Being an Instagram Influencer is an attractive career for many young girls and boys; the free gifts, the ‘fame’ and the followers. When your whole career is based on the content that you post, it’s difficult for an outside perspective to understand the work that goes in behind just one post. The crazy world of influencers is still a relatively new industry but the competition is huge and you must be unique to come out on top. The industry was worth an estimated $8 billion in 2019 and while it’s not your typical 9-5 jobs, being an influencer is far more than just posting your content and watching the money roll in.

My name is Ellie Nash, best known as Ellie Victoria on my social media platforms. I am nineteen and currently pursuing my dream of being an Instagram Influencer. I currently have 5.2K followers on my Instagram and 14.6K on my TikTok, a whole field of people interested in following and supporting my niche of fashion, lifestyle and beauty.

Instagram is not currently my full time job, I work 9-5 as a Digital Marketing Apprentice for an IT company in Fleet, Tier One. As a Digital Marketer, my career revolves around social media and graphic design; I am the person behind our Facebook and LinkedIn as well as the designer behind our new re-branded logo. I met James Wright for the first time when he hosted a seminar with Emma Smith about the ‘Secrets to Social Media Success’. At the time, I knew very little about social media and how to excel from a business perspective. I attended this seminar to not only try and learn more about the ‘behind the scenes’ of social media for Tier One but also for my own personal benefit. It was an incredibly engaging session which provided me with a huge amount of useful materials from notes to apps. It felt so rewarding to have information to go back to Tier One with and also use to better my Instagram.

I began my Influencer journey in November 2019, as a creative outlet for me to express my love for all things fashion, beauty and lifestyle. Instagram is the career I dream of fulfilling full time; having the ability to work for myself and be my own boss, creating high quality photographs for brands and businesses and building a strong support base with my following. I love having the ability to have full reign of my images, allowing me to express my creativity through my fashion, filters that I’ve created on Adobe Lightroom and flat-lay images.

Alongside this journey, I have had the opportunity to work with some incredible brands; Lounge Underwear, Skinny Tan, ChiChi London, Vesper 247 and many more. However, these collaborations did not come easily and took a whole lot of determination and perseverance to achieve. Balancing a full-time office job and an Instagram career is not an easy ride. Becoming an influencer is not an overnight process and most definitely not an easy way into money. It has taken months to learn the best way to balance it all is planning. I work my 5 day, 8 hour week and on one day of the weekend I will take a week’s worth of content. Now, this sounds easier said than done. Being able to get 7 high-quality, aesthetic images that you personally think you feel confident with is quite a task.

On a Saturday morning, I will get out of bed around 9:30am, shower and get ready. After getting ready, I will sit at my desk and plan the content I will be taking. I aim to fit my aesthetic to get 4 selfie images and 3 filler images. A filler image is an image that doesn’t necessarily have to have me in it, such as an outfit image, a flat-lay image or a product collaboration. I will pick out 7 different outfits, make sure I have all of my collaboration items that need to be posted that week and set up the area I will be taking my images in. Once I have taken all of my images, I will sit back at my desk and tick off the content I’ve taken and then proceed to edit my pictures. The editing process is quite short and simple for me, I will first take my image to FaceTune. Here, I will smooth my skin if I have any blemishes I want to conceal, I will brighten my eyes and whiten the background. Then, the image is sent to Adobe Lightroom where I put my homemade preset on the image and play around with the lighting to make it as bright as possible. I will chuck the pictures into an app called UNUM which is a planning app and play around with what image I will post which day to fit my aesthetic.

Despite all of this, dreams do not come without determination and hard work. I believe the harder I work, the more I will achieve. When starting my Instagram journey, I set myself goals on what I wanted to achieve throughout the year of 2020. I started my journey on as little as 1.2K, a mixture of friends, family, colleagues and people I went to school with and met at parties. I set myself the goal to hit 5K by December 2020, it’s currently June 2020 and I am on 5.2K. I have now set myself 10K by December and I’m working so passionately to get there.

My TikTok has been a massive support in creating a supportive following around me. I was lucky enough for one of my TikToks to reach 1.2M views and 93K likes, it was a crazy experience as I only initially started using TikTok as a bit of a laugh. At the time, I was gaining roughly 200 followers per day on Instagram, it was a whirlwind experience and helped support my goals of reaching 5K much sooner than expected.

I have an aspiration to create my own Influencer course to help aspiring boys and girls reach their dreams of becoming an Instagram sensation. I want to be able to provide information and content to start-up influencers to feel confident to enter the industry with one foot forward. Having the ability to turn my hobby to my career is mindblowing to me so to be able to help others do the same, would be extremely rewarding.

As mentioned previously, Instagram is not an overnight fix for money. It is a hobby, a passion and hardwork. If you have a passion for something, whether it be fashion, makeup or art, pursue it. It’s a very short life, there’s no reason not to go after what sets your soul on fire.

If you ever have any queries or want to know more about the world of influencing, please do not hesitate to DM me on Instagram. I will happily answer anything you may want to know. Influencing is an amazing and rewarding industry to be a part of. If you have determination, that fire in your belly and a passion for something, go for it. You never know where it may lead you.

– Guest post by Ellie Nash.

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