The Influencer Platforms Every Micro Influencer Should Sign-Up For

When I talk about influencer marketing to up-and-coming influencers, one of the most common questions they have is how to get paid. Of course, if you’re using the platform to build your personal brand you definitely want to find ways to monetize it. There are a ton of tactics to this (a full guide to come later!), but here’s one that’s an easy proactive step you can take toward starting to make a paycheck for creating beautiful and engaging content.

While my first brand deals came directly from a brand through a relationship or strategic way of pitching myself, one of the most streamlined ways to start getting paid deals is joining influencer marketing campaign platforms.

These types of platforms work with brands to manage influencer campaigns through the people who are signed up on their network. Translation: you - the content creator - signs up and waits to be a “fit” for a campaign and then works with the platform to create, deliver, publish and report on a partnership. Many of them are also super easy processes from being briefed (told what you need to do) through payment in a jiffy! These are best fit for influencers with under 200,000 followers, as many times after that size you can work with an agent to get you high-paying gigs at the same speed.

There are many brands that I love from both using as an influencer and using as a brand person, but I’ve rounded up a few favorites based on what I consider their specialty.

Lifestyle Voices: Collectively

If your specialty is in the general lifestyle space - from shopping to apps and home tips - then this one is for you. Collectively wins for me in their recruitment through reporting process. You get opt-in surveys to share more information when you’re flagged as a potential fit for a campaign. Later, if you are selected, you get all the information you need clear and upfront. Their brands have mid to large-sized budgets, so it’s always fair compensation. And if something came in under your rate, you can negotiate with a ~real person~ on the other side of the screen. Finally, once you’re actually working with them they send very in-depth briefs that inspire you to create high-performing content for your partners.

The Nano: Obviously Social

This platform basically invented the nano influencer - check out this New York Times article about them - which is a content creator that sits in the 1,000 to 10,000 follower range. They have a wide range of major, major brands (I have worked with Google multiple times) that are looking to tap smaller influencers mostly in exchange for product and their reward system: virtual corgis! The more of these you collect, you have opportunities to earn gifts and cash from the platform. They have a super clear briefing process and a dedicated project manager to help you along the way. As of late, they’ve been paying influencers cash based on program and audience size as well as giving opportunities to earn money selling your image rights for a brand to reuse.

Fashionista, and Some: InfluenceHER Collective

Ever read Her Campus? This is their Gen Z influencer platform. Now, Gen Y (me!) is also always welcome, though some campaigns may require you to share audience insights to see if you have a Gen Z following if the campaign requires it. Many of the brands sit in the fashion & lifestyle space, though there are also some really cool campaigns with major conferences and lifestyle brands — there was a New York Times collaboration recently! They also have one of the best communities for influencers to connect with other creators and learn tools to growing their influence and digital presence. Seriously, it’s like an influencer encyclopedia. They also pay very, very fair for the deliverables asked.

Rising Industry Expert: Fohr

If you have yet to watch A Drink with James on YouTube, you’re seriously missing out! Each week, James Nord, founder and CEO of Fohr.co, shares his industry insight by answering up to 3 user-generated questions. Beyond that, this platform was one of the first to launch a “verified following” system called Fohr Card so that you can prove to brands and fans that you had an authentic following (no bots, etc.). While the card itself was eliminated due to Instagram API changes, they have other systems to show demographics and give you that sought after badge. Many major brands - have seen mostly fashion and beauty as of late - are using Fohr because of their public industry expertise. They are also notorious for paying at your rate, no questions asked, so if you’re a bigger influencer that still wants to take advantage of these platforms then this one is great for you. Even if you’re not getting brand deals through them, it would be wise to follow along to sharpen your influencer marketing knowledge.

Latina Jefa: #WeAllGrow

Formerly Latina Bloggers Connect, this is a network made for and by Latinas to connect with other creators, brands, and find resources to grow. Beyond straightforward brand deals, this platform also provides opportunities for influencers to attend and sit on panels, join conferences and build a community that inspires. When a brand deal comes your way, they’re also streamlined in how you work with them as they have a dedicated team for these types of partnerships. If you’re latinx and want to grow your influence, this is a place to go.

Others you don’t want to miss:

  • Hashtag Paid: One of the best user experiences during a campaign

  • Takumi: Via an app, really intuitive and great brands available

  • Activate: Formerly Bloglovin’ and now with a really neat platform to search brand deals

  • Wellness Amplified: Really niche for health, wellness, fitness and nutrition, major brands love using

  • Octoly: Product sampling heavy, really great for beauty enthusiasts who like to try and review products

  • Reward Style: For style bloggers, you have to be on this one! Not just liketkit, but their influencer network for brand deals

  • Village Marketing: They are notorious for their SoHo studio where influencers in NYC can visit to create beautiful home content

  • Whalar: One of the first influencer marketing agencies, now great for bigger lifestyle bloggers

  • Ahalogy: If you love to shop, this one specializes in retailer-forward campaigns

  • Clever: An easy-to-use platform, works with major brands including Facebook

  • Influenster: The OG product sampling platform. Great if you just want to try new products in the beauty and wellness space in exchange for a review!

Don’t be discouraged if it takes some time for you to get your first brand deal through one of these platforms. Many times brands set specific guidelines that rule out otherwise great people so it’s not you, it’s us. Others also may have higher requirements for approval (follower count, category, engagement rates, etc.), so revisit them at a later time if you’re not quite there, yet.

A great way to always stay on their radar for campaigns is to make sure you connect with them on social, engage and be a great partner when you’re signed for a campaign!

Let me know in the comments if there are any other platforms you also liked working with!

x, LC


The Road to Becoming a Life Coach: Getting Started

Leading up to this announcement, I was struggling to find the right words to say and the right things to share about this life milestone. I am jittery with positive emotion as I wrap up my last class, but I have to reflect, with honesty, on the moments that led up to this.

The decision to go back to school of any type was one I battled with for more than a year. Did I have the time for it? Was it worth the financial investment? Was I going to be fulfilled in what I was learning? How would it apply and provide a benefit to my employers?

I was happy with my profession and inspired by leadership, but I was quickly losing passion. Days were slower, time was opening up and the projects I was a part of started to feel less challenging. Was I even making a difference in the world? As a manager and mentor, I always challenged people who shared these thoughts with me and repeated:

It’s important to find passion in everything you do. Be it behind a desk, on the front lines of a service project, you have to look for it. It’s there somewhere.

I knew it was up to me to find that passion again, so the hunt began. I first used Coursera to enroll in a few higher education classes to find out if certain educational paths were right for me. I took everything from a business administration to marketing class online as I tried a variety of potential higher education journeys. Still, I wasn’t satisfied. I didn’t quite agree with some of the things I was reading based on client experience and I knew I wouldn’t be able to stomach the cost of graduate school.

While at Florida State University, I completed the undergraduate program in Leadership Studies. All my experiences here were among the most memorable and fulfilling, including mentors like Dr. Osteen who changed the course of my life dramatically. Could I do something in this realm and what would that look like? And what about the perception others already had of me? My personal brand. Is there something I could do that was authentic to me and enhanced this?

Cue becoming a life coach.

Once I started doing my research on ICF-certified programs (that’s international recognition and certification) and meeting with advisers, I knew this was the path for me. Think about my online presence, even, I’ve made it my mission to help others find passion and become their best selves. That’s what this blog is about, that’s why mentorship is important to me, that’s my reason to believe.

I selected Erickson International because they offered flexible virtual classrooms - not online classes at your own pace, just a live digital presence you can fulfill from your home. They also put an emphasis on the art and science of coaching. Let’s be real: if I was investing money in this I wanted to make sure there was scientific and empirical data to support what I was learning. I also really enjoyed the community they built and felt it was right for me.

I signed up for the once a week, 6 a.m. local time course. I woke up gladly each Wednesday morning ready and eager to learn. But once I was in the rhythm of attending class, the next challenge was finding balance between my personal and professional life, and this new passion project. Remember those slow work days? They turned up about 100 notches as I began this journey.

There were days that I questioned if this was right for me. There were days that I didn’t sleep. There were days I stayed up until 3 a.m. reading material that fascinated me. There were days - three days in fact - where I happened to be on the West Coast or on an airplane during class time so that meant 3 a.m. classes or some from 10,000 feet. There were days I gleamed about life coaching to my friends. And there were days I really had to sit with myself and find a way to remind myself to commit.

Today I finish my last semester - or module as Erickson calls it. Along the way I’ve learned skills in listening, openness, asking the right questions, and truly understanding and believing that what we need is inside all of us. With the right guidance, we can tap into ourselves to find what we’re looking for. I am living a values-driven life, with passion. I understand the importance of having a vision, and I am creating one for myself and my coaching practice.

What’s next?

While I continue my learning, I have to host practice sessions in tandem with my courses. I have a list of friends and colleagues that will help me refine my skills over the next year or so. You’ll see more and more of my lessons reflected in my online presence and the way I live my day to day.

One of the main reasons why I wanted to become a life coach is also because I found a gap in these types of professionals and how they were speaking to millennials. Gone are the days that a life coach is only relevant to a c-suite executive or someone at their mid-life crisis. Everyone could use this level of professional guidance toward creating a vision and setting actionable steps to reach a goal. Once I am certified, I’ll bring an offering to this community through a lens that makes sense for my generation.

I also hope to use becoming a life coach to build out Marketable Millennial in a place where I can better hone in and focus on sharing these anticipated “life hacks” and “life lessons” by LC - from a place of more credibility. More blog topics and webinars (woops - am I revealing too much?) that come from this lens.

And I truly hope that you’ll join me along the journey. Ask questions, share topics you want me to write about, and let’s grow together.

Lissette Calveiro Life Coach 1
Lissette Calveiro Life Coach 2
Lissette Calveiro Life Coach 3

I took a hit for Millennials, so you don’t have to.

There are two — maybe three — sides to every story. If you’re fully invested in the virality of a recent scandalous article circulating the internet that talks about my alleged “search for Instagram fame,” here’s my side of the story. Straight from the source. 

Who Wants to be Instagram Famous 

Let’s start with something very basic. Why do you think every mention of this supposed “need” or “search” for “Instagram fame” was an article title and not a direct quote? Because who in their logical left-side of the brain a) actually believes they can be Instagram famous and b) who would ever admit that? Add in a c) why would that be something for me to achieve?

For more than 5 years now, I’ve worked hard to pursue my career in Public Relations and Marketing. One that I’ve excelled in and continue to be praised for by peers, colleagues and industry friends — heck yeah for self-confidence! In recent years, the word influencer has popped on and off my desk and with the social media visibility I already had, I’ve become quite the inner-circle guru on all things influencer and digital marketing. Doesn’t hurt that I’ve built up an audience of my own over the years. 

As the story tells, I came to NYC in 2013 for a dream internship. Those days, nothing was paid so I was living in NYC, fully paying for the rent and exaggerated Lifestyle, on $100 per month and a handful of plastic. Flash-forward to my post-college full-time entry job at industry standards of about $35,000 annually where I was still using those handy dandy plastics to help curate my Instagram-worthy Lifestyle. This meant constant online shopping for a big closet (yes, I developed a thing for personal style), endless Açaí bowls and brunches (I never cooked a day in my life post-grad), and at around 2016 a need to feed my newly acquired travel bug (thanks for that one, ex-boyfriend). Of course, over the course of my career I quickly started to build on my personal wealth, but without any sense of financial literacy I was merely adhering to paying a minimum payment on time and disproportionally continuing to spend on a lifestyle that could not catch up with my means. 

Let’s Talk About Debt, Baby

I want to make something clear if this is as far down as you’ll read. I have no credit card “debt” as I write this, except for the $50-$200 on one of my cards becase I usually put a thing or two on it  each month just to keep it alive (hits “send payment” as we speak). Most U.S. based news already told you this if you read the whole article, and most International news omitted this piece to scandalize how irresponsible Americans are about their money. 

It’s funny to me that everyone’s so enamoured with the $10,000 number. In my interview to NY Post I was asked “about how much credit card debt do you feel you accumulated over time,” and my casual response was “I have no idea, maybe $10k?” To me, that was well under the average of $16,000 (look it up) and probably accurate given I had $1,000 here, $2,000 there and a little residual balance everywhere. By the start of 2017, I had already chipped off about a third of that which I realized after sending verification documents to Business Insider — the only publication that actually fact-checked and crunched the numbers. This was natural, as by this point I was making about double the salary I had as an entry-level PR gal. Lifestyle creep, ya’ll. 

By the start of 2018, I was clear on my credit card debt entirely, and clear of the dirty habits that got me there. And this was only achieved by being transparent with myself about my finances and making repayment the priority. The wake up call came when I was planning my move to New York City over summer 2016 and I tallied up how much I’d actually accumulated. “Shoot, am I really going to enjoy NYC if I’m spending money each month to pay off this lousy debt,” I thought to myself. Because of this, I planned to live my first year or so in NYC by living well under my means in order to quickly eliminate the credit card bills that were haunting me. I took the under $1,000 apartment in Manhattan’s North Pole, went out with friends just about a handful of times each month, and learned how to cook (what a concept) so I could do more groceries and less spending on dining out. I also kicked the online shopping addiction in the butt and made use of the closet I’d already built with services like Rent the Runway. The one thing I did continue - and kicked into overdrive - was my traveling. However, this time I was doing it well under my budget with the hacks, miles, and about $1,500 of Delta credit, I’d accumulated through jet-setting the previous years. There was a nice pay-off for something.

Thankfully, my finances were never in such a dire place that I was bankrupt or in a dangerous situation because of icky credit card debt. Plus, I was lucky to continue to earn more money through a strong focus on my offline career, paid partnerships with brands who wanted my Instagram audience’s attention, and a little bit of luck in the crypto craze. I’m very thankful it was “easy” for me, as I know this is not the norm or reality for many Americans struggling daily with debt. In all this, I also became rather obsessed with my personal finances. I made a “financial health” document to help friends become transparent about their finances, developed an endless list of life hacks and shortcuts to doing things I loved on a dime, and even gave myself “dates with my bank account” where I cracked open wine and played with my numbers to decrease debt and increase investments.

My next step is to work with a professional to help me continue to build on these habits and chip away at student loan debt so I can truly be debt-free. I recently stumbled on The Financial Gym — financial advisors that don’t intimidate you and share my common belief that talking about personal finances shouldn’t be taboo. I recommend everyone taps a professional as there’s so much to learn. And as I generate nuggets of knowledge, I promise I’ll continue to share with all of you. 

Get A Real Job

There’s something else we need to address here, and it’s “being an influencer.” This entire scenario should not demonize full-time Influencers who’ve built careers off their page. From the marketing side, I can tell you we need your audiences.  

The reason why I’ve only worked with a handful of major brands, and not made some career out of an online presence, is because these things take time. In order to stream a regular flow of content, you have to dedicate time to create it. That also involves the cost of hiring professionals to do it because “asking your friend to snap a pic” here and there doesn’t cut it in the long run.  

And think about how much influencers get paid: a minimum of $100 per post for the small folks and upwards of $15,000 per post if they’ve got more than 1 million followers. Many of these major influencers can easily make more than me and you combined, plus they’re getting most things for free so have very minimal expenses. There are also influencers like Sincerely Jules or Something Navy who’ve taken their online stardom to create offline businesses like clothing lines. A huge cheers to these entrepreneurs, and those who are yet to come, for making “being an influencer” a real job.

So, What’s This Whole Thing Really About

This NY Post story would be nowhere without Daily Mail. If not for this tabloid picking up the headline and exaggerating it by 3, no one would care about “the Instagram girl who had debt and paid it off within a year.” The real importance of this story is the thought that our obsession with Instagram has gotten so bad, it’s ruining people’s lives and putting them in debt. 

We are all so obsessed with proving that social media is a bad place. And we’re all guilty of making it so. 

We’ve developed habits of using social media for the wrong reasons, so much so that we’re starting to talk things like “social media detox” and “giving up social media for lent” in order to “make more connections with real people.” News flash: those connections with real people are what Instagram — and all these other social platforms — are seeking to achieve.

Before social media, how else were you able to look up real people at travel destinations on your bucket list? Or, connect with someone halfway across the world who shared similar aesthetic? Or, if you have a unique passion or hobby, where else do you have access at the touch of a button to find a community that shares the same passion or hobby? Social media is not the enemy. We are just its biggest downfall. The way we use social media has developed into a dark place of judgment, dangerous “now” mindset, and huge disconnect. I mean, if you started reading this because you thought I was an “Instagram star wannabe who is bankrupt,” then you’re guilty of scrolling past a lavish headline and making your opinion of me before being thorough. 

We’ve also lost this sense of authenticity online, something that we so crave to achieve offline. We’ve run into habits of trying to one-up each other — whether you have 100 followers or 10,000 — that we’re posting content for the sake of content and doing things for the sake of taking pictures of them. Hey, I have to check myself every day for this. On top of reminding myself to continue to live responsibly, I have to stop myself from trying to emulate the things I see online and recreating them for the sake of “catching up.” Am I actually doing this for the pure joy of this moment? Or am I a doing this because I want to show it off to my followers? Point proven as a feed curated by “stuff” (Lissette of the past) brought only a fraction of the audience I now have after “speaking my truth.”

Theres still enough time to change it.  

If we all commit to changing a habit or two, we can continue to make social media a thriving place. It truly starts with all of us because social media cannot exist without us. 

  1. Be authentic. We grow up being told that the secret to life and success is to “be yourself,” so much that we are convinced it’s a made-up mantra. But it’s our most powerful weapon. Developing a sense of self-confidence and being that person offline and online is such a sigh of relief. That means not always portraying a picture-perfect lifestyle, but admitting that sometimes it’s farthest from. It means living at your means - whatever they are - so that we can get a more realistical portrait of your life. And having more conversations about what it means to be “authentic,” because we’re all still learning about this every day. 
  2. Make connections. Stop the habit of only endless scrolling and tapping, and throw in a comment or two. Tell the girl her avocado toast looks AMAZING because she probably stood on top of a chair at a crowded restaurant to get the perfect lighting of her brunch plate. Tell that guy “thanks for sharing” when he posts about his cool experience of a place to visit in your city. And tell that other friend they “look so happy” the next time they post a smiling selfie of their friends. If we just commit to having more dialogue online, those social media “detoxes” won’t be necessary because we will live more balanced lives from the connections we build using places like Instagram as tools. 
  3. Don’t do it for the ‘gram, do it for you. Along with being authentic and building connections, make sure what you’re putting out is for the joy of yourself. If you want to take that selfie instead of “taking in the moment,” do it because you want to have something to remember that moment with and not because you can’t wait to show it to your followers. Life is so much more fulfilling when we are doing things for ourselves instead of in a quest to prove ourselves to others. I learned this the hard way and work to better myself every day, challenge yourself to do the same.

What’s Next

Well, this entire thing was entirely unexpected. One day I’m building up people to be “Marketable Millennials” and the next I’m the prime example for why my generation sucks. For that, I’m sorry. I don’t have a speaking tour or game plan in mind for how I’m going to leverage this new platform I’ve been given, but for now I’m just going to take it all in. I’m listening to what people have to say — good or bad — and learning about the state of my generation from it. 

A very immediate ask that I have for all of you, if you’re still reading this, is to go here to make a donation here to a cause that is — as you can imagine — dear to my heart. The mission of Dress for Success® is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. (How perfect is that?)

I’d also like to challenge all of us to make steps toward becoming better versions of ourselves online and offline in order to continue to make social media a better place.  

It starts with all of us, and I am really optimistic about the direction we’re headed.  

I’m an open book, always open to discussion, and can’t wait to continue diving into and uncovering this important topic. Let’s chat. 

Lissette Calveiro Instagram Star

Social Media Content Creators to Watch

Originally published on Max Borges Agency’s company blog;  a people-first public relations, creative services and digital strategy firm with a focus on consumer technology. 

Content Creators.jpg

“Influencer Marketing” is dubbed one of the biggest content-marketing trends in 2016. Brands are turning to content creators to bring creative ideas that help tell their brand story and get in front of new audiences.

A recent study found that 65% of brands have plans to raise their influencer marketing budget in 2016. If influencer content is distributed properly, it should garner traditional media coverage through rigorous media outreach, increase a brand’s social share-of-voice, and most importantly, encourage customers to engage with the brand or product.

Beyond generating captivating content, trust is what makes these creators so valuable.Consumers are trusting brands less and turning to their friends more. Using the power of “word of mouth” marketing by partnering with content creators, brands are able to build trust organically through the influencer’s channels.

With rising costs in digital sponsorships, it’s often beneficial to put energy and resources behind emerging content creators that will require less dollars – and often times more passion – as they work to grow their brand.

1. Jordyn Jones

Jordyn took her Dance Moms audience to Youtube and gained notoriety through her unbelievable choreography andcovers. It’s almost hard to believe she’s only 16 when you take a dive into her social channels; she’s worked with brands big and small and gained more than 2 million followers on Instagram in a few short years. Though she’s been looped into Hollywood recently, Jordyn still keeps the personality of someone many young women can relate to. This connection and trustworthiness is a big reason why her content makes waves through the digital space, and pushes the needle for brands.

Instagram: @jordynjones
Followers
: 2.1 million

2. Gabi Gregg

Gabi took a leap of confidence when she posted beautiful images of herself in a bikini along with other plus-size womenonline. The response was overwhelmingly positive, leading her to build an audience around her authenticity. She is redefining sexy by creating content that exudes confidence, self-acceptance and diversity. Her lead platform is Instagram as she harnesses the power of storytelling using captivating images, but she’s also featured as an advocate on TV and other digital media platforms.

Instagram: @gabifresh
Followers
: 363K

3. Raymond Braun

This LA-based content creator is more than an internet personality – he’s an activist, too. He was named the Forbes “30 Under 30” All Star and OUT 100 honoree for pioneering the wildly celebrated #ProudToLove digital campaign. He shares support, laughs and resources for the LGBT community and has a strong commitment to issues affecting youth. His background comes from being on the platform side – he worked at Youtube for three years – and he brings new insight to ways you can create content and make use of new media to generate buzz. His advice: “Don’t forget that behind every follow, like, view and share is another human being."

Instagram: @raymondbraun
Followers
: 48.1K

4. Franchesca Ramsey

Franchesca, also known as Chescaleigh, shook up the digital space with her “Sh*t White Girls Say…to Black Girls” video which immediately went viral. She used this surge to build a platform to create content that encourages positive discussion on topics like race, gender equality and other social justice issues she is passionate about. Her videos have been featured on websites like MTV, Huffington Post, Jezebel and Glamour. She’s since started writing, hosting and using extending her vlogging to the lifestyle space making tutorials and other personal content. Her secret to success: “Remember social media is a conversation, so you don’t wanna sound like a robot.”

Instagram: @chescaleigh
Followers
: 63.1K

5. Logan Paul

Logan’s roots to internet stardom come from his popular Vine account. The 6-second snippets of humor, his life, and the occasional brand placement, helped him build an audience of more than 20 million. Since then, he’s spread to other platforms including Instagram and Snapchat where he works to create content that keeps his communities engaged over laughs. He’s not a stranger to working with brands, and an appearance on the cover of AdWeek gives him extra klout, but his creativity and passion for each project is worth the price. “He is this generation’s teen idol, and every time he presses a button on his phone, millions of people know what he’s doing,” says his agent.

Instagram: @loganpaul
Followers
: 4.4 million

6. Lo Bosworth

Though her fame is everything but emerging, Lo is finding new audiences by taking her on-screen experience to the blog-sphere. Following her Laguna Beach and The Hills moments of fame, she took to the internet to build a home and lifestyle brand that follows that of a modern-day Martha Stewart. Her content promotes the handmade, homemade, taste made and practical know-hows of everyday life. She recently earned the Bloglovin’ Best Celeb Blog Award. A quick glance at her channels and you forget she was a reality star, then get sucked by and engaged with the vibrant content that looks and feels “real.”

Instagram: @lobosworth
Followers
: 902K

7. Julieanna Goddard, aka Julz

From “Miami-famous” to “Snapchat Queen,” Julz has changed the way brands interact with their audiences by harnessing the power of social media. The self-proclaimed Director of Vibes has worked with brands like Redbull, Beats by Dre and Burger Kingbuilding on her creativity and mastery of platforms like Snapchat. She earns more than 100K views in a 24-hour period and serves content that screams authenticity. She tells Highsnobiety, “Snapchat is the new television and the best part is that users are in control of their very own show.” Her work hard play hard mentality and high energy are contagious, which keeps her viewers engaged and coming back for more.

Instagram: @yesjulz
Followers: 352K