Hi, I’m Sarah Chetrit (@sarcherit on IG). I’ve been a travel and lifestyle influencer since 2015. There are so many lessons I’ve learned in becoming an influencer, but looking back there are a few I wish I had learned earlier.
Most emerging creators know, more or less, how to do the bulk of influencing such as creating content, reaching out to brands, and growing a following. However, the lessons that took me years to grasp go beyond the basic structure of becoming an influencer. They’re all related to taking care of yourself and your future!
Take Care of Your Physical, Emotional and Financial Health
As an influencer, you are your own brand. You are your own business.
As someone who has two chronic illnesses and has to take frequent breaks from work, I’ve learned that your business can’t make money without you. If you get sick or experience burnout as an influencer, which prevents you from showing up online, then your business may suffer.
As a result, taking care of your physical, emotional, and even financial health is a must.
Never put making money before your physical and emotional well being. If those are not in tip-top shape, it could be hard to physically show up online.
Even when you’re able to physically be there, with poor mental health, detaching yourself from the emotional rollercoaster of positive and negative comments and fluctuating income from month to month won’t be easy.
While it’s important to remember that you are your own brand and business, also recognize that the numbers, comments, and dollars that come in do not define you. If you have internal self worth regardless of external factors, then you’ll be able to ride the waves of statistics, comments, and income each month. Keep self care at the forefront of your business!
As for your financial health, take care of your future. Each month, take a bit of your profit and put some of it aside in a Roth IRA account (an individual retirement account) and for taxes.
Speaking of taxes, make sure to maximize your tax savings with these tips.
Protect Your Time and Brand
When learning how to become an influencer on Instagram or any social media platform, you’ll find that a lot of brands will try to take advantage of the general excitement that comes with getting “free” stuff as an influencer.
Don’t fall into this trap like I did. Free stuff is not as free as it sounds.
When you receive a “free” product for a brand, you don’t pay in cash. You pay with your time, and whether you started your influencer journey one month ago or one day ago, your time is valuable! Don’t forget that.
Instead of promoting “free” stuff that honestly just ends up cluttering your home, you can perhaps better use that time to focus on:
- growing your community
- building trust with them
- creating content in a way that’s authentic to your personal brand.
These three things are essential as you grow and will serve you better in the future than a one-off trade collaboration that doesn’t have any long-term advantages.
When receiving a product in exchange for marketing, ask yourself if it’s something you would’ve spent money on anyways and if the product aligns with your brand. Overall, is it worth your time promoting it, or is it a better use of your time to buy it yourself and spend your time on creating valuable content for your audience?
By the way, you don’t need this “free” stuff to build your portfolio. You can build your portfolio with products you already love and use, which creates more authentic messages, followers, and results to show brands who’ll actually pay you in the future.
Diversify Your Income
If there’s one thing that the pandemic taught me, it’s to diversify your income. You never know when market or algorithm changes will impact your revenue so it’s good to have multiple revenue streams.
Personally as a travel blogger, I lost about 75% of my travel sponsorships when the pandemic hit and no one was traveling anymore. Luckily, I was already set up on multiple social media platforms and dabbled in various niches that made it easy to switch gears and get sponsorships from non-travel brands. With prior knowledge, I was also able to start a new blog and make passive income from affiliate marketing.
As an influencer, here are some options to create multiple revenue streams:
- Be an influencer on various platforms. If the market loses interest in one social media app, you can continue making money on another.
- Stick to your core niche but don’t be afraid to share bits of your personal life or dabble in other niches. You’ll be able to more easily segue into a different niche if the market or environment impacts your niche like it did for travel.
- Sell your own products or services, which could include downloadable printables, courses, or print-on-demand items.
- Promote goods and services through affiliate marketing to make passive income.
- Start a blog. Since you own all the content of a blog and the URL itself, you won’t be subject to the ever changing rules and algorithms of a social media app.
Whatever revenue stream you create for yourself next, make sure you more or less master the current revenue stream you’re building now.
Don’t spread yourself too thin in the process. Again, taking care of your health first is always key!
About the Author
Hey fellow influencers! I’m Sarah Chetrit. I started out as a travel blogger in 2015, found my way to Instagram and TikTok and now teach bloggers and content creators how to make money with their content creating business. Find me at SarahChetrit.com, on TikTok @sarah.chetrit or Instagram @sarchetrit.