Up until 2020, I was a marketing manager and spent the 10 years before that in the corporate marketing world. I have an undergraduate and postgraduate degree in business marketing and absolutely love working on brand campaigns and project managing exciting new initiatives. But I quit my job and now I am a beauty influencer. Why did I do this, you ask? Let me explain. I was on maternity leave when I decided to make my sensitive skincare Instagram page @amandascuteface in July 2020. I was experiencing perioral dermatitis and wanted to find other likeminded people to share what was and wasn’t working for me. I created my page with no intention for this to become a big part of my life, let alone become a business and income stream for me, but it did. When I had my first opportunity to work with a skincare brand with just 400 followers, my marketing brain told me I had something here, something that maybe didn’t exist yet and I could lean into this niche. I continued to remain authentic and build genuine relationships with my sensitive skincare followers. I shared products I was using, listened to their skin concerns and my page happened to grow organically and I was super happy. I returned to my marketing manager job at the end of my maternity leave in September 2020 and managed my Instagram page on the side.
In early 2021, I was presented with another new opportunity to work as a writer for Adore Beauty and Mamamia to talk more about sensitive skincare, perioral dermatitis, rosacea, anti-ageing treatments and glowy makeup. I said yes and suddenly, I was getting paid to be a beauty influencer and writer, a marketing manager, plus find time to be a mum and wife. Here’s the thing: I am a beauty junkie, and so the opportunity to get paid to research and write and talk about skincare and makeup is literally like a dream come true. So, I leaned into it all and opened myself up to some great opportunities, but being an influencer is extremely time-consuming, way more than I initially thought. As my community was growing, I wanted to spend more time engaging with them and creating content specific to their needs and questions. When my husband was presented with a job offer in Canada, I was required to decide what I would do for work. Would I want to be a marketing manager overseas? Or would I like to pursue my career in beauty writing and influencing? I chose to quit my 9-5 job and become a full-time beauty influencer. I have now been working for myself since May 2021 and it is certainly a change of pace compared to my full-time corporate job where I used to earn $7,000+ per month. The workload is unpredictable and because I am not on a salary, sometimes there can be weeks without payment. I’ve had a month where I have earned $3,000 and others where I might earn less than $1,000 because I have had to say no due to time constraints or I didn’t feel like the brands were a good fit for me and my community.
I am financially comfortable because I was able to save money from my corporate job prior to quitting which allows me the freedom to pick and choose what freelance jobs I want to take on. My personal brand is extremely important to me, and I won’t do anything to jeopardise my integrity and the trust of my community. But would I recommend that it’s a financially responsible decision for someone to quit their job and become an influencer? Certainly not. It must be a passion of yours and you need to be ready to do it for free until you find your feet and have the confidence to negotiate with brands. Because I have 10 years of marketing experience behind me, I believe I have the advantage of understanding marketing budgets and what brands are looking for when selecting influencers for jobs. I am not a social media expert, but I certainly know a lot about personal branding and communicating with brand marketing teams. I have less than 6k followers but in my first year as an influencer I have done paid work for Napoleon Perdis, La Mav Organics, Etoile Collective, Edible Beauty, Claire Hill, Eye of Horus Cosmetics, Saint Jack Cosmetics, Biologi Skincare and more, plus I’ve been able to start a career as a beauty writer.
If someone was thinking of pursuing a career as an Influencer I would say go for it if you have something you are passionate about. The size of the following doesn’t matter, it’s the quality of the content and the authenticity of the relationship with your audience. I even wrote an eBook called A blogger’s guide to perfecting your personal brand and getting paid to share my decade of marketing and branding expertise as it applies to being an Influencer. You don’t necessarily need this to be successful and there are lots of books and websites online you can look up, but it’s my brand bible and I love knowing that it is helping other creators to get paid their worth. Overall, I love the freedom that comes with doing this job, but I also recommend diversifying your income streams and building strong long-term relationships with brands that you love. That is what I will be doing in the coming future, and I am excited for what is to come.