What is it ACTUALLY like to be a social influencer?

Sabrina Carder is a full-time social influencer and fashion blogger. She has amassed over 10k followers on her Instagram alone and is building up a pretty great profile in the fashion biz with her blog, The Young Eccentric and writing for well-known mags and websites. Sabrina’s even been featured in Vogue, Nylon and Company too!

Judging by her posts, she has a great time living the high life in her fashion world. Endless photo-shoots and fashion freebies fill her beautiful Instagram account.

But is it real? Is life as an influencer as glam as it seems?

We spoke to Sabrina while she was filming her latest video with Philips Sonicare AirFloss Pro (which you can watch at the top of this article) to find out what it’s actually like to be a social media influencer.

Yahoo: Hey Sabrina, great to talk to you! First question: Did you always want to become an influencer?

Not at all, I very much stumbled upon it. I started my blog in my late teens – after 19 years of being asked “Sabs, what ARE you wearing!?” I was desperate to find likeminded people, and also have a space where I could freely express my quirky sense of style.

Unbeknown to me, a few years later, having accumulated a following this would be called being an ‘influencer’. For me it has organically progressed from one shy girl’s journey of self-discovery to now, where I help others do the same.

Y: How did you build your audience?

When I started I literally had no clue about social media, SEO, or anything at all about running a blog – I was even still using a £10 top-up phone. So, unlike a lot of influencers I can’t say my audience grew down to me being social media savvy.

I think for me I’ve continued to create a strong following due to being unapologetically myself. I express my personality, never stay in the safe zone with my style and fully embrace my individuality.

As I’ve progressed and leant more about social media I’ve discovered the best way for me to build my audience in particular is through high-quality content with a dash of humor.

Y: What would you say is the key to your success?

I have a genuine love for fashion and for expressing my personal style. Therefore, I am constantly pushing myself to create new, exciting and unique content.

Nonetheless, that doesn’t come without hard work and motivation. Sure, my blog started as (and still is) a hobby. However, outfits don’t get shot, blog posts written or deadlines met without some serious time, effort and creativity.

Y: How do you decide which brands to partner with?

The most important thing for me in staying true to myself, when a email pops up with an opportunity, if I’m excited and get that warm, fuzzy feeling by the end of reading it then I normally know it’s a goodun’. If it’s really good I’ll probably WhattsApp a screenshot to my twin sister – she really doesn’t appreciate me doing that.

Y: Why was the Philips partnership a good fit, for example?

One glance at my Instagram story, blog or YouTube and you will see that I’m a very outgoing and smiley person, so whether I’m on or off camera I always take those few extra minutes each morning to make sure I’ve brushed and flossed my teeth thoroughly. After all, there is nothing worse than spending half your day filming a haul video just to watch it back and see that a piece of cornflake was stuck in your teeth the entire time.

Y: What does an average day look like for you, step-by-step?

As soon as my alarm goes off I head straight to the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash my face. Once I feel a little more refreshed I head downstairs to drink one very large coffee whilst I get cracking with emails, admin, and finish writing the blog post that I plan to publish that evening.

Then follows the best part of my day, I get to decide what outfit I feel like wearing, (otherwise known as a #OOTD or ‘Outfit Of The Day’ to anyone who has an interest in fashion and an Instagram account).

Then it’s off to London with a backpack full of clothes and a travel card, as I will most certainly be running from East to West (and somewhere else in-between).

No two days are the same, however an average day normally sees a meeting or two in the morning, often with PR’s or brands to hear about their latest collections or to collect samples of their new products/ clothes to try.

Shortly after I’m most probably legging it to East London to meet with a photographer who helps me shoot my outfits. A few outfit changes later and having stood by what feels like every bit of ‘edgy’ graffiti in the area we finally wrap up.

I’ll then quickly grab a late lunch, whilst trying to find a socket to charge my iPhone in order to check my emails, fashion news and social media. I know it’s only been a few hours but I’m a millennial girl, the struggle to put the iPhone down for a few minutes in real.

Then the lure of Oxford Street is often too much to resist. Whether its just window-shopping for outfit inspiration or purchasing a new season item – it’s happening. However, this almost always makes me ever so slightly late for my evening event.

As 6pm rolls around my backpack and I are squished into a tube carriage with the rest of London, where if enough people disperse I will try and put on some lippy on the move. Side note: this never ends well.

Once finally having found my friend at whatever tube stop destination we will head to the event, which celebrates a new product launch or collection.

If it’s a weekday I sadly have to tear myself away from the bubbles and chit chat sooner than I would have liked to catch the train home and get on with work.

Dinner is often accompanied by my BFF: my laptop. Where I will continue to plan, edit and tweak content for the week. Meanwhile, I’ll publish my latest blog post, YouTube video and upload photos to social media.

My attempt to shut off and relax in the evening never goes too well. It usually involves half watching something on Netflix whilst simultaneously scrolling through Instagram on my phone.

The social media catch-up continues well after I’ve even brushed my teeth and taken off my make-up. It normally comes to a sudden halt though as I clock sight of the time, mentally count how many hours sleep that gets me, panic, and immediately turn off my light making a solemn promise that I won’t make the same mistake the following night.

Spoiler alert: I always do.

Y: If you could give 3 pieces of advice to anyone wanting to become an influencer, what would you tell them?

1. When I get asked ‘how did you become an influencer?’ I always say the same thing ‘I simply started creating content’. If you want to become an influencer you have to do something about it. Start actually creating content, whether that be images on Instagram with your iPhone or creating your own blog, just do something and you’re halfway there.

2. You have to be yourself, find your own style and your own voice. In the ever-growing abyss of content on the Internet chances are everything has been done already. Therefore, you are your best tool in order to stand out from the crowd.

3. You don’t just become an influencer overnight unless you are very, very lucky. If you’re obsessing over follower numbers or likes on a selfie, you’re not going to get too far. So, find a topic or a hobby that you love and make that your focus. Followers come with time, patience and hard work. So, if you’re using your platform as a creative outlet for something you already love and enjoy then you’re winning already. And it may just give you some great opportunities (followers included).

Y: Is this the perfect job?

Every job comes with its challenges and downsides. There are some parts of being an influencer that I was not prepared for e.g. tax returns, chasing invoices, being your own PR manager and, most of all, your own full-time cheerleader.

However, I really can’t complain, I’ve found something I get to do every day that I absolutely love and for that, as DJ Khaled says ‘you grateful’.

Y: Thanks so much for talking to us!

Philips Sonicare AirFloss Pro is the quick and easy way to remove up to 99.9% of plaque. Only taking 60 seconds to floss your entire mouth you will be sure to add it to your daily routine for healthier gums in just 2 weeks! Find out more at http://www.philips.co.uk/airflosspro

Related content on HuffPost Lifestyle:
The simple habit that will help you keep your teeth for life
A dentist shares your poor excuses for not flossing

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