Allegra Paris is a Miami-based fitness influencer, trainer, model and founder of the AP FIT workout app. She's also among the scores of social media influencers who have joined the Maxim Creator Network. Check out her top tips on how expand your brand and master Instagram below:
What's the best way for influencers to increase their number of followers and become more relevant?
It is very important for influencers to post regularly. Your audience likes predictability and also consistency when it comes to content—that is why they followed you in the first place!
Your content should be branded and align with a theme. If you are a fitness influencer, it's totally ok to post things other than workouts, however, the main branding should be that around a fitness lifestyle offering authentic health tips and tricks.
With so many influencers and people on social media, influencers now need to create regular content that is fresh, genuine, and unique. Viewers want to be entertained, feel personally connected, and also learn valuable information from them.
What dream brands would you love to collaborate with?
First off, I'd love to be featured in Maxim one day! But in terms of brands on social platforms, I'd love to work with major activewear/streetwear brands like Nike or Kith. I'd also love to work with swimwear brands like Frankies Bikinis or Agua Bendita. Lastly, I LOVE shoes. If I could collaborate with Stadium Goods or Flight Club I think that would be insane!
What are your absolute best tips for taking a great Instagram photo?
Lighting must be on point! If it's too dark, your picture might be blurry and, therefore, not taken seriously. Darkness can also be unflattering and cause dark circles under the eyes. You want bright lighting but not direct sunlight. Shooting in the shade on a sunny day is usually always a hit!
Wear a good outfit. Whether you're wearing bright colors, something unique, or using your look as an opportunity to promote a brand, it's always a good idea to have something new and trendy on.
Good angles are crucial. The iPhone warps its subject, for better and for worse. You want to work with the negative space around you and have your photographer focus on how you look, not just the surroundings. I personally always have my photographer get low to help me look a bit taller.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from young entrepreneurs, specifically those in the fashion and fitness spaces. I am extremely inspired by Francesca Aiello, the owner and creator of Frankies Bikinis. We are the same age and I admire how amazing and successful her brand is. She's a powerhouse! I also admire Tammy Hembrow, who is around my age and grew a successful fitness and clothing brand simultaneously while raising her children!
As someone who's majored in entrepreneurial studies and started an activewear brand in college/is now operating a fitness brand/app, I know the tedious struggle and how hard the behind-the-scenes truly is. One thing I firmly believe in is those who don't give up will always be the ones who succeed. When I am feeling down, I draw inspiration from these hardworking individuals.
What’s the funniest/most interesting comment you’ve ever received from one of your followers?
I will have people write in and offer me some really cool information/advice when it comes to all things fitness. Also, whenever I'm sick, I have such kind people write in with their homemade remedies, and these helped so much during the pandemic!
On a funny note, often times when I post stories with the response option for followers to ask me fitness-related questions, I get a very large amount asking who I'm dating. I'm like, "Hm, this doesn't have to do with squats!"
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned from becoming an influencer?
Originally, I wanted to be an "influencer" for the name itself. It wasn't until I stopped caring about the title and started doing my own thing that I actually grew. I learned that when you try to force something, it won't work. What you do/post must be authentic and genuine to you. If it isn't, your followers will sense that and they won't respond well.
I also learned that your brand and content will take work, however, if it feels abrasive and unnatural, then you haven't found your true niche yet. Influencing should feel like a smoothly integrated part of your day if you are truly living the brand you promote.
What excites you most about being an influencer?
I would say the ability to spread a message. It is so exciting to share my life and experiences with my followers. When I learn something new or have valuable health an fitness information to share, I immediately want to post it in hopes that it can help someone. Just like anyone else, I get affected by the content I see, and I've learned so much from the influencers I follow. It is that exact reason why we follow influencers in the first place!
I also like being vulnerable and sharing my personal struggles at times because I know someone, somewhere could be feeling the same. If I can help a complete stranger feel comforted and not alone, then I will take that opportunity and be eternally grateful.
What’s your best piece of advice for growing a personal brand?
If you are selling a product or service within your brand, make sure it is something you would buy. When I was creating AP FIT, I constantly checked to make sure this was a service I would actually be interested in. When I was designing my activewear line in college, my mom would always say, "Is that something you would wear?" If it wasn't, I immediately got rid of it. You can only authentically sell something you love and are passionate about.
If you ARE your own brand, make sure you love and believe in yourself. That authenticity will shine through and your audience will be more incline to trust you and listen to what you have to say. Be true to you, boo!
Maxim has worked with top brands and talent for decades, and now we've added the Maxim Creator Network to our diverse platform to help brands connect with our audience in the digital world.
The Maxim Creator Network is the ultimate in-house tool for brands that want to work with creators and run successful influencer marketing campaigns and rising influencers that want the ability to partner with the brands they love to tell passionate, authentic stories, together.