The Secret Society of Being an "INFLUENCER" #unfiltered

I recently had the opportunity to partner with Levi's. Yes, you heard correctly... LEVI'S! The brand that needs no introduction wanted to work with me on a YOUTUBE video *insert high pitch scream here* I was so thankful to God for this incredible opportunity and immediately thought of ideas for my new video! The video is live and you can click HERE to watch!

I have always felt that people who made money through YouTube, Instagram, social media were all apart of a secret society that no one under 1,000 subscribers or viewers (commoners lol) were allowed to join. It made no sense to me how people could travel the world, get paid $$$$ (yes 4 dollar signs) and have all the hippest and newest clothes and shoes through making simple YouTube video or blog post. Then I got paid.

It's true that those who have little "influence" (and I will keep putting "influence" in quotes because I think it sounds slightly pretentious haha *insert Joey's air quotes here*) have to apply to join major affiliate networks or monetization platforms. These platforms allow the blogger or YouTuber to make a small commission on the sale if you, the viewer, choose to purchase a product through their provided link.

Before you think that the internet was lying to you, please keep reading.

The real controversy lies in the fact that many people lose trust in their favorite "influencers" because they believe that this style of marketing is sneaky and "hush hush." They feel betrayed when the "influencer" talks about and advocates a brand that seems unnatural, forced, what have you.

Did you know, according to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), anything that is paid ads, affiliate links, free product, whatever, has to be disclosed in every video and post. So most of your favorite YouTubers and Bloggers are probably writing something like "FTC: This video is sponsored by so and so" or "There are affiliate links in the description," and they are just hard to find or notice.

For many die hard fans (such as myself), I believe it is a chance to support my favorite Youtubers, get great product and share it with my friends.

I will tell you right now that below are affiliate links where the word says "HERE" and I partnered with Levi's to create the YouTube video above.

For me, I am thankful to work with brands I already love and have loved for years! Levi's is a globally recognized brand and I could never say no to this opportunity. I will try my very best to be honest and share every step of this God given journey. This is a chance for me to collaborate with other photographers to create beautiful images like the ones you'll see below! And for any of you bloggers/youtubers/"influencers", I use MagicLinks for all my ready-to-shop product links which you can sign up HERE too!

I picked some items from the Levi's website that I loved and you can DIRECTLY shop every item I mention by clicking HERE! I hope you enjoy!

Levi's Crossbody Shop HERE

The "Ex Boyfriend Trucker Jacket" Shop HERE

The Classic Pocket Button Up Shop HERE

Levi's ICONIC Graphic T Shop HERE

Go To Backpack Shop HERE

501 Stretch Skinny Jeans Shop (Post Modern Blues) HERE

501 Skinny Jeans (Lovefool) Shop HERE

501 Denim Cut Off HERE

Photographers: 

Kylee Smith @knjsmit 

Hojun Kim @hojkage