Being a social media influencer sounds like a bit of a doss, but in many cases it's a full-time job. 

The role of a social media influencer used to sound like a made up job. How could anyone other than the likes of Kylie Jenner, Lewis Hamilton or a Love Island contestant make money from it? 

Well, the realm of influencer marketing is a multi-billion-dollar industry used by millions across the world as their main source of income. 

But you don’t need to be ultra-famous to make a good wage from social media influencing as the average UK wage for someone with more than 42,575 followers is £29,009. 

What is an influencer?

A social media influencer is someone who has created an online identity that they use to market products or businesses for money. 

Much like an entrepreneur, social media influencers use their platforms to find and exploit a niche. 

With more people than ever working from home, perhaps it’s time to take a page out of these Southend  based influencers books and try your hand at a bit of self-branding.

Sophie Holley

@soph_fitxx

25k followers

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Fitness guru Sophie Holley started going to the gym in 2017, after seeing progress with her physique she became hooked on the gym. 

However, Miss Holley only created her Instagram account in January of this year and has already managed to rack up more than 25,000 followers. 

She said: "I don't really know how it happened, I just keep posting and people seem to like it. 

"I put up some polls and when people said they wanted at home workouts I started to upload them on every other post."

Now, she has gone on to collaborate with brands such as @gluteywear, @origyn_coe and @insta_fit. 

Most impressively she is supported by the international fitness brand Women’s Best who specialise in female nutrition and sportswear. 

Looking towards the future, she said: "Since I created my Instagram I've decided to train to become a personal trainer. I want to start putting out guides and hopefully training one to one in a gym.

"I just want to help as many people as possible, that's my favourite part." 

Ellie Brotherton

@elliebmua

8k followers

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Ellie Brotherton is a professional makeup artist who has a home studio in Southend

She’s made a business from creating jaw dropping looks for all occasions and also offers one to one lessons.

She said: "Three years ago I got a job at Mac and before that I'd been completely self taught. 

I then decided to leave Mac and go freelance so then I started posting pictures of clients makeup online". 

Her instagram feed is filled with looks to get you looking snatched in no time which is surely why she has amassed more than 8,000 followers. 

At the start of the year Ellie created her YouTube account where subscribers can get to know her a bit better and follow along to some makeup tutorials. 

She said: "I wanted to start a YouTube channel since I was 13 but I never really had the confidence to focus my profiles on me.

"During lockdown I had no other option than to start posting pictures of myself and making my YouTube and TikToks. It's all spiralled from there."

Juliet Sear

@julietsear

61.4k followers

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TV cook, author and food stylist, Juliet Sear used to own Fancy Nancy on Rectory Grove in Leigh-on-Sea until she closed its doors in 2016. 

Now her career has seen her making appearances on This Morning making things from slime to eclairs and even Holly Willoughby’s birthday cake. 

Followers are treated to an array of beautiful baking inspiration and sneak peaks behind the scenes on set at ITV and STV. 

Danielle Zarb-Cousin

@daniellezarbx

31.3k followers

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Danielle Zarb-Cousin is a model from Thorpe Bay who writes a heartbreak blog posting poignant stories about love and loss. 

The brunette beauty was engaged to Love Island star Jonny Mitchell until she broke it off at the end of last year over fears he had cheated on her. 

Have we missed your favourie influencer? Let us know in the comments.