PHOTOGRAPHY // Erica Simmons
Whenever I tell someone that I’m a full time influencer, they have this brief look on their face that asks “what does an influencer do?” I get it. It’s not something you necessarily learn about in school. Sure, to some extent it means being on Instagram or maybe even YouTube and interacting with followers. But creating social media content is only part of the job as an influencer. Sometimes it involves taking pictures in full hair and makeup. Every now and again it can mean attending an event. And four times a year, it means paying taxes. (cue “womp, womp”)
Of course if you’re just starting out and being an influencer is your side hustle, your tasks will look a little different than if you were at it full time.
If you’ve ever been interested in becoming an influencer at a full time level, it’s important to understand that there is a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into it. SPOILER: Even though I love being an influencer, it’s a lot of work. The tasks I complete throughout the day and week are often times more administrative and intensive than they are glamorous. That’s why writing this post was so important to me. I wanted you to know that the tasks needed to be done as a full time influencer are administrative, intensive and creative and done at a daily, weekly and monthly level.
When it comes to the frequency of tasks there’s 3 instances - daily, weekly and monthly.
Daily tasks are things that I need to tackle on a consistent basis. Executing these tasks regularly is a priority to stay productive and consistent.
Weekly tasks are things that I need to tackle on a moderate basis. Doing these tasks regularly is important to stay on track with goals and plan ahead of schedule.
Monthly tasks are things that I need to tackle on a sporadic basis. Getting to these tasks every so often keeps you aware of numbers (analytics) and allows me to accurately measure my overall monthly performance.
In short, daily tasks are for productivity, weekly tasks are for planning and monthly tasks are for measuring performance and confirming payments.
By the end of this post, you’ll be aware of what each of those tasks are and understand why they’re necessary to be successful as an influencer.
Here’s what tasks I do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to run my full time business as an influencer.
Respond to comments
Schedule social content
Share content from others
Check and respond to emails
RESPOND TO COMMENTS
As I mentioned earlier, daily tasks are all about productivity for me. As an influencer, staying engaged with your followers is how to keep your influence active and productive. Whether it’s Instagram, YouTube or whatever channel your following engages with you, it’s important to schedule time to respond to your followers comments and/or questions. To me, this is so important because it turns my followers into a community I can interact with. That’s incredibly valuable.
It’s important that I schedule a time to respond each day, because it’s easy to get caught up and end up responding all day. Sometimes I schedule 20 minutes, other times maybe 45 minutes. But once I respond for the day, I’m done until the next day for the most part. Social media can easily become a distraction. My goal is to keep it productive by engaging with my followers consistently during a scheduled time.
SCHEDULE SOCIAL CONTENT
Daily tasks allow you to schedule things a day ahead of time instead of trying to post in real time. My posts on Tuesday are scheduled on Monday, my posts for Thursday are scheduled on Wednesday, etc. I write and shoot my content ahead of time, so I then schedule it to go live about a day or two before. Scheduling takes time, so making sure all editing and formatting is done beforehand helps out so much. I never realized it until I was full time, but posting to your blog, YouTube or even podcast is time consuming. Creating content is very detail oriented and should be approached with attention to detail. Attention to detail takes time - even when the content is “fun.”
While I don’t necessarily schedule content every single day, it’s usually about 3-4 times a week depending on my schedule. The goal is to make sure something is going live on my social everyday without having to post in real time.
SHARE CONTENT FROM OTHERS
Resharing content you like is important. I’m on social media everyday and whenever I share content from other influencers or a publication I like, it builds my influence even more. It also creates another way for your followers to engage with you. I try to retweet, repin or reshare at least 5 posts from other sources I like each day. It definitely is a great way to create or curate content on my slow content days.
CHECK AND RESPOND TO EMAILS
Oh, email. If you’re a social media influencer, email is so important. You’ll receive everything from pitches from brands, invites to events, alerts about payments and even questions from followers via email. Email can be a time sucker and productivity killer, so it’s important to schedule a specific time in your day to open new ones. I like to check it once a day (usually in the morning) and then revisit. Typically, I don’t miss anything monumental when I check it once a day. Plus, I end up getting so much done in the rest of my day since I only give so much time to it. And when people find out you’re only checking email once, they start to only email you when it’s actually important. For me, I interact with my team, brands and even followers in my email. So when it’s time for me to be in my inbox, I’m engaged - totally locked in. And when I’m not, I don’t even have notifications on for it. But for me, tackling it once a day allows me to stay on top of it.
If you have a blog, YouTube channel or podcast as an influencer or even a product or service that you provide, you need to be promoting it on a daily basis. Not weekly, not monthly. Every single day. This is something to be deliberate about because the lifespan of social posts is very short. Of course the more impressions or views you have on your content, the more valuable you are deemed as an influencer but you won’t get eyes on your content if you’re not promoting it. Just like scheduling content, it’s important to schedule promo ahead of time. Promo for Monday’s post should be scheduled on Sunday and so forth. Staying at least a day or two ahead of my promotion schedule always serves me best.
Design promo graphics
For me, knowing what posts I’m going to publish for the month (which I will discuss in monthly tasks) lets me know when to schedule shoots. Because shooting everyday is just unrealistic for my current schedule, I’m a huge advocate for batch shooting. Basically, I’ll shoot a couple weeks worth of content in a day or two. This is great because it allows me to schedule posts ahead of time and helps me stay consistent. We batch shoot 5-7 days out of the entire month. It’s been a fail proof system for myself and my photographer.
The content creation process has a lot of steps - and I love to batch as much as I can. Day to day looks different when it comes to content creation. Some days I edit videos. Other days I edit posts and format them. Then there are days where I format a post and then schedule it. I have found that when I batch a step in the content creation process for several posts I get a lot more done. It’s amazing how productive I am when I just put my head down and just knock out all my writing or all my formatting. Because I have so many tasks to tackle through the week, batch processing my content allows me to stay consistent.
As far as editing is concerned, I’m referring to anything in the content creation process. This includes but not limited to: writing, editing, formatting or scheduling posts, podcasts and/or video.
DESIGN PROMO GRAPHICS
I’ll be honest, designing promo graphics is something I use to do. Luckily, I’ve been able to delegate those tasks out to my designer who I work with on a weekly & monthly basis. But because I delegate them, I still take the time out to decide what graphics need to be designed. Whether it’s a quote from my podcast or a recent post, I decide how many I want to share on social media and delegate in Asana. I also decide what promo graphics need to be created if I am launching a course or workbook that week or month. I cannot stress how incredibly helpful this is to do on a weekly or even monthly basis. Especially if you have someone else designing your graphics. The goal is always to stay ahead of what you need done.
As I mentioned earlier, I schedule promo to my content everyday. But for content, I try to schedule posts and podcasts a week or at least a few days in advance. This allows me to avoid “day of” burnout. I’m able to do so because I plan my content out a month in advance and shoot photos 1-2 weeks ahead. I schedule everything from blog posts, podcasts or videos ahead of time. I base what goes live when off of my editorial calendar. Scheduling content increases my chances of it going live versus waiting the day of and rushing to get it up. Thankfully, everything I use to host content - WordPress, Soundcloud and YouTube - allows you to schedule posts. It really does make the content creation process so much more seamless.
The bulk of my income this last year has been brand partnerships. Pitching brands ideas and hopping on the phone with them to discuss potentially working together is a huge part of my business that must be done on a regular basis if I plan on making money. The more you pitch, the more likely you are to land a paid partnership. So, I send out a couple of pitches every week to ensure there’s always a potential paid project in the works.
I’ve read posts where they suggest you only check your social, blog or YouTube stats on a monthly basis. As a full time influencer, I believe you should check your numbers weekly. Checking your numbers everyday is a bit obsessive and not necessary for most people unless you have millions of impressions. Checking your analytics every month is a bit too sporadic. I like to see how my content is performing to see if I need to add, repeat or omit anything for the remainder of the month. Checking analytics weekly is that perfect middle ground where I’m not obsessing too much or having to go through a whole bunch of stats because I waited all month. This gives me a more accurate measurement of my content’s impact and value which I include in my press kit. Plus, if there’s a technical behind the scenes issue, catching it in a week is better than a month. And depending on the partnership, some brands want weekly stats after the sponsored content goes live. Staying on top of my numbers weekly helps me to predict how sponsored or upcoming content will perform.
SEND OUT INVOICES
As an influencer, I don’t have the luxury if getting paid every two weeks as if I were at a 9 to 5. So every time I complete a brand partnership, I have to send an invoice to ensure I get paid. I typically post 3-5 brand partnerships every month. So every week I am sending out invoices in a timely manner so I get paid on time. I also send out reminders about payment to avoid delays which I’ll discuss under my monthly tasks.
Fill out editorial calendar
Send out reminder for payment
Set stat/income goals
Meetings or calls with brands
I schedule out a few hours one day every month to plan all of my content for the following month. Have you ever had some good content ideas you wanted to execute but just never took the time out to execute? Scheduling a specific time just to plan helped me solve that exact problem. Planning is that serious for me. It provides clarity and allows me to know exactly what to create for each platform for the next 28-30 days.
FILL OUT EDITORIAL CALENDAR
Once I plan out my content for the month, I fill out my editorial calendar. This allows me to have a bird’s eye view of all the content going live in the next month. Then I create my schedule for the following weeks based on it. From photoshoots to writing, filming or scheduling, I go into my next month knowing exactly what my workload is going to be. The editorial calendar sets a clear expectation of what needs to be accomplished.
MEETINGS OR CALLS WITH BRANDS
I talk to brands every single week - via email, phone or in person. Building relationships with brands is key to being a successful influencer. Week to week looks different, but I usually speak to 2-4 brand reps about existing or potential partnerships. It’s just part of the business that I prioritize every week.
SEND OUT PAYMENT REMINDERS
Getting paid as an influencer can be a headache due to late payments or overlooked invoices. I send out payment reminders to brands to increase my chances of being paid on time. It may seem like micromanaging but it’s worth it to ensure on time payment. I typically send a reminder 2 weeks, 1 week and 1 day in advance. That way there’s no excuses. To stay on top of when to send reminders out, I take time each month to set calendar reminders for myself and assistant to send out emails. We use Boomerang to schedule out the emails.
SET STAT/INCOME GOALS
Last but not least, I set income and stat goals for myself every month. I currently work with a money manager and we have a monthly meeting. During our monthly meeting we break down my numbers and then set goals based off of the numbers. It’s great because it gives me something specific to work towards. When I pitch brands, I’m clear on how many brands I want to work with and how much to charge them based off of my goal and the scope of work discussed. For my stats, I base my goals off of how much content I’m posting and the performance of last month’s content. Growing my following is important to me, so I set goals to ensure I am steady growing.
The daily, weekly and monthly tasks as influencer aren’t as pretty as people would assume. There’s a lot of detail and administrative work that goes along with it. But if you’re clear on what tasks need to be done when and how it affects your big picture goals, these tasks don’t just keep you busy, they make you productive.