DETROIT – Getting paid for social media posts sounds like a cool job for many people, but being a social media influencer is about a lot more than making a post or two a day -- it's about content.
Social media influencers need a strong following and the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of who they are and what they know.
A 25-year-old woman from Ypsilanti decided to walk away from her full-time job at a mortgage company and now supports herself as an influencer.
Bria Larine said she wanted to be a model, but as she chased that dream, she became a social media influencer. She said companies pay her to promote their products.
Larine said it started with a hair catastrophe.
"I had some damage happen to my hair," Larine said. "My curls were gone, and at the time, being natural, wearing your hair natural, was just on the rise. There wasn't too many products out. Nobody was talking about it."
Larine started a YouTube channel all about natural hair, and her tutorials started growing in popularity. Millions of people have seen clips from her channel, and she has more than 54,000 Instagram followers.
Businesses started noticing Larine.
"They want to know about hair and a lot of people say they just love my personality," Larine said. "I'm their friend. Eventually I had a video go viral that now has about 3-4 million views right now."
Larine gained thousands of viewers overnight, and with that came more business deals.
"I do have a lot of brands that contact me," Larine said. "What will happen is I will do an Instagram post or a YouTube post, either a picture post or a video post. Usually the prices can range between $500 to $1,500, depending on the work amount I have to do."
Larine works out of Femology in Downtown Detroit, a business spot for female entrepreneurs, where she reviews her contracts, requirements and rates. If needed, she holds meetings, which she said makes her a better businesswoman.
"I love that I can wake up anytime and I can plan out for the month, 'We can do this video. We can make this kind of content,'" Larine said. "I know what brands I am working with for the month and I can schedule it out so I can have a whole week of just me time and self-care and I can have a whole week of just grind it out and do a whole bunch of videos, a whole bunch of tutorials."
Larine said she still dreams of modeling, hoping someday to make it on the cover of a magazine. But in the meantime, she said she'll spend her time and talents as a social media influencer.