young industry, I understand why people characterize the influencer marketing industry as the Wild West. There are people buying followers and likes. There are people advocating comment pods. And there are people questioning how to price and negotiate as a blogger. People are trying to figure out how to make a living off influence and how to find their voice in the noise.
As an influencer/blogger, I see myself as a content creator and a business woman. I pitch brands, I negotiate my prices and timeline, and I have to make sure I invoice on time. On top of that, I’m in charge of finding a photo shoot location, styling an outfit, styling the shot, then modeling in front of camera. I love the mix of business and creative. But one question that I’ve personally been asked and have asked the question myself is:
How do you stand out as an influencer in 2019?
You’ve probably heard the rumblings and complaints of the influencer marketing industry becoming over saturated. While there are more bloggers out there trying to carve out their space in the industry, I don’t believe the space is overcrowded. I don’t believe this because national and regional brands are just starting to open the marketing budgets to influencers.
Additionally, I recently read that Revolve went public. And as a part of their IPO, the CEO and CFO met with potential investors to educate them what influencer marketing is. According to Fashionista, many of these investors had little to no knowledge about what influencer marketing is. Revolve raised $212 million in their initial public offering. The Revolve brand is valued at $1.8 billion.
Major brands, board rooms, and investors are starting to open their perspectives and budgets around influencer marketing. While brands like Revolve and Daniel Wellington have ran full force with influencer marketing, the rest of the world’s major brands are just starting to come around.
With this in mind, I absolutely believe it’s possible to grow and make it as an influencer not only this year, but the next 10 years.
Here are 4 ways you can stand out as an influencer in 2019:
1. Create Content of Value
Besides having beautiful photos, your content has to be of value to your audience. Does your content entertain or educate your audience? Do your captions, blog posts, and videos solve a problem with your audience?
One complaint I’ve heard from audiences is that people’s content is coming off too sales-y. People will get tired of seeing content that constantly pushes them to buy or click on an affiliate link.
Personally, I understand why people want the commission of the items their buying and wearing. AND I understand consumers getting tired of being pushed to purchase items. If affiliate links are a big part of your brand, that’s totally fine – you just have to make sure you’re delivering value to your audience.
2. Be True to Who You Are
If you’re goal is to stand out as an influencer in 2019, you have to be true to who you are.
When I started blogging in 2014, I looked around at the bloggers around me and realized that I couldn’t produce the same content they were producing. I didn’t have a photographer that could shoot my outfits every day or a weekly basis. I wasn’t going out to brunch on Wednesday mornings. I wasn’t jet-setting to a tropical destination.
I was gearing up to graduate college and start my career in the consumer package goods industry. Then a few years later, I was gearing up to attend graduate school while still working full time. I realized that I had to create content that reflected who I was and my lifestyle.
I’m a working professional and I’m creative. I’m an aerospace project manager and I’m writer. I loved the process of learning how to create beautiful photos as well as finding new places to shoot at. My mission statement: “inspiring the modern woman to explore, create, and live life with style” is exactly all these things with the intention to serve other modern woman around me.
So on my blog you’ll find my blogging journey with blog posts like: “How to Build an Engaged Audience on Instagram”. You’ll also find blog posts that talk about balancing a full time job with a side hustle like “How to Keep Up with Instagram & Blogging with a Busy Schedule”.
3. Share Your Passions
A huge passion of mine is learning and I share that on the blog and my Instagram. Throughout the last two years in grad school, I’ve enjoyed sharing my research projects on the blog.
For instance, at the beginning of grad school, my quarterly project was on the Gender Pay Gap. I decided to create a social media campaign on my blog + Instagram to breakdown what leads to a gender pay gap and gave tips on how women can navigate it.
- The Gender Pay Gap is NOT a Myth
- Believe, Know, & Ask for Your Value #CloseTheGap
- Let’s Talk about Money #CloseTheGap
While I shared before that my blog has refocused on exploring, creating, and living life in style, I still use my blog to share what I’ve learned in school and life. If you’re sharing content that you’re passionate about, your audience will see that!
Whether your passions are dog training or styling affordable outfits, sharing your passions will help you stand out as an influencer in 2019.
4. Continue to Innovate & Grow
With new bloggers entering the field every day, you have to continue to innovate, grow, and refine your skills. Personally, I don’t think I would be at the place I’m at if I had continued to take regular outfit photos in front of my house or apartment. While I do enjoy sharing every day outfits, I love finding new places and new ways to pose in front of the camera. I know that creating more interesting photos helps you stand out as an influencer in 2019.
Here are some of my favorite photos from this year:
The Lavender Staircase from San Francisco’s Most Instagrammable Places
Kenmore Air Seaplane from Kenmore Air Seaplane Review
The Tulip Fields with Maddy from 6 Flower Field Photo Shoot Ideas to Try
What are your tips for standing out as an influencer in 2019?
Thank you for reading!
Photos: Karya Schanilec