Alright, so now that you know how we even started our “career” on Instagram, let’s talk how in the heck we got to where we are now. So at this point we have built up a decent following & adding tons of content on our page (all brand rep photos basically). When I decided to transition my page to more of a lifestyle page, I believe I was around 6-7,000 followers. The biggest difference between my page & a lifestyle page was that it was solely photos of Cora. It was a modeling book of Cora and that was it. Companies/Brands for products and adult fashion are not going to want to work with me if my entire page is just Cora, even though she’s pretty darn perfect, we needed a mixture. Here’s how we did that:
First, I needed to get myself in the photos more. At this time I was the only one taking photos and that actually worked out pretty well because I halfway knew what I was doing. If I was going to be in the photo though, I was going to need someone to help me or set up a tripod etc. This is where my amazing mom & dad come in. They started helping me take photos so I could actually be in them. It’s pretty crucial in my opinion to have someones help when you need to be in the photo. If all you have is a tripod to take the photo or a selfie stick, it’s doable but very very hard! So with the help of my parents I started adding myself to the photos. I also tried to make them more “life-like” instead of just Cora posed in a certain spot.
The next thing I did is not at all a requirement, & many influencers don’t do this, so it’s really your preference. But I bought a professional camera. I have a good friend in my town thats a photographer and she was selling a used camera so she could upgrade & I bought it at a great price. She also gave me a quick how-to because I had NO IDEA what I was doing lol. My camera is a Canon EOS 7D. Click Here
I go back & forth between using my phone or camera still to this day. Some photos I need to take are just easier with my phone. I have a iPhone 7 Plus and the camera is amazing on it. And like I mentioned above, some instagrammers only use their phone for photos. It’s really up to you. My decision was based on the fact that I didn’t have a camera besides my phone, Cora was my first child & I knew I would want to have tons of photos/videos of her growing up, and that I really wanted to give this whole IG thing a go for real. So I went for it & bought the used camera, and I’m so happy I did.
At this point, I needed to start reaching out to brands/companies. Especially when you’re starting out, YOU need to be the one reaching out asking to collab with brands. If you’re not doing that, how will they know you exist? I would see a product I liked or wanted for Cora, and then email them. You can find their email on their IG page or their website under contact us. I would send an email introducing myself, telling them what I did on IG, and the product that I’d like to get in exchange for post/photos on my page. Sometimes you get a reply, sometimes you don’t- that’s just the game of influencing. This still happens to me today, or sometimes you get a response that says no. And hey that’s fine, just move on to the next brand!
I was still adding photos of just Cora to my page ( I still do today) but I was adding in more of a mixture. I tried to get more home decor photos, “parenthood” photos, as well as baby styled photos.
I got better with editing photos too. I am no pro & I still learn new things today, but I continued working at it until I was at least happier with the images. You are your hardest critic and this whole experience has really taught me that! I have tons of photos I never added because I found something wrong with them, that I’m sure no one else would have noticed. I also started using the same colorful filter on all my photos. It’s probably something no one else can notice because it’s not a strong filter such as the blue or brown tinted ones. I do really like pages that have filters like that but mine just brightens the color up and keeps my page fun & colorful, which is what I wanted.
I continued reaching out to brands which led to having more & more collaborations. This also led to adding more followers on my page. But I was learning that a lot of companies had a minimum follower count for collabs and I just wasn’t quite there yet. From what I ran across, 10K is pretty much your heap as an influencer in the beginning. But even though I have 25K now, I still run across large companies that require 30K+ or 50K+ so it’s a never ending battle. But I would say once you get to 10K, you are at a very good point where you will satisfy most brands. So how do I get to 10K? How do I get to more? What in the world can I do? Those were my next questions.
This subject is a very “touchy” one. A lot of infleuncers are secretive about what they do for followers. But I’m going to tell you exactly what I did to get where I am now. But……not right now haha. Next blog post will be about gaining followers so stay tuned…. (I’m such a dweeb, I feel so cool saying stay tuned. hahaha!!)