Blogging & Influencing FAQ: Part II

Hey guys! Back with your blogging & influencing questions part II! If you missed part I, you can find it here. Alright, let’s dive in!

-When to say no to a brand? I cover all that in this blog post! This blog will also probably helpful too–Why You Should be Particular About the Sponsored Content You Post.

-Tips for beginning stages for staying consistent and creating valuable content?  Consistency is so important! I think organization here is key especially if you are balancing another (full-time) job. Let’s say you work monday-friday at your other job and have the weekends off. You probably then want to plan that every Saturday and/or Sunday that you’re creating enough content to get you through the upcoming week. This is typically called “batching” as you’re working in batches. So maybe Saturday you sit down and write all your blogs for the upcoming week, and Sunday is the day you get ready and take all your photos for IG and the blog, etc. Having pre-planned days where you’re shooting and knowing exactly what photos your going to take, or what you’re going to write about will help keep you organized and consistent.

As far as valuable content, you always want to ask is what I’m saying: educating (think a tutorial), informing, entertaining, or inspiring? Not every post has to be super deep –it may be directing people to your IG stories where you shared a tutorial, a grocery haul, etc. But I think a good rule of thumb is that at least every 3rd (IG) post your providing people with some sort of value through one of these 4 ways. Especially when you’re starting out and trying to build more credibility for your brand. Give people a reason to come to you!

-How to reach out to brands? I think the best way to reach out to brands is through email as it’s the most professional but you can use their IG DMs or LinkedIn when looking for the right contact regarding their influencer marketing. When reaching out to a brand, you want it to be a brand that you’ve personally used and can attest to and/or have shared about before. You need to have some reason to reach out besides “love your brand, let’s collaborate!” You want to come from a place of how can I support you? Vs. What can you do for me?

For example, last summer I bought a pair of ECCO shoes and wore them all around Italy. I was obsessed. They were cute, went with practically every outfit, and didn’t give me any blisters even though I was walking for hours on end. I shared about them organically a few times during the trip, and continued to share when I got home because I truly loved them and wanted to share them with y’all so you could have the same experience. Several months later I then reached out to the brand about potentially collaborating. I shared my experience wearing their sneakers all around Italy, some of the sales I had seen come in through reward style, and that I would love to talk about how I could further support them. It took some time finding the right contact (on LinkedIn) and a few follow-up emails (don’t give up so easily if you don’t hear back right away), but a few months later I signed a 4 month partnership with them, and then this year I signed a year long contract with them.

-How to gain followers on LTK? Honestly, this is something I am still learning about myself! I started using LTK consistently at the beginning of this year so it’s not something I put a ton of time and effort into. However, I do know that when you’re signed up though rewardstyle, they will send out emails with updates on what people are buying the most of, what hashtags are trending in the app, etc. So that can be a great place to start in terms of what type of content to share in the app to help get more eyes on your posts!

-How to grow a following and stay engaged? Be consistent, give value, and give the type of engagement you want to receive in return. I don’t want to say don’t worry about the numbers because some numbers are a great indicator of what content your audience enjoys seeing most and responds to, and can be an indicator if you’re on the right track or need to switch it up. But as a general rule, I think it’s important to not be so focused on the numbers and worry about the content and value you are providing. The only way to know if something is really working and/or resonating with your audience is to really give it 100% for several months and then re-evaluate. I’m not saying that you’ll see huge growth in just a few months but what I am saying, is usually within several months time you can see if what you’re posting about is gaining traction or if you need to try and mix it up a bit.

-How did you get started? I initially started my blog in the end of 2014/start of 2015 to share beauty, style, and then healthy recipes when I got more into fitness. Several months later, in 2015 I started my IG account because I wanted to help hold myself accountable living a healthier lifestyle. So at the time, both were places that I was just sharing content because I enjoyed it. I then took a pause on my blog because I started nursing school and didn’t have a lot of extra time, but I kept my IG going because it was a place that helped keep me motivated to “stay on track” with my fitness goals during nursing school. Overtime, I realized that instead of me going to other accounts for accountability and motivation, that girls were coming to me for that as well! Like I had been doing though, I just keep posting my fitness based content. Then as several years passed, I slowly transitioned into more lifestyle content and realized that I could do this as a side-hustle and eventually a full-time job.

-Any tips for using WordPress or another site to get started? In general there are so many free sites/templates out there that I would recommend not paying to have a custom blog design up front. Before investing, you want to make sure that this is something you’re going to stick with long term. Also, there are so many free templates now that look amazing! So no need to spend your money on investing in a site. I use WordPress, and the great thing about WordPress is that it can be super customizable later down the road (but it can also mean that there can be a lot of technical issues to troubleshoot). But I would recommend looking into WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, or Tonic.

-Apps or systems to be more efficient? My manager and I use Monday (which is a CRM) and it’s been super helpful. We have boards that are broken down into brand payments, deliverables, due dates, brands we’ve reached out to in the past, etc. It is definitely easier having everything in one place especially when you are trying to juggle a lot of different deliverables/due dates and brands.

Let me know if y’all have any other questions!!

Ps. If you didn’t know, Johanna and I created a course called Monetize Your Influence that dives into all. of. this. Plus more. Johanna is a girl on my team, who is a IG strategist so the two of us together put everything we knew into one course!

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