Have you ever looked at Instagram models with tens of thousands of followers, wondering to yourself, what does it take to be an influencer? Here’s how Insta influencer Holly Vanselow turned her account into a business.
The story begins in 2016 when Holly Vanselow decided to drop her personal Instagram account with the hope of turning Instagram into a thriving business. Already balancing a full-time job and a blog she spent countless hours on, Vanselow knew this new venture would be another round-the-clock commitment.
After deleting countless posts of prior vacations, get-togethers, and blissful memories, Vanselow spent most of her free time trying to connect with brands that would want to work with her with their campaign.
Due to Vanselow’s low following at the time, she expected most companies would not want to collaborate. However, taking advantage of the multitude of social media available, Vanselow connected with bloggers from around the country with a similar follower size and brand.
Collaborating with other bloggers and Instagrammers not only allowed Vanselow to form more connections along the way; they also were a helping hand in gaining more followers. By doing loop giveaways and sharing each other’s handles, Vanselow could boost her following tremendously.
As she gained a larger following, more and more brands began to reach out to Vanselow. Many of the brands she now works with are anything from smaller boutiques around the nation to well-known worldwide companies. Vanselow currently has over forty thousand followers and campaigns with companies from diverse spectrums. From events likeTC Summer Jamto major brands such asUrban DecayandRevolve, Vanselow has been a part of them all.
Not only do these companies offer free products to their influencers, but Vanselow has also enjoyed concert tickets, hotel stays across the nation, and much more. In other words, how fast can I become an influencer?
After hearing about all the experiences Vanselow encounters as an influencer, I was dying to know which experience topped all the others. I mean, how can you beat Revolve free clothing? Nonetheless, Vanselow’s favorite memory as an influencer was when she got to cover TC Summer Jam. Not only was she awarded free concert tickets with VIP treatment, but she was also able to take a special guest to the concert.
Other than the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, the best part about being an influencer is there are no year-long contracts. Much of the work Vanselow does is campaigning, which is a win-win deal. This meaning, Vanselow is rewarded with free clothing or concert tickets in exchange for sharing new music on her newsfeed or giving honest feedback on products to her followers.
It sounds like a good deal. But, while working alongside some fantastic companies, Vanselow has also had her fair share of some not so great deals. However, there is one aspect Vanselow will always stay true to – being honest with her followers. During the interview, she discussed the times when individual companies’ expectations didn’t meet her own. It is most important to share your truth in these circumstances, even if it means missing out on a campaign.
Before COVID-19, Vanselow spent nearly every weekend traveling and would often book events after work. Now with quarantine in place, she finds more time to focus on herself and her mental health. Most importantly, she has time to give back to those who have helped her into the position she is in now. If you follow Vanselow’sInstagram, you might notice the number of giveaways she does. Whether it is a gift basket or a free morning cup of joe, Vanselow has set out to help others, much like others have aided her.
Knowing that Vanselow has worked with brands as large as Verizon, I needed to know what company could come next? When I asked her what would be the ultimate company to campaign for, her eyes began to sparkle, and without a moment’s hesitation, she said, “Taylor Swift.” After meeting Vanselow and getting to know her sparkling and outgoing personality, I don’t doubt she will be campaigning for Swift in no time.