Most Influencers Have a 3% or Less Engagement Rate. How Does This One Have 16.55%?

Heather Morgan (@heatherrmorgann) is an illustrator, brand ambassador and microinfluencer. She also happens to have a sky-high engagement rate, a key metric in getting brands’ attention. We sat down with her to see how it’s done.


You have a 16.55% engagement rate, according to The Gramlist’s software. Most brands are happy to work with influencers who have 3%. What do you make of that unique position as a micro-influencer?

I definitely attribute my high engagement rate to my dedication to and focus on building relationships with my followers! Brands that I work with can know that although my audience is small, I interact with them on a daily basis and create targeted, specific content. My followers trust me (I hope!) and know that whatever I’m posting, I have them in mind.

Can you describe your content strategy for us? What do you focus on/absolutely not touch?

Currently I’m focusing on colorfully styled body positivity and art related content. I post once a day, every day of the week, and really try to make sure that my captions are relatable and discuss topics relevant to the body positivity and art communities. Sometimes this requires a few hours of research— scrolling through tags and reading conversations in order to find inspiration. But it’s always worth it! I also want my followers to feel as if they know me personally. I want to create content that is always authentic. I sometimes write lengthy captions about my personal life— whether I’m struggling with confidence or relationships or whatever it is that week. People want to see honest content. That is truly my passion! As an influencer, I feel like it’s very easy to get caught up in offers from brands that you do not necessarily want to work with. If there’s anything I purposefully avoid, it is getting involved with brands that I am not 100% in love with. For example, many swimsuit brands contact me and want me to become ambassadors or influencers— but I cannot say yes because the brands do not represent many different body types, ethnicities, disabilities, etc. Often, models for swimsuit companies are tall, skinny, and probably a size 0. I have to remind myself that their followers will not respond well to my brand, since I am plus size. And I cannot work with someone who does not create content that aligns with mine.

…What about the scope of your Etsy business?

When it comes to my Etsy shop, Cityheat, I like to focus on body positivity, female empowerment, custom portraits, and the beauty of the human body. Although I did not start out in the body positivity niche, I’ve found that I fit in quite nicely! I just made my 30th sale, and I’m growing quickly! It’s really exciting because it’s taken about seven months to get to this point. In terms of strategy, I’m planning on raising my prices soon, as well as producing different types of products. Recently, I released a sticker pack that has probably been my most popular item! I’m also planning on selling t-shirts, tote bags, socks, keychains and more!

What do you think lies ahead for your account, for micro-influencers at large, and for the social media marketing sphere in general?

Growth, growth, growth! I hope that my Instagram account continues to grow. I am learning new techniques when it comes to photo editing, hoping to purchase a new camera soon, and have been doing lots of research on reaching out to new audiences! I’m about to hit 2,000 followers— a small, but exciting, accomplishment! I would really like to hit at least 10,000 followers within the next six months.  I would also like to work with art supply companies as an influencer, as well. I have been working with several clothing and shoe companies, but I would like to expand! Micro-influencers really are, in my opinion, the best of the best! Their audiences are small, but that allows for closer, individualized relationships. I hope that brands would come to realize that the number of people that influencers reach out to is not necessarily as important as the value that close relationships can bring to their companies. When micro-influencers recommend a brand, it seems more authentic— more personal. Social media marketing is definitely the future of product marketing. People are on social media almost constantly— it’s how people receive their news, connect with friends, and keep up with the world around them. If I were a big brand trying to spread the news about my product, I’d definitely get in with some micro-influencers!

How would you define “authenticity”? What draws you to other accounts?

I would define authenticity as being real and genuine in everything that you do. I never want to appear to be anything that I’m not. And even if it means I’m a little embarrassed, or afraid, or shy— I’m going to be myself! I don’t think I’ll ever stop trying to figure out who I am. I love being able to share my authentic life with others, so that maybe they’ll feel a little less alone in this super weird world! I am always drawn to other accounts who don’t hold back— even the gritty, uncomfortable, embarrassing parts of their lives. It’s so refreshing to see the un-retouched version of someone’s life. Instagram can overwhelm you with beautiful, flawless photos; I love those that are unapologetic and totally real.