15 Things That Will Help You Become an Influencer
Hey, cuties! Every Tuesday I share all of my Instagram tips on my account – I call it my color me classroom! I’ve done over 30 classes covering everything from how to grow your account to the biggest mistakes people make on Instagram. One of the most asked tips is “how do I start a blog” well the short answer is, you just start! BUT, there are a few things to add to your influencer tool kit that will help give your account a jumpstart! So today, I’m sharing 15 things that will help you become an influencer. While these aren’t mandatory, these are just what I suggest you invest in or at least think about investing in when you’re starting out!
The first 6 things you need are mostly intangible items, things you might already have or just need to refine!
Logo / Name / Branding
To kick things off you need a name, brand & logo. This doesn’t have to be professional to start and I don’t expect you to hire a graphic designer or branding agency. But spend some time perfecting your name! You can rebrand later, but if you can do it right the first time it will save you a lot of time and money!
Social Media Account
I feel like this goes without saying, but you also need a social media account. Oh, and you should secure this name across all platforms; even platforms you feel like you’ll never use (TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook). When you build a brand you won’t want someone else operating under your name, so make sure you’ve secured it in every single social media channel… NOW! Before someone else does!
Camera + Editing Software
The obvious thing that every creator needs is an ability to produce high-quality photos, but the cool thing is with iPhone technology being where it is, this doesn’t have to cost you a ton. You could use an iPhone and edit for free on your phone. We invest in camera equipment but until you really know what you’re doing (from a photo POV) I wouldn’t suggest investing thousands of dollars in equipment. We made this mistake thrice over- throwing money away on equipment before we knew what we were doing, or what we really needed. Start with an iPhone, maybe even for the first year, and wait to upgrade to expensive equipment.
Computer + Website
I’ll say this 08270247024 times until you believe me. YOU CAN’T BUILD A BUSINESS ON A PLATFORM YOU DON’T OWN. You don’t own Instagram and your account can be taken away any second!!! Please buy a domain name and build a budget website that is the same as your Instagram name. If you don’t someone else might snatch up your name now, and prevent you from doing so in the future. This happened to me and they tried to charge me $800 to buy it back! I have always used GoDaddy for my domain. You can also build a low budget website on blogger or WordPress. I host on WordPress now but was on blogger.com for years. You can buy templates on Etsy for as low as $50 and apply them to your website. They’re simple, but they’ll do the trick!
If you plan on working with brands and operating a professional business, you NEED an email address. You can buy this along with your website so you don’t have to have a Gmail. Brands, creators & others in the biz will take you more seriously when they see your real email.
File sharing service
You’ll get to a place where you need to share files or photos with brands, team members or other creators! For this, you can use free services like google drive or dropbox! I use dropbox and have upgraded to the paid service over time.
ADD TO CART
Okay now that you have the software taken care of, let’s focus on the hardware! These are all things I’ve bought on Amazon that have helped me produce better content. I do not think they are as important as the software outlined above so if you can only invest in some of these items, start there. BUT these are great things that save me time & help me perform better as a creator. Most are under $100 so you can ask for them for a birthday/holiday gift or pick up one every month until you collect them all.
ONE: External Disk || TWO: Extreme Pro SD Card || THREE: SD Card Holder || FOUR: Ring Light ( cheaper light) || FIVE: Box Lights || SIX: iPhone / Selfie Stand || SEVEN: 6 SDCard Reader (USB C HUB) || EIGHT: Background Stand || NINE: iPhone Stand and Keyboard
External Disk – I have 6 of these I use to organize all my files, especially when I travel! I actually organize them with stickers and keep all my youtube footage on one, stop motion on another, personal files on a 3rd, photos on the 4th. I have one I use for travel and one for backup or transfer. I will say these hard drives are the best but none are reliable, so make sure you’re backing up on a cloud service or 2nd hard drive as well as using the initial one.
Extreme Pro SD Card – we’ve been burned by bad SD cards in the past and have since started using these nonstop! They really make a difference in speed and reliability. I also organize these with stickers, color coding them & naming the actual cards. This helps me keep organized on trips or during big shoot weeks.
SD Card Holder – To keep my SD cards organized I have two of these water-proof dust-proof cases. They hold 8 cards each! We have about 14 cards and use 8 regularly so this works to keep us organized
Ring Light – natural light can work, until you have to shoot when the sun goes down, during winter or when it’s raining! It’s really important to have some sort of back up lighting solution, and the best is a ring light! There are a variety of options on Amazon for different price points. I’ve purchased cheaper ones that have always broke, so I finally upgraded to this one which has lasted me 2 years. I also have this one I’ll use for additional light or as a tripod for TikTok videos since I like the camera to be a bit lower. Together they really work well for me, but you could get by with just one
Box Lights – sometimes I need more light, like when I’m shooting full body or doing stop motion. We’ll combine 2 box or umbrella lights with our big ring light for a brighter image
iPhone / Selfie Stand – if you’re a selfie queen or only really using light for Instagram stories, this small stand will do! I love that it has flexible arms and a USB adapter that gives it a different function than my other lights. I can also bring this with me on a trip for impromptu hotel photoshoots or filming on the go!
SD Card Reader – if you’re juggling a lot of cards, a reader like this might come in handy. It lets you plug in 6 at a time to your computer or laptop! If you don’t need this many cards on deck, you can give this USB C HUB a whirl to plug camera cards directly into a lightning port
Background Stand – if you’re planning on shooting from home with bold backgrounds you can get by with colorful flat sheets held up by thumbtacks or painters tape on a wall, but if you want something slightly more professional try a background stand! I’ll be honest this one isn’t the best, these all kind of suck unless you want to invest in it heavily – but this one does the job!
iPhone Stand and Keyboard – Again, not necessary but these save me so much time & make me more productive. The number one thing you need to do as a new creator is respond to comments. Yes, its time consuming but you can’t expect people to respond if you’re not willing to chat back. These two together help me do that without hurting my hands or taking up all my time! I set my phone up on the stand and use the Bluetooth keyboard to connect to my phone. The stand is also great for Instagram lives or hands-free facetime with your friends
SO I hope that helps! Use this as a break down for everything you need to jumpstart your blog, then report back and let me know how you do!