Welcome to the Wild West.
The influencer business is a relatively new industry, which means that the idea of being an influencer as a full time job is even newer–and maybe alien to some. This new territory can be intimidating, so I put together a resource guide for someone interested in learning about what this industry looks like and how you can start to dip your toes in the water.
This is a living document- I will be amending the lists as new resources/ articles are released, so please feel free to revisit this page in the coming months to stay updated!
This “Linkedin-ish” created by the original “girl boss”, Sophia Amoruso, allows women to network on an empowering and easy to use website.
Another female first (but co-ed) networking app, this platform allows you to expand your network with those using the app. For someone who might complain that they don’t have access to an established network, there are no more excuses now that there are these incredible resources.
This service is a project manager and payment solution created exclusively for influencers in mind, created by an influencer- Danielle Bernstein. This is an amazing tool for someone interested in getting started in creating a monetizable business from social media.
Freemium* *free with additional features for paying customers
UNUM is an Instagram feed planning app. There is nothing wrong with posting spontaneously (some of my favorite accounts are not what some would consider aesthetically pleasing) but if you are going for a visually organized or arranged Instagram feed, this app can be really useful.
Although you can lose authenticity from planning your social posts too far in advance (you’d be missing the “in the moment” allure), Hootsuite is an Instagram planning app that can be helpful for managing more technical or business oriented accounts. On Hootsuite you can manage posts that will publish automatically when scheduled.
This is a great photo-editor I use for most of my Instagram photos. By creating a consistently high quality content Instagram feed, people will have more reason to follow you.
Instagram gives creators the ability to access their analytics when they upgrade to a business or creator account (very similar features with slightly different affordances). Although I believe these features will automatically be visible to anyone with an account once users get more comfortable with associating social media with data, the information is helpful to understand your audience (and crucial when working with brands).
Analytic insights available include: interactions by day, profile visits, discovery, and demographics.
This is arguably the most popular copyright-free library that creators use to find music to use in their videos. New music is uploaded regularly… but be prepared to share the song with countless other creators.
One question I get a lot is how I use copyrighted music in my videos. Here’s the answer- if a song is not from a copyright free library (like Thematic), I always run it through the YouTube Music Policy Library- this is where I can check what the allowance of the song is. What I’m looking for is “Viewable Worldwide” / “Eligible for Revenue Sharing”. I avoid using copyrighted songs when it says “This song is not available for use in your videos” (YouTube will block your video during the upload process), or “Blocked in xxx countries” (This usually includes England and/or Canada- two high streams of views for me).
Quick disclaimer: when I do use copyrighted music, I rarely am allowed to monetize my videos, and if I do, the revenue is shared with the copyright holder (as it should be).
If you are oblivious about how Influencers make money from social media, read this article- it does a great job at covering the basics.
This reflective article written by Tavi Gevinson addresses the “darker” side of Instagram and social media that is widely ignored by creators and consumers alike. The piece covers finding balance between passion and profit, and the unlikely perils of Instagram sponsored content.
The Atlantic takes a closer look at what the effect of sponsored content looks like on a younger generation, and how brand deals went from being distasteful to imitable.
This video by Shelby Church does a great job covering how Adsense works and what it takes to earn a significant amount of money from the ads that play on YouTube videos.
I’m hoping you found this article helpful! Please share your own tools or articles that we can all use as resources in the comments. Don’t forget to check back in within a few months for updates and amendments!