So often as an influencer, people want to know about what exactly you do and how you do it. I’m quick to share that this space is changing and that it’s not my full-time gig, but that I enjoy developing my personal brand.
Today I wanted to dive into some of the business side of the influencer marketing space because I receive these questions frequently from those of you that are interested in exploring this as a side hustle or career. I want to preface this conversation by saying that I am no expert on business. This is simply me sharing what I have done to build Trendy in Indy and I hope that some of this will be helpful to you.
When should I become an LLC?
If you are making an income, you need to be an LLC. I decided to make Trendy in Indy an LLC once I started earning an income and wanted a way to protect myself, my family, and my business. The LLC helps to separate you personally (and your personal finances) in the event that someone might want to sue you because there are malicious people out there. With an LLC, you can also track your business expenses for tax write offs at the end of the year which is a huge benefit.
How do I set up an LLC?
Truthfully, I had an attorney do this for me. I am not a legal expert and will not pretend to be. Sometimes, it’s worth paying to make sure these business ventures are set up correctly. I do believe you can also set up at LLC online.
How do taxes work?
I’ve always been told to save a third of every check or payment for taxes at the end of the year. Again, no CPA over here and I actually hire someone to do my taxes because that’s one headache I don’t need.
In case you’re wondering, clothing cannot be written off unless it is used specifically for one-time content creation or for business trips (like NYFW or conferences). There is a whole list of expenses that an accountant could provide you with or I’m sure you could Google it.
Do I set up a separate bank account?
YES. If you are an LLC, you should have a business account with your bank. I have a business account and a business credit card that I only use for Trendy in Indy endeavors. This also helps me to keep track of what I’m spending. I never use cash for business purchases because it’s much more difficult to track it.
How do you track expenses?
Speaking of tracking, I use Google sheets although I’m certain there is a better way, but this is easiest for me. I track the date, the method, the tax category (i.e. marketing, tools, education), the person, the amount, and the why (what it was for). I do this monthly so that I can stay on top of it, but using the business card helps this process run smoothly.
How do you set up contracts as an Influencer?
If you are being paid by a brand or even compensated just with clothing, you need to have a contract of some kind that both you and the brand sign. I dive deeper into this in one of my e-books that you can check out here, but having a contract in place helps keep you protected and the brand accountable.
How do virtual assistants or contractors work?
If you have an LLC and pay someone over $600 per year to do any kind of work for you, you will need to 1099 them at the end of the year.
I’ll be honest in saying that the “business side” is not exactly my strength which is why I hire so much of it out. I’d prefer to hire an accountant to help me with the numbers so that I don’t make a mistake.
I hope these few Q&A scenarios are helpful to those of you who are curious about influencer marketing as a business!