The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
A million dollar industry
Social media is a fantastic way to make money as a college student. With our full-to-the-brim schedules, having a part-time job isn’t always an option. This is especially true if you like to work on your own time, love being creative, and express yourself.
Brands utilize platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Youtube in order to attract a target audience, pushing advertisements that entice users to make purchases. Investing in influencers (or content creators) to post with the said product is a strategic marketing tool that is extremely profitable. Now, what does this mean for you?
Just post it!
If you ask many people, they will tell you that a niche is necessary in order to be successful while developing your brand. Personally, I believe if you are starting out and have a few ideas of things you are passionate about and would love to create, then that is the best route to begin at. The hardest part is always getting started!
Some examples of this could be showing your makeup routine, creating a series of daily vlogs, sharing what your favorite skincare products are, how you make your favorite dish, or showing your OOTD. The possibilities are endless – if you start posting consistently now, who knows where you will be in a year!
Once you decide which content you like and resonates with you the most (i.e. lifestyle, travel, fashion, beauty, food, fitness, advice) you will have gained an audience that finds your content useful, aesthetically pleasing, etc. Staying consistent with these types of posts will gain you a larger audience while continuing to express what you love with people who share these similar interests.
connecting with brands
After your socials have grown a bit, it is time to reach out and connect with your favorite brands! One way to do this is through influencer platforms like Apex drop, #paid, and Octoly. After signing up and connecting your accounts, you collaborate with brands, receive free products, and get commission (who doesn’t love free stuff).
Secondly, making your media kit is crucial because it gives brands a way to view your contact information, learn more about you, and view your analytics (i.e. demographics, engagement rates, followers). This can be done by using the website ‘Canva,’ where there are templates available to use; you can find these templates by searching “Media Kit” and many results will show up: pick your fav!! I suggest making a list of your favorite brands and sending them a message on Instagram, followed by your media kit. When they respond with their PR email, that is when you go in and pitch yourself to them!
Your social media bio is a fantastic tool when it comes to signaling to clients that you’re available and interested in collaborations. By switching to a business or creator profile, Instagram gives the option of attaching your email that can be This is a great way to start making these connections because there will be people who reach out to you when they come across your profile.
influencer perks (and things to look out for)
It is no secret that posting on social media can lead to free vacations, gifts from your favorite places you shop at, networking with other successful individuals in the industry, cool opportunities, and so much more. Like anything else, it is not easy and requires work on a daily basis. If you stay consistent and feel excited about what you’re sharing with the world, it really is a win-win situation!
Advocating for yourself in terms of pay is extremely crucial and does not come easy, especially if you have no prior experience of reading contracts. Brands may slip in usage rights into a contract, so it is important that time is taken to carefully read before signing anything. This is why many influencers hire management, as it is always nice to have help with the business side of things like negotiations and contracts, especially if you are navigating the industry on your own. That being said, having management is not necessary or required to be successful in 2022!
You may or may not have gotten a message on Instagram from a burner account asking if you would be interested in becoming an “Ambassador.” Once you message the brand’s page, they will tell you something like “We would love to partner up, but first, you will have to spend x amount of money.” This is a common scam to look out for, among the many others that exist; you will not have to pay out of pocket for any legitimate partnership. Another way individuals get scammed is receiving emails from someone claiming to be a brand that wants to partner with you. An easy way to spot these and separate them from the real ones is to examine the domain. For example, an authentic public relations email will look something like this: firstname.lastname@example.org; a fraudulent one will typically look like this: email@example.com.
Her campus media opportunities
Through the amazing Her Campus, students have the ability to network with other influencers, get access to exclusive advice, programs, events, and more (https://www.influencehercollective.com). There is an online application available to join InfluenceHer Collective, and if you are a good fit, you will be connected to other driven and forward-thinking women and have the opportunity to partner with reputable brands!
If you are someone who has a knack for following the latest trends and issues, Campus Trendsetters is a network that allows you connect with a team and discuss ideas and participate in surveys. Collaborating with brands like Pandora and Dunkin Donuts, and receiving free products are just a few of the opportunities that are available! The link to apply can be found on their website: https://www.hercampusmedia.com/trendsetters.
I’m rooting for you and I wish you the best of luck with your social media endeavors :)