High-End Fashion, Bobble Hats & Influencers

Do you have what it takes to become an influencer?

The Information Age has created literally hundreds of jobs all over the world ranging from the most mind-bogglingly technical (think UX designers and network engineers) to more creative avenues, such as digital graphic designers and film-makers.

In order to enter into a career in one of these careers it’s still beneficial to have an appropriate degree, as most people will still need to  gain sufficient work experience before ‘striking it out alone’, should they so wish. There’s one occupation, however, that requires no formal training and no formal qualifications. We now live in a world where individuals can make hundreds, even thousands of pounds, for simply taking a photograph and sharing it on Instagram.

The rise of the social media influencer has been gradual, but today it is considered a key component of marketing strategies for all kinds of enterprises around the world. The premise is simple enough: by harnessing the huge reach of social media networks such as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat; brands and companies are able to make deals with influential users to either feature their product or mention their brand. Depending on the size of a user’s following, a brand could spend up to a few thousand pounds for a simple post or, conversely, simply send the influencer a free product.

So what does it take to become a social media influencer?

For many young people the notion of making a living out of social media is certainly alluring: you’re free to set your own schedule, your favourite brands send you free stuff and, best of all, you’re famous! Unfortunately, the reality of life as a successful influencer isn’t quite at simple as taking a few pictures and reaping the benefits. In order to achieve success as an influencer, an individual must be a charismatic personality, proficient photographer, a savvy marketer and a consummate personal assistant all in one – quite the tall order!

Let’s break down each one of these roles with some examples, so that you can understand what it takes to achieve in the world of influencer marketing:

Do you have a big personality?

In order to attract the attention of major brands or companies you will need to have a large social following, and in order to do that you’ll need a charming personality! Whilst this is certainly a subjective matter, it’s worth considering if you have the force of personality necessary to ‘come across’ in Instagram, this means having a sense of humour, appearing approachable and having the patience to be able to sit down each day and answer to comments from people that you don’t know!

Take a look at this Instagram post from @Jodie.Melissa, she takes time to reply to comments and describes her current status in a humorous, self-deprecating fashion:

Can you take good photographs?

The world of social media is one of ‘surface pleasures’, in order to succeed you will need engagement and ‘follows’, these will only come if you post attractive, ‘gramworthy’ content. Unfortunately, it’s not enough just to take ‘nice’ photos, you also need to stand out from the pack which means developing your own unique style. Brands will pay attention if you take clear, eye-catching photos – blurry or dark pictures won’t impress anyone.

This image from successful crafting blogger @abeautifulmess is a good example of a clean, attractive image:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

To infinity + beyond! 🚀 Toy Story costume on the blog today! (Photo by @amberulmer)

A post shared by Elsie + Emma A Beautiful Mess (@abeautifulmess) on

Can you market yourself?

Sometimes it’s not enough to simply take good photos and be a funny person, in order to get noticed will have to be a savvy marketer which involves constantly considering your end goal, your audience and how you’re planning on engaging with them. A problem many amateur influencers face is not having any kind of niche, or image. It’s important that you understand who your account will appeal to, what those people want and how you can attract more of them.

Bloggers Oliva and Alice are not only successful influencers, but they also sell fur pom pom bobble hats on their own website, their Instagram photos clearly mark them out as young fashionable people with an eye for what’s ‘on trend’:

 

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A leopard never changes its spots, Sunday with lots of coffee and lots of animal print please! #OliviaandAlice #Sunday

A post shared by Bloggers, Designers, YouTubers (@oliviaandalice_) on

Are you an organised person?

In order to achieve success as an influencer you’ll need to be an organised, punctual individual who is dedicated to their new profession. You will be responsible for every facet of your business, which means that you’ll need to ensure that you are planning and scheduling content, reaching out to brands, replying to comments and emails, researching your niche to stay on top of trends and also interacting with your community. It’s a full on occupation that can quickly turn into an ‘always-on’ existence – so be prepared to work hard!

Let us know if you’re just starting out as an influencer, or if you’re planning on starting a new career as one – we’d love to hear from you.

How To Gain Valuable Experience At University

Attending University is a great opportunity to make friends, learn and build your CV.

Depending on the course that you decide to take you may have a significant chunk of spare time at your disposal whilst you’re studying at University.

Most full-time degree courses require you to spend between 35-40 hours each week studying, similar to the time that you would have to dedicate to a full-time job. This time will be made up of lectures, ‘contact hours’ (time spent 1-on-1 with your personal tutor) and personal study time. As much as it’s fun to make new friends and go out when you’re a student, your studies should always be your top priority whilst you’re at University.

Taking this into account, you’ll have 5 evenings and 2 full days on the weekend to make use of for extra-curricular activities. It’s a good idea to use this time wisely and consider that how you spend your time outside of study hours will reflect on your CV come the end of your degree.

With this in mind I’ve put together a few ideas of where to pick up some valuable experience so that you can leave university with more than just your degree certificate:

Run for a position in a club or society

Every university has a bevy of societies and clubs that you can join which gives you the opportunity to try out a new experience, or continue a skill or hobby that you already have. Clubs range from Amateur Dramatics to Chess, to Medieval Re-enactment to Skydiving; regardless of the society that you join you’ll be able to apply to take an administrative role within the society. Whether you’re the Social Secretary, Treasurer or President this kind of experience shows would-be employers that you’re keen to take on responsibility and that you’re a social person.

Get a job for the summer

Your university days will be the last years of your life when you get a full Summer holiday – don’t take that for granted! The 12-14 weeks that you have at your disposal each summer should be used wisely, it’s the perfect time to pick up a job and earn some much needed cash.

Customer service jobs are usually the easiest to pick up for this stretch of a time and if you do a good job then you’ll be able to return throughout the years.

Pick up casual work in term-time

There are always a few odd jobs going during term-time that can add value to your CV in the long run. Often your university’s career hub will regularly post part-time jobs which can vary from taking part in a psychological study to helping out showing prospective students around your campus.

Keep an eye out on regular job sites using the ‘Part Time’ filter to see if there are any other opportunities – you could find useful experience marketing to college students or working in a call centre.

Volunteer in your spare time

Dedicating a portion of your time to a good cause is a great way of meeting like-minded individuals and also adds another dimension to your CV. Depending on the charity that you choose to help out you could be driving subscriptions on the street, knocking on doors to raise awareness or even working ‘out in the field’. Always make sure that the charity that you’re helping is legitimate and be wary of working for private firms that focus on ‘making sales’.


Jackie Li is an architect and writer who focuses on offering advice to prospective and current students. She’s passionate about her work and loves to help graduates find work post-uni.