Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to go behind the brand. First things first, though, what is something about you that the many people who follow you don’t know?
Alex: I dropped out of college to start my first business. (I went back later to finish my degree.)
Adam: How did you get here? How did you become an influencer? What is the inside story?
Alex: My Instagram journey started when my parents cut me off in college. I began flipping clothes on insta from Goodwill and Savers to make money. I would post funky stylized shots. That was how I got my first 5,000 followers.
Adam: What are some of the brand deals you have closed? How did they come together? Did you reach out to them or did they reach out? What information did the brands ask for?
Alex: Some of my favorite brand deals so far have been @rodanandfields (cruelty-free skincare), @LoveBeautyandPlanet (ethical hair care), @shopsocablue (sustainable swimwear), @thejimmycase, and @infusespirits. It has been a 50/50 split in terms of me reaching out, or the brand reaching out. Typically they ask for a screenshot of my “insights” which details profile views and activity from the past week.
Adam: If you are comfortable doing so, can you talk economics? How much money do you make on deals? How do the negotiations typically work?
Alex: I currently make between $100 – $500 per post. Negotiations are based on the actual hours of work that go into posting. For example, if I have to do a full photoshoot and create video content, the deal will be on the higher side than if I just reposted something.
Adam: What advice do you have for those interested in working with micro influencers? How do you do decide whom to work with?
Alex: Stay true to your values and interests. The people who follow you for that reason, and they will not be interested in brands that do not align with your personal brand. For myself, I only post sustainable and cruelty-free brands because that’s what my followers expect of me.
Adam: What advice do you have for those interested in becoming influencers or micro influencers?
Alex: Start creating beautiful content for the brands you love, free of charge, and tag them in your posts. Then reach out to brands you think would work with you via DM, and start with brands that have fewer followers than you do. Ask them if they’d be interested in a collab. A fair rate for a nana-influencer with less than 2,000 followers is $25 per post.
Adam: What has being a micro influencer taught you about branding and marketing? What are your three best marketing and branding tips?
Alex: What I’ve learned is that no one wants to be sold on something, they want to discover it. My three best marketing and branding tips are 1) Document don’t create – especially when it comes to Instagram stories. 2) Plan your content calendar in advance; don’t do it day by day. 3) Ask your followers what THEY want to see. Everyone who follows my account is sent an automated message via bigbangram.com asking them what they want to see more of on my page.
Adam: What is the biggest misconception about the influencer world and life as an influencer?
Alex: The biggest misconception is that you get everything for free. Sure, there are many perks but creating content is a time-consuming and somewhat expensive process when you factor in hair, makeup, photography, and tools such as Photoshop or Bigbangram.
Adam: Who are the best leaders you have been around and what have you learned from them? What do you believe everyone should know about leadership?
Alex: One of my mentors and friends is @LouiseRoe. She is an expert influencer and content creator. I think the most important thing she’s taught me is that her Instagram is her business and should operate as such.