Many people have asked me how I've built a foundation on "being creative". My main focus in life is to be an actor, but as anyone will tell you, that may not always sustain everyday living. So I've had to create my own opportunities. I've used what skills I do have, as well as the platform I've created in order to sustain a healthy social media lifestyle.
After my time on The Next Step I found it hard to find work. I was training in dance and acting but wasn't focusing my energy on anything that was going to guarantee making me money. I had a following from the show and a killer engagement so I started off with a few different tactics to give my page some revenue: Tagging, commenting and following different brands I wanted to work with was the first way to get their attention.
Before I go on I want to make something very clear. YOU DO NOT NEED A CRAZY FOLLOWING TO GET PAID ON INSTAGRAM. The algorithm has changed a lot and the most important thing that brands look for now is your ENGAGEMENT. They also tend to look at your overall AESTHETIC, and whether or not it fits within their brand . Once you find the perfect balance, you'll be getting brand deals in no time.
Creating your Aesthetic
Start with the aesthetic. For me this part was kind of tricky. I knew what photos looked good, but placing them in the right order, and deciding on a specific look/edit takes time to master. Some people are naturally good at it, so I followed those people. I choose accounts that all had aesthetics, I wanted to re create, in my own way. Seeing them on your feed can give you an idea of how to style your own profile, until you get the hang of it yourself.
Getting a good engagement takes some time as well. Start with posting consistently, at least two to three times a week and you should see a shift in interaction with your posts. Keep checking your analytics to find the best time of day, and the best day of the week to be putting out content. You can also put a bit of money into promoting your posts to a wider audience, but if you don't have the money than consistent and frequent posting is the best way to boost engagement.
Once brands start reaching out to you, it's important to keep your priorities straight. Decide what your audience wants, as well as what your niche is (i.e. lifestyle, fitness/health, fashion, etc.) and be selective with the brands you want to work with. Being a lifestyle page can keep it general enough to be able to work with multiple types of brands, but that's also the most competitive. Stick to products you would actually use, so when you try to integrate it into your everyday posting it's a genuine sell.
Building your network is as simple as going to events and working with other influencers to help build each other's following. You'll get invites to branded events, and if you can go, than GO! Don't turn something down, unless you truly can't make even a short appearance. Even if it's only half an hour before you have to leave, make it work! Making face is so important when establishing relationships. Go to the event and meet as many people as possible (including the people running the event). Show that you are a positive person to work with and it'll make everyone want to see more of you. So stay in touch with whoever you meet and build a network of influencers, and brands that will help increase your overall influence.
These tips can apply to any creative industry you're in. If you are willing to work hard, and stay in it for the long haul, it will work out in your favour eventually. It does NOT happen overnight, so stay focused on what you want YOUR brand to represent and don't give up if it doesn't work for you right away.