To be a top social media influencer in 2019, you need more than just great content to enhance the appeal of your profile.

That is hardly a ground-breaking concept. But, what defines great gear for 2019 IS something new compared to when I started blogging via Sunny in London 5 years ago. Your essential gear now must be high quality and… wait for it… wait for it…



2019 Social Media Influencer: Who You Are

In 2014 the bigger your DSLR, the better you appeared to be. Busting out that Canon 5D and a several thousand dollar lens meant you knew your stuff.

But times have changed. The quality available now in mirrorless cameras, mobile phones and digital action cameras now, compared to then, is outstanding. So much so, that I actually feel silly sometimes at an event or location if I have the biggest camera. In all honesty, I kind of feel- old!

One could easily argue that is just from the neck pains due to carrying around my clunky Canon 80D around my neck all day.

Now, let’s be honest. Professional photographers will probably disagree with a lot of what I am going to write. But, let’s keep in mind who the audience is. You are likely a micro-influencer with a growing blog, Instagram or YouTube channel. You need to post content often and fast because the competition is steep.

The only things you really want to be heavy is your follower list, likes and engagement. Becoming one of the top instagram influencers, for example, will certainly take time and dedication but when you have brands breaking down your door just for the opportunity to work with you, you’ll know that all the hard work’s finally paid off.

There are no doubts about it, if you want to become a successful influencer, then engagement is everything. So whether you want to gain a following on Instagram or YouTube, then it is crucial that you are posting content that is informative, entertaining, and engaging.

Without a doubt, YouTube is a fantastic platform for aspiring influencers to share videos about things that interest them. Moreover, it is for these reasons that businesses often choose to work with influencers. However, it is no secret that if you want to get likes on Youtube and build a following then you need to post content on a regular basis. Likes and comments on YouTube videos can only be earned through hard work and perseverance. Otherwise, there is always a possibility that your subscribers will no longer interact with your posts.

You probably aren’t going to be doing this full-time for a while yet. Let us be honest. Despite all the posts you see about people who ‘quit their jobs to travel the world’, it is unlikely that you will make enough money through social media alone to support yourself in the early stages of your online career.

Further, you might not have developed your niche in product reviews, so you are buying all of your own gear. That means this gear list will keep the overall cost minimized too.

2019 Social Media Influencer: Essential Gear

Your essential gear needs to be light. Compact is the way to go. Of course you will still need a bag to keep it all together, so we will start here.

A bag to keep all your stuff organised is key. After a real disaster with electronics at Heathrow Airport security in August, I have decided never to travel without this bag. It has tons of compartments that make it easy to quickly find my essential gear. It also has zippers and clasps to keep things from falling out or vandals from taking my equipment. You can see me using it throughout my YouTube video that has Travel Tips for Visiting Nice.

Next, I suggest you get a GoPro. The crisp video it captures on a sunny day is glorious. Plus, my GoPro Hero6 films in 4K. That’s something the Canon 80D can’t do. The stabilization on this tiny camera is like butter. Again, I choose it over the Canon any day for fast, beautiful video. I also travel with the 3 Way Mount with Tripod. It fits easily in a side pocket of the backpack or inside. This mount helps get shots that might be a bit out of reach, as well as the occasional selfie video if Mr Sunny isn’t around to help. Finally, a light device (but takes up space in a suitcase because I keep it in the original box to prevent damage) is the GoPro dome. It’s cheap and allows for those perfectly focused shots half in and out of water.

These three things make filming super easy. Oh- and did I mention that the wifi capability on the GoPro rocks when it comes to uploading stuff fast to Instastories! If I want to share a 15 second video with followers fast, getting a heavy DSLR involved is just a drag. With the GoPro app, I can edit fast on my phone and post.

2019 Social Media Influencer: Phone Gadgets

Next on the list is a mobile stabilizer. This gimbal is the way to go. Again, with the app designed for it, I can pull focus and do other little tricks while I film smooth video with my phone. It also comes with a little tripod so you can create panning shots that will make you the #InstaEnvy of the Gram!

Don’t forget to grab a little lav mic for your phone too. I find Rode makes the best mics for phones. I’ve had mine for several years and tons of live stream Facebook updates.

2019 Social Media Influencer: Ditch the Tripod

If you must use a DSLR when you film, there is one gadget I recommend that will save space and weight while you work. I adore my Joby GorillaPod. It’s the only ‘tripod’ I brought with me to Malta, Vienna, Prague and Nice. I can’t even imagine dragging around a full size tripod anymore. However, when I used it to shoot YouTube videos, I also made sure to have a remote so I could easily stop and start takes of my tips in videos.

2019 Social Media Influencer: Fake Tanning?

Last but not least, I need to recommend the most important item for filming, especially from the viewpoint of the Sunny in London blog 😉 That is real light, as in fake sunshine!

Yep. Aside from crisp sound, no one wants to sit through a video with bad lighting. So, skip the big soft boxes and just screw this mini-sunshine maker on your DSLR and go.

2019 Social Media Influencer: Final Thoughts

Of course, you will want to have plenty of micro SD cards with plenty of storage ready for your GoPro, but those are common sense. Aren’t they?

What other compact devices would you add to the list, Sunny friends? Have you had any luck with clip on lenses for your phone? I keep them in my camera backpack but always feel like they are a pain to attach and use quickly.

To shop the entire Sunny in London gear list and a foodie lover gift guide, visit my Amazon shop.