Socialyte's Alicia Rose on Monetizing As An Influencer
You've got your blog and you're starting to build a following. Great! But now you want to figure out how to take it to the next level, aka, making some cash money on your site! Monetizing your blog can be tricky—figuring out how to reach out to brands, negotiating deals, and so on—but lucky for you Simply's upcoming Session at the Grove is all about monetization! Our June session will be taught by the wonderful Alicia Rose, the West Coast Director of Talent at Socialyte (which, if you didn't know, is our new sister company). As a talent director, Alicia manages some of the most well-known names in the influencer space. She has so much to share about making it in the influencer sphere—believe us when we say you DO NOT wan't to miss this session—and right now she's giving us an inside look at the life of a talent director.
Get your session tickets HERE, and keep scrolling to learn more from Alicia!
SS: You’re the West Coast Director of Talent for Socialyte. What does your job entail? In layman's terms, I broker upwards of millions of dollars worth of brand partnerships for bloggers and YouTubers x brands in the fashion, beauty, lifestyle, mommy, menswear, wine/spirits, fitness, etc. space, while working with personalities to grow their audiences and monetize their digital channels.
I come up with campaigns (or break down the logistics of campaigns that brands bring to me), negotiate the fee, usage, timeline, exclusivity, draft the contract (or review/edit the one the brand wants me to sign on behalf of my talent) and ensure that my project manager runs the campaign properly once I sell it.
I also help my talent grow their audiences and their relationships with industry insiders. Most days I act as an agent, manager, professional best friend, lawyer, confidant, cheerleader, editor, photographer, plus 1, guinea pig, clothing designer, beauty product tester, the list goes on and on.
SS: What do you look for in new clients? Every talent manager has a different formula for how they calculate a star. Mine is that I prefer to manage high convertors (of both sales and driving social followers) who are leaders in a niche market. Some of my favorite focuses are mommy bloggers, celebrity fitness instructors, edgy cool girls, that wholesome girl next door, international travel babes, plus size fashion, and talent that represent diverse cultures. Every talent I manage has to have substance, and a life outside of just posting outfits and products that they like. And we have to vibe. They have to trust that I'll make them a lot of money. I don't take being responsible for peoples' livelihoods lightly.
SS: How does Socialyte help bloggers grow their readership and increase traffic & revenue? Cross-promotion (brands and other influencers) is the key to growing audiences online, along with geotagging popular places. Increasing revenue comes from exposure to our contacts that we know are spending in the space + educating talent on industry standard rates.
If I could share one piece of advice it would be to stop taking a fee of $250 for an Instagram!! Bloggers/YouTubers are different from editors. They don't have a magazine paying them a salary, so they really rely on their sponsored posts to keep their blogs up and running. These talent become their own models, photographers, editors, hair/makeup/wardrobe stylists, art directors, directors, creative directors, etc. and produce beautiful campaign content that rivals online and print advertising. Those efforts and costs have to be realistically compensated for.
SS: What makes for a successful influencer partnership? ROI (return on investment) of course, but specifically an increase in driving online/in-store traffic or product sales, garnering social media followers, brand awareness, and/or improving brand affiliation (making a brand cool either from the beginning of launch or again if they've had a reputation slump).
SS: There are several ways to monetize blogs, from affiliate links to banner ads to sponsored content. Which way do you find to be the most successful for your blogger clients, or does it vary? It 100% varies, and that's the key to success, knowing which ROI category (or categories hopefully) a talent's strength is/are in, and then working on improving the areas that are as not strong, while playing up + profiting off of where they shine. There are literally a handful of talent who drive sales, look stunning in every photo they take, will post a brand's specific key messaging, be the perfect brand alignment to elevate a brand's reputation, drive social followers, sell out capsule collections, have bubbly personalities to host meet and greets, and have endless amounts of energy to do all of that work 365 days a year. A blogger's life may look like it's all matcha teas and poolside palm trees, but it's so much more.
SS: Any tips for newer bloggers looking to monetize their blogs? Sign up for my workshop ;) haha but really because there is a lot of money to be made out there, you just have to know where to look, and create great (and I mean great) content. One thing I often echo that I originally heard from one of my talents Pixie is that honest work creates honest results.
Treat your business like it's a real business and a brand. Go to events to network, ask questions about contract language before you sign away rights in worldwide perpetuity, shop for props for your content + make treatments for art direction, research brands before you meet with them, outsource/hire things you're not stellar at (i.e. video editing), use a real email address, hire an assistant if you keep forgetting to mail back samples, meet with managers for capabilities conversations, basically do more than just connect your social media accounts to a market place and wait for an app notification that a brand wants to partner.
Ready to learn all the ins and outs of monetization? Get your session tickets HERE.