As I sit down to write this post, I’ve had to reflect on what success as an influencer looks like, specifically, the business of being influential. Sure, a bigger audience and a larger income are fantastic. But on the months when those don’t feel as impressive as you’d like, what drives you to keep going forward? What makes showing up every day worth the mental work?
So for this 3 month recap, I wanted to share what worked and my wins (both financial and an increase in my following), what I’m testing and a few things I’m planning to try over the next month. Lots to cover today so let’s dive in!
Disclaimer: I share this as a way to learn but also for myself to see just how much I’ve accomplished over the last few months. When I first started blogging, I found posts like these incredibly helpful as well as a great reminder that there is a business aspect to this. My hope that as I continue to learn, grow and intentionally implement things that I can inspire you whether you’re someone looking to make money from a side hustle, grow your business or are just really curious about what it means to build a business as an influencer when the viral moment hasn’t quite happened yet.
The Business Of Being Influential
As per usual, the majority of my income came from 3 places the last few months – creator funds, ad revenue and affiliate income. I took a step back from brand deals this year as I found that it wasn’t quite working for me during my transition between niches. It’s also been a great learning experience. The biggest things to note here was how I want to structure affiliate income in the future.
3 Month Income Total – $3,512.15
Being Intentional With Affiliate Choices
I’ve always done this subconsciously as how I shop is most likely how my audience is shopping. So I choose to link with that in mind also knowing that working with companies like ShopStyle for Amazon links is great. But I’m also making it a point to prioritize large affiliates.
Meaning, as a life & style blogger, I know that the content I create is both inspirational and shopable. However, with discount codes for some of the bigger brands I feature, I’m less likely to get sale credit. Thankfully, there are other things I’ve invested in that offer a 30% return on sales as an affiliate. And it produces evergreen content meaning I get to see revenue for more than just the brief trending or seasonal window.
Giving My Team A Game Plan For What To Push
In the past, I’ve let the seasonality of things flow. But as I move forward, I really find it’s most helpful to give my team an idea of what I think we should prioritize in the gaps where I’m not creating new content or where we are re-purposing seasonal content. This is great for things that have unpredictable sale dates that I’ve done a review on.
For example, I asked my team in August to heavily push Pinterest content around my Money Mentality Makeover review knowing that it was open for sale. In turn, this generated a good chunk of my affiliate income. And it means I’m making money off of things I’ve created that I don’t want to oversell to my everyday audience.
Not much has changed here with the exception of one thing – I’ve invested more heavily in running ads the last few months. I’ve been curious to see how they could work for me and decided to test it out. I ran ads on youtube, facebook, instagram and tiktok. But more on that below when we talk about what worked. Here are some of tools & the things I paid for as an influencer from July – Sept.
Flodesk (my email service; it’s super easy to use & makes very pretty emails)
Siteground (website hosting)
Quickbooks (how I keep track of income & expenses)
Pinterest Management (the team that helps me repurpose my content for Pinterest as well as drive traffic to the blog, YouTube, etc)
Libro.Fm (audiobook service that lets you choose and support small independent bookstores)
iMarkinteractive (my tech team – whenever I’m having issues or need to update/add something, Grayson says me)
The Blog Societies (continued education, Facebook group & tools to make blogging & influencing even easier – if I have a question about anything influencing, I go here)
I would say I’m mostly happy with how my money was spent but I am due for a closer look at what’s working for me with next month’s recap.
Running Ads For Tiktok & Instagram
I’ve done this a few times now and I’ve learned a lot. Running ads for carousel posts on Instagram is always worth it. I find that I increase my audience and drive traffic towards affiliate links. However, running ads with reels is more tricky because you don’t have the same access to analytics. With traditional ads, you can see if you’re getting more link clicks or more followers. With reels, you can only see reach, plays, saves and shares.
Running ads on tiktok has been new for me but is something I’ll continue to do until I hit at least 1k if not 10k. The logic here being – it increases trust. While I know & believe in my content, it helps others to do the same if they see more people following me. It’s an automatic trust builder.
Nevertheless, I’m still playing with this so make sure you come back for the next recap to see what I’ve learned. I’ve tested ads that are targeted to increase my following as well as one simply with the goal of video views getting mixed results. I’m personally convinced there are tons of guys who have set their profiles to identify as female to get around algorithm issues. But so far I’m liking what I see.
This has been great for growing my Youtube audience this year and is something I will continue. I do think I need to do some research on what the current algorithm wants but I’ve had a great response from my audience and it’s increased my affiliate reach.
What Didn’t Work
Posting At The Wrong Time
This is something I’ve had to learn as I go. My audience is really the 7pm CST crowd unless it’s on Saturday. Then it’s better for me to do a Sunday morning post. I’m sure I could do a post on all the little things that have worked for me with Instagram but I’ll save that for another month.
My Next Steps
I’ve been a member of The Blog Societies for a few years now. But recently, they’ve shifted and Jess has been doing some great monthly calls for members. My goal is to continue to learn and implement things here. As well as, to utilize what I’ve learned from both their SEO course and other courses to increase the amount of views I’m seeing both on the blog and on social platforms.
Invest In Engagement
This is an area I struggle with. I love chatting with my community but actively searching for new humans outside of promotion and normal engagement is time consuming. It’s also a space that I recognize as a business owner is necessary. I have zero desire to do follow unfollow or any of the often used tactics. But I am hoping to invest in someone who can help me grow my community organically by investing time where I feel like I have none left to give.
Continue To Work Through Limiting Beliefs & My Own Energy
We can’t do a Business Of Being Influential recap and not talk about the spiritual side of running business. Money Mentality Makeover has been great at helping me see income flow through in the most unexpected ways. But in my own personal healing journey, I’m very much focused on what it looks like to love myself. To allow myself to be loved. And to be worthy of something just because I am.
It’s a process that’s got me feeling a bit raw at times. More to come on this soon as I’ve just started working with a therapist via Betterhelp and we know I WILL be reviewing it. But I’m excited to see where it leads and how it helps me expand my space on the internet and find more joy in life.
October – Dec Goals
Hit 5 Figures On Tiktok
Let’s be real – I want more than this. But in order to get to the bigger numbers, I have to hit the 10k mark first. I will absolutely keep you updated on how I do this and what I find works best for me so make sure you’re subscribed to the newsletter so you don’t miss a post!
Expand My Email List + Build Better Nurture Sequences
I’ve been team email list for a few years now but I do think I’d like to see this grow more via my blog and social platforms for Q4. One part of this will be updating opt-ins for me. As I’ve switched niches, I need to create things that help my current audience. Additionally, I want to focus on making sure I get everyone in my newsletter funnel with the right energy. Jess did a great job talking about nurture sequences in last month’s TBS Academy and I’m excited to implement what I’ve learned.
Bring Back Brand Revenue
I have never been the best at pitching but with the transition of my content, I feel like I have a significantly better handle on what works for me. I feel much more confident in who I want to partner with and how I can be a good partner for brands. This might show up a few ways. As well as, I have a few brands in mind. But I’m looking to explore how I can expand in this area for the rest of the year.
For much of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, I found myself trying to get back to my 2019 routine of doing things. I had such an incredible flow then and was smashing my goals. But since then, we’ve added a new platform and short form content into the mix changing the game. I’ve slowly worked out how I do this now.
However, being able to honor working as much as I’d like, feeling like I’m in the right space at the right time and still making time for self care is a bit of shuffle. My goal for the rest of the year is to stay consistent in creating content that I love but also in making time to be a blob so I can make the content that I love. It’s less about balance and more about honoring my flow.
Wow! We covered so much this month. Let me know if there’s something specific you’d like more info. I’d also love to hear what you’re trying in the comments below. It’s always fascinating to see how we each find ways to make it work. Until next time. Xoxo, Savvy
I do a few sponsored posts but they are limited to maintain the authenticity of © What Savvy Said. Some links in my posts may be affiliate links. This means I receive a small compensation for purchases made through those links. The presence of affiliate links and potential commission compensation are marked with an (*).