Making a Living As A Food Influencer with Darion Frazier
Interested in becoming a food influencer or growing your reach in the food sphere? Keep reading to learn more about Darion Frazier of Bayareafoodz and how he has made food influencer his full-time career.
Who is Darion Frazier?
Darion Frazier reviews food around the bay area, especially pop-up restaurants and mom ‘n pop places. He specifically built his own platform to highlight smaller food establishments in the bay area. He especially loves how the bay area has such a wide variety of culturally diverse foods.
Darion has been a food influencer for five years and shares his reviews on Instagram. He says it took around two years for his audience to start to grow rapidly. Today, he has over 130,000 followers on Instagram. He’s also looking into expanding his TikTok because he’s noted that many people are engaging with TikTok a lot today.
How Does Darion Make a Living Off His Instagram?
As a full-time food influencer, Darion frequently gets asked how he makes money through his social media. He says that he is very affordable and typically charges companies five hundred to one thousand dollars for him to come to a restaurant and create related content.
However, he also prioritizes his audience by being authentic and staying true to his reviews. All of his reviews are honest, and he always tastes the food before agreeing to post about the restaurant’s food. Once he knows he likes the food, he will strike up a deal with the restaurant.
He also has many restaurants that pay him monthly to keep Instagram stories up and reposted on his account. He shares his engagement and traction numbers with the companies to entice businesses to take him up on this deal. He also collects revenue data from restaurants he’s worked with so that he can use these numbers to show other restaurants his value as a food influencer. This has led to him earning as much as $12,000 in a year or so from one restaurant.
At the end of the day, engagement is everything. Darion says he has worked with many restaurants that have been burned after working with fake influencers who purchased followers, resulting in poor engagement for the restaurant. This is why his authentic following and high engagement are so important to him and valuable to the companies he works with.
Partnerships as a Food Influencer
One of Darion’s recommendations is to let businesses come to you. It’s less work for you to let businesses come to you rather than seeking companies out. If they’re contacting you, then they are already interested in your content and value, so you don’t have to convince them of this. Darion also notes that his rates are usually accepted with this route because the business is already sold on his value.
Darion has also partnered with food delivery companies and worked behind the scenes to improve the app, which is another revenue source for him. This food delivery app partners with any restaurant that wants to be on the food delivery service app as long as they are in an area with delivery drivers.
Darion also recommends diversifying your income as an influencer. To accomplish this, he’s working on a pop-up restaurant franchise opportunity. He also day trade stocks and options. In addition, Darion also has a food YouTube channel which he is building and working on constantly. His eventual goal is to pitch a food show idea to Netflix as his channel grows. Having multiple sources of revenue from stocks, sponsorships, brand deals, ad revenue, and more keep Darion’s income stronger and healthier. When looking at your own brand, we recommend adding multiple streams of income so that you are never relying on one type of income or platform to generate income.
Key Takeaways from Darion
Experiment more. Darion has grown his tastes as his platform has grown. He used to not eat anything “slimy” or seafood dishes. However, he notes that his audience may be interested in these things, so he has worked to expand his tastes. We recommend applying this to your own audience by developing your taste in makeup, food, travel locations, etc. This keeps your content fresh and interesting and helps your audience more.
Learn to do everything yourself first. Learn to edit your videos, write captions, edit photos, and more. This way, when you decide to hire help and outsource tasks, you’ll have the knowledge to ask for exactly what you want. Eventually, outsourcing is definitely a great option to free up your time for bigger projects. Darion spoke about wanting to hire an assistant soon, now that his brand has grown so much, and he is working on larger projects.
Know your audience. Darion knows he has a larger audience of people with urban backgrounds and many members of his audience are African American. Knowing this allows him to connect with his audience better through his captions and video content.
Support other businesses. Darion started his page to support and promote small companies he loves. Even though he could get free food anywhere he wants to eat out, he often chooses to buy the food himself to continue supporting the small businesses. Show that you genuinely care about your mission causes and support other businesses in your niche. As Darion told us, helping others typically comes back to you tenfold.
Have a mission and greater “WHY.” It’s clear when speaking with Darion how passionate he is about small businesses and supporting local restaurants with great food, service, and who treat their employees well. When working to grow your own brand and following, consider your social media account’s greater purpose. What cause pulls at your heartstrings? Is it supporting small businesses like Darion, helping others find cruelty-free alternatives to their favorite products, or bringing awareness to a particular cause and charity? Operate with a greater mission, and this can help guide you to make better brand decisions and act authentically, which will come through in your content.