MAFS’ Martha tight-lipped on influencer pay
Two years ago, Martha Kalifatidis was working four jobs to make ends meet and had very little social media presence.
Today the former makeup artist makes a comfortable living as an influencer with nearly 300,000 Instagram followers.
Kalifatidis said appearing on Channel 9's controversial Married At First Sight earlier this year completely changed her life.
But she told Confidential her new job as an influencer was not as easy as it looked. And she admits it might not last forever.
"I used to work four jobs. In 2017, I had four jobs working 60 hours a week to support my lifestyle … I feel like once upon a time, I was on the other side thinking 'how do influencers afford their (glamorous lifestyles)?'" she said.
"A lot of it is smoke and mirrors. People see a photo and think 'oh, all they do is post a photo and get paid for it'. Man, if I tell you what goes into posting a photo.
"So much goes into it - I think influencers do get a bit of a bad rap."
Kalifatidis would not confirm or deny rumours that she's paid up to $10,000 per post on Instagram.
"I feel like talking about money and figures is a little bit crass," she said on Sunday.
"I'd be embarrassed to say, not because it's too low or high, but then people start to do the numbers."
But marketing expert Stella Ungphongphan of SoGal Sydney told Confidential $10,000 per post is not unusual for a prominent influencer such as Kalifatidis.
"It can seem unrealistic but the reality is for some businesses, particularly small to medium-size businesses, there's often a correlation between rapid growth and influencer endorsements," Ms Ungphongphan said.
"So when return on investment is high, businesses are all too happy to invest in influencers because it clearly pays off."
Kalifatidis, 31, was once criticised for living off her parents. However she said this was never the case.
She said while she does live at home in Melbourne, she supports herself financially.
"I've made some money now and I want to be able to shout them dinners and drinks and do things like that, so I'm absolutely not living off my parents," she said.
The self-confessed shopaholic said there are certain hacks through apps like ShopBack that help limit her spending by giving her cash back.
"Everyone's always asking, 'how can you afford your lifestyle?' And there are little hacks … that's why I love ShopBack," she said.
Kalifatidis said her social media platform was one of the best things to have come out of MAFS but she accepts that life as an influencer might not last forever.
"I know how quickly things can come and they can go just as quick. I don't like to hold onto anything or get too attached to anything," she said.
"Life's funny and always throwing curveballs at you, you've got to take it in your stride and work with it. If I have to go back to my 9-5 job … it doesn't mean that my life is over."
She said there are also downsides to being in the public eye, such as being harshly judged for her past mistakes.
The reality star, who is still dating her TV "husband" Michael Brunelli, was once criticised for pouring red wine on their co-star Cyrell Paule during a heated clash on MAFS and she said the backlash still haunts her.
"I'm on a journey and I'm learning. The past year, I've just grown so much as a person," she said.
"I really am trying to use my influence for the greater good and I have a few little things up my sleeve that I'm planning on doing.
"I did actually hit up a few charities and like … the saddest thing is I was turned down because of my reputation.
"The best part of this all is using my influence for the greater good instead of just looking hot and posting photos and talking about makeup.
"It's a slow process. You've really got to work your way up."
ShopBack is giving away a huge $40,000 worth of prizes to celebrate the start of ShopFest on Friday, 1 November.
Bargain-hunting Aussies can enter the globe at Sydney's Martin Place on Friday, 1 November to snatch as many vouchers as they can in 30 seconds.