This is one that I’ve been promising for a long time on my Instagram. If you don’t follow me, i’m on instagram at taylor, elizabeth style, I will have it as always linked down below. I posted a lot of style fashion posts on there and then obviously some makeup stuff. But if you do follow me, you probably know that i’ve been posting a little bit about this buck, hosted a poll on my instagram asking if you’d be interested in seeing a review of the book, a synopsis, key takeaways.
That kind of thing, that’s what we’re going to be doing today. The book is called influencer building your personal brand in the age of social media, and it is by britney Hennessy, so yeah, if you’re interested in learning about this book, potentially want to buy it. For yourself or don’t really want to buy it, but you just want to know the key takeaways then just keep on reading me. How to see is the first ever director of influencer strategy and talent, partnerships at Hearst Media.
She co-founded the creators collective, which is an online community for influencers. That is her background. She has worked with influencers and seen the rise of the influencer, and she definitely has a lot of experience and therefore has a lot to say that we should care about ads and flinters as up-and-coming influencers. So the book is broken up into sections and then there’s two or three chapters per section, so the main sections are building your community packaging, your brand monetizing your influence and planning your future.
So, for the first section of the book is building your community and the chapters within this section are the feed and the audience she. It starts by a breaking down how influencers came to be and what it means to be an influencer today from the michelle thawne’s, the very beginning, saved the influencer to micro, influencers and the saturation of the influencer world that it is today. So she goes over how, for some people, creating content is more than just a hobby, it’s their side hustle, and this is what britney really seems to be writing to in the book.
She’s very business focused because that’s her background, which may sense, but she does treat it very much like a business and she’s a little bit cutthroat about it, which I’ll get into later. She definitely doesn’t talk a lot about the passion behind it, the community. I didn’t really get that much feel for that in it it was very much business, so Brittney advises to treat blogging like a business and that’s really her platform and standpoint.
So she says that being a creator, who’s looking for a brand partnership is no different than an employee who’s. Looking for a job, putting your best foot forward in order for brands to work with you, rather than just using blogging as a creative outlet, I feel like a lot of people fall somewhere in between that. I do personally I post what I want to post, but then I’m also mindful of brands and wanting to work with different brands and stuff.
So and then she says to diversify, but not to spread your content. Then she says that you should only be active on platforms that you intend on updating 100 %. I agree, I thought that’s why I personally don’t have my own website blog site. I just don’t feel like I had time to dedicate to it and then she goes on to say that everyone should have an account on the big four, so the big four, our Facebook Instagram YouTube and Twitter.
That’s a lot to keep up with the fact that she says to diversify would not spread yourself then, but then she says that you need to have a presence on those four. The fact that that’s the bare minimum to be active on all four sites doesn’t seem that realistic to me. So that was my take on that and then she discusses the main platform she breaks them down and what is most important to include on each then.
She gets into Instagram, specifically the content and ads. She says to follow the 70/30 rule. So basically she’s saying if you are working with brands and you are a paid blogger for every three – a branded sponsored posts that you put out. You need a seven organic post to counteract that. So, when you’re looking at your feed all the rows, it should be seven and three which makes sense to me. Lastly, in this building your community section, she says that responding to comments is just as important as planning out your weekly content.
That’s something that I personally struggle with: I’m really bad at replying or even liking. My comments on YouTube and Instagram. I just get very overwhelmed and very busy, but that thing that I’m definitely trying to prioritize, because I know how incredibly important it is from everything that I’ve read. It’s not that I don’t want to it’s just getting overwhelmed and finding the time. So I love interacting with community.
I love interacting with people that follow me on all platforms, so I just need to make that a bigger priority over putting out more content, our other posts two times a week and be able to reply to everyone and interact with people. Then post five days a week and just ignore everyone so something to keep in mind now, moving on to packaging your brand, this is broken down into two chapters, which is the edge and the press so essentially on this chapter.
Britney really stresses that you’re following doesn’t matter, it’s your engagement that matters and she talks about breaking down engagement, how to analyze. Your engagement on average says that a decent engagement rate is 1.5 to 2.5 percent, but your goal should be to exceed 3 %. This is from a brand perspective, so there are lots of sites online. I will try and link a few down below where you can calculate your engagement rate.
I know that social blade does that, if you put in your Instagram it will calculate your engagement based off your followers, your likes and your comments. My engagement is typically around 9 % on Instagram. I don’t know if you can measure it the same on YouTube. You should be aiming to be higher than 3 % is what she says. That’s what brands like to see so definitely try and focus more so on your engagement than your following.
You don’t want empty followers. She really stresses that which is kind of a given, but if you’re new to it, you might think that numbers are everything and they certainly aren’t. That is another reason why a micro influencing is on the rise, because micro influencers have a much smaller audience. They have way higher engagement rates typically, so it’s something to keep in mind and brands are starting to notice that, which is why they’re moving towards working more so with micro influencers and then she gets into paid content working with brands.
She suggests that if a brand is paying you to create content, you need to up your content, don’t produce the same quality, with an increased budget up your game. So, if you’re being paid $ 300 for a certain campaign, she suggests to hire a photographer. Take the next step, if you’re being paid, you need to put in more effort than you typically would and then she gives a lot of example: brain two pitches, an email she gives an example email to reach out for a press release.
If you want some PR and then she gives examples, if you are pitching for a certain collaboration and she gives some media kit information, what statistics are important to include and what aren’t and what a media kit is in general. So if you’re really really new to blogging this book, it definitely isn’t surface-level. I would say that you need a decent understanding of blogging and the blogging world and some experience for yourself before you would go ahead and read this book.
You could read this knowing nothing, but she doesn’t really go into detail with stuff like what is a brand collaboration. What is a media kit? What is this? She just kind of says what to include in it, so you might need to do some research prior to reading this if you’re really really new to blogging. But if you are kind of been doing it for a little while, maybe you’ve had a paid gig. Maybe you haven’t and you’re pretty familiar with blogging.
You’ve been doing it yourself for a while posting photos talking with brands. That kind of thing, then you should know what a media kit is, what a PR press release packages. You should know all that stuff and then she really dives into the specifics and what you need to include in those emails and what you should be looking for and what brands are looking for. The next big section is monetizing the influencer.
So the main chapters in here are the money, the contract and the agent. This, of course, is very specific to if you’ve been blogging for a while, and you have some experience if you’ve had no experience and obviously you won’t need an agent. You won’t need all these things. These are things that I don’t even need yet but interesting to read about and just familiarize myself with, but a lot of this chapter wasn’t as applicable to me.
Similarly, to replying to all of your comments on all your social, you need to answer all of your emails. This is something that I’m not great about. I know I have some emails from brands sitting in my inbox right now that I just have not had the chance to get to I’ve been super sick. So definitely definitely she stresses to answer all of your emails and then she addresses approximately what you should be charging based on your following your engagement and your production quality.
You can’t charge just based on your following. You can’t charge just based on your own gauge and you can’t charge just based on your production quality. You need to factor all of those things in and then figure out how much you’re worth are. There are sites and other resources. You can use that I’ll link down below that help. You figure that out and then she gets a lot more good negotiation examples for emails to different email pitches.
She gives a lot that I really enjoyed and then she gives some information on contracts in terms of negotiation, with brands what’s reasonable and what isn’t? This is really important information if you’re, just starting to work with brands and you’re just starting to get into monetizing your content and having brands pay you for your content, I’m just kind of stepping into that myself and it’s really easy for brands to fool you.
In a sense, if you don’t know what’s normal or what you should be expecting to receive in return, there’s a lot of gray area in the blogging world and with paying when you’re just getting started so reading. Something like this and having someone who’s in a position. She’s been through this before she hires influencers day in and day out, to represent certain brands. So it’s good to hear from someone like that, what you should put up with and what you should be expecting and what is fair for you to be asking.
I’m a brand as well, so I found that part of the chapter really helpful and then in the last portion of the chapter she gets into knowing when to hire out help and what is the difference between an assistant, a manager, a publicist and agent in an Attorney again, this is much higher level stuff. This isn’t something that really pertains to me, but it’s still interesting just to know the next main section of the book that she goes over is planning your future.
This is a much smaller section, not as much specific information. It’s more just testimonial based and inspirational. If you will so, she basically says, advises to go the extra mile with brands sending a thank-you after collaborating sending extra content. If they ask for three static photos, maybe send them five options, just giving brands more options or if you agree to do stories, doing a static post.
Vice-Versa, whatever it is just going, the extra mile for brands really makes a difference. So she advises to do that when you can and she advised us to write down your biggest goals and work backwards. That one for me is law easier said than done. I think it’s more about doing things on a day to day basis that you know will move you forward to where you need to go and knowing where you want to go.
I think that’s important, but writing down your goals and working backwards is something that might overwhelm me. If that’s for you, then that’s her advice and that might work for you and then she ends the book. This is the last quote. She says: go forth, conquer, create someone has to be part of the next wave of influencer icons. Why not you overall? As I said, I think this is high level to a certain degree, if you’re really really into blogging – and you feel, like you know everything that I just went over, then this book probably won’t be for you, but if you’re kind of like mid-level you’re kind of Getting into it, you understand the ins and outs to some degree, but you’re really not regularly getting paid content and you don’t have a huge following then this book would be for you.
So I think it was aimed at exactly my type of demographic and my knowledge going into the read, and then I found that Brittany, the author, came off a little harsh towards certain influencers and their behaviors. I just found it a little bit mmm. Some of the things I just did not agree with, so I put an example of that in here. There was a quote at one point that said: the influencer wanted to fly first class question mark as if she were an actual famous person, I’m sorry, but who is fangirling over a beauty youtuber in business class and then in another portion of the book.
She spelled that Jaclyn Hills name wrong, so this is hard for me to say, because I know she has so much more knowledge and experience than me, but I felt personally that she was slightly out of touch with the current ongoings of influencer world. I mean Jacqueline Hill is one of the biggest there is. So if you can’t research and spell her name correctly, that’s just I don’t know. I found that a little bit shocking and then what she sat about.
Oh, you think a youtuber is so famous that they don’t deserve to be in business class. That kind of thing James, Charles, shut down an entire city in England, influencers and beauty youtubers have a lot more influence, and I think people even understand Beauty. Youtubers to me are celebrities, I think they’re more relatable, I think they’re more interesting. I would be more interested to meet them, so I don’t think that she should really be talking down to them in that way.
Perhaps that’s how much she meant, but that’s how I took it and then I wrote if you followed everything that Brittney said being an influencer would be no fun because you would be so focused on business and profitability. So, as I mentioned a little bit earlier, she is very business focused and very, like hustle orientated, which is fine. This is a quote that she said that just kind of proves that so she said, arching your eyebrow and tilting your head to the side and waving at the open and close of a article can be the difference between a article that is boring and a article That is super engaging see what I mean with her being a little bit harsh a article, that’s boring in a article.
That’s super engaging. I don’t think that tilting your head and raising your eyebrows is necessarily going to make me consider a article super engaging or if they go to that, I’m not going to think it’s a boring article. It is a passion. It is something that so many people love to do it’s a community first and foremost, and it’s fun first and foremost, and I think that’s where I struggle with people treating it so much like a business.
I think there’s a fine line and I definitely reside somewhere in the middle of that line. I don’t treat it strictly as a business and I don’t treat it strictly a sign. I think that you need to see both sides and be aware of both sides and then do with it what you will with all of that said in conclusion, my thoughts on the book. I thought some Brittany’s perspective. Everything at the end of the day remind yourself that this is still fun.
Vlogging is still fun, doing YouTube doing Instagram, it’s still fun and you overall influence how you see it so read it all, but use your head and your gut that’s. Basically, if I take away, I don’t think, there’s any information in this book that couldn’t be found online, but it’s an easy read. You could easily read this in a day and then it’s just all in one place, I like having things hardcopy.
If that I can write in take notes in and then look back on later, so for the price whatever it is, I think it’s probably like ten or twelve dollars on Amazon. I think it’s worth it. I hope you guys enjoyed this article if you did be sure to give it a thumbs up a like. So I know that you guys, like these kind of articles, I would be very open to doing more book reviews. I love reading, especially I love reading things like this about the influencer world and marketing and social media all that kind of stuff.
So if you found this easy, if you found it easily digestible, if you found it interesting, if you learned anything, definitely like it and subscribe, if you aren’t already, as always, I hope to you guys. I had an absolutely awesome day and thank you so much for reading bye.
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