These days being a social media influencer is a lucrative career with some influencers making thousands for a simple post.
Tshepang Mollison, an influencer, was able to ditch her corporate job to make a career off of her social media following. During a recent interview on Real Talk With Anele on SABC 3, she chronicled her rise as one of the most popular influencers in South Africa.
With over 34 000 Instagram followers and over 13 000 on Twitter, she has a large enough audience to grab attention from leading brands.
People have different definitions of what an influencer is and she sees it as someone who has the power to persuade their friends or audience, whether large or small, to think in a certain way, behave in a certain way and buy products in a certain way.
Here's how she's made a job as an influencer viable:
"While I was working at an ad agency I was running my blog. I started the blog while I was still in varsity but I didn't know you could make money out of it or gain any fame. I just really loved writing," she said.
Twiggy, as she is known on her social media profiles, said she joined the advertising agency only because of what she studied but eight months in, she decided to resign and focus on running her blog full-time. She admits her mother was less than impressed because she didn't see how one could make a living from a blog.
Market Your Influence
"In the beginning I would let brands approach me because I didn't think I was allowed to approach them but now that I have built the credibility, I approach brands that I feel match my brand and I just propose a campaign and say 'let's work together, this could be mutually beneficial, let's see what we can do.' Most of the time they say yes.
Learn How To Make A Convincing Proposal
"With some brands I look at whatever products I have and say this would be cool for when I am travelling or this would be cool if I am going to this gig, so that's how I fit myself in. Sometimes if it's a brand I've been working with long-term, they do share their strategy and I can say this would be cool for me."
She has worked with major brand such as Levis, Absolute Vodka, Clarins, Red Bull and Puma.
Know Your Worth
"When I first started I signed up to a platform called webfluential and it basically calculates how much you're worth on your Twitter, your blog, your YouTube or wherever based on your following and your engagement. I looked at those figures and saw what was reasonable."
She said after some time she spoke to people in her industry who told her she was charging too little and she could charge more.
"Some brands are willing to take you to full rate and some brands negotiate down. It just depends on whose asking for what."
Her current rates? R1 000 per tweet and R5000 per Instagram post.
"The reason why we charge so high is because there's a photographer that has to take a really good quality photo. I'm not just going to use my iPhone to take a photo that's going to my Instagram. There's time and there's also thinking about how I'm going to style this outfit or how I'm going to put together this flat lay. There's a lot of thinking that goes behind it for me to be like I'll do it for free, that's a no-no."
Be Willing To Start Off Working For Free
"In the beginning I worked for free because obviously you're trying to make your mark and show the quality that you can produce. In the beginning you do have to work for free but eventually you do have to, even if it's R500 or R200, show the brand that you're worth something.