Review of Brittany Hennessey’s “Influencer: Building Your Personal Brand in the Age of Social Media”
In Brittany Hennessey’s book, Influencer: Building Your Brand in the Age of Social Media, she gives an industry overview of what it is like/what it takes to be an influencer in the modern day. Breaking down every detail you never thought of about an influencer. She makes it seem like a very daunting job, because she wants you to understand that it is a hard and demanding job. At the beginning, she also gives a brief history of the influencer world and who really were the front runners in the industry.
Brittany broke the book down into 3 sections, with more specific chapters in each section. The first section discusses building an audience and how to keep them engaged with your content. She goes over how every influencer starts at zero followers and has to build up from there, without buying followers. Discussing techniques like hashtags and content planning to help your growth stay at a steady incline. After finding your audience and growing your brand a little, Brittany dives into packaging and pitching your brand. This is where a lot of her industry knowledge comes into play. Packaging your brand is one of the most important aspects, it needs to be clean and professional to present to the brands that you hope will sign you. Brittany goes over how that pitch is your one way to get off who you and your brand are. Her last section touches on money, the hardest section. How to monetize your influence and how to figure out how much to charge for your work. Her biggest point was not to undersell yourself, which she sees a lot of influencers doing. Also, the booked discussed how finding an agent is key, not any agent, but the right one. Overall, she provided a lot of industry secrets that influencers do not know yet, but also tips on getting started.
One of Brittany’s biggest points were how being an influencer is a job and not a hobby. It may look like it is a hobby for these people, but in fact every post and caption take hours and a lot of energy to produce. Brittany talked about how a lot of people look at this industry and think it is such an easy job, but a lot of people need to realize the long hours and crazy life that you have to be willing to give up.
Another thing that I liked was her suggestion to set time aside each day or pick a specific day to respond to comments. If your account has a lot of followers and you are having a hard time with responding, it helps to set time aside to respond to each one to stay connected with your followers. That connection will keep engagement and followers up, but also it will make your followers feel a connection with you. Thus, showing your brand has a good voice.
I think this book goes over the influencer world very well. Brittany has worked on both the blogger and the company side, so I feel she has a very good understanding of both sides and what it truly takes to become an influencer in today’s world. She gives you tips and secrets that you would not be able to find on google, but also insights that you would have never thought mattered. I also thought the part where she discusses how to price your brand was very helpful. She explained how you have to take a good look at how the brand is using you and how that should translate to money. It’s a side of that world that is never discussed, even though we know these influencers are getting paid for these posts/reviews, so it was interesting to hear it being talked about honestly. Brittany has a good balance between information and making it interesting to read. Though it is an informational book, I still found myself laughing at some of her comments. It is more so on the business side, which makes sense since that is her background, but I find that to helpful because that is what the influencer world is going towards. She brought in a lot of other voices from the industry, actual influencers that talked about what is it like to be an influencer. I thought this part was very helpful because she also included there Instagram handles. I did stop and go to their pages because she gives examples, so it was nice to match those up and look at real posts. If you are looking to become an influencer or if you are in the industry, I think this is a very helpful book that gives a thorough and honest idea of what it takes to be an influencer.