Author Emma Mildon says she attracted over 32,000 Instagram followers by "speaking my truth and having an opinion and sharing my lifestyle and what I like doing".
But that's not the whole story because Emma is a professional influencer – someone paid to advertise branded products on their personal social media account.
"I really do watch what people engage with – whether they're going to like and engage with a post of me showing my emotion or a post of a puppy or a post of a bottle of wine I'm having that evening. It varies. I learn as I go."
If you're not being authentic people will see straight through you, Emma says.
"You actually have to try and be a real person … If you go somewhere and have a crap coffee but my panini's really great I'm going to be honest about the panini but say, yeah, probably not the best coffee.
"When you share the real vulnerable honest stuff you get the biggest, most resounding response."
At the same time, she's careful not to post anything that might alienate her followers.
"They're my business and they're following me because they're interested in my life. If I'm going to completely change who I am I'm gonna lose them."
Followers are savvy and campaigns are only successful when an influencer genuinely believes in the brand they're endorsing, says Georgia McGillivray, CEO of the Auckland influencer platform The Social Club which represents Emma.
"Then the relationship will be authentic and people can see it's a great relationship and truly believe in it."
The power of an influencer's influence is measured through impressions (the number of times a post was seen), reach (how many people saw the post) and engagement (which can be defined as the number of clicks or the number of likes, comments and shares).
The influencer marketing industry is benefitting from the rise of online ad-blockers, Georgia says.
Brand endorsement on social media is not officially deemed advertising so does not get blocked by such software.