Influencer marketing is an industry buzzword, but there are still many misconceptions about the fast-growing marketing tactic. Fortunately, Jessica Fiorillo of Feed Me Dearly is providing some insights from the frontlines.

“There’re lots of people who don’t know about what goes into an influencer trip. Even my husband — who just came with me on a trip for the first time — couldn’t believe how much work went into this trip. He thought I just went on amazing vacations!

On a trip, I take thousands of photos; editing them takes a lot of time. I look at symmetrical lines, white space, making sure I have a cohesive set of pictures for the project and on Instagram. It’s great when I can work with a firm like Hawkins International, because they put a lot of time into planning an itinerary that’s varied: Not just meals but also a spa visit, bikes, a cooking class with a chef, a rum tasting, and, during a trip to Jumby Bay I just took, a tour of the property’s high-end homes.

And they schedule downtime! It’s so important. I’ve been on trips where the itinerary was so full I was left with little energy at the end of the day to produce great content. (It’s four to six hours to sort through those thousands of pictures I shot!)

What else? It’s important to have a list of client deliverables. For example, my blog posts are quite extensive, with 30 or more photos and 1,000 words, so that’s more detailed than many bloggers’ posts. And Instagram, where I get major engagement, I limit to one post a day, because I respect my audience’s tolerance. Lots of times I’ll send a client a drop box of additional photos that I didn’t use but are still high quality.

I appreciate flexibility—recently when a label the client requested wasn’t clearly visible in a shot, I wanted to use the great photo anyway, knowing it would really connect with my audience. So I offered to post more to make up for it. The client okayed it, the photo performed phenomenally, and the client’s respect and flexibility made me want to work 200 percent harder for them.

And one last thing—remember your influencer is basically running a business, so their time and audience and judgment are to be respected. We didn’t get in this business to make a ton of money—we are following our passion—but we still have to consider what offers make financial sense, and there are a lot of hidden hours that go into the creation of our content.”


Jessica Fiorillo is the founder and author of the culinary and travel blog, Feed Me Dearly – you can also follow Feed Me Dearly on Instagram.

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