Want to Be an Influencer? Here’s One Place to Start.

Tumi Adeyoju, 20, is a public well being main on the University of Houston. But when she’s not at school or finding out, she runs a fashion, lifestyle and beauty blog — a enterprise she hopes to flip right into a enterprise.

Like many individuals of her era, Ms. Adeyoju goals of changing into an influencer: a catchall for anybody who makes cash by posting about merchandise on social media. There are some hurdles, although. For one: Ms. Adeyoju has simply over 700 followers on Instagram. Many influencer advertising platforms, the place content material creators join with manufacturers, require a minimal follower depend within the hundreds for admission.

Back in November, she heard from a mutual buddy about 28 Row, a brand new app that had no such requirement. All she wanted was a .edu e-mail deal with.

The app is supposed to be a spot for school ladies to join over shared pursuits, and for a lot of of them, social media influencing is a giant one. Ms. Adeyoju stated in a telephone interview that 28 Row “has really introduced me to a lot of new faces, a lot of diversity when it comes to influencers and content creators.”

These days, there are all types of sources devoted to the enterprise of influencing — not simply websites the place creators and types can broker relationships but additionally life coaching services and networks targeted on pay equity within the trade. What differentiates 28 Row is its consumer base: The community is particularly for school ladies.

Cindy Krupp and Janie Karas, the founders of 28 Row, knew from the beginning that they wished to give attention to college students. In 2018, they recruited 20 faculty influencers and related them with a number of manufacturers which might be widespread with younger ladies: E.l.f. Cosmetics, H&M and Monday Haircare. The firm’s influencer advertising platform went stay a year later.

“Brands are dying to reach this demographic,” Ms. Krupp, a public relations veteran, stated in a Zoom interview. (Ms. Karas began as her assistant at Krupp Group, the communications company Ms. Krupp based in 2005.) “It is very labor intensive to vet them, find them and create the network. And I think a lot of brands want the access but don’t have the infrastructure to build out a team to find this network.”

Ms. Krupp, 48, and Ms. Karas, 28, have been impressed to make a social app after the members of the influencer community requested to be related in a bunch chat.

“They talked about everything from ‘The Bachelor’ to ‘What are you wearing to formal?’” Ms. Krupp stated. “We really had that ‘aha!’ moment, that this was built to be something different than where we were at that point.”

The app, which grew to become extensively accessible in September, has about 1,500 members. Not all of them are budding influencers, although many are. The members who’re a part of 28 Row’s influencer community are referred to as “social butterflies”; on the app, every of them has a star subsequent to her consumer identify.

Megan Parmelee, 25, who joined 28 Row’s influencer community, stated that what makes it totally different from different platforms for influencers is the chance to meet like-minded folks.

“It’s a lot of people coming together for kind of a common purpose and with a common goal, and that is to just kind of bask in this realm of social media that is the content creation world,” stated Ms. Parmelee, a graduate pupil within the doctor assistant program at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y.

I joined because I want to grow my network,” she added, “and it’s just nice to be able to share what I’ve learned along the way.”

Christian Hughes, a advertising professor on the University of Notre Dame who focuses on digital media, stated that new apps like 28 Row might assist customers cope with the “trials and tribulations” of on-line life.

“Influencers are really under constant speculation and observation and trolls and a lot of negativity,” she stated. “And there’s a lot out there that’s indicating that social media can be rough on mental health.” Dr. Hughes was alluding to paperwork published by The Wall Street Journal that exposed the extent to which Facebook knew about Instagram’s damaging results on teenage ladies. “I think it’ll give these women a little bit more kind of support,” she stated. “At least I would hope that it can give it a lot more support.”

Ms. Karas and Ms. Krupp stated they’re working to be sure that 28 Row fosters an inclusive, constructive group.

College ladies as an entire, Ms. Karas stated, want a secure area away from the dominant social platforms. “They need a safe place to support each other and uplift each other,” she stated.

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