Local social media influencers explain how they’re cashing in on the growth of a billion-dollar industry – Boston 25 News

Mass — On average, we spend over two hours a day on social media. The number of social media users continues to grow, as does the number of social media influencers. Their influence is huge and makes a lot of money when advertisers contact them—to sell you their product.

“I started doing this as a hobby just nights, weekends,” said @global.viewpoint’s Jon Miksis.

“When Instagram came along, it really changed,” said Jean Wang, a fashion social media influencer.

“It was this whole new platform where you could reach people so easily, and it was free marketing,” said Eliza Shirazi, of @kickitbyeliza.

“I want those first 3 seconds to be something really catchy,” said Joseph Calcavecchia, of @the_roamingfoodie.

And getting your attention is the goal of thousands of social media influencers looking to grow their following.

“I wanted to have at least 10,000 followers before I really started, like really working with restaurants because I wanted to prove that my followers were genuine and trustworthy,” Calcavecchia said.

Boston-area influencers told Boston 25 News that all of their accounts started as a small passion project — before the light bulb went out.

“I kind of learned by trial and error okay you can make a few dollars there, can you make hundreds of dollars, how about thousands of dollars?” Miksis said.

“It won’t happen overnight, but over time these brands will notice that you’re tagging them a lot, maybe driving traffic and driving sales, and that really opens the door to working with them. on paid projects,” Wang said.

Experts say influencer marketing is a $15 billion industry and they predict it could grow to $100 billion in the next five years.

“Influencer marketing wouldn’t be a growth industry if it didn’t get people to buy,” said Regan Cleminson, who runs her @venturetravelist account.

Cleminson manages influencers across the country. She has clients that will make seven figures this year.

“The reality is, it’s like professional athletes,” Cleminson said. “There are a lot of people who try. There are very few people who make it to the crème de la crème.

But there is still a lot of money to be made. She says brands want to spend money where people spend their time — and that can easily be tracked every time someone clicks on an influencer’s post or purchase link.

“And because they’re converting in a way that’s reportable, it’s something that they feel more and more confident in as they invest more and more dollars as they continue to, you know, look at their marketing spend and their marketing mix,” Cleminson said.

Influencers need a mix of skills – from photography to running a website – which can be time-consuming.

“It’s my life right now,” Calcavecchia said. “So, you know, between photo shoots, content editing, content shooting, it’s, you know, like five, 6 hours a day. And then on top of doing research and c is, you know, it’s kind of a full-fledged job.

And it’s quality over quantity when it comes to publishing — creating good content that resonates with their audience.

“People want real, authentic content that they can relate to,” Shirazi said. “They don’t want filters. They don’t want the perfect world. They want to like behind the scenes and what’s really going on in people’s lives.

Although more and more influencers are entering the world of social media, creators say they don’t worry about overcrowding.

“The hardest thing is not the competition,” Shirazi said. “It stays consistent because it’s so tiring.”

They say it’s more about managing the ebbs and flows of social media.

“And we don’t know where it’s going to end from here,” Wang said. “So I think for myself, I’m definitely looking for diversification.”

And seeks to be that creative voice, constantly bringing something unique to subscribers.

“As long as I wake up every morning and am passionate and intent on sharing the stories of the places I visit and the people I meet, I know there will always be a home for me. in this space and I know that goes for everyone, too,” Miksis said.

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