Do you constantly find yourself wearing the most fashionable clothing and sharing it on social media? Then you might enjoy a career as a fashion influencer. A fashion influencer is someone who uses their popularity on social media to help brands connect with their audience and sell more clothing. As an influencer, you work for yourself to decide which brands you want to work with and how much you want to be paid for your time and expertise.
While there are already thousands of fashion influencers out there, everyone’s style is unique, which brings a different set of followers to the equation. Brands are always looking to connect with an audience that has their unique style, which means that while you may not be the right fit for one brand, you may be the perfect fit for another.
Tips for Becoming a Fashion Influencer
If you’ve decided that you’d like to become a fashion influencer, it might help to know how it’s done. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Determine How Much Time You Can Dedicate to Influencing
If you’re new to the world of influencing, you may already have a full-time job, which means that influencing will have to be your side hustle (for now, at least). Take a look at your current responsibilities to determine how much time you can spend working with brands and posting on social media. Because you’re new to the game, don’t expect to be able to find brands to work with immediately. You’ll need to spend time getting more followers and creating a brand for yourself before you find your first client.
It’s okay if becoming an influencer takes time, especially if you already have a job that pays the bills. Remember, all good things take time. Make sure you’re ready for when you do decide to start going after brands to work with.
Determine Your USP
Your unique selling point (USP) will be the reason why brands should work with you over the other influencers available. Your unique personal brand will tell companies whether you’re the right person for their influencer marketing strategy or not, so make sure that you choose a niche or a space within fashion, such as activewear.
Do some research on other influencers to find out what their USPs are and give yourself inspiration. If you know you’re someone who enjoys bright colors, for instance, you can use that to your advantage when it comes to marketing yourself to companies.
Do the Leg Work & Get Followers
Before becoming an influencer, you need followers. Most brands will choose only to work with influencers who have hundreds of thousands of followers. However, you really only need 10,000 to become an influencer. Small companies will work with micro-influencers with high engagement rates because they have a targeted niche, which means that brands will pay to get their products in front of your followers. While you won’t be making as much as Kylie Jenner, you can still find a niche within the fashion industry that helps you earn money while gaining more and more followers over time.
Avoid buying followers. While there are tons of ways to purchase thousands of followers at low prices, avoiding this can save you time in the long run. While having a large follower base is ideal, companies are more interested in your engagement rate.
Your follower engagement rate is the percentage of people who follow you versus the number of comments, likes, and other types of engagement on your posts. If you have tens of thousands of followers and a low engagement rate, brands will think that your followers are passively following you and aren’t really interested in what you have to say or the clothes you wear.
Determine Your Worth
There is no set amount that you’ll be paid for influencing. It’s up to you to determine your worth. You can decide your rate based on how much you want to make each hour and multiplying that by the estimated amount of hours you’ll work on a project.
Typically, you can expect a flat rate from your clients, so make sure that it’s something that will match your expectations. You can and should readjust your rates based on the feedback you’re given and the brands you work with.
Start Reaching Out
Once you have a grasp of your USP and have carved out a niche for yourself, you can start reaching out to brands. While the best influencers have brands that reach out to them regularly, it didn’t start out that way. Almost all influencers, even the top-earning influencers, had to do the work to reach out to brands to get jobs. You can start by looking for brands that have products that match your unique style and finding their email addresses online. You can also use LinkedIn to get in touch specifically with marketing managers.
Keep your initial communications short by introducing yourself, asking if the brand uses influencers, and stating your USP. Essentially, tell the brand why they could benefit from using you as an influencer. Of course, invite them to take a look at your social media pages so that they can see how many followers you have and use their influencer marketing tools to determine if you’re a good fit for their brand.
When reaching out to marketing managers and brands directly, you may also want to give them insight into your audience, including their age range, gender, and other demographics. If your demographics align with the audience the brand is trying to reach, you may find yourself with a contract in no time.
Read All Contracts Carefully
Once you become an influencer, you’re self-employed, which means that the companies you work for will send you contracts. If they don’t send you contracts, it’s recommended to create your own to keep everyone honest in the process. As a freelancer, you could get tricked into an agreement and find yourself chasing the money that a company owes you, especially if you don’t have a legally binding contract in place. All contracts should include the scope of work and terms of payment, including how much you’ll be paid and when.
Always use your best judgment when signing a contract. If you have questions about the agreement, reach out to the person who sent it to you so that you can have all of your concerns addressed before working with the company.
Being an influencer isn’t just for A-list celebrities anymore—anyone with a social media profile can do it! As long as you’re stylish and offer a unique selling point, you can build up a following and become a fashion influencer. However, don’t expect results overnight. It can take a considerable amount of time and effort, but your persistence will likely pay off in the end.
Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. He is currently a contributing editor for 365 Business Tips. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys the San Diego life, traveling and music.