beauty

'"How do you make money?" I'm a beauty influencer. Here are 5 questions I always get asked.'

In 2010, a photo-sharing app launched - and it would completely change the way we consumed information. Fast forward 12 years and that app now has over one billion monthly users and is the third most popular social platform in the world.  

I’m talking about none other than Instagram, of course. 

And if you’d have told me a decade ago that I’d be making a living through sharing my opinions online – I would’ve laughed out loud and gone back to cramming for my final exam. But here I am in my 30s and content creation is my full-time job.

Watch: To her many Instagram followers, it seemed like the 'Young Mummy' Sophie Cachia had a pretty rosy life. At 30, she turned her 'perfect' life upside down. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia

Hi, my name’s Alisha and I’m a beauty influencer.

If you’re wondering what that is, you’re not the first. So, I’ve compiled a mini-FAQ on the five common questions I always get asked.  

1. What’s a beauty influencer? Isn’t that just like a regular influencer?

Correct, except my niche is beauty - more specifically, skincare

I spend my time creating content to make skincare more digestible (think everything from skin tips to breaking down ingredients and reviewing new product launches).  

Every 'skinfluencer' has their own way of creating content but for me, I like to lean into the infotainment category; so, whilst my posts are 'skinfo' heavy, they’re wrapped up with humour.

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Jokes aside, I’ve found that incorporating my personality into my content provides a more authentic connection with my audience. And as long as they’re laughing (and wearing SPF) I’m happy.   

You’ll also find makeup looks and dating chat (because who doesn’t love a good ghosting story?) on my profile. 

I also spend a large chunk of my time writing for various online media outlets reviewing (you guessed it) skincare and beauty

2. But how do you make money?  

The same way you do - by showcasing a product or services’ value to consumers. Except, my name is attached to it, which is why an influencer’s personal brand is extremely important.  

Showing up as your authentic self is the key to building trust between you and your community.  

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Logistically, there are several ways influencers are renumerated:  

  1. Ambassadorships – where they engage in long-term partnerships with brands and create content to support the brand’s marketing calendar.  

  1. Affiliate marketing – where influencers are given a code or link to share across their platforms and earn a percentage of commission from each sale their code generates. 

  1. Sponsored posts – similar to ambassadorship, however, these are one-off commissioned posts that brands can choose to pay boosting rights to use as a part of their digital marketing.  

  1. Appearances/photoshoots – brands may also ask influencers to appear at events and/or utilise them as models in upcoming campaigns.  

  1. Creating a product line – some influencers go down the route of creating products, this can be through their own means or by partnering with an existing brand in co-collaboration.  

3. You must go to so many cool events and get heaps of free stuff?  

Yes, and no. 

Just like with any job, there are busy and quiet periods. I’ve gone from weeks where there are two events a day, to months without. 

And whilst events are extremely fun, they can deplete your social battery pretty quickly, especially when you get to the weekend and find yourself socialising all over again with your friends and family.  

That being said, events are my favourite part of the job. They’re the best way to network, meet fellow creators, connect with the brand, and I always walk away feeling extremely inspired.  

As for the ‘free stuff,’ yes – most content creators are on brands' PR lists and we’re fortunate enough to receive new products ahead of the launch date. 

However, it can be pretty overwhelming. Especially when (for example) you receive five exfoliants, three serums and a handful of cleansers in a week - because at the end of the day, skincare takes time to work, and my approach is to try one new product at a time.  

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Whilst I’m grateful for every package I receive, I’m physically unable to try everything because if I did, my face would actually burn off… and then how would I have dating stories to share online?  

So, I end up keeping half and then giving the remainder to my friends, family or donating it. And if you’re wondering how I know which products to keep vs gift – well, just like you know what food fuels your body, I know what ingredients my skin likes. I always do a scan of the ingredient list plus follow-up research before I decide which pile it goes into.  

4. What did you study to get into influencing? 

I always like to say that the 'skinfluencer' life chose me - cliché I know, but it’s true. I didn’t really have any desire to be on camera. It just kind of happened. 

I created my Instagram (under a different name originally) because I wasn’t fulfilled in my corporate role. Working in marketing, I’d spent years building other businesses' brands and wanted to see if I could hone my creativity into something of my own. That AND I just really wanted to learn how to do my makeup like a Kardashian.  

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When I first started out, I had no idea what I was doing. It was just a space on the internet for me to teach myself how to apply makeup and along the way, I learnt how to film, edit, and got serious about skincare.   

Most of my creator friends have a similar story to mine – starting their page to document their journey of self-love, acne healing or even just to talk about their love of skincare. 

For me personally, I dipped in and out of my Instagram over the course of five years. When life got too hectic, I’d deactivate the account and focus my time on family, friends, and my full-time job.  

Then, COVID hit, and like many Aussies, I was stood down. That was probably the first time I really sat still and asked myself what made me happy. 

The answer: creating.  

So, I put all my efforts into JUST building my brand. And as they say, what you put your energy into, you get back tenfold.  

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From there, it kind of snowballed. I found more opportunities coming my way, and it didn’t take long for me to rediscover my love of writing. 

Finally, after much umm-ing and ahhing, I took the plunge. 

Last year, I changed my Instagram to my real name (so people could get to know the person who was posting), quit my job, and started 100 per cent focusing on growing my brand. 

As for what I studied, I have a Bachelor's degree in English and Political Economy and a Master's degree in Journalism. 

5. What’s been the coolest opportunity you’ve been offered?

There are so many that come to mind. From working with some of my dream brands to being asked to write, I’m constantly amazed at how being online has given me the chance to do things teenage me wouldn’t have dreamed of.   

If I had to pick just one though, a serious 'pinch me' moment was when the producers at Nova approached me with the idea of a podcast - I’d been wanting to start one since the pandemic started.  

And there you have it. A quick snapshot into what it’s like to be a content creator!

To be honest, it still feels surreal that I get to call this my life, the opportunities are endless, but just like with any job, there’s the not-so-glamorous side. 

In reality, the business side of things consists of chasing up invoices, responding to DMs, creating innovative content, last-minute briefs, tight deadlines, contract negotiations, and the unexpected anxiety that comes from being vulnerable and sharing your life online.  

In my time as an influencer, content creator, online persona – whatever you want to call it - there are a few things I’ve learned: 

  1. Your mental health can be easily impacted by online trolls and needs to be prioritised. 

  1. It really IS a full-time job that doesn’t offer annual leave because if you stop posting for months at a time, then you may start to lose connection with your audience.   

  1. Creativity isn’t like beer on-tap - you can’t turn it on and off whenever you please. It comes in bursts and often at times you wouldn’t expect. There’s been more than once I’ve had my best ideas at 1am and then feel flat for days at a time. You just have to ride the non-nine-to-five wave. 

  1. It can be pretty lonely, at times. Yes, there are events where you get to interact but when events are on pause essentially it’s just you, your camera or phone, WFH every… single…day.  

  1. The connection you can forge with people who support your content is mind-blowing. Talking to people in my DMs brings me so much joy and it’s brought me some great IRL friendships.   

At the end of the day, I wanted to write this mainly because – even though social media has been around for a while, there’s still a stigma attached to being called an ‘influencer’. Even though our job is fun and has its perks, there are sides to it no one sees or talks about.  

That being said, I’m so grateful that I can call this my job. They always say if you love what you do, you won’t work a day in your life and that’s how I feel about being a 'skinfluencer'. 

The freedom and flexibility to shape my life, the people I’ve met, and the experiences I’ve been fortunate enough to have, have led to me being happier than I’ve ever been.  

Do you have any other beauty influencer questions you want answered? Share them in the comment section below.

Feature image: Instagram; @alishabhojwani

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