Why Pay An Influencer?

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10:21 p.m.

I log in and start to type this post. By the time I'm done I would've spent time and energy creating an image for it, writing enthusiastically in response to the question and maybe even doing some research online to support my thoughts.

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I am an influencer. And what I do takes time. I think that there's a big difference in how we position ourselves with our writing. Bloggers come and go but to me, influencers are forever. Indulge me if you will...

Before I had a blog, I'd tell everyone that would listen about a new product I tried, a new restaurant I went to, etc. People that know me make fun of me at times asking me if I know a {insert obscure profession or service here} so they can amuse others when I say oh yeah! Let me give you her contact info.

Don't you do that? Well, I do. Because I've always been an influencer. The first instance of this that I can remember was in college.  I wanted a tattoo but I didn't want to do it alone. So I...influenced a friend to get one with me. Ah yes, the power of persuasion. Now it's not that she didn't want to get her tattoo. It's that the story I weaved for her made her get off the fence about it.

Maybe I'd been doing it before then.  I'm not sure when it started but I know it was way before my first post made it to the interwebs in September of 2010. And I am pretty sure I will continue to do it even after my last post is ever written. Now, you can say that I have always done it for free so why get paid now?

Because things change while they stay the same. I have such a passion for social media that I have begun to build a business around it. I delve into the numbers, talk to people about engagement and try to absorb as much information as I can in order to make sure that I am doing what I should be doing ethically and ensuring that I am handling myself professionally. I'm in the process of getting my MBA with a concentration in social media. Because all this business intrigues this Jill of all trades.

Why should you pay me to write sponsored content? Because I'm not going to write content for a brand that I don't like. That I don't believe in. Because I take my job very seriously and treat it as I would any other project on my slate. Because I am providing my readers and followers with information that they might already be looking for.  And because Neilsen reports that 70% of social media users listen to others' experiences. So if you have a rapt audience that's all ears and I have a microphone in my hand, why not let me do what I'm good at and compensate me for it?

I haven't always written about products I love. Sometimes products hit my inbox and I think, hmmmm, I don't know about that.  But the interaction with the marketing or PR team has made a difference for me in many different instances. It's the reason I type this from an Asus laptop instead of my old Mac Book Pro. And that is a BIG feat coming from a techy girl used to working in a Mac shop. Brands should pay as much attention to who is talking to the influencers as they do to who they select to write for their brand.  There are many intricacies in this ever-growing market.

The bottom line though? This post will probably go up close to midnight. Because I will have to edit. I will have to schedule it and then I will have to work in order to make sure it reaches your audience. After that, my work is not done. I share more in the coming days and I engage my readers on the topic at hand. Sometimes it's a comment on the blog but more often it's a Tweet or a Facebook post. It can be anything from telling me they took their son to Disney after they read the story of my daughter's birthday bash at Animal Kingdom or how they found comforting words after reading the posts about my mother's battle with cancer and my subsequent battle with grief.

See, you can put up a sign that might cost less than what you pay me. But a sign can't personalize your product. It can't weave it into a story that people can identify with and relate to. That sign won't send virtual hugs to people or cheer them on and ask them to post pics when they go by your product.  I am an influencer and though part of my job is to write, the other part, the one you may not understand has to do with how I can bring your products & services to life by sharing my own.

You might find someone out there to write for free. I've done it. I still do sometimes. When I find a product I'm wild about. But, I have to feed and clothe my frog princess (and I need to go buy more gadgets! ;-) ).  So, why not trust me to share my experiences beyond that which happens with your product? Why not allow me to weave my story into yours, to humanize your brand with a face that my readers and followers trust.

Because I might write about a product or service but I will not write what's not in my heart.  And ultimately that is what makes me an influencer you should partner up with. 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of TapInfluence.  The opinions and text are all mine.