Here are some steps you can take to build your platform, establish your brand, and grow your following to make money on Instagram as an influencer.
Full disclosure: I'm an Instagram influencer. Over the past four years, I was able to build myself a stable side income while getting my second degree. Building an influencer business wasn't easy, but it's also far from impossible—and it shouldn't be a secret. It doesn't help anyone when insiders gate-keep information about ways to succeed within any industry, and social media is just that: a booming industry.
So if you're already in the beginning stages of learning how to monetize your Instagram account, or are just plain interested in doing so, here are some steps you can take to build your platform, establish your brand, and grow your following so you can make money on Instagram as an influencer. All you need to start is WiFi.
Before you even begin to think about monetizing your social media platform, ask yourself: Why do I want to break into the influencer marketing industry? What do I intend on doing with the community that I grow? If you get clear on this, you can come up with a concise approach to curating your page.
Your IG feed is a curation of snapshots into your world or brand. It tells the viewers coming to your page about the things you align yourself with and support (or don't). But growing on Instagram is not just about making a pretty feed; it's about building something that is relatable to others. And it certainly doesn't happen overnight. Researching the niche that you want to promote is a great step in the right direction, but taking initiative to get started is even better.
Because, remember: There will never be a "right" time to start; you will fail, and make mistakes. That's honestly a huge part of social media, because on it you are always under public scrutiny and there will always be room to learn. The best way to begin to grow your business or brand (especially since there are plenty of opportunities to go viral every day) is simply to start.
Brainstorm ways to monetize. Do you love, say, plants? Share photos and videos of your in-home greenery. Each time you post on Instagram, showcase teasers for your blog posts and urge your community to head over to that platform as well. The same goes for sending followers from your Instagram to your TikTok and back. Once you have a following of folks who expect you to post beautiful and informative houseplant how-tos and recommendations, you can start reaching out to plant brands you love to see if they're interested in a partnership.
After all, it's easy to take a picture with a product and call it an #ad; it's not always as easy to fit a product into your Instagram feed in a genuine way. This is where upholding your personal brand pillars before partnering with a brand is essential. Even if the pay is good, you would not want to support something that is completely out of line with your brand.
Regardless of the payment structure, you will be representing the brand you're promoting—and, inherently, incorporating their values into your content. So before you agree to a partnership, think back to why you started your platform, and remember your ideal consumer. Would she be into this content? Would it feel authentic to her? Would it inspire her? Asking yourself these questions will help you figure out what brands you'll want to work with—and which are better left for someone else.
So you want to start working with brands, but aren't sure how to even begin contacting them. Here are a few pointers to get you started.
First, do a quick review of their website, including under their "contact" section. Many websites have a social media or partnership contact to whom you can reach out to to pitch a partnership. If that doesn't work, go over to Instagram and see if the brand has an "email" or "contact" button—or just DM them asking if they have a PR contact to whom you can send a pitch.
When it comes to pitching, an influencer will typically have a template that they'll slightly customize for each brand they send it to. To take it a step further, you can also include a custom deck of what you imagine working with the brand will look like. If you already have partnerships on your resume, you can send through your media kit with insights and brands that you've previously worked with.
When pitching, make sure you have a goal in mind as to whether you want to make this type of work an occasional source of side income, or are hoping to gear up to doing it full-time. If you're hoping to transition to full-time social media work, think about a variety of different kinds of income that you can accumulate; that can mean offering courses or consultant services in addition to brand partnerships, and more.
Working with brands is a lot more work than just holding up a product and smiling with it. There are a lot of guides about different ways to price yourself, but one way to approach it is to break your fees into hourly wages; how long is it going to take you to negotiate with the brand, prepare for the shoot, and actually produce the content to be posted (including editing)? Then add a fee for incorporating that into your feed as well.
Starting with multiple brand ambassador roles is a great way to transition towards working in social media full-time. These programs are a great way to build either extra residual income or a steady, ongoing side hustle. They can work in a few different ways of payment, including:
This is when the brand either sends you an item for free, or provides you with a service such as a hotel room or trip, in exchange for a set number of Instagram posts and/or Stories. Then, there's also the potential to gain compensation through an affiliate link—if you post about that hotel and share an affiliate link for your followers to book their own stay, you'll earn commission when they do. Typically, smaller companies work with this kind of brand ambassador structure, but verified brands sometimes use it as well.
The other payment modes frequently used by brands are: paying a flat fee weekly for the work you do; or calculating your time worked and paying per hour. Choose which you're more comfortable with based on your own schedule and the amount of work you anticipate you'll be putting into the partnership.
Where can you find a legitimate Brand Ambassador role? Brands work with agencies that help organize communication and logistics with each BA, since these programs are typically nationwide. If you think you are right for a BA role, the best sites to find them are agencies' job boards: Archrival Agency, Campus Commandos, Campus Collaborative, Fuse Marketing, Her Campus Media, and Riddle & Bloom. Some BA roles are run in-house and listed directly on the brand's website or job page—Beachwaver, Kendra Scott, and Redbull are just a few.
There truly is no "right" amount that you should be posting on Instagram. That said, the more you post, the more opportunities arise for you to work with brands. And as you grow your following and become an expert in your field, you may want to consider building some kind of residual income as mentioned earlier—whether that's through affiliate codes or by building an online course, ebook, blog, or coaching business.
Once you see initial success with the growth of your account, it is important to stay consistent with posting, innovating, and interacting with your audience. You may have heard the saying that "you need to complete 10,000 hours to master a skill." Well, the only way that you will get there on Instagram is by continuing to create. The biggest thing that comes out of that creation? The momentum you achieve by creating and posting consistently and authentically.
As for me, I found a passion for helping others through our shared experiences—talking about body image, struggling with chronic illness, and more. Through my Instagram platform, I have been able to inspire and lead people as they overcome their own struggles. I have found ways to partner with brands organically that promote things like body confidence and sustainable living. I have become very picky about the brands I work with, and while I've grown and diversified my partnership portfolio as an influencer, I have also stayed true to my values.
If you begin to take partnerships that don't reflect your brand, your community will pick up on this—and it's likely they will engage less. A paycheck is nice, but a community that constantly supports the work you do is even nicer.
Building a brand does not happen overnight; it requires a significant amount of dedication as well as an openness to pivot and implement new strategies. And for many creators who begin to see more of the momentum I mentioned above? Suddenly, they need help. And that's totally normal. Hire the coach and the accountant, pay for the online course, take the webinar or workshop, staff up, do whatever it is you need to help your brand thrive.
If you want to be a conscious creator, you should always be holding yourself accountable with the content that you produce—while also investing into educating yourself on ways to be better. Working as an influencer is actually a very comprehensive and diverse job. It requires negotiating, ideating, styling, shooting, editing, curating, scheduling, and more.
And learning how to do everything necessary to start—and continue—making money on Instagram requires research, constant shifting, and committing to being more inclusive. There is always something new you can learn, some way you can improve. And as a creator and influencer, you should be actively be pursuing that—for the betterment of your brand, and because your community deserves it.
Starting a Travel Vlog for Fun and Money – Small Business Trends
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Even a couple of years ago, it was practically impossible to make money while traveling. Thanks to travel vlogging, a tribe of travelers today are able to do both at the same time — work and travel the world by visiting new places.
What is a Travel Vlog?
A travel vlog is a short video chronicling travels. Travel vloggers share their videos on social media to provide a glimpse into their travels.
In the last few years, travel vlogs have gained immense popularity. YouTube has played a key role in giving travel vloggers a platform to share their adventures and amass millions of followers.
Types of Travel Vlog Videos
From food videos to bungee jumping vlog, there are many types of travel business ideas for vlog videos. Many influencers around the world specialize in creating specific types of travel vlogs to entice their audience.
Travel vlogs are blogs in video format. They don’t need to be perfect or professionally edited because they are meant to capture travels as realistically as possible.
Travel guides provide helpful tips to interested travelers. In these videos, vloggers share guidance on things to do, how to plan trips and what to avoid when visiting new places.
Channel Marketing Videos
Behind every travel vlog is a vlogger sharing interesting content with the world. Channel marketing videos are about the people sharing their travel videos. These include an about me video to showcase the content creators.
Specialist Travel Videos
Many vloggers specialize in niche categories within the travel vlogging world. For example, some popular travel vloggers focus on food while some provide hotel reviews.
How do I Make Money Travel Vlogging?
Vlogging is a great way to make money while travelling. And if you do it properly, you can pursue it as a full-time job. Here’s how you can turn it into a career:
- Affiliate marketing: There are various affiliate marketing opportunities through hotel recommendations, books and Amazon products.
- Freelance writing projects: Once you start building your profile as a travel vlogger, you have an opportunity to share tips your viewers feel are valuable. You can use your reach to land freelance writing projects that pay quite well.
- YouTube videos: Most successful travel vloggers leverage YouTube to earn through advertising. To increase your income through YouTube, it is a good idea to post regularly and share your videos widely.
- eBooks: Another good idea worth exploring is travel guides and eBooks. You can cover a wide range of topics and as long as the information is useful, you will be able to find another source of income.
What do I Need to Start a Travel Vlog?
The best thing about travel vlogging is you need very little to get started. You can have complete control over what you want to share and you don’t have to follow a set process. As long as you’re passionate about traveling, you can find the story you want to tell.
- Find your story: This is the most important element of travel vlogging. There are many different directions to explore with travel vlogging. So, it’s important you find a story that you want to share with the world.
- Buy equipment: While you don’t have to make a big investment to buy equipment for vlogging, you should still have the right tools to get started. The first thing you need is a decent camera. LUMIX GX85 is a good option because it’s both sturdy and light. You should also consider buying a good microphone. The Rode VideoMic Pro is a good option.
- Start filming: Once you zero in on the story, don’t hold yourself back. Start filming and have fun. The first few attempts may not live up to the standards you are aiming for, but you will learn along the way.
- Learn editing: Since you want more people watching your vlog, you must make your videos user-friendly. This is where video editing becomes an important tool.
- Host your site: If you’re new to blogging, a simple WordPress interface is the best option for you to host your site.
Travel Vlog Platforms
Starting a travel vlog may seem like a lot of work, but it’s not as complicated as you might think. Vlogging platforms like YouTube have excellent features to help you get started.
- YouTube: YouTube is the world’s biggest video platform. It’s also the second largest search engine. Not surprisingly, YouTube is the most popular platform for travel vloggers all over the world. So, getting the right answers to how do YouTubers make money vlogging will get you on the right path.
- Tripoto: Tripoto is a global community for travelers. On this platform, you’ll be able to connect with fellow travel enthusiasts and grow your network over time.
- Tumblr: If you are new to vlogging and want to take small steps before diving in, you can start with Tumblr. It has a simple enough interface, but lacks customization and plugins.
- WordPress: WordPress is most preferred for building websites. It comes with host of plugins and additional features to customize your site. You can optimize it improve your ranking and drive traffic.
- Wix: Wix is another option for you to host your vlogging website. It’s a user-friendly platform but lacks the customization features of WordPress.
Starting a Travel Vlog with YouTube Videos
Thanks to its reach and popularity, YouTube is the best platform to launch your travel vlog. Before you start thinking of growing your subscriber base, there are some things you must keep in mind.
Here are 11 hugely effective steps that will help you get the most out of your video clips.
1. Decide on Your Niche
Travel vlogging has become an increasingly competitive space, with a large number of vloggers creating content regularly. To be successful, you need to ensure your vlog stands out. To be able to do that, you need to figure out what makes you passionate about traveling. Do you enjoy traveling because you get to try different cuisines? Or do you like to explore new arts and culture when you visit a different place?
Popular travel vloggers like Mark Wiens and GrrrlTraveler have amassed a large number of subscribers because they specialize in their niche. Mark specializes in showcasing different cuisines while he’s traveling while GrrrlTraveler provides great tips on solo travel for women.
2. Look at the Competition
Because it’s a competitive space, you need to keep an eye out on other vloggers with a similar focus. This is important because you’ll be able to find a unique theme for your vlog. Checking other travel vlogs can also help you stay on top of new trends and get inspiration for making videos.
3. Acquire Travel Vlogger Equipment
As mentioned before, you don’t need a lot to get started. But you must consider investing in some equipment that can help you create new videos. In addition to a light and sturdy camera, you should have a good microphone and some lens that can elevate the quality of your videos.
4. Choose a Topic For Your First Video
Your first video sets the scene for your travel channel and gives audience an insight into what to expect. As such it’s evergreen content that can help you connect with your future subscribers. Here are some tips on topics you may consider:
- My next trip
- Budget travel tips
- My best travel experiences
- How to plan your next trip
- Top things I avoid when I travel
- Safety Tips for Traveling Abroad
5. Start Filming
It can feel a bit odd and adrenaline rushing to begin filming your first vlog. The trick is to not to aim for perfection. Let the focus be on the great story you want to tell in the video when you start vlogging. You can always edit the video afterwards.
6. Edit Your YouTube Videos
Video editing is like putting different pieces of a puzzle together. Luckily, there are many editing software tools available to help you create great videos. Adobe Premiere and Final Cut are some of the most popular video editing software programs. You can also try Lightworks, which is free to use.
One way you can improve the quality of your travel video is by adding music. You can buy royalty-free music from Josh Woodward and Kevin MacLeod.
7. Optimize Your Videos for SEO
To start making money from vlogging, you need to ensure your videos reach your audience. This is where search engine optimization becomes crucial.
Title: The first thing you must optimize with the right keywords is the title of your video. Make sure the title makes sense when you add the keywords.
Description: The description bar in YouTube is designed to help content creators add relevant keywords and improve their SEO. Adding links to you blogs and other social media channels can come in handy here.
Keyword tags: Add your primary keyword and as many similar keywords as possible here.
Thumbnail image: Great video thumbnails can help you draw your audience to your vlog.
Advanced settings: Including additional details in the advanced settings is also useful to optimize your videos.
Subtitles and closed captions: While it may take more time to add subtitles and captions, YouTube recommends this to boost SEO.
8. Upload Videos to Your YouTube Channel
Once you are done editing your videos, you can start uploading them onto your YouTube channel. Before publishing your content, you may want to keep the videos private. That way, you will be able to make edits and add keywords.
Keeping videos private before publishing can also help you schedule them.
9. Share Your Videos on Other Social Networking Platforms
A simple yet highly effective way to amplify the reach of your vlogs is to share them on social media platforms. This is also important because some of our audience may not even be aware of your vlog unless you promote them on your social media accounts.
Some effective social media channels to use for vlog promotion are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
10. Build Your Travel Vlog Following
With unique content and search engine optimization, you’ll be able to start building your followers. There are also some other simple ways to attract more followers to your vlog.
- Create content consistently: Be serious about creating content, even if you don’t get too many followers early on.
- Encourage viewers to subscribe: Always ask your viewers to subscribe to your channel and give them enough reasons to do so.
- Create interesting thumbnails: An attractive thumbnail can make it easier for you to draw more people to your channel.
- Collaborate with other vloggers: By partnering with fellow travelers, you can amplify your reach and leverage their popularity.
- Engage with your audience: Successful vloggers excel at showing viewers who they are and why they are passionate about vlogging.
- Share teasers: Tell your audience what you’re going to share in your next video to ensure they keep coming back for more.
11. Be a Successful Travel Vlog Owner
To achieve success as a travel vlog owner requires you to spend time understanding what your subscribers are looking for in content. How much time are they spending on your videos? Are they leaving comments to share how they feel? These are just some of the questions you need to ask from time to time to create content that resonates with the audience.
But it’s not enough to just pay attention to the audience behavior. You must focus on using the insights to develop new content. For example, if you find a couple of similar videos fetch you higher views and likes, then you should try to create new content based on the same format.
Top Tips for Travel Vlogging Success
Although it’s a cluttered space, you can decode travel vlogging to achieve success. Here’s how:
- Brand yourself: Who are you and what’s your story? This is important for your audience to understand why they should pay attention to you and your vlog.
- Be Original: While you must keep a close eye on competition, you cannot stand out if you produce the same content. Find a unique hook to draw your audience.
- Don’t lose hope: It’s totally fine to not get millions of views when you’re starting out. Keep realistic goals and don’t let initial setbacks faze you.
- Create both long and short content: Short videos are quite useful for first time viewers to understand what your vlog is all about. Once they find your channel interesting, they won’t mind watching longer videos. That’s why, it’s important to create both long and short videos.
- Share regularly: Unless you post content regularly, you won’t have viewers who would want to come back for more.
- Understand social media and SEO: Spend some time to understand how social media and SEO can help you build your audience.
- Experiment: Whether it’s the video format or the way you engage with your subscribers, you should always experiment to see what’s working best for your channel.
What is the best camera for travel vlogging?
Sony ZV-1 is a great camera for travel vlogging. It is a compact camera with topnotch autofocus, making it the ideal option for travel vlogging.
How do I start a free travel vlog?
Here are some steps to create a free travel vlog:
- Create a free WordPress website
- Buy royalty-free music from Pixabay
- Edit your videos with Lightworks
Here are some free platforms to host your travel vlog:
- Facebook Live
- Insta Live
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How a career map can help plan your police promotion – Police News
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Navigating a career in law enforcement takes time, planning and reflection. Here’s how to do it
A successful career journey requires careful planning, and one aid to travel planning is a map.
Like road maps, career maps offer three key pieces of information:
Wouldn’t it be great if our supervisors gave us a career map with that information? Such a map would help us chart important decisions to guide our career-related goals and aspirations. Luckily, you can draft your own career map in just a few easy steps.
Congratulations. You are a law enforcement professional. I know that your decision to pursue this career involved a lot of time, effort, and determination — and I hope a fair amount of conversation and soul searching. So, what’s your next step? Where do you want your career to take you?
If you’re not sure, then I suggest you take a personal inventory of your career-related desires. Here are some brainstorming questions to get started:
Writing down your answers to these questions is a good way to start your career map.
Now you should have an idea of what you want to do. Perhaps it’s a specialized assignment or maybe you would like to advance to a supervisory role.
Your next step is to learn all that you can about the position:
If possible, talk with someone you trust who either has some past or current experience in the position. Learn what they liked and didn’t like about the position, as well as what things made them successful.
If you decide you still want to pursue the position, take action using what you’ve learned. Attend the required training and begin compiling your training folder. In addition:
Sometimes your career map is not so much a step-by-step checklist as it is an overall strategy to keep you moving forward. No plan is perfect and inevitably there will be roadblocks, detours, and perhaps even a breakdown or two along the way. Keeping your options open allows you to continue making progress.
Sign up for all the training you can find, even if it’s not related to your current assignment and consider taking assignments outside your comfort zone. The experience is priceless, and it makes you a more valuable employee. Who knows, it might open opportunities that you hadn’t even considered.
Also, bear in mind that flexibility includes where you live and work. Depending on the size and type of agency, you may have to transfer to another precinct, another district, or even another state. Your career map might even include moving to another jurisdiction level, as did mine when I moved from a career in local to federal law enforcement.
Proper perspective should also be a function of your career map. Think of your career in terms of five-year blocks and consider what you can realistically achieve during that time.
It may take more or less than five years, and sometimes those blocks will overlap, but you get the idea.
If your plan is for a 30-year career, then your career map should let you visualize your career in six blocks of five years each. Don’t get discouraged if you haven’t made chief of police after the first five-year block. Most of us will not. And, if you find yourself stalling and unable to make the progress you would like, then it may be time to look at strategies to widen your options.
A career map can help you identify what you want your career to look like, what you should do to capitalize on opportunities and what you can do to help keep your plans on track. Remember that even the best-mapped plans are liable to change, so be prepared to be flexible. Your career goals are more of a marathon than a sprint, so keep your eyes open and look as far down the road as possible. Pace yourself and take time to enjoy the journey.
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Lt. Mike Walker is a 29-year veteran of local and federal law enforcement. He has served in a variety of assignments with a concentration in investigative work. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and is a graduate of the 247th Session of the FBI National Academy.
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Weather Blog: Temperatures warming up at night – KSHB
Good Saturday bloggers,
We had a beautiful Saturday sunrise now followed by an exit to the Arctic air.
We are tracking two “Alberta Clipper” systems this weekend that will play havoc with our temperatures. We will have temperatures rising at night and falling during the day, except for today.
The last couple of days we explained what an “Alberta Clipper” system is, but here is a refresher course.
An “Alberta Clipper” is a system that originates in western Canada in or near the province of Alberta. They then move quickly (clipping along) southeast. East of their track is cold and snow. West of their track is milder and dry and can force temperatures to rise at all hours of the day depending on their timing.
In the 6 minute video below we go into detail on…What do the clipper systems mean for the weekend and the Chiefs game? Also, at the end of the video we discuss our current snow situation and look at a drought not too far away.
Have a great weekend, stay healthy and GO CHIEFS!
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