The Best From Blogger and Influencer Shelby Vert
I recently spoke to micro influencer Shelby Vert about her success in a world many are interested in. Shelby is the founder of the lifestyle and beauty blog Shelby Tristin. Since 2017 she has gained popularity on Instagram and Pinterest by documenting her love for clean beauty products, travel tips and affordable fashion. Her social handle is @shelbyvert (apparently I am as creative as Shelby - mine is @adammendler). Here are some highlights from our conversation:
Adam: How did you get here? How did you become a micro influencer? What is the inside story?
Shelby: I started working in Public Relations as an account manager for a boutique agency in Las Vegas 2 years ago. About 8 months in, I was introduced to the term “influencer marketing.” I worked with bloggers and influencers to promote our client’s products on their platforms, and thought it was so interesting. As the campaigns moved forward I started doing research and wanted to try it for myself. About 6 months later I scored my first collaboration with a chapstick brand. They sent me 6 chapsticks and I posted a photo of them on my Instagram (for free).
Adam: What are some of the brand deals you have closed? How did they come together? Did you reach out to them or did they reach out? What information did the brands ask for?
Shelby: There are a few that I am really proud of, MGM Resorts International being one of them. I believe that I reached out first introducing myself in hopes of being added to their local influencer/blogger list for events (new restaurants and attractions opening). A few months later I received an email from the director of influencer partnerships asking if I was interested in a collaboration with a 5-star restaurant in Bellagio. Their contracts are very detailed and about 4-5 pages long. You must post within a 24 hour time frame and provide all analytics within 24 hours after your content goes live. I’ve now worked with them 4 times.
Adam: What advice do you have for those interested in working with influencers? How do you decide who to work with?
Shelby: Spend at least 60 seconds and glance through the influencers platform before sending them a pitch or a direct message on Instagram. I get countless emails from brands that do not apply to me. For example a baby or toddler brand, I do not have children and you can see that by looking at my feed and doing a few seconds of research.
As far as how I decide who to work with, I make sure it will fit within my lifestyle and that my audience will find interest in it too. I won’t work with anyone who “doesn’t sign contracts.” or takes longer than net 60 to pay.
Adam: What advice do you have for those interested in becoming micro influencers?
Shelby: Don’t give up and constantly network! Social Media can be an intimidating thing and it’s hard not to compare yourself to others. Try to live by the phrase “collaboration over competition” and it will get you very far.
Adam: What is the biggest misconception about the micro influencer world and life as a micro influencer?
Shelby: Many people believe that influencers work with every brand that is thrown their way just for the money. I personally take a lot of time going through pitches and making sure that it is a good fit before moving forward. I also know a lot of influencers who have turned down huge paying contracts because it wouldn’t be on brand for them.
It takes hours planning photos and coming up with a creative way to showcase a product or brand to our audience. Even after the photos are taken there is still editing, submission for approval, captions, tags and multiple emails before a sponsored post is published.
Adam: If you are comfortable doing so, can you talk economics? How much money do you make on deals? How do the negotiations typically work?
Shelby: As I mentioned above, I started out posting chapstick for free (or trade for exposure) Since January I have been in a position where I do not accept any unpaid collaborations. It depends on the deliverables, but my rates range from $300 - $1,000 per collab, with a blog post being the highest cost. Negotiations usually consist of a few emails back and forth. If I really want to work with a brand that I know my followers will love, I’ll offer a small discount to fit their budget.
Adam: What are your best tips on how to build an audience?
Shelby: Constant engagement on social media and being transparent. Readers love being able to relate to a blogger or influencer in real life. I do my best to showcase my bad days as much as my good days. The most feedback I get is when I share my stories about having acne.
Adam: What are your best tips on blogging and building a successful blog?
Shelby: I didn’t start my blog until 1 year after being an influencer on Instagram. I wish I would have started it right away. A big tip that I was given was to start a subscriber email list and make sure you have a self-hosted blog. I use WordPress and taught myself everything from research and how-to videos. Don’t take the cheaper option just because you are “new.”
Adam: What are some things about you that your followers don’t know?
Shelby: We live in a one bedroom apartment and cook 5-6 nights a week. We do not eat out every night, haha. I feel that there is a misconception of us living a very lavish, wealthy lifestyle sometimes.
Adam: Is there anything else you would like to share?
Shelby: No, thank you so much for this opportunity!