Nadezhda Zlateva, a third year marketing student at BCU, has become a social media influencer on Instagram.
She has been posting on Instagram since 2013 and has gained around 400,000 followers. Her focus is on health and fitness, something that she has always been interested in, having been involved in sport since the age of four and progressively learning about healthy food as a teenager. She now enjoys commercial success through various company sponsorships.
Nadezhda explains what her role as an influencer involves:
“It’s all about communicating with your audience, talking to them as friends and figuring out the midpoint of what they want to see and what I can create so that the content feels organic and honest.
“It involves replying to emails from brands and agencies, making sure that both parties are benefiting from any partnerships, as well as establishing contacts for future opportunities. It is also about having a great sense for what would work on what platform and thinking on the spot about getting the content, whether that is in a video or image form.
“You have to be persistent and constantly willing to improve and adapt in order to see any long-term gains and also, most importantly, build trust with the audience that you accumulate.”
Nadezhda explains how her studies at BCU helped her build on the role of influencer. “Through my course, I learned how to professionally communicate with people and express clearly what values I can provide to a brand so that I get fairly paid. The influencer money world is very ambiguous and I think it takes a thicker skin in order to stand up for what you believe in, because most of the time companies will want everything done to a high level without paying you enough or even paying you in the first place.
“I also learned how to better integrate my personality within the content I produce, in line with the campaigns I get involved in. This is because I’ve learned the importance of retaining the trust from people in the long term.”
She has recently shared the secrets of her success with the Business School’s PR students and staff in a seminar. Nadezhda said, “It was a privilege to share some of the insights into how to grow your influencer following with my peers and BCU staff.
“It takes a lot of hard work but anyone can build a following if they keep learning and adapting. The most important thing in my experience is to always be yourself, and be authentic.”
David McGee, who teaches the PR and Corporate Reputation module, said, “Nadia has a grasp of the business fundamentals relating to being an influencer that is world-class.
“This is a skill that needs constant and continuous updating. If you stand still for a month, you’re left behind. Nadezhda showed students and staff how to drive followers and, importantly, how to make a living.”