We chatted with the incredible muse that is Olivia Hargrove, aka The Metal Romantic, to find out how she built such an amazing brand for herself. Olivia’s following and engagement is 100% authentic and built on hard work.
Olivia Hargrove on the Influencer Business
Q: How did you go about choosing your name + your branding? What sets you apart from other bloggers/influencers?
A: When choosing my name, “The Metal Romantic”, I wanted something that would instantly grab the attention of my audience, while also staying true to my aesthetic and lifestyle.
My style is a little rock n’ roll and a little bohemian. A little bit metal and a little bit romantic. I choose to focus on my personal style as a bloggin’ mama!
Mixing motherhood and style is not something that many influencers mix into their brand, but that is me staying true to myself. My family is my world and my style is my passion, so mixing both worlds made sense for me. I strive to be a positive representation of what it’s like to be a working mama, while continuing to express my personal style!
Q: How do you go about working with brands? Do they contact you or do you contact them?
A: Honestly, it’s a little bit of both! Working with brands takes a great deal of leg work as a blogger.
Whether you’re represented by an agency or freelance, it’s important to work with brands that you are genuinely interested in working with. It never hurts to reach out to brands that you love either!
The worst they could do is decline and if you gain a relationship with them, they may choose to work with you in the future! That also goes for when brands reach out to you, whether they accept your rate or not, you want to maintain a professional relationship because they may reach back out in the future when their budget allows. So honestly, if you want more work, go after more work and then that will allow for more brands to contact you!
Q: How do you get paid? Why is it important to get paid as an influencer?
A: I usually go through PayPal, but brands also send payment by check through the mail as well. It’s important to get paid as an influencer because you are providing these brands with YOUR brand, as well as marketing and promotional tools for them to use at a fair price.
Good content should never come without a price. If you are putting in the time and creative energy into a concept, influencers should get rewarded. There are the occasional gifting collaborations, which can be great if the brand is right for your aesthetic, but I’ve learned that those need to remain selective.
You don’t want to always accept trade for something that you put time and effort into creating, especially when they are using your content to increase their sales.
Q: Do you use contracts? If so, what do they entail?
A: I do sometimes, yes. If the requirements are extensive, it’s smart to have all of the details on paper, so that everything is clear for both the brand and the influencers.
They usually entail posting requirements, deadlines and your rate upon agreement. Very simple, but sometimes very necessary so that the brand knows what they are getting from you!
Q: Artist integrity – how do you choose the specific brands you work with?
A: For me, I have to vibe with the brand! I have to connect on some level to what they are offering. Whether it be fashion, beauty, lifestyle products or baby gear, it has to be something that I am genuinely interested in trying or wearing! Work with brands that you love or are interested in trying out!
Q: Any tips or tricks on how to get more followers/have a stronger engagement?
A: I used to be able to answer this question, but lately I’ve seen a change in how engagement comes into play.
As an influencer with a following that could honestly use some growth, I usually have a very good engagement rate! That should be what’s important to brands. A following can be bought these days, but I’ve chosen not to go that route.
Sometimes a higher following is all that matters to brands when working with influencers and they really should be looking at engagement rates instead. Sometimes influencers with 1-10k get more engagement on their posts than some influencers with 50-100k. That’s a strange concept to me.
I guess my tip would be to engage with others so that they will engage with you! Make sure to stay visible by posting frequently (at least twice a day). I’ve learned that if you want engagement, you have to give engagement as well.
Stay active and keep producing quality content and the followers and engagement will soon come.