I’ve been blogging since 2013 and on social media in the past three years. I started out when I was on maternity leave with baby #2 and then after I returned to work, I continued to blog as a hobby. My blog became a place to record my “pregnancy diary”, share our family life and favourite products and connect with other mums.
I started working with brands on sponsored campaigns in early 2015, then in November 2015, I had to leave work as was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent quite gruelling treatment.
I set myself a goal, to continue to build my income through blogging and social media so that I would not have to go back to working for someone else. It happened!
Even five years on, I struggle with comparison sometimes. I am envious of those with more followers, better photography skills or who are having success in the areas I want to succeed in.
I try to use that emotion to motivate myself to do better and to improve on what I have done before, rather than compare myself to others. Wow, it’s hard though!
Another challenge is that I’m sad to say I’m asked to work for free so often. Every day, I’m asked to share press releases of products on my blog in return for nothing. I have to constantly explain that I’m not a Journalist and an Editor isn’t paying me a salary. If a brand doesn’t pay me to help promote their product, no one does. High res images do not pay bills.
I do not charge for all content I create but I don’t think it should be assumed that I won’t.
Oh, and finally, don’t get me started on social media algorithms! That’s a constant challenge.
What are you looking for in cooperation? What are your expectations?
I’m lucky to have worked with brands who value my input at the conceptual stage. They know that I know my audience well and the kind of content that resonates with them.
Do we get it right 100% of the time? No, occasionally mine or their expectations might not have been met. But that is so very rare.
I have a long list of the same brands who collaborate with me time and time again. I love their product or service and they love the content I create to best showcase it to my audience.
I expect anyone I work to value my opinion and to trust me. In return, I take great accountability for the work I do and I work damn hard to deliver to my client’s expectations.
How do you feel about strict requirements concerning your content given to you by an enterprise?
I’ve worked with many brands and only a handful have set requirements that have felt overly strict.
Given that I only work with brands that I trust, rate and recommend, I think it would be rare to not be happy to include their messaging in my content.
That said, I’m honest, open and unafraid to tell a brand what does not sit well with me. One brand asked me to pretend that I had been using their products, I declined.
What key qualities will make you say “yes” to working with a brand/business?
If it’s a brand I, or my family, loves to pieces and I love what they’re doing, then I will always consider working with them.
I value brands who want to make a meaningful difference to the lives of my audience. To help them get even more out of live, to make the most of their time or to build a better future for their families.
Also, honesty about their requirements and expectations and trust in me are all essential.
Finally, I appreciate it when a brand has taken the time to get to know me before approaching me. A quick trip to my About page has the essentials and if they read one or two posts on the blog or social, they will get an idea of what I’m about.
What key qualities will make you say “no” to working with a brand/business?
I will never work with a brand rep who asks me to lie about anything.
If a brand, product or service goes against my values, or just isn’t going to go down well with my audience, I will say No upfront too. They won’t get the return on their investment and I risk losing followers who think I’m no longer appealing to them.
It’s a constant learning exercise for me – I look back on my content to see what has gone down well and what has missed the mark.
What are the key do’s and don’t’s brands should follow in working with micro influencers?
I would say the same to a brand working with a micro or macro influencer – to choose them based on who they are and who their audience is.
Whilst I might not influence the masses, if I’m your target customer, my audience likely is too. (That said, don’t assume that because I have a smaller reach, I don’t expect to be paid for my time, effort and reach.)
I understand that when working with micro influencers, brands are often engaging a high number of them for each campaign. I still think we need to be given the freedom to create content that is true to our story and will work best with our audience. I’m sure the logistics of getting that content approved might be harder but the return would surely be much better.
I’ve lost count of the micro influencer campaigns I’ve seen where the wording, and even imagery, is almost identical.
I don’t want to bang a drum for micro influencers other than that – I think there are pros of working with both micro and macro influencers.
I think what is more important is mutual honesty and respect between brands and content creators. Set clear expectations at the off set, deliver to a clear brief, be transparent and be grateful.
When a brand I love reaches out to me, or hires me, I’m so delighted and thankful. After a campaign ends, the feedback I’ve had in thank you cards and emails is the icing on the cake.
What’s one of the biggest rewards you’ve experienced as a micro influencer?
Becoming a brand ambassador for some of my all-time favourite brands has been amazing. I’m so delighted to work with brands professionally that I’ve adored for years and to create meaningful content together.
I also have a very personal connection to my audience. I have shared the many ups and downs in my life and when subscribers email me each week, thanking me for my candidness, sharing their experiences and asking for advice, it’s just wonderful.
To have a job that I love, that allows me to be creative and pay our bills and that helps other women like me, well it’s the best job I’ve ever had!
What’s one of the common misconceptions about working with influencers?
That we shouldn’t be paid to create content for brands. This is especially difficult to justify when some creators, albeit very few I know of, do not disclose their content as sponsored.
But, properly disclosed sponsored content will perhaps always receive less engagement than the non-sponsored stuff.
Do you have any predictions for the future of the micro influencer?
I can foresee a rise in the number of micro influencers and them becoming even more micro. Micro-ier? In the parenting space I’m in, I’m already seeing an increase in the number of non-influencer parents being engaged to promote their products.
I love it – because, as a mum of two young kids, I turn to my mum’s group for advice first. When I see them, or the micro influencers I follow, sharing the things that are working for their families, I want to know more. I want their secrets! They are the people I trust.
About The Right Fit
I love the formality of the platform – it’s very transparent and professional too. I apply for jobs, if the brand is interested, they get back to me and we can chat about if I’m right for the campaign, and if they’re right for me, before we commit.
Working with TRF takes away a lot of the back and forth between brands that I might usually have when pitching myself or when I’m pitched to. I still retain full control over the content and the relationship but I like that it’s regulated through the system. Plus, no chasing late payments!
Finally, it’s an inclusive platform for influencers at all levels – there are opportunities for us all.
Twitter : @lovefrommim