'I earn £100k teaching people how to be influencers after I got fired'

When Emily Valentine got sacked from her job as a talent manager, she was devastated.

‘I was 26 years old, living in London, and I didn’t know how I was going to feed myself,’ she remembered.

‘I was asking myself: “how am I going to make this work”?’

When she left university in 2012, Emily, now 34, took a job at a marketing agency for £17k, but absolutely hated it, handing in her notice after just 10 months.

She moved to London and landed the talent manager job, but got fired due to her bosses taking issue with her influencer work on the side – and was left clueless as to what she wanted to do.

‘I clearly didn’t work well with the authoritative nine-to-five jobs,’ she said.

So, Emily decided to become a full-time influencer, sitting at her desk at home for 12 hours a day, pitching herself to brands.

Soon, her hard work began to pay off.

She said: ‘My big break came a month after I was fired. New Look was launching a new beauty line and they wanted me to be the face of it.

‘The firing was the biggest blessing in disguise in the end – even though it felt like devastation not knowing how I was going to pay rent.’

After working in influencing for six years, Emily realised she wanted to help other women get into the industry and see the same success.

She worked up a ‘creator clinic’; a consultancy where people could pay her for one-on-one coaching on all things influencing.

After a wealth of positive feedback, Emily plans to expand this into an eight-week influencer course with six modules, that will teach people how to pitch to brands, negotiate prices, and grow their personal brand.

She certainly knows her stuff – after doing brand collaborations with Dior, Lovehoney, Channel 4 and more, Emily says she earned £100,000 as an influencer in just two years.

‘There is always that feeling of the unknown, we are freelancing in a way, there is that unknown but I want to encourage people to get out there,’ said Emily.

‘I want to help monetise this amazing industry and then that lead to a bigger idea to launch a course where people can sign up to a coaching programme and I teach them how to become an influencer.

‘Overall, being an influencer is a super empowering thing.

‘I love being able to create content off the back of a passion that I have and monetise it.

‘Not only working with amazing brands but also helping my audience, whether that is discovering new skincare solutions or showing them how to style their outfit or generally advising them and empowering women in their every day lives – it is an amazing career to have.’

Emily’s top tips for becoming a successful influencer:

Niche down quickly

As soon as you know what you are going to do, you have to become really focused on that.

Decide what you’re good at, decide what you’re passionate about and how you can service an audience.

Act like a business from the beginning

Emily said: ‘I left my nine-to-five job and I still got up early every day at the same time and put the hours in like I was getting a salary.

‘I outsourced a photographer and accountant from the beginning, even though I wasn’t earning any money, I had a professional signature, I had a media kit and a portfolio.

‘My point is, treat it like a business from the beginning and people will take you seriously.’

Be the influencer you want to see

‘The advice I give to people is that you have to fake it till you make it – you need to post like the influencer that you want to be,’ Emily said.

‘It will make the job opportunities come a lot quicker as you already have those brand premiums, they don’t have time to create user-generated content for their platforms.’

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