Business fashion – What was a simple one a few years ago hobby has become an attractive profession with little known workings. Now full-time, influencers must cultivate their popularity, play with codes, and even improvise team managers.
Their reign started with a few tutorials on YouTube, a few fashion tips on Facebook. And then Instagram came along. And came to turn the advertising world upside down, by giving substance to a profession that had been looking for itself for a few years: that of influencer/se. A market estimated by the agency Mediakix (influence marketing strategy agency) at nearly $3 billion worldwide – it could reach 10 billion by 2020 – and which is thriving thanks to Instagram’s billion users. According to a 2017 Ipsos survey, people under 25 in France spend an average of 32 minutes a day on Instagram alone, looking for fashion inspiration, new recipes or discovering new travel destinations.
#Fashion, #instaglog, #outfit, #fitness, #food,… The brands, which have sensed the potential of this audience, have attracted many young people who no longer just post pictures with a “#” on them, but stage products for claws, like true professionals. And this for a fee. To become an influencer, everyone must now acquire codes, techniques that are far from unanimously mastered: which “hashtags” should you use? Which filters should you put on your photos? How to give a unity of tones, acquire a visual identity? How to inflate your numbers, for example by “tagging” other influencers who drive traffic. It is also necessary to organize hours of shooting and sometimes to have an agent. Because the competition is fierce: it thrives in all corners of social networks. And if you don’t explode the counters of followers, you can hardly make a living from this profession that is still looking for itself.
How do you take care of your congregation?
I understood that it was essential to create links to maintain my community
“Influence”. It’s their daily life. But who influence? A “community” that very often asks for details about the products, and more generally to communicate. So a community to flatter by cultivating relationships with it – a full-time job – as if to keep the flame alive. Jade Leboeuf, Instagrammer with over 81,000 followers, started as a model. As she shares her looks, her mood, her travels, Internet users bite: “Where did you buy that?” they ask curiously. “So I started answering, to have short discussions about the networks. And my community grew gradually. I understood that it was essential to create a link to keep it.” Thanks to frequent messages, the 28-year-old young woman understands what appeals, what appeals less, what stands out and what sells. “I also look at the statistics, analyze them. It helps me identify what people want, and therefore better respond to it.”
Exactly what people seem to want can be summed up in a few words: quality. In addition to the image of all marketing, brands should be carefully selected to emphasize only the best. This is why Jade says she only works with those she has tested and values. “I only post products that I actually use and like. If I didn’t work like that, I’d risk getting negative feedback from my community, who would tell me that what I’m offering no longer interests them. “
The relationship with brands: a pillar of the business
I make sure that the feedback I give is organized down to the millimeter to the brands I work with
The influencer approach, when it is focused on quality, also requires nurturing the relationship with brands. At 29, Manon Lecor, blogger and “ethical” Instagrammer (20,000 followers) keeps it like a true entrepreneur. “I make sure that the feedback I give to the brands I work with is accurate to the millimeter: “I liked this product because…I would like to test another…” and even if there is nothing recent on Instagram, I’m talking to the marketing reps. Most importantly, the link has to be dynamic.”
Fany Abes, co-founder of the menstrual panties brand Fempo, confirms the words of Manon, with whom she works. “We communicate regularly with her, and with more than a hundred influencers who have chosen the same niche as us: waste reduction, healthy and non-toxic products … we organize more and more meetings with them, or events they are invited to, to represent the brand or just to have a drink together. We also see them when they come to interview us, film us.” Today, some brands go as far as providing professional equipment to guarantee the quality of publications, requesting interviews with their representatives or taking “instagramers/beings” on press trips to speak out.
New training influencer marketing
This royal avenue open to “social influencers” in the marketing world has repercussions almost everywhere: their success has even led to the creation of training courses intended for companies. The goal: to enable them to acquire the codes of this 2.0 advertising being structured. The Higher Institute of Marketing (ISM) teaches these lessons in influencer marketing. Marion Breuleux, the director of the establishment, explains that brands ask to learn “to target an influencer according to his community, contact him, choose a medium, evaluate the real impact on sales, make an appropriate offer to do.” His students: companies in the hotel industry, transport, publishing, culture, retail…from the CAC 40 to SMEs.
From a minimum wage per month… to 20,000 euros per post
We have few resources to claim wages that are better aligned with the work we deliver
This now established sales ecosystem also has its precarious workers. True, the most exposed on social networks have exorbitant salaries: Alexa Chung and her 3.1 million followers gets $4,500 for a sponsored spot. Aimee Song (5 million followers), $7,000. Federico Lucia (7.3 million followers), $8,500. The Italian Chiara Ferragni (15 million followers), $19,500. The mail. Something to make more than one dream of. But the happy couple are rare. According to the agency Reech, which specializes in influencer marketing, 94.8% of influencers earn less than 500 euros per partnership. 86.7% of those surveyed admitted that they did not make a living from it. They are only 6.4% to earn between 10,000 and 50,000 euros per year (excluding benefits in kind, clothing, accessories, perfumes, airline tickets, hotel rooms, decoration, etc.).
Manon Lecor, she still fails to make a living despite several forged partnerships and several cumulative jobs. “I’m a content creator for brands, social media consultant for companies and writer. With all this, I’m having a hard time making ends meet. I’m considering going a different route.” Micro-influence (10 to 100,000 followers) attracts brands that can’t or won’t spend a fortune. But it’s not rewarding enough whether it’s paid for by the number of sales, the number of posts, or the tracking (companies can see how many people have reached their site from an influencer’s Instagram account or blog). “We ultimately have few resources to defend ourselves against brands that only offer small amounts, and to demand a wage that is more in line with the work we do,” explains Manon.
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The rise of influencer agents
To deal with brands and manage their exposure, some have come up with a solution: hire an agent. This is the case of Diipa Khosla, a 28-year-old British influencer. After her wedding became a fashion showcase on Instagram, the number of people following her exploded, reaching 900,000. Her career takes a new turn: she is no longer manageable on her own. “Today I have an agent in France, the United Kingdom, the United States and one in Dubai.”
His Parisian agent, Cyril Attias, from the Influencers Agency brings him contracts. “We can go one of two ways: either the brands tell us about their issues for a product launch, explain to us what goals they’re pursuing — they struggle to achieve them through traditional media — and we’ll find communities that are sensitive to , then set up the collaboration, or we call directly on the influencers who have joined the agency, we try to make them credible by professionalizing their content, and negotiate their contract, manage the financial aspects. …which they don’t necessarily control Plus they can be lost through overexposure. We’re here to support them.”
Diipa, the former law student, recognizes this need for support, which she satisfies by also surrounding herself with a ‘content manager’, a ‘finance and tax manager’, a ‘business manager’. A sign that influencers, as they grow, become real small businesses that will seriously compete with the traditional advertising market.
You too, testify in the comments and give your advice to be an influencer that matters!