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Thursday, September 24, 2020

How to Become an Instagram Influencer 2020




How to be an influencer: A post for Beginners


Are you interested in becoming a social media influencer? 8 years ago when I started the title influencer wasnt even used. We were all known as bloggers. We used social media to promote and push our blog content. Now according to omnicoreagency.com there are 500,000 active influencers on Instagram!
According to Foxbusiness.com sponsored posts can pay anywhere from $50 to more than $50,000.

If you are looking for ways to build a side hustle, work hard at it and make some money here is your guide!

What is an influencer?

An social media influencer is someone who is able to sway the decisions of potential buyers. 
 
They have the power to impact purchasing decisions. 
 
There are all kinds of influencers in different niches on social media. 

Depending on your niche and skills will determine what platform(s) you will launch on. You don't only have to be in Instagram even though this article will concentrate on Instagram but I do want to present other ones such as Tik Tok, Pinterest, Youtube and Facebook. 
 
I do recommend that you try to at least be on 2 platforms. I say this because some of these platforms may not be around in 5 years ( ex: Vine) so be thoughtful and strategic on which platform works best for your skill set and content. 
 
 
Here are 5 ways to become an Instagram Influencer:
 
1. Just start!
 
This is the first step obvi! Set up your Instagram profile. 
 
When setting it up at the beginning focus on content around a niche. This can be fashion, beauty, wellness, fitness, and lifestyle. 
 
Once you find your broad umbrella niche, try to narrow it down to a specific niche.
 
 I say this now in 2020 because there are so many fashion and beauty infuencers, so you have to come in with a specific need and point of view.  
 
Once you create your account switch it from Personal  > > Business 
 
Why?
  •  you gain access to Instagram insights. This is beyond helpful when strategizing and scheduling your content, discovering more who your audience is, where they are located, demographics etc etc! 
  • Access to contact information in your profile bio. This will make for quick access for brands to get in contact with you

2. Content Strategy

Before you grow your content I want to present this step first because I feel that value leads to longevity that implementing quick growth hacks and no tangible information to your community. You need to bring people value because value is GOLD! 

Become the go to person. 

The Authority person in the niche that you have created and strategize the content that you plan on delivering. If you are passionate about your content, you will be less likely to get bored and impatient with the process and quit. 

Passionate people see the bigger people, enjoy what they are doing and serve from a genuine place.

The goal is to create IMPACT! 

INFLUENCE DELIVERS IMPACT! 


3. Establish your branding

Many people would disagree but I think you should have some sort of  branding attached to your Instagram and brand. This is displayed by having a cohesive feed. 
 
A cohesive feed means when you look at someone's feed it all flows well in either color pallete, style or mood. 
 
It doesn't have to be a cohesive feed of all beautifully curated DSLR camera photos because some influencers are successful with iphone photos. But I think its helpful to have a look whether its certain editing style, specific pre set used to edit your photos, particular fonts or graphics used in your Stories. 
 
If you need some inspiration for this Pinterest is the place to GO! Pinterest is a great source for anything and everything inspiration. Here you can find your brand's style. 
 
Just take some time, 1 hour or less, and start pining everything that you are drawn to when it comes to your brand.  Collect photos from multiple sources and this will help you come up with a unique and personal look to your brand. 
 
This will be your guide to your brand's cohesive style.

Some apps to use to create this feed are:
  • Over
  • Adobe Lightroom App
  • VSCOCAM
  • Presets (free or purchased via Etsy or on Instagram)
Create a pattern 
 
 This is helpful when to create and follow a content calendar. It helps your grid look consistent and cool. 
You can do this scheduling the following: quotes, photos of your yourself, photos of family, flat lay, and blog post. 
This builds a easy content calendar. You can use Unum or Planoly to plan out your grid ahead of time. 

4. Grow your account

I want to express to focus on growing your account organically! Don't start off on buying followers or cheating just to develop quick growth. It won't deliver any results because brands have gotten smarter and diligent on organic growth. 
 
Don't TRIP on how many followers you have! You want people to build an engaging community and followers you have build trust with and have cultivated a relationship with them.  This will convert higher than a non organic followers.

Use hashtags

Posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement! It gives your post an opportunity to reach a huge pool of new eyes an potentially new followers. 

Tip: When entering your hashtag chose ones with a smaller usage number. This will help you have a greate chance of being seen. 

Be strategic with your hashtags and not use random ones that are not related to your posts. You can run into being flagged by Instagram for doing this. 

Follow people in your niche 
 
Search for people in your niche, follow them and engage in their feed. 
 
Please don't follow them and then follow. Its bad in taste and people notice. 
 
Use IG Stories  
 
 IG stories has become so popular since its launch. Many people prefer to view stories than feeds. 
Use this feature to share an insight of your life and who you are. Just share what you are comfortable with sharing. 
 
Posts of value

Posts that are delivering information or tips or how tos get shared and saved. When someone shares your posts to their Stories you know have a whole pool of new eyes seeing your posts and could bring them to check out your profile! 

5. Package your Influence

Now you want to monetize! 
 
If you want to work with brands you can start organizing your pitching materials:
  •  media kit
  • rate card
  • proposal template 
  • email templates
 You can reach out to brands:
  • directly via their social media page
  • join an influencer agency
  •  tag brands in your posts and bring them in to reach out to you 

This is the end of our post! 
 
I hope this was helpful to anyone that is interested in dipping their toes into the influencer marketing world! 
 
It is hard work but if you are passionate about it and stick with it, it can manifest it to an endless amount of opportunities. 
 
 




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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

3 Ways to Grow your Blog in 2020

 

Is blogging dead in 2020?? I've been seeing this headline going around all year long. In my opinion definitely not. One thing 2020 has unveiled is that corporate 9-5 jobs are not steady incomes and we all need to start finding multiple streams of income via the digital world. 

Whether you are in the beginning stages of embarking on a blogging journey or already have one but are struggling to gain traffic, amiga this post is for you! Based on many case studies I read on how bloggers have made blogging their full time jobs along with learning from live workshops and trainings, I have narrowed it down to 3 key strategies I think will help you grow your blogging audience and increase your blog traffic going forward.

This post is here to help you experiment and implement some of these strategies into your own blog and grow your traffic and community in a quick amount of time!

Amiga, if you are interested in growing your blog, keep on reading! xoxo

HOW TO GROW YOUR BLOG IN 2020!

1. Approach your content strategically

When I first started my blog it was filled with posts all about my personal journey. The posts were random and honestly all over the place. I didn't particularly focus on providing much value to my audience nor did I even understand how to maximize my impact on my site. As I have grown, my vision has shifted. I treat every post with intention and mission driven content. You want every post to attract new people to your site that are interested in a specific topic. You want to treat every post from a place of service and also invite them to take ACTION!  

We live in an Information Age. With an average of 3.5 million Google searches a day, people are looking for information and answers to their problems or how we like to call them in marketing "pain points."

There is room and space for your expertise, gifts and talents in blogging. There is a need for your expertise, personal knowledge, your story and the voice and writing style in which you deliver your information. 

No matter what your topic or topics are, strategize your content with intention and deliver it jam packed with value that will drive results that will drive growth into your bigger goals. 

Here are some tips on how to strategize your content:

  • Establish your core topics. You can start around 3-5 but this number is up to you and your interests. When coming up with the core topics you want to write about, make sure they are topics that you are passionate about. Topics that excite you or make you angry. 
  •  What are people looking for. Do some market research and a deep dive on Pinterest on some of your core topics. Research what other people are talking about. Type in the search bar in Pinterest and type in a topic and see what automates after it. 
  • Content Calendar. Look at the bigger picture when strategically planning out your content. A content calendar can help you plan out so far in advance that you can plan out 6 months in advance. This helps you organize and schedule your blog shoots, batch writing your content, editing, post dates and social media promotional posts. 

Here is a post that might help with this topic:

2.  Utilize Pinterest

I learned this year why Pinterest is better than social media for growing your blog traffic and audience. If you are not familiar with Pinterest, it is a search engine and it is not controlled by algorithms. 

On Pinterest keywords and descriptions help people find your content and click through to your site to get questions answered. Pinterest can also still drive traffic to your site from a post that is years old. It can extend your post's life cycle. Pinterest algorithm prioritizes newly added content which means that new graphics and titles count as new content no matter how old you blog post link is! This is amazing!  

3. Invest in Blogging Education 

Since lock down started this year I have used this slow down time to really invest both my money and time into webinars and online courses. Learning strategies and information on how to grow my blog, business and so much more. This business is a huge umbrella of information and no one is in expert in all things involved in blogging. 

Take courses and free webinars, watch YouTube videos and talk with other people in your niche and retain as much valuable information as possible to then put back into your blog. Like any business you don't stop growing and nurturing your business. You have to keep building on to it and its the same with blogging. 

Now it can get overwhelming because there are so many ways to grow your blog into a business and monetize it so I suggest take one topic at a time. If I could suggest one that you haven't mastered yet;  building your email list.  

Investing in your education is never wasted time and always a win win! Learning new information helps you develop and/or refine skills that you can now implement and apply into the growth of your blog to get you closer to your bigger business vision!  


Did you enjoy this post amiga!? 

I hope it was informational and helpful. Remember the world needs the God given gifts, talents, and potential that are planted inside of you!  You are LOADED! 

"For I know the plan I have for you," says the Lord...  
Jeremiah 29:11 


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Tuesday, August 25, 2020

5 WAYS TO TAKE YOUR OWN PHOTOS!

One thing you need to learn when starting a blog in order to be productive and adaptable is take your own photos. I don't mean arms length selfie style photos. Pre COVID I always worked alongside my husband for my photos whether they were indoors or outdoors. But since now going out to take photos is limited and even more so with a baby I had to pivot and make a shift. 

I started experimenting taking photos at home and using my iPhone! I first bought an affordable tripod via Amazon. It helped a lot because trying to stack books or items to prop my phone toke more time than actually taking the photos and again with a baby I am only allotted a certain amount of time until he wakes up from his nap!!!

Once I got my tripod I was able to have fun and start taking my photos. 


1. Use the save button on Instagram and create a folder titled inspiration 

Save photos you come across on IG to use as creative inspiration for your shoots. That's the first thing that I did and was motivated from a lot of photographers and other creatives to use what I had at home to create beautiful photos. 

The photo here is us in our backyard. We grabbed our backdrop stands and used an old comforter sheet to use as our backdrop. We embraced the unconventional and allowed some of the stands show in the background or the grass show. It's authentic, real and I love the simplicity of it. 

 

 
 
 
2. Get Familiar with the Self Timer

Before this I never used the self timer on my phone or DSLR camera. It one of the most under utilized functions on our devices and equipment. It has proven to be extremely helpful during these times as a ONE person show. But the best part it is FREE! 
One tip I learned: DO NOT ZOOM! You will lose the sharpness and clarity of your photo. Just move the camera closer to you. 
If you have an iPhone self timer option can be found in your camera. The timer icon looks like a clock. You can either pick 3 seconds or 10 seconds. I prefer 10 seconds to get the focus on me and pose but to each their own. 

You also want to make sure that you are in the best lighting possible. I know for me lighting is an obstacle. Where we are currently staying (my mother in laws) natural light doesn't come into her home much so I had to get experimental. I used white walls in our bedroom to abstract light and made sure I was right in front of the window. Amigas make due with what you have! 

"Well done!' the king exclaimed. 'You are a good servant. You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you, so you will be governor of ten cities as your reward.' - Luke 19:17 NLT
 
3. Make sure to clean your lens
 
I often time don't realize how dirty my camera lens is! Our phones come into contact with so much everyday that more than likely it is dirty and will create a hazy, fuzzy photo. You can give it a quick swipe down with a cloth ( I personally love the ones that come with sunglasses or eye wear) or even the top you are wearing! Make this into a habit before using your iPhone to take photos! Trust me! Its such a small detail but it will save you time and aggravation when you realize that your photos came out fuzzy because you forgot to wipe down your lens :) 
 
4. Try Portrait Mode
 
The portrait mode setting on your camera helps create depth of field effect. This lets you create a photo that keeps the subject sharp while blurring the background. You can also add lighting effects to your image using Portrait mode. 
 
Here are some ideas on how to use portrait mode:
 
a. Play with angles Change the perspective by shooting from above or below to get creative. You will be amazed how visually stunning a photo can look this way! 
b. Try black and white
c. Shoot your reflection If you have a stunning or unique mirror use it! You can capture your reflection to create a visually stunning self portrait. Many influencers use this style to shoot beauty, lifestyle or fashion shots. Don't worry if you iPhone is it in the shoot. It actually looks cool this way.
 
 
5. Up your editing or use presets
 
I really recommend this step! My photos have elevated since I started using Adobe Lightroom app on my iPhone and purchasing presets. There are many presets being sold everywhere, so choose the one that you like to purchase. I personally love ChasingDenisse presets and have purchased many of hers. 
You can also download free Adobe Lightroom presets. 
To use Adobe presets just download the app Presets for Lightroom - FLTR in the app store.
 
If you need help learning more in depth about presets and how to use the filters check out my post here:
 
 
BONUS: Ask for help! 
 
If you are having trouble executing your vision don't be afraid to ask for help. Have your background, props, outfit and floor mark ready and grab your husband, child, friend or mom to help you take the photo. To ensure that they take the photo right, have them stand in your place and take the photo the way that you want them to take it. It will be easier for them to see your inspiration and the type of angles and shots you are looking to capture. 
 
Make due with what you have!
 
This is the main theme here amiga! Dig deep and get creative with what you have. When you make amazing photos by being creative and scrappy, imagine what you can do when you have a beautiful cobble stone street or a gorgeous studio to shoot from. Get resourceful. You don't need to always hire a photographer if you aren't financial there yet. Don't let your small beginnings deter you from chasing after your dreams and working towards your vision! 
 
 
 
 

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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

10 ADDITIONAL STREAMS OF INCOME FOR 2020!

 

 One thing that 2020 has taught us that our traditional jobs are not stable and multiple streams of income are necessary for stability and peace of mind. Multiple streams of income help you when life happens and you and/or your family hit a rough season and your main source of income is not enough. 

Financial security nowadays is not tied to just one single source. You probably have seen these past couple of months an uptake in you tube videos, podcasts episodes and social media posts that encourage you to embrace multiple passions and businesses. Having multiple streams of income give you the flexibility to have options if something changes with your tradition job. 

 

WHAT MAKES A FLEXIBLE AND GREAT SOURCE OF INCOME

When planning on generating a great source of multiple incomes here are some factors to consider:

flexibility with your time: Income that allows freedom of time and work around a schedule to work for you and your household. 

 Sustainability: This is income that is generating money for you and functioning without you working for it. 

Passionate: If you are going to be working hard on building a side hustle or business chose something that is enjoyable to you and you are passionate about it! 

Scalable: look for a source of income that has the ability to grow and generate a substantial amount of income

Let's get into some options that I have used and others that I have found for you to bring in more diverse income and help you build up financial security for you and your family's future! 


VARIOUS STREAMS OF INCOME TO CONSIDER

Physical products. If you have a talent in making things or DIY or want to start selling branded products start an etsy shop or e-commerce store. You can use sites like Shopify to sell your products and promote them on your social media channels. Coffee mugs, planners, logo created t-shirts the sky is the limit in this area.


Digital products. This is the age of digital education! If you have ever wanted to write an e-book now is the time to do it! E-books, digital courses, coaching offers, fitness plans, stock photos, tutorials, video content, masterminds are all lucrative opportunities to make extra money. If you have an idea or want to teach others in a specific niche then start now!


Start a blog. It requires very little investment and if done correctly you can make a lot of money blogging. You can set one up in minutes and there are tons of posts on the internet on how you can start one step by step. Check out my post on how to start a blog in 2020.

 

Virtual Assistant. This is one of the hottest new job titles coming out of 2020. There is lots of opportunities to not only become a virtual assistant but start a business in this career. You can look for job opportunities as a virtual assistant on UpWork, Remote.co, Freelancer.com and LinkedIn.

 

Paid Surveys. I havent tried this yet but I am definitely going to give it a peek! I read a few posts that talk about how to earn money with paid surveys. With paid surveys companies will pay you to sit down at your computer and answer survey questions from home! Sounds so crazy! Here are two companies I found:

Swagbucks

Survey Junkie


Affiliate Marketing. If you are a consumer of goods and have a social media platform and/or blog or YouTube sign up for affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is a performance based marketing system in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate's own marketing efforts aka links shared. Once you sign up to a company's affiliate program you can share products with your audience and pay commission! 

 

Start a freelance business. If you are bake brownies or cookies. If you sew. If you like to apply makeup. If you like to take photos. If you are a graphic designer. Then think about branding and starting to promote and sell your services! You can start simple with ads or posts on Facebook or Instagram and build from there. 

 

Rent your place on AirBnb. This all depends on your location but another way you can make passive income is renting a room in your place via AirBnb or HomeAway. You can rent your room out anywhere from $25-$250 a night. This is a good opportunity if you have extra space in your house. 

 

Sell your stuff. There is so much money just sitting in my closet! Clothes that I have barely worn. Furniture in good condition just sitting in my garage. If you need some cash then post your belongings online. You can use Facebook marketplace of sites like Poshmark. I personally like Poshmark because it is easy to use and hassle free.

 

The Gig Economy. You can make money building skills all by having a gig. Gigs are shorter bits of working with different clients. Think about things you wish you can hire someone to do in your day to day life. Good tip is to niche down in this market. You can check out site like Thumbtack.

 I hope these 10 different ways to add additional streams of income to your pockets helped you guys to start thinking about and brainstorming different things to try out this year in 2020. We are living in uncharted territory but the silver lining is that it is an opportunity to set out of your comfort and step forward into something you are passionate about!

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Monday, July 27, 2020

8 months of Motherhood






Another month has gone by and I can't believe my little guy has now entered into 9 months of age! Its so cliche to say but it really flies by within a blink of an eye, even in the midst of a global pandemic. Motherhood is a complicated and beautiful journey under normal circumstances. Motherhood during a global pandemic has added multiple roller coaster like obstacles to face and conquer. 

If you follow me on Instagram then you know I have shared some of my early struggles with new motherhood. A plethora of insecurities were my new challenges. From postpartum, breastfeeding, adjusting to a complete new body, mood swings and trying to find space for me was what I was quietly navigating through. 

Our New Normal


>>>>  Fast forward to March of 2020 and now COVID has added on all of our busy lives the fear of contagion and sickness for our little ones. Like I wasn't already paranoid enough of someone passing a cold to my baby I now have to quickly adjust and become more vigilant of an invisible lethal enemy. 

But through it all we keep pushing forward. A new day starts, a new morning routine begins and we just keep going. I have discovered strength, residency and man my protective instincts are on 1,000! 
Through it all Mateo has been the light that keeps me sane and full of ambition and joy. His personality is shining through more and more as each day passes. He is happy and playful but also strong willed. 

There are so many new updates with him now. He is learned to independently sleep. He likes his nap routine and is upset when it is adjusted! LOL! He loves experimenting with different foods and tastes. The only food he didn't seem to enjoy much are blueberries and bananas. YES bananas! The one food most babies early on enjoy not Mateo. By the way he looked it mushed in his fingers he looked disgusted! It was so funny to watch. 

He is scooting all over the place. Not officially crawling yet but from his scoot I could guess it will start soon. He has a thing for tv remotes and ceiling fans! When he enters a room the first place is eyes go is to the ceiling to look for a ceiling fan! House hunting has been fun with him because he gets happy when he sees a ceiling fan.

He puts his pacifier in and out of his mouth when he's getting ready to go to sleep. It is just the sweetest thing. He likes Daniel the Tiger but only in Spanish! HA! So per his preference he's called Daniel El Tigere. He loves to dance and sing. Loves music and making bubbles with his mouth. He is just a joy!

Here are some things we (our family) are loving right now:


Gerber White onesies: Since we are on lockdown, he's not dressing up wearing outfits so comfort is what I prefer to put on him. Our house doesn't have central air, only our room ( his crib is in our room) so I like to put on him light weight bodysuits to keep comfortable. I have been loving these Gerber ones. They are affordable and you can find them anywhere. I have purchased mine from Target. 


Uppa Baby Stroller: Since we aren't going to restaurants or parks with the baby, we do family walks in our neighborhood. I have been getting so much use out of our Uppa Baby stroller it has been a saving grace for us for entertainment as a family. Mateo loves the stroller and I love the smooth mobility of using it. Whats also been great about it is when the sun is in his eyes we can adjust the seat and continue on with our walks. He can face forward (which is his favorite way) or face us. 

White Noise machine: This thing is a must have for us since he's been a newborn. It blocks out all of the outside noise and really saved us during the constant nights of fireworks everywhere. 

SkipHop activity center: Mateo absolutely adores his activity mat. I like it because he's stationery so I don't have to worry about him walking and falling or getting into something. The platform is adjustable as he grows and he just loves all the toys that it comes with. 

Halo sleep sack: He's not using it anymore but I was just raving to our real estate agent how amazing it was for us and I wanted to share it here for any new moms or expecting. When Mateo was 1 month he was already slowly getting himself out of his swaddles. Once we introduced the sleep sack he slept so well from 1 month - 6 months old. It was a blessing. He loved his sleep sack. It keeps them so nice and snug and its so easy to put them in after a night feeding. 

My Health


My hair is slowlyyyyy but finally growing back! I didn't know that I was going to lose so much hair around the crown of my head. Its a new insecurity I am working to get past. But good news is I am finally getting a hair cut in August so I am looking forward to a new look! 
The two months I have been air drying my hair and applying no heat to it. I am refreshing my natural hair and experimenting with curl products to see if my hair can get back to its original texture. 

My menstraul cycle returned quickly after I stopped breast feeding and it has been so painful. It has been every month on time and consistent! My craps have been painful and tiring the first two days of my cycle. No new updates beside the fact that I am just dealing with it.😬

Other updates


We are still looking for a house. Its been 3 months so far and the market is WILD! Its very competitive and we have lost on 5 offers so far. However our faith is in God and his timing. I do anxiously await to see the house that HE has for our family πŸ’›

I have been behind the scenes investing in education for my business/brand. I want to pivot from posts that inspire women to posts that provide INFORMATION to women! This is the year to educate and help other women thrive! I feel it in my soul that I want to teach, coach and serve! 

Thats about sums up ME these past couple months! This was FUN! I enjoyed writing this post and updating you guys! I have been filming our house hunting journey and look forward to sharing that on my Youtube channel when we find our home. 

I pray that everyone that reads this post is doing well. 

Stay safe guys and God bless. 



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Thursday, June 18, 2020

HOW I LANDED MY FIRST $5000 CAMPAIGN COLLABORATION!

 


As a blogger when you land your first paycheck it is an amazing feeling! 

One thing I want to encourage you amigas is this:

Don't downplay your small beginnings 

Whether your first paycheck is $200 or $2000, it is a win WIN!

Now I do want to be REAL and let you guys know that this is not a quick money making career! It takes a lot of hard work, strategies in place and time. Getting traffic and growing your audience comes with growth in your blog and your authenticity. You need to gain people's trust and trust in all relationships comes with time.

I want to encourage you guys that you can land a brand collaboration as a micro influencer. A micro influencer is defined as an influencer who has less than 100 thousand followers. This number to different people varies but let's just use this number for now. I currently have 14,200 followers on my Instagram and this was the number that landed me my first $5000 brand campaign.



Here are some of my tips on how I landed my first $5000 brand campaign:

1. Research what brands you want to collaborate with

Create a spreadsheet of brands that you love, shop at, are in contact with and that align with your followers interests and brand messaging. You should have some sort of personal or emotional connection to the brands that you want to reach out to. Working with a brand that you love or believe in will make the collaboration enjoyable and fun.

Also don't underestimate the fact that your audience can smell a fake collaboration. I have seen many influencers get draggedddd in their comments bu their followers by being called a sell out or changing due to collaborations that aren't even remotely close to aligning with this person's brand and messaging.

Don't just go after a collaboration for the money!!! Its is hard to gain followers but it is even harder to try to regain their trust back!

2.  Reach out to brands directly.

For the majority of my time blogging and content creating I have relied on influencer agencies to pitch possible brand collaborations to me and the ones that aligned with my brand I applied for. Agencies are great when you are starting out but it comes with possible low ball numbers and a large portion of the campaign offer going to the agency. You don't get to see the brand's offer and you don't get to contact the brand directly.
Once I started to contact brands directly the rate negotiations were higher. You are given more say in the campaign deliverables and creative freedom.

I contacted my $5000 campaign brand via Instagram. It was a short and simple message and that is how I received the contact person's email address. 

πŸ“±Here is an example of the type of dm(s) I send out:

Hello my name is Alana and I have a fashion/lifestyle blog called The Style Brunch. I would love to get connected with someone at your company to pitch an idea for a xyz collaboration. Could you please direct me on how to get in touch with someone in your PR/social media division? Thank you so much.

9 out of 10 times I get a reply back with a quick hello and the email address of the person to contact with such requests. Done! I found the person and now I can send out my pitch to the right person.

3. Pitch confidently

Know your audience numbers and strong sentiments. This includes swipe up numbers, engagement rate, dm(s), blog conversion rates, online visitors to your blog, your reach, your demographics etc. Learn your analytics and how they work for you. Pitch these numbers to brand confidently.

Here is an example of a bad pitch:

Hello [PR person name],

My name is Alana and I am a lifestyle influencer. I run both a blog and Instagram page that has a very strong engagement rate and lots of likes and followers. My Instagram has currently 14,200 followers. I would love to work with your brand. I think it would be a great fit for me since I am trying to grow. 
If your looking for any influencers to work with I would love to be considered. Please let me know. I can send over rates and a media kit for your consideration.
Thank you for your time and have a great day!

Best,

Alana xyz

_______________________________________________________

Here is a strong email pitch:



Hello [insert brand contact name here],

My name is Alana Rodriguez, the blogger behind The Style Brunch where I share with my readers style, beauty/skincare, lifestyle and inspiration to a diverse group of adult women from the ages of 25-34.

I've been a customer and follower of xyz for over [x amount] years. I bought my first ever product from xyz when I started freelancing as a makeup artist. It was all that I used on my clients and got so many compliments when used. But apart from your high quality products I admire what you do in local communities including here in my hometown of xyz. I especially was touched with the work done with Volunteers of America.

I would love to support and spread your message while showcasing your beautiful products in a blog post or youtube channel.  I visualize a partnership with you around the concept of the high quality of your makeup brushes and the importance of self care in new motherhood. As a new mom myself without notice an entire day could be spent taking care of your family and not a moment for yourself. I want to write a post listing some self care tips for women along with my own self care routine while using your brushes and highlighting each one. 

Is this something you would be interested in? Please let me know how I can serve you?

 I have a niche audience that is dedicated to vegan and paraben free beauty products and natural looking makeup application. This means your brand will be getting targeted traffic from an audience that falls under your key demographic.

As mentioned previously, my followers or how I like to describe them my amigas, our relationship is authentic. On my instagram my conversion rate for affiliate marketing is 3.5% and my blog rate is 2.5% I can provide more data upon your request if needed.

For further consideration I have attached my media kit for consideration.

Thank you very much for your time and I  look forward to hearing from you.

Best,

Alana Rodriguez


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There are so many differences in both emails. It is better to come from a place of service when pitching to brands. Mention phrases like "how can I serve you" or "what are some ways that I can support your brand." In this industry an authentic person comes from a place of serving others and not self gratification.

In addition do some homework on the brand. What is their mission statement? What are their key demographics? Do they do charity work or give back to the community? It always looks better when you do some background research on a brand and mention some highlights in your pitch email.

Be data driven. Find your strongest analytic numbers and data and include it appropriately in your email. How can these numbers specifically benefit the brand in collaborating with you.

Now remember we all pitch differently. So don't take my words as concrete method. I have changed my pitch a few different times until I confidently perfected my pitch email. Ask yourself how can I position myself so that a brand and/or company knows that they are going to gain benefits working from you and vice versa.




4. Know your worth and add tax!

When you are thinking of your rates you have to think about how much these brands are benefiting from your exposure. You also want to factor in your price your time to produce the content. On top of this rate make sure to include any outside costs such as hiring a photographer, props needed etc. All these factors need to be calculated in your pitched rate.

If you are confident in the quality of your work, your audience data and conversion rate and your time then you should be charging a premium price.

*Don't forget that your value increases when you also have other high engaged platforms. *


5. Visualize the partnership

When you are thinking about pitching to a brand already have in mind a concept of what this partnership will look like. Ask yourself how does this brand align with my audience and vice versa. In some circumstances you might really like a brand but if their products don't align with your audience then it won't be a good fit. 

In addition to having your content visualized you should prepare ahead of time what platforms would this partnership fit best. Is it a blog post, an IG TV video, a youtube video, IG stories, or a takeover for the brand. There are many opportunities of ways to work with them but make sure that you are explaining to them in the ways that you want to. Don't just write "I want to work with you" periodt. Sis, NO this won't work or go very far. 

You can also include how would this partnership fit into people's everyday lives. Pitching with intention, strategy and thoughtfulness will set you apart from all the hundreds of pitch emails brand managers get everyday. 


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I hope you guys found this post helpful and informative. If you have any other recommendations that worked for you to land your first brand campaign please share below! 

COMMUNITY AND COLLABORATION 
OVER
COMPETITION!





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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

HOW TO START A BLOG IN 2020


 When I first started my blog I had no idea what I was doing and back then there wasn't as many articles as there are now. Everyone was just figuring this thing out as they went along. I have learned so much throughout the eight years I have been blogging. Chile I have worn more hats in this industry than I have ever in any of my full time jobs combined! There is always a learning curve.
During our recent stay at home orders I have been reflecting on changing the context of my posts for you guys.

I want to post less inspirational posts and more informative posts. 

I am going to share more tips, resources, guides and strategies that have helped me grow and monetize my blog and social media platforms. I am excited to share more career and also faith based content on my blog. 

If you have any requests please leave them down below or send me a message on Instagram.

Don't forget to check out my check list down below to help you guys stay on track of the process of setting up your blog! Its a one page PDF but I figured it would help you guys stay focused, organized and accountable! Hope it helps :) 

HOW TO START A BLOG CHECKLIST (FREE)

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    HOW TO START A BLOG IN 2020:

    What is a blog?

    According to Merriam Webster, a blog is a website that contains online personal reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks, videos, and photographs provided by the writer. 

    Is blogging easy?

    I wanted to add full transparency in this post because I don't want to deceive you all and be another IG or Facebook that is advertising how easy it is to make money blogging. NO! It takes a long time! For the small percentage of people that take off within their first year that is great but happens to very few. For most of us it toke a lot of time and hard work but can it happen..YES!

    Many people quit within their first year so if you are really passionate about blogging my best advice is to keep going! If you love it your blog will grow! 



    Step 1: FIGURE OUT YOUR WHY

    Think about your why and what is your intention for starting a blog. Do you have a skill that you want to share and teach others how to do? Do you have a passion for beauty and want to teach others how to apply makeup? What is the thing that is inspiring you to want to begin this journey and connect with others? This will help you define your blog and eventually create your blog's mission statement. 

     If you are stuck on this then what are things that your friends and family always come to you for? 
     In this same step figure out what kind of content you want to cover? What is your niche? 

    I have a further in depth post on discovering your niche here!←←

    Tip: When choosing your niche I suggest that your posts are helping your readers solve some sort of problem. You want to create a balance of both inspiration and informational posts. 


    Step 2: WHAT DOES YOUR IDEAL AUDIENCE LOOK LIKE

    Who do you envision is the type of person that will benefit from your blog. Strip this down to as specific as possible. Where do they live? What do they like? How old are they? What is the career? 
    When you create a profile for your ideal audience it will make it easier when you are writing captions and blog posts because you know how to speak to this person. This will  help you build a tribe that you can serve and create a community. 

    Action plan: Write down all the traits of the woman or man you are speaking to. Come up with at least 15-20 traits. If you need a head start here are some traits to think about: age | race | marital status | income | career | hobbies | personality | interests | 


    Step 3: SELECT YOUR BLOG PLATFORM

    Many posts recommend so many different platforms and hosting services. I am on blogger but I wish when I started out that I  used a hosting server from the beginning. Do your research on this and make sure you pick one that works for you financially and fits your best blogging needs. This will make live easier because if you use blogger like me it is going to be really hard to transfer all my blog content to a hosting server! Pray for me ya'll! 

    While choosing a platform start thinking about a domain name. This is what your blog is going to be called. It tells people who you are and who they are visiting. Try to pick a name that you will be happy with down the road and that people can find. Once you chose a domain name register it. You can google how to do this and will find many services on registering your domain name. 

    Tip: Google and look up on social media that the domain name you chose is available!

    Also in this step figure out what social media platform do you want to jump on to drive traffic and engage with your audience. Your website and a social media platform go hand in hand. Just remember that you don't own any of these platforms beside your website! 

    When starting out I would focus on just one platform because trust me you can quickly run into creative content burn out and it can be discouraging to your momentum. Once you grow and are able to obtain a consistent schedule and/or an additional team member then you can push content and time into growing on other platforms.

    Tip: If I could suggest any platforms to start on I would focus on either Instagram or Pinterest!

    Step 4: DEVELOP A PLAN

    What are your short and long term goals for your blog? What type of content are you going to post? In a notebook write down all your content ideas and topics. 

    Action plan: I would suggest writing in a notebook or a spreadsheet 15-20 posts ideas. Group similar items together and label them into categories. Being this organized before you launch will help you when you are ready to make your blog live. You can strategize a consistent schedule for your audience so they know when to expect a new post to go live.

    To schedule your posts you can use: 
    Google calendar

     In blogging consistency is key πŸ”‘

    This is a great step to create a content calendar! 

    I have a content calendar post along with a link to a free template here

    You can find some free templates on the web from sites like Hootsuite or use google calendar as your content calendar. If you would like a more in depth post on tools for creating a content calendar let me know. I have since used a new system and I can update you guys on that.

    Step 5: SET UP AN EMAIL MARKETING SERVICE

    This is something many of us that started out so badly wish we did in the beginning. 

    Obtaining emails from subscribers early on will save you so much work down the road. When starting out you can set up an account on Mailchimp or Convertkit for free. There you can create a landing page and a welcome newsletter!

    Step 6: DESIGN A THEME 

    I suggest you don't get too caught up on this. You can get stuck on this for daysssss and then end up never starting your blog! If you don't have the start up funds to hire a web designer don't let that stop you from starting your blog. 

    Make sure to start out with a simple clean design and that it is easy to navigate. You can always change it later.

    If you chose Wordpress for your blog platform they have many templates to start out. You can also find themes from freelance designers on Etsy for a affordable price or goggle templates. 

    Step 7: JUST START!!!!!

    You can spend hours that turn into days that turn into weeks researching and researching on how to start a blog and other related topics that you may never start! You will never be 100% ready to start a blog so just START! You will probably fail on some things in the beginning but guess what we ALL HAVE! 

    It is in those failing experiences that you learn some valuable lessons in this industry. 

    FAILURE = KNOWLEDGE

    Keep going.

    Keep creating.

    Keep evolving. 







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