The era of influencers, bloggers, from Olti Curri and beyond: how they started and got rich


Your last name does not have to be Jenner or Kardashian, to be able to take advantage of social media posts, as a new generation of influencers is witnessing growing day by day. With payments reaching up to 2000 euros per post, this industry is being embraced in Albania…

There is no way you can not know Chiara Ferragni. Young, beautiful, an Italian blonde who became one of the richest influencers in the world, 'profession' which came to her being a 'street style', with a fashion blog at a young age. Its retail business is now valued at around $ 30 million a year. Its followers have reached 18.5 million, by comparison, surpassing the entire population of the Netherlands. Inspiration for young girls who want to be bloggers and among the pioneers of the influencer generation, at the time of the development of digital marketing.

But how did the 'influencer era' come about? What makes them a whole generation, a new profession, a real business in the momentum of technological development of our days?

Influencers have existed for almost as long as there have been celebrities or VIPs, but the development of social media has given them a new impetus and opportunity. The first cases of advertising famous products occurred a century ago, when the royal family advertised the prestige of luxury goods.

A new category of famous influencers evolved in the twentieth century with people having fun following the activities of famous actors, musicians and professional athletes. In many ways, celebrities initiated this trend.
As people move away from traditional media and spend more time on social media, fashion trends have further developed this group of influencers.

These modern influencers are social media personalities with loyal audiences created through regular, direct communication with their followers. According to them, this profession requires work and investment in time.

Olti Curri, how he revolutionized the market for a decade

The market of influencers in Albania has started to be known only in recent years and one of the pioneers in this field, for which the whole community agrees, is Olti Curri. Currently (but the numbers are constantly changing) he has 255 thousand followers on "Instagram".

Olti says that it all started about 10 years ago, on the "Facebook" platform, where it started operating as a community, with more and more followers.

According to him, for a good part of the Albanian influencers that he counts now, everything started 'easier' from the fact that they were media people. Today, his Facebook page has about 250,000 followers and has a staff that manages it. Although "Instagram" has received more attention, Olti says that for him, loyal followers are also those of "Facebook".

According to him, the popularity in the days of networking and technology, should turn into profit. "Social networks are something commercial and it helps you to do this profession. I first campaigned for an Italian clothing company in 2010 and self-proclaimed, something strange for a time when the advertising budget was only thought of on television, radio, billboards or print.

"After the first campaign, when the impact was seen, the marketing staff of mainly foreign companies suggested that they allocate advertising budgets to bloggers as well," says Olti. He adds that, "your product resembles you, can not be different", signaling that influencers must be clear in the type of marketing they do, to be as realistic and with relevant content.

"I am not one to say that a post costs so much, a post leads you nowhere, it does not make you a professional, you definitely need a strategy, you need to know the product or service and know what to communicate", says Olti about the structure of the work that follows.

He adds that already, in his portfolio there are a number of companies in different sectors that have clients and that have long contracts with them. In terms of prices, he adds that on average, an annual campaign costs 15 thousand euros.
There is definitely competition, according to Olt, however there are few who work formally in this market, most are undeclared. This, in fact, affects a price disorder in the market.

Olti adds at the end that the time of advertising on social networks is gone from just a beautiful character who learns words by heart. Increasingly, content is required on the image and effectiveness and credibility of the character making the ad.

Aulona Musta, the influencer as a profession

About 4 years ago, it started operating strongly in Albania. Not Aulona Musta as a character, she is known earlier than that, in the market of showbiz journalists. But, the tendency to practice the 'profession of influencer', which according to her, is a real profession.

"It simply came to our notice then. For the group that we are still in the market of influencers and that we are already credible, started by accident. Initially friends asked us to 'honor' how to make a product or service public and over the years, these services that we provide began to be structured.

It later became a real profession, seeing the impact we had on followers. "Seeing the trend in the world, that marketing was turning into digital, I took it very seriously to invest my time and turn it into a real job", says Aulona.

In this profession, according to her, it is very important to be trusted. Aulona Musta counts 286 thousand followers.

"Being an influencer is a job in itself, which has costs and requires commitment in time, since there are no set schedules, no days off. It is not just a post, but you have to follow all the links back, followers to ask, answers, experiences, etc. ", she adds. Companies in Albania have increasingly realized this change, a good part of them plan from the beginning of their budgets advertising on social networks.

Aulona says that, compared to everywhere in the world, there is a difference in tariffs, because it is still new in Albania. However, according to her, development steps are being seen here as well, it is turning into a well-paid profession.
"As in any field, there is competition. I, even when talking to various business representatives who turn to me for a particular product or service, tell them that it is not enough to see the number of followers of an X person, but how many potential buyers for the business these followers are.

A kind of more detailed analysis is needed for the audience. "You can have 50,000 followers and you have more influence for a product or service than a profile with 500,000 followers, but who follow the character for other reasons, not for credibility as a person or model", says Aulona.
As for prices, she says they are mostly standardized.

"I maintain a kind of balance. They are not always fixed, it depends on the campaign, the type of business, etc. "I work with 3-4 packages, which depend on the company, longevity, etc.", she claims. Aulona adds at the end, that on her "Instagram" she advertises products for which she is a customer or user, in order to be as real as possible.

Fatma Haxhialiu, from Instagram posts to business

Fatma has 191 thousand followers on "Instagram" and as in an evolving network ecosystem, the number is growing day by day.
She is known as a showbiz journalist and then a moderator, but at the same time Fatma Haxhialiu is already part of the group of influencers in Albania, who are taking advantage of their popularity on social networks.

As she claims, in our country the trend was born by chance, in the form of honors and then, seeing the impact they could have on their followers, businesses were "offered" this form of marketing, which was more effective than the traditional one.

Fatma has introduced a line of hair products, a business which is still in its infancy, because as she says, one of the most sought-after tips on social media had to do with hair and hair care. As a model that is also borrowed from influencers everywhere in the world, popularity can translate into business.

Sara Karaj, business started by passion

She is known as the sweet girl of the first youtube videos in Albanian, which instructed young girls on how to trick or use make up. Then, the year 2020 finds Sarah with a business of her own in this field, as well as with over 77 thousand followers on "Instagram".

I initially started sharing my work and passion on Youtube. As the first youtuber to create videos in Albanian, I think this has been my advantage.

"Instagram" has given me a very big boost, although "Youtube" made me more popular. At the time of my first videos, YouTube was only used to listen to music. "Through Instagram, I then tried to direct people to YouTube," Sara said of her beginnings.

On how business ad selection works, Sara says platforms like hers, with video tutorials for mostly cosmetic products, represented by ordinary people, share their experiences with followers, in the form of tips and suggestions.

"I do the same. The companies that contact me are numerous. So far I may have accepted 30% of collaborations that have been offered to me, as I have decided to accept collaborations with companies that have very popular products in the market.

I have had requests from followers on YouTube or Instagram to try them out. I first test the products for 30 days (unless a first impression video is created for those products), then decide whether or not to share it with followers. In some cases I have refused collaborations because I did not like their products. "There were videos that I tried products and I did not like and I shared this opinion with my followers", says Sara.

Regarding the difficulties of work, she says that there have been problems with the mentality of companies in Albania.
"I think the companies here need a much more advanced marketing team than the ones they use. For more research and also more ideas and desire to set the company up. "Many of the companies in Albania have remained in the era of newspapers and magazines, from which our generation is hardly influenced", she concludes.

Estela Ujka, from blogger to influencer

For years, Estela has always been ready to share the latest fashion tips with her followers, who initially viewed her on her clothing blog all over Tirana. Then, not a little surprised was the fact how an economist in a second-tier bank, liked fashion and spent for it.

Over the years, Estela says it took a lot of work, investment in clothing and accessories to become a fashion blogger, a window that gave her the opportunity to have over 72,000 followers on Instagram and to consider the work of influencer as a true profession.

"The power of social or digital marketing is undeniable, so the sooner companies understand it, the better it will be for their promotion. I think Albanian celebrities are in a confusing period, how they should use their space on social media. Despite the fact that the market is now being structured even more.

As long as Albanian companies in Albania do not measure the traffic brought by an influencer or successful sales, it is impossible to measure the real effect of a post, so all you will consider are the number of followers or clicks of a website, in which most cases are manipulated. "The characters who take over the promotion on social media should be a little controlled when they decide to identify with a product, as in the end they lose the credibility of their followers, if they post without any criteria only for advertising", says Estela, now a mother of three girls.

According to her, the difficulties of being a blogger in Albania are mainly related to the fact that most companies are still skeptical of the impact that digital or social marketing has. "Despite the fact that in recent years it has changed somewhat," she said.

"Bloggers are not sales managers, but influential and selling them is not direct selling. So measuring the effect is a bit difficult for companies. I think we are at the beginning of this industry and we are writing the way, so collaborations are growing. "All statistics say that most of the time is spent on the phone, so it is inevitable that the promotion will take place there", Estela concludes.

How is the work of the influencer in Albania?

A company addresses an influencer and by presenting the product or service, at the same time seeks quantitative data of the person in question, how many followers it has, how much traffic it generates, what campaigns it has done before and what impact it has had, etc. On the other hand, the influencer is informed about the company and the products / services it has. Decided on the price. In the beginning, prices were based on print advertising prices, a kind of conversion of the number of copies by the number of readings. Over the years, the market began to mature and prices to unify. However, there are differences in the forms of campaigns that take place and the requirements of the companies themselves.


Various brands around the world, have been quick to notice the power of social media influencers in their target markets. A recent WhoSay study shows that 70% of U.S. agency and brand dealers said they "agree" that influencers' marketing budgets increased in 2019. Marketing expenses for influencers have grown rapidly in recent years, and reports indicate that it is expected to be a $ 5-10 billion market by 2020. At the heart of digital marketing are undoubtedly the influencers who have good popularity.

How does popularity translate into figures for Albanian influencers?

According to the advertising agency "MCcann Tirana", over the years, things have become more serious and many more companies have become aware of the inalienable role of influencers and their direct impact on consumers.

Therefore, the prices have started to be as serious as the size that this profession is taking.
Sources close to the agency claim that the payments consist mainly of 2-5 euros per 1000 followers. As Albanian influencers are increasingly accumulating a higher number of loyal followers, the payments have reached over 2000 euros for a post on "Instagram".


From micro-influencers, people with less than 100,000 followers, to VIPs: on social media, they can make a lot of money.
According to the data, the average cost for a photo sponsored on Instagram has increased by 44% from 2018 to 2019. For a sponsored blog post, the price has increased from $ 7.39 in 2006 to $ 1442 in 2019 -n.

How much does it cost

Youtube videos have seen the biggest increase, from $ 420 in 2014 to $ 7,600 in 2019. A Facebook-sponsored status costs $ 395 today, while a Twitter post costs $ 422. .

Market, amid informality

Influencers are thought to be leaders who generate themes and set trends among an audience of followers, positioning them in a certain direction, to partner with brands, on sponsored content. Influencers are 'competing' the traditional advertising market and spreading the message of a brand to the target audience in an authentic, natural way. Influencers generally make money from approving products on their site - which should be clearly labeled as advertisements because of the rules of the Advertising Standards Authority. In Albania, the market is not yet structured and not every influencer works formally.

Types of influencers

1. VIPs

2. Industry experts and leaders in a field

3. Bloggers

4. Micro-influencers

Influencers and sponsorship

The marketing company 'Izea' found that the average price of an Instagram-sponsored photo has risen from $ 134 (104 104) in 2014 to $ 1,642 (1, 1,276) in 2019. Apparently, the brands are ready pay large sums of money to sponsor posts, videos, stories and blogs.

The report describes studies on sponsored posts on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. From micro-influencers, who are people with less than 100,000 followers, to celebrities, it was discovered that a large amount of money had been earned.

Some of the study findings show:

• The average cost for a photo sponsored on "Instagram" has increased by 44% from 2018 to 2019

• For a sponsored blog post, payment has increased from $ 7.39 in 2006 to $ 1,442 in 2019

• YouTube videos, from $ 420 in 2014 to $ 6,700 in 2019

• Payment for Facebook status update increased from $ 8 in 2014 to $ 395 in 2019

• Payment for a Twitter post has increased from $ 29 in 2014 to $ 422 in 2019

• Payments for blog posts have increased from $ 407 to $ 1,442.

How the Instagram Influencer Industry Works Today

In a little less than a decade since the inception of Instagram, a growing number of celebrities, fitness 'gurus', fashion bloggers, stylists, actors and more have turned to the social network photo -centric to build a new revenue stream.

Once 'created' on Instagram, many influencers branch out according to brand content, product line, podcasts or videos, and even their online tutorials. At the heart of this industry is a simple premise: people can turn their popularity into profit. Sometimes, in lots of profit. Top-paid influencers like Kylie Jenner could make more than $ 1 million for an Instagram post, according to a recent report.

10 stars who earn the most money for an Instagram post

Kylie Jenner is confirmed at the top of the ranking of the highest paid stars on "Instagram". On the photo social network, a Jenner post could be worth more than $ 1.2 million according to the Instagram Rich List 2019.

This classification was made by Hopper HQ, a British company that sells management and marketing services on social networks. Also on the podium is the singer Ariana Grande and the Portuguese star of Juventus, Cristiano Ronaldo, whose posts are worth respectively 996 and 975 thousand dollars.

Although Kylie Jenner is an influencer who earns more money than others for her publications, with a net worth estimated at $ 1 billion, the model and CEO of "Kyliecosmetics" became famous on the reality show "E!" (American paid channel).

But even though Ariana Grande has more followers (160 million) than Kylie Jenner (140 million), her fortune is estimated at "only" $ 50 million, while Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has 176 million followers on Instagram. His fortune, according to Hopper HQ is less than half that of Kylie Jenner ($ 450 million).
The top 10 of the special classification closes with Kim Kardashian, Selena Gomez, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Neymar and Justin Biber.

On the podium of influential athletes Leo Messi (in third place) is behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr, followed by David Beckham (in fourth place), who hung his shoes on the nail in 2013. Beckham's posts are worth $ 357 million , more than Lakers basketball star LeBron James, and other former footballer Ronaldinho. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Gareth Bale are also in the top 10, with 200 thousand dollars per post./MONITOR


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