You can be a micro-influencer, too!
“I am going to be on social media anyway, so why not find a way to make some pretty good money for it?"
Gone are the days when advertisements and brand sponsorships are reserved for society’s celebrities and social-media elite. As popular platforms such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Twitter continue to amass thousands of new users daily, many people are finding new opportunities to expand their brand and start social media careers through the world of micro-influencing. Anybody with a social media account and a passion for sharing aspects of their lives online with followers can connect with various unique brands and companies worldwide to help them promote their products while also making money and receiving free things in return.
I sat down with Giselle Tzintzun, a current sophomore at the University of Nevada, Reno who is majoring in marketing and business, to discuss her experience as a microinfluencer and to find out what advice she has for people who are looking to pursue a similar venture.
“Honestly, the proper term for what I am really is micro-influencer and brand ambassador,” Tzintzun explained. “Microinfluencers are considered to be people who have less than 5,000 followers on any given platform, which is a pretty small following when you consider everybody that is on social media. Pretty much what I do as a brand ambassador is connect with small, up-in-coming brands to help with their startup. As a microinfluencer, I get tasked with helping to market their different products and promotion, which is really fun to do because I actually paid by them while also getting their products for free, which is always cool. Plus, it really is so easy. I mean, I am going to be on social media anyway, so why not find a way to make some pretty good money for it?”
When asked about what got her into helping other brands market their products, Tzintzun explained the influence that famous Youtubers had on her throughout her youth and how that inspired her to create a digital presence of her own.
“I have always loved being on social media, and I love taking photos,” Tzintzun began. “When I was younger, I was really big into the Youtube scene, and I always wanted to be one of the creators that had so many people tuning into their videos each week, so I started making Youtube videos. The only issue was that I am not really the best when it comes to video editing, so when Instagram came out and became huge as a platform, I knew that I wanted to take my account seriously and use it to grow my own personal brand. I started to take my Instagram seriously and started caring about what my feed as a whole looked like. If you have your own aesthetic that is distinguishable and looks good, it is so much easier to get brands that want to work with you and have you promote their products. Let’s just say that companies will not want to have someone promoting their products if the posts do not look like they have had any care put into the visual appeal.”
Even if brands do not reach out to you directly, Tzintzun says that there are many avenues that people can pursue to connect with companies to set up partnerships.
“I have definitely done my fair share of Instagram DMing,” Tzintzun explained. “But there are also some great platforms that help you connect with different companies, which is how I personally got most of my brand collaborations. I use apps like Collaborate, Tribe, Influee, and Influencer. Through these, I have been able to work with brands like Ambean Skin and Smash Box, which I still think are such cool opportunities for someone like me to have. The platforms make it super easy for me to make these connections because I can reach out to so many brands, pitch myself, and then make the plans for how they would like me to advertise whatever it is that they sell. Since I am a micro-influencer and have a smaller following than most major influencers, I do a lot of my own self-pitching and I really have to put the work in to convince each brand that I am someone that they want to work with. But at the end of the day, it really is not the hardest thing in the world to do, and it is fun! Who doesn’t love getting paid to review free things on social media?”
Following our discussion, Tzintzun offered some advice for anyone looking to become a microinfluencer or brand ambassador.
“First things first, you have to make a public account on any social media platform. Instagram and Tiktok are the apps that I usually see the most success with, but you can really do any social media that you are the best at. I recommend setting up a specific content creator account, and apps like Instagram make it really easy to do because there are step-by-step instructions on how to do it. After that, the best thing to do is is getting on one of the content creator apps that I mentioned earlier because it will make it so much easier to connect with brands as you’re starting out. In your actual posts, make sure that you are pushing relevant hashtags that are specific to whatever the product that you are promoting is. You are going to make sure that your content is both visually appealing and exciting to your audience and that you are interacting with similar content creators that are in the same hashtag brackets as you. At the end of the day, just take your time and make sure that you are engaging with others so that they engage with you back since all microinfluencers are really here with the same goal.”
Whether someone has 10 followers or 10,000 followers on social media, they are able to dive into the world of micro-influencers and brand ambassadors. As social media platforms continue to expand and gain even more active users, opportunities to get paid for promoting brands are only going to become more prevalent.