Because being small can also mean being really powerful…
I think many influencers have a love/hate relationship with being a micro influencer. Being stuck in that position of not being small but also not being large enough can have its pitfalls. But there’s something being really powerful about being in this position also.
For the record, I hate the word influencer and do not call myself one. I started out as a blogger first and foremost, I do most of my content on my blog, so that is what I classify myself as. However, if we go over to the Instagram side of this world, technically I am a micro influencer.
WHAT IS A MICRO INFLUENCER.
First, we need to define what a micro-influencer is. There are many different numbers that have been shouted about, but I define a micro-influencer as someone with a following of between 2,000- 10,000 followers. Micro influencers tend to have a strong, loyal, engaged following.
Historically, brands have gone for the number of followers. Times are changing, brands are now focused on other data than just your following count. I can say this because I’m on the other side. I deal with influencer requests every single day. For me, the data I’m concentrating on is the following: engagement rate, reach and the cities that your followers are based in. And when it comes to engagement rate and bigger city followings, micro-bloggers are where it is at.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are still brands who are all about the following numbers. These are your white whales to aim for when your following count gets bigger. Every company starts small and if you think of yourself as a company, you’ve got to prove that you can do business with small companies before you can pitch to the ‘mega ones’. Personally, while I have a major opportunity to work work with some amazing brands as a micro influencer, I’m not going to let this opportunity go to waste…
THE BENEFITS OF BEING A MICRO INFLUENCER.
Along with the unique brand opportunities that there is, I love how I can speak to each and every one of you. If I had a larger following, I would find it difficult to respond to every comment and DM. I like the community that I’ve built up and I love speaking to each and every one of you. When I see the people leaving their lovely comments, it’s honestly the drive that I need to keep doing the work. I may not be seeing a drastic rise in sessions or followers, but I know that my content is interesting and resonating with you and that’s why I continue to do it.
WHAT COULD CHANGE?
For all it’s benefits, there are some pitfalls. The main one for me? Money. Now, this isn’t my full-time job, this is my side hustle. Any monetary opportunities that come along are just a bonus and go straight into savings (or new handbag fund). But I do think that my ‘lack’ of following is stopping certain brands from considering payment.
It’s shocking to say, but I’ve had brands actually tell me off for even asking if there is a budget. But why shouldn’t I? You’re not just paying for my following. You’re paying for my time. There are still some people out there that think influencer marketing is just about sticking up a post holding a product. What they fail to recognise is the time that goes into planning when the content should go live, props for it, finding a location, actually making the content, editing the content, scheduling the content, posting the content and finally, promoting the content. There is so much behind the scenes work that goes into making good content. Quite frankly, if you feel you need a few extra pennies for this hard work, then you should be paid for it.
How to ask for budget and the conversation of how much you should be paid is a whole other blog post in itself. A very long post. But if anything, I hope that sometime this year, the conversation should start to happen.
How to grow your blogging business as a micro influencer.
So while you’re in the comfy position as a micro-influencer, now is the time to strike your blogging business while the iron is hot. As I mentioned in my monthly goals last month, I’m focusing on giving my blog and Instagram feed a glow up. Some of it has already started, with more to come. I’m also focusing on growing my little side hustle, and here are some of my top tips for growing your blogging business…
TREAT YOUR BLOG LIKE A BUSINESS.
If you want this to become something (however small or big) you have to start treating your side hustle like a business. When you’re communicating with brands, act as a business and not a someone who’s sat on the sofa in her loungewear. Simple things like your email signature, your email address, a contact page on your blog are all small things that you can start with. I’ve recent actually glowed up my media kit, have started on a branding board which covers my logos, fonts and colours I will be using/ starting to use. These are all things that I believe are making me stand out and encourage more readers to come to my blog.
FOCUS ON YOUR STRENGTHS.
Do you know how many results you get when you search ‘lifestyle blogger’ on Google? I don’t know the exact number, but I know it is ALOT. It’s hard enough to stand out as a blogger with over 10,000 followers, let alone with under that amount. So to ensure people are seeing your blog and your Instagram feed, you have to play to your strengths. How do you know what your strengths are? By simply looking at your stats.
A few weeks ago I did some data analysis and look into which of my pictures are performing (I know, I’m such a nerd). My results were quite surprising. Out of over 100 posts, my fashion images are my best-performing ones in terms of engagement rate. For total comments and likes, it’s my interior posts. What use is this knowledge to you? Well, you might have noticed that I’ve been putting more of me on the gram. By putting out the content I know you’re loving, I’m seeing so much more growth in terms of reach and engagement. Take an evening to study your stats and I guarantee you’ll see some magic happen.
BE GRATEFUL AND THANKFUL FOR WHAT YOU’VE GOT.
And more importantly, show it. I’ve been more active with speaking and commenting on the people who I follow, responding to comments both on the blog and on my Instagram. I’m also trying to do more motivation posts of being grateful for your support and thanking you for being along for the ride. After all, they don’t have to follow you and if you ignore your audience, you will find yourself in an unfollow spiral.
What are your tops tips on growing you blogging business?