A month ago, I saw a picture on social media. It was a tall dark-skinned girl in a white dress and a cute yellow purse on her shoulder. I remember all of these details because I got the dress a few days after...I was influenced. An Influencer is a person who gets potential customers by promoting and recommending products on social media. They create content, post on social media, get results and get paid. I spoke to one of the OG Content Creators, Cassie about the work that goes into content creation and how she manages her finances.
May we know you?
I am a lifestyle blogger at cassiedaves.blogspot.com and on my Instagram. I blog about style, travel, books and skincare. I have been doing this for about 7-8 years now.
How did you get into content creation?
So in 2012, everyone had a blog because they were the “in thing” then. However, at the time, I was mostly just blogging about my personal experiences and teenage angst. Back in Med School, I used to model as well so in 2014, I went for a modelling gig and I figured I could share some pictures on my blog and that was my first post.
People were very interested so I just continued sharing things that interested me.
Would you say social media was influential in your blog taking off?
Hmmm, that’s a bit tricky because yes and no. For me, my blog took off first and then people found me on social media after reading my blog.
Oh, that’s fascinating so your blog made you more popular on social media?
Yeah, everything started from my blog.
It’s funny because now that I don’t blog as much, whenever I post a link to my blog, my more recent followers are a bit surprised but that was not always the case. I also think that for a lot of people who got into content creation early on, the experience is quite similar to mine.
Would you consider yourself an influencer or a trend-setter?
Back in the day, maybe I would have considered myself a trendsetter style-wise but now, I am more of an influencer.
How much were you paid for your first influencer gig?
It was a while ago but I think about 15 - 25k
When you get paid for an influencer/ content creator gig, what falls into expenses for you?
Videographer, photographer, tools, location and makeup all count as expenses.
How do you manage your finances?
Hmm, I work in percentages. So certain percentages of any income are allocated to specific things. I don’t use any tools so maybe that’s why I can be a bit disorganized but currently, I work with just percentages.
I see...and how do you negotiate on payment with brands. Is it fixed?
I have packages based on the size of the brand and the work scope. My negotiation tip is “Do not let brands bully you”. Some brands can try to “beg” their way out of what you know you are worth. Don’t allow it. A smarter thing to do is to reduce the scope of work to fit their budget.
That’s so helpful. Tell me an early lesson you learnt as a creator?
To stay on my lane.
Content creation is so wide and full of variety. Everyone is doing something different but it’s important to stay in your lane and do what you do best instead of always comparing yourself to others.
What’s the most recent lesson you’ve learned about money in your influencer journey?
To stand my ground.
So when I am engaged by a client, I collect full payment or 80% at least to begin the project. I worked with a brand recently and somehow they bamboozled me into agreeing to collect 60% to start the project. I should have put my foot down and collected my 80% as usual but I didn’t. It’s 3 weeks post-campaign and I am literally chasing these guys for my balance.
So definitely to put my foot down.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve experienced as a content creator?
It’s a bit of a long story oh but I’ll try to keep it short. 2 years ago, someone reached out to me to hype a resort in Delta state. She advertised it as “the mosquito-free” resort, sent a very formal email to hype the place up and we were a bunch of popular influencers and creators in the mail. So I was excited.
We got on a plane, I even got my photographer to go with me and then we got to the place. What they advertised as a resort was a “big house” at most, definitely not a resort. Then there was no itinerary apart from following the owner of the “house” around. It was so disorganized.
What do you think is a big influence on your creativity?
I’m not sure but I think this would just be consuming as much fire content as possible. I remember during the last lockdown in 2020, I was definitely inspired by all the transitions and hot videos! So yeah, maybe that.
Can you rate your influencer and content creation journey on a scale of 1 - 10?
I think I would rate it a 7. I definitely don’t do as much work as I could be doing influencer and content creator.