Welcome to the more personal section of my blog, the diary! Today's post isn't going to be as deep and secretive as some of the diary posts I plan on sharing in the future, but it's definitely something that I personally deal with. The confusion of what it means to be an "Instagram Girl" or a "Social Influencer", whatever you want to call it. Gone are the days of people hating on entrepreneurial women and girls like us (or men/boys), as it is becoming more accepted because its getting understood now.
When I lived in LA, everyone knew, respected and understood what it meant to be an Instagram girl. Coming back home to Vancouver however, it's the same as I left it in 2015, a city with potential but a very amateur fashion and modelling community. People in LA know that an Instagram collaboration meant money being paid for a post/tag on the page. The company may have a contract or standards of what type of photo they want, an idea of what they want you to mention in your caption. These companies always reach out the Instagram girl, usually because they have a large following of a similar market or audience they want to target. They also reach out because they love the niche of the Instagram girls' page, and it matches their brand, so they can trust that the Instagram girl will provide a photo with the same colours, lighting and filters. Most girls Instagram girls won't collaborate with brands or services that don't match their lifestyle or the niche of their page.
There are only a few types of posts that are still considered a "collaboration" but I won't take money, because usually that would mean it's a local service that I want/would pay for if it wasn't free. For example, getting botox/fillers/laser at the Vanity Lab, or getting my blonde roots/hair maintenance from Alana at Suki's in Kitsilano, or getting a blow-out from VAMP Dry bar in Yaletown. Pretty much any other business in the same area would probably be willing to collaborate too, so you know I'm going to the best of the best :) These types of things are different because it requires someone's time. I like to stay loyal to these kinds of collaborations and am very thankful for them!
For the companies that reach out for paid posts, they aren't just paying someone to slap a photo on their page for money. It's not that simple. They are paying for a model (you), a photographer (you/your responsibilty), then to edit the photo (you), a hair/makeup artist (you), a stylist (you especially if its a clothing collab), and exposure for sales (your followers). So being an Instagram girl is all those jobs into one. Also, we are our own "agent" since we negotiate all the deals via DM or email, which I used to do but it became overwhelming so I've now hired a manager to handle all the emails and sift through them. He also helps me with anything PR related as well- interviews/articles etc. The old school (or current real fashion modelling) ways of doing this would be to hire all those things, then put it into a magazine or wherever to gain the exposure. I find a some companies get confused by the two, and think the Instagram girl is going to be okay with showing up to a shoot and having no control. If it's going on my page, I need all the control, as I am the artist and the creator of my niche. I can show up to a shoot and let the makeup artist, photographer, stylist and all that do their job if it's for something else, but I can't guarantee it's going to fit my page as well. Some people get so offended by this/don't seem to understand it. It's two totally separate things.
There are different kinds of Instagram girls or boys, the glam gods and the fitness gurus, cooking pages and meme pages. The bottom line is you need to post things people want to see. No one cares about your BS if it doesn't look cute. Or is educational, or whatever your niche of your target audience/market is. The world of Instagram is cool like that, there is a place for everyone! There is so much talent out there, and it's so awesome we can connect via social media. I'm very thankful I can share what I love and be creative, while making a living. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed reading this, if you aren't already please follow me on my Instagram page here. :)
Love, Sophia XOXO