The Influencer Chronicles – Part 87
This headline was inspired by my friend and fellow POMA board member, Trent Marsh, who is the editorial director at Spypoint. They recently wrote “Three Ways You Are Already Ruining Your Deer Season,” and it was like getting smacked up the side of your head reading it.
If you are an aspiring influencer in the outdoor industry, here are three ways you may be ruining your chances for a company to consider you as a content partner. And hopefully, it is also a good smack across the head for you.
- Your Ego is Bigger than Your Follower Count: I don’t care if you have 5,000 followers or 500,000, it is all the same to me as each has its own set of qualities I seek for content creators. But sometimes ego gets in the way, and it affects how you interact with your followers and even potential clients. There are a million ways to take video or create content for a particular product. What qualities are you bringing to the table that I can’t get anywhere else? Why should I work with you beyond your name or status or follower count? What if tomorrow any one of those “statuses” goes away? Why did you just land in my DM’s, even though I’ve never heard of you before and you’ve never commented in my feed or tagged my brand in your posts? And yet, there you are, ego and all.
- You Forget You Are Running a Business: Therefore, please know how to send invoice. Microsoft Word has free invoice templates. Please know how to show proof of what you did for the client and how you fulfilled your contractual obligations. If you didn’t fulfill the obligations, you better figure it out quickly and don’t think, for one second, the client isn’t paying attention.
Please ask if you don’t know. Please send invoices on time. Please understand THIS IS A BUSINESS and you will be asked for your W9 and you will receive a 1099 form if the contract is above $600 in a calendar year. THIS INCLUDES RECEIVING FREE PRODUCT! Please understand there may be expenses to running this business that the client will not
reimburse. Keep your receipts and hire an accountant at tax time.
- You Think Being an Influencer – or Content Creator – Is Easy: Nope. It is challenging. Quite challenging some days. And yes, it can be fun to create content in a space you have passion for already, and you think the tax write-off is cool, but it is still work. You must create content on days when you don’t feel like it. You must be happy or swallow your pride or not scream in all caps in an email or comment on TikTok. You must deliver on time and in budget. You must check DMs every so often and try to figure out if it is a spam message or a legit business opportunity (most times, it is spam). Your camera didn’t film at the right moment, your child (or dog, or cat) broke something you needed to film, your husband doesn’t want to be your “Instagram boyfriend” (I asked, several times), the client didn’t like what you spent HOURS on creating (they don’t know art), and yet, you still have to figure it out and deliver with a smile on your face.
Still wanna be an influencer? Best of luck to you all.
-- Michelle Scheuermann, editor, Archery Wire