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influencing 101

Curious as to how much money influencers make? These women broke it down for their followers

How much is an Instagram worth, then?

GRACE BEVERLEY, BETTER know by her social handle GraceFitUK, is looking to shed some light on the cloak-and-dagger industry of influencing.

Boasting over 460k YouTube subscribers and and 930k followers on Instagram, she’s made an effort to be transparent about her job online. 

Previously, she’s fielded questions from her followers about how she started her business alongside attending university, how long she expects to be in the industry for and the truths and myths surrounding the money influencers generate.

Grace Fit UK / YouTube

Can’t see the video? Click here.

“There’s such a lack of transparency … A lot of the problem with the industry is that there’s no centralised point of reference,” she said. 

I’ve always been quite withheld about this subject because it’s a new industry, and people don’t count it as a job. There are so many different aspects about it that are weird to talk about.”

Now, she’s gone one step further and gathered up some UK influencers to discuss their experiences of the industry for a round-table discussion on “influencing”.

Grace Fit UK / YouTube

Can’t see the video? Click here.

Model Jourdan Riane, fitness Instragmmers Lucy Mountain and Krissy Cela, designer Jade Laurice, fashion blogger Georgia May and Grace – who have a combined Instagram following of 2.6 million – talked everything from rates, to content, to the brands they work with.

#SponCon > Commission?

Not so, according to the girls. While Irish influencers like Laura’s Views and Rosemary Mac Cabe are quick to highlight the little money they make from affiliate programmes, their #AF links are actually a source of big business for the UK girls.

“I make most of my money through commission,” Georgia-May says in the video. “It’s happened where I’ve accepted sponsorship deals for a certain fee, and I can’t charge commission and I cannot use affiliate links because [the brand] want their tracker links.

I’ve come to the end of the month and looked at my affiliate network and my sponsorships, and figured that it would have been more beneficial for me to buy those clothes myself and still make arguably three or four times more than the sponsor paid out.”

Why is there such a big discrepancy? It goes without saying that followers are extremely reluctant to engage with sponsored content in comparison to affiliate links (though in Ireland, it’s argued that followers rarely engage with either.)

… Which brings us on to the next topic – the gripers

“You can get on with people complaining,” Grace says. “People always complain, at any job. If I had no idea about an industry, and I really liked watching someone and their content, and they started posting things which were ads and I thought they’d either had to say certain things, I probably would feel like I was being taken advantage of.

I never accept a brand deal unless I have full creative control.”

“There’s loads of different categories of influencers,” Jade adds, “There’s people who are doing things that aren’t authentic, that they don’t believe in, just to get money.”

However, Grace does accept that the trolling and harrassment they can be subjected to is miniscule in comparison to the perks that come with being an influencer.

I don’t think I have a single valid complaint about my job.”

She works hard for the money

The gals played a game of Truth Or Dare based on some tabloid claims about influencers and influencer marketing. 

They shot down The Sun’s claim that influencers with 10,000 followers can make up to £100 per post, while influencers with up to 100,000 followers can make up to £350 per post.

“In generally, we’d say that’s pretty false,” Grace says. “The numbers are usually a lot higher. But it completely depends on the person and the agency.

We’re fucking ourselves over by not talking about things, because there could be someone out there who has a 100,000 viewers who is charging £350 per post.”

“Because no one talks about it in the industry and because no one is open about it, I can’t go to another influencer and say ‘you just worked with this company, can you tell me roughly what your rates were’?” Krissy explains. “Everyone is so scared and so worried about this whole disclosure thing.

They would either say they were paid more to make themselves sound better, or that they were paid less because they don’t want you to be paid more.”

Follow the leader


As we already know thanks to the likes of SocialBlade and the #BloggersUnveiled fiasco, people can have big followings on the surface but actually have no engagement on posts (often, this is because people have gone and bought followers in bulk.)

In Ireland, brands have been slow to cotton on to this practice, but change is coming as the industry begins to reward engagement rather than numbers.

However, from the girls’ answers, it’s clear that UK brands already recognise micro-influencers as being just as valuable as the big social players.

“If I could go back and just tell myself that following is not important,” Jade says. “It can give you some kind of validation. That is completely temporary. The money comes from the engagement.

Jourdan admits that in some circumstances, having a larger following does help as it is a requirement for some brands.

What’s next, then?

Most of the girls were in agreement that the influencer industry could benefit from more unity by becoming more collaborative as a whole. 

“Everyone can do it, everyone can grow, you can influence on a bigger scale,” Jourdan continues. “I feel like there’s a major gap between here in the USA in terms of people working together.”

Grace would also love for influencers – especially women – being open and honest about earning money on their social feeds without criticism, in the same way that male influencers do.

What do you reckon? How do you feel about this attempt to give insight into an industry which confuses so many?

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