The managing director of a social media influencer platform says teens hoping to be the next Zoella should prepare for a difficult journey.

Influencers on Instagram alone are now collectively valued at substantially more than a billion dollars a year, with competition for eyeballs increasing all the time.

However those who are successful could end up working with major brands, according to Gergo Csiszár, founder of Post for Rent.

“It's a rough ride,”  Csiszár told BusinessCloud. “You have to do it right and it takes a lot of time to create really good quality content. It's getting more difficult day-by-day.”

Set up in 2015, the marketplace allows brands to connect with social media influencers to endorse products, share brand messages or trial a company’s services with their engaged following.

“It's the same advice you would have given 20 years ago to someone who wanted to be a TV presenter. It is a legitimate role but you have to do it the right way,” he said.

Headquartered in Budapest with offices in Swindon as well as the US, Hong Kong and Hungary, Post for Rent now has almost 37,000 influencers on its platform which it connects to both small and large brands including Dove, H&M, Nike and Tampax.

“If aspiring influencers have a plan and a specific area they want to focus on like fashion, food, travel or gaming, if they've found their passion, then it's a good idea,” he advised.

Unlike a celebrity agency, the company uses data to find and authenticate influencers across the platform, filtering out ‘fake’ followers. Its software then helps to categorise influencers and rank them, before letting brands tap in to their database of influencers and their unique follower base. It promises to pay influencers for their endorsements within three days, even if the client is yet to pay out.

The company hopes its platform and accompanying apps will make it easier for brands to work with the growing number of influencers which might otherwise be hard to find.

Csiszár also hopes that as more of the population moves online and discovers their own influencers, less-obvious brand partnerships will become available.

“For brands who suit influencers as a lifestyle, for example, FMCG products or fashion brands, it's really easy to find influencers. For other companies, such as pharmacies, it's much more difficult.

“What would a private hospital do with influencer marketing?”

Post for Rent hopes to use data to answer that question by building a community of influencers and harnessing data to connect brands with the perfect influential online personality.

“We believe in the future there will be so many influencers that you won't really have time to handpick them,” said  Csiszár.

Post for Rent recently closed a funding round and is opening another after significant levels of interest. The firm is currently making plans to move “aggressively” into the US and countries in Africa within the next 12 months.