Approximately 6 years ago I started my weight loss journey and after losing about 45kgs I
had hoped that by sharing my story I could ‘be the person I needed’ when undertaking
this life changing transformation. I could be the person that has been through it all, a
person that wasn’t engrained in health and fitness as a job and a person they could
ultimately trust. There is a lot of shit out there, alot of fake shit, especially in the fitness,
health and wellness space. There are fads, there are editing tools to alter the way you
look, and then there is me fighting to change the image of how health and fitness ‘should’
look!

About 2 years ago, my following was sitting at around 5,000 and then I was approached
by a journalist who wanted to share my story. It got published about 3 months after my
interview and it went VIRAL, my following grew by 3,000 overnight and I had messages
from Poland, Italy and many other exotic places from people who had read my story and
were inspired by it. Since then, I have had so many incredible opportunities to share my
story with the only hope to inspire and help others who were in my situation.

Your Challenges

One of the biggest challenges I have faced as an influencer has been the
expectation that I will do what the bigger influencers do, for little to no return for me as a
brand. Collaboration is defined as two or more people working together towards shared
goals. However, I feel that the word collaboration in the social media industry is so misused
where a brand or an influencer expects the world but aren’t prepared to work in a
collaborative way, such as cross promoting on each others page. I feel that the word
‘collaborations’ is so overused and overhyped it’s becoming meaningless in today’s
demanding social media space. That’s the biggest challenge is making sure that when you
commit to something, you are getting an equal respect from the brand or the influencer.

Expectations

What I look for is a brand that aligns to my values, and ultimately to my brand. I
would expect that if a brand wanted to work with me they would give me creative license as I
know what my followers engage with, but I also want to remain authentic with my following
and not be promoting things for the sake of making money or gaining further exposure. I
would look for a brand that likes my current content and expect that they would use the
content I create. You can spend a lot of time on creating content and the brand you are
working for will get the exposure on your page, but it would be great to see those brands
endorsing you across their platform, making you a more relevant influencer.

How do you feel about strict requirements concerning your content given to you
by an enterprise?

It makes me less likely to work with them. Simple as that. My advice to brands
would be to select and work with influencers and ultimately other brands that share the type
of content they want to see. Ultimately, I am lucky I get to choose if I want to work with

brands or not, as it is not my main source of income, I aim to keep my page 100% real and
will not promote pre-existing creative or creative that doesn’t have me in featured in it.
Followers are clever, they weren’t born yesterday and they will see straight through it.

Key qualities which makes brands appealing to work with are:
– They are happy to hand the creative license over to the influencer.
– They share the content you create on their page.
– They are open to further recommendations of collaborating; open to listening to some of
the ideas the influencer has.
– They want to engage with you beyond just a contra deal – blog writing, appearances etc.
– Offering a monetary contribution – not just contra (depending on product).

Key qualities which would make me turn down working with a brand or a business are:
– Brands that make me pay for the product they want me to promote (believe me it has
happened)
– Brands that only work with influencers with large followings, but not sharing the same
values as them. Brands after followers not real people.
– Brands that don’t share the same values as me/my brand.
– Brands that I wouldn’t normally use or buy.
– Brands that expect a lot but won’t offer a lot.

Do’s and don’t’s brands should follow in working with micro-influencers
Do’s;
– Do let the influencer be creative with their content; don’t place too many creative
restrictions.
– Do be respectful of the influencer and understand they are a brand as well.
– Do include your key mandatories to influencers so you can ensure they are captured in
the content.
– Do look to work with a micro-influencer in nontraditional forms, not just your standard
photo post or IG story. Look to get them ingrained in your brand, not just working with
them for exposure. Engagement follows authenticity.
Don’t’s
– Don’t ask the micro-influencer to use your pre-made content.
– Don’t treat the micro-influencer as a robot, they are real people, with a real following.
– Don’t think less of a micro-influencer than that of a major influencer.
– Don’t assume that followers = engagement, you have to consider the audience type. For
example just because a person is a female, doesnt mean she has a large female
following.

Rewards

I think the biggest reward I have experienced would be getting to work with incredible brands,
brands I have been lucky to work with are The Iconic, ASN, Asics, Perkii Probiotics, Lancome,
Criniti’s, Disney, Glam Corner, AnyTime Fitness, Salon TwoSixSix as well as a heap of other
brands.

What’s one of the common misconceptions about working with influencers?

I think the BIGGEST misconception is that influencers will post or do whatever the brand ask
them to post. I think a lot of brands looking to work with influencers put their brand on a
pedestal which is higher than that of the influencer. This sees brands asking a lot and not
giving a lot and I think this comes back to what I said earlier around collaboration and how it
has lost its meaning. I think it should be a pretty even deal, and that is why it is so important
to work with brands influencers and brands would normally engage with (with or without your
social platform). Micro influencers don’t expect a lot, they aren’t like major influencers who
expect everything for free for a mention on their IG story. Micro influencers want to continue
to build an engaged and authentic following with brands they love, and with brands who
share the same values as them. It is pretty simple when you break it down.

Your Predictions
 I believe brands will start to favour micro influencers over major influencers as their
accounts are more authentic and their interaction with the brand will be more genuine.
Brands will start to look for influencers who share similar values, as opposed to brands
looking for number of followers. Followers are becoming more aware of the major
influencers and their aimless posting, it won’t be long before major influencers won’t have a
big role in the influencer space and micro influencers will be better utilised by brands to
engage their genuine audiences.

Why was it important for you to join a platform like The Right Fit?
Having a platform like The Right Fit is like having a manager for social media!! It makes
aligning with brands so much easier and cuts out the middleman and the chaos of connecting
with the right person when it comes to brands. I have had so many amazing opportunities come
out of The Right Fit and would recommend it to anyone wanting to work with incredible brands!

https://theright.fit/talent/hayley-w

Instagram : @hayleywestoby