Lovelies, today we are interviewing the lovely Erika Rose, creator of the “Influencer Hack” platform!
Erika is a social media strategist and marketing professional who is not only sharing her “Journey To Lovely” with us, but also her signature “hacks”: which are insightful tips on the ever-evolving online world!
Whether you’re an influencer, a brand, or a professional, prepare to learn what it takes to create successful- (profitable and sustainable)- interactions in digital media!
Greetings please share a bit about you and how you began your ‘Journey’ as a Social Media Advisor?
My name is Erika Rose and I have been working in the online media and marketing industry for 15 years. Currently I am working for a global Marketing and Communication agency in the Netherlands. Ten years ago, when still employed by my previous employer, I encountered influencer marketing. For one of my clients (big shoe brand) I set up my first influencer marketing campaign. Intrigued by the results, I decided to specialize in influencer marketing and social media. I wanted to know more and learn more about influencers but above all, I really wanted to introduce influencer marketing to my clients as a new and smart way to advertise.
Your platform is called “The Influencer Hack”, can you tell us the vision behind it ?
My main goal is to share my knowledge and educate (potential) influencers, brands, business owners and industry professionals on influencer marketing. I have worked in this industry for so long and have dealt with influencers from different angles. From representing brands, agencies, influencers and even by blogging. Trying to be an influencer myself. I hope that by sharing my knowledge I can help people to be successful in their influencer career or in setting up influencer marketing campaigns.
That’s awesome! What was one of the most empowering experiences you’ve had with it so far?
With a number of influencers, who were known for their fashion scene, we started a long-term collaboration where they regularly created content with the shoes and where we organized several activities for them, such as pers trips to Scandinavia, an influencers and top fans events etc. We did this to establish and strengthen our relationships with the influencers but also to make them part of the brands family and give them more insights on the brand. So, that they can create content that is on brand and be a true brand lover (brand ambassadors).
As a result of this partnership the brand’s perception changed. The demand for the fashionable shoe collection in the Netherlands increased. We saw a clear change in demographics and type of shoes that were sold. The younger target group entered the stores and we sold more of the modern shoe collection.
The partnership was such a success that the brand decided that influencer marketing was a permanent part of their brand strategy in all countries where the brand is sold (till this day).
This is one of the partnerships that I am very proud of and has made me specialize. What worked well here is that the brand trusted the influencers, gave them creative freedom, took the time to build a relationship with them and turned them into real brand ambassadors. What you saw is that influencers were really wearing the shoes and not only for a content moment. Which resulted in additional (earned) content.
Cute detail: the influencers we worked with have all grown into well-known influencers (social stars & mega influencers). Back then they were what we now consider to be micro-influencers.
The influencer market can be fiercely competitive and difficult to break into, can you share a few tips on how influencers can actually create a successful brand- and even a career path with their platforms?
One of the most important things is that you are passionate about what you are doing, don’t lose sight of the reason you started sharing content and push through. It is hard work and many people drop out in the first year. From the influencers I have seen rise and build a brand and a successful career they had the following in common. I truly believe that they made it so far because of:
· Strong work ethic -> they are go-getters, ambitious, motivated, disciplined and know what they want to achieve.
· Quality Content -> they create unique, compelling quality content. Visually as well as in copy by sharing authentic stories. They invest in perfecting their skills in the content output as in photography or videography along the way. If you look closely you will see their transformation happening before your eyes. They are getting better every day.
· Plan -> they have a clear plan or goal on what they want to achieve, and they do not deviate from it. In most occasions the goal is to have a career in something they really enjoy (from passion to career) and have freedom.
· Connection -> they have built a connection with their followers. They feel closely involved in their lives (personal), feel they relate, or the influencer could be their friend. Or they are learning from them about a topic.
· Consistent -> they are consistently creating and posting (do not stop creating, push through)
· Repeat -> at some point they get noticed. That one post that gives them a lot of attention. When that happens, they do it AGAIN and capitalize on it and grow from there (flexible and adapt easily to new opportunities or situations).
One of the most important things is that you are passionate about what you are doing, don’t lose sight of the reason you started sharing content and push through.
– Erika Rose, The Influencer Hack
The Social Media Influencer model is quite recent, so there is a lot of trial and error going on- but what do you think are the most common mistakes influencers make and how could they avoid them?
I think a lot of influencers do not really know what the influencer marketing landscape looks like and how the influencer marketing industry works when It comes to working with brands. I think they should be more aware of the process and that it would help them build a better understanding of the business and better relationship with brands or industry professionals. That will benefit them.
The same goes for brands and industry professionals they too should be more aware of the process when it comes to working with influencers. I encounter (still to this day) brands who don’t know that creating content and building a community takes time and is really hard work. It really is a job and they should acknowledge that and give more credits for it.
As a social media expert, how should influencers go about getting partnerships with brands? Should they reach out first or wait to be contacted? Share any hacks you have!
You can reach out to brands, but do not just show your numbers (followers/engagement rate) but tell them why you would be a good fit for the brand. For example, if you see another influencer doing an ad campaign (and you are interested in the brand as well) do not hesitate to reach out to the agency or brand. Just tell them you saw the campaign, you would love to work with them, why you are a great fit for the brand, how you will promote them (for instant a video and IG post + concept direction) and add testimonials (DM’s from your followers with questions about certain products you posted, or telling you that they bought the product because you shared content about it etc.).
Even if the agency or brand at that moment does not have the budget to pay you or work with you for whatever reason. You will be top of mind the next time there is a campaign and they probably approach you.
Build relationships, for example, when you are invited to an event do not just talk to other influencers. Make sure that you chat with the representative of the agency or client. It is a good way to get acquainted and if they have a pleasant conversation / experience with you, you stay top of mind and they will approach you next time. Make sure when you have established contact to maintain the relationship.
Ask questions to agencies (or brands). Example questions: which brands do you represent? Are there campaigns coming in which I could play a role? I love brand X. Would you mind If I sent you a proposal about what I can do for the brand to create attention among my followers.
In the current global climate, how can influencers adapt to the Post-Covid-19 challenges to better market themselves and build a sustainable niche?
What has happened in my opinion is that due Covid-19 influencers had to reinvent themselves. Influencers who have not shown vulnerability (real stories) do so now. They are telling more stories, captions are longer, no more short captions and quotes. And influencers are creating more entertaining content and showing more their funny and creative side (TikTok). Covid-19 but also the BLM movement made everyone think about what is important in life. There is less room and tolerance for superficiality and much more need for vulnerability and realness. The influencers who are making that switch now will benefit from that in the long run.
What words of advice or encouragement would you have for other young people interested in becoming social media influencers?
We live in an era where you can control everything and plan your own career. If you are passionate about something. Just get started, just enjoy it (have fun), see how far it takes you and what doors it will open for you. The more time and energy you invest, the more chance you have to succeed.
Thank you for sharing those encouraging words! What’s next on your Journey To Lovely (your future goals and aspirations)?
For now, I hope to build my own community with people who are interested in learning more about influencers and influencer marketing. And a goal would be to develop tools that can help (potential) influencers and brands on their journey to success.
That’s awesome! Truly wish you the best!
How can we keep up with you dear?
@theinfluencerhack -> https://www.instagram.com/theinfluencerhack/
@erikarosed -> https://www.instagram.com/erikarosed/ (personal account)
In closing, during these unprecedented times, if you could share a ‘message of hope’ with the world what would it be?
Please stay safe and take care of yourself and each other!
Hope you all will enjoy this lovely interview with social media expert Erika Rose of “The Influencer Hack”! If you did, don’thesitate to share, comment and subscribe.
Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for our next “Lovely Expert” interview!