When I got the email asking if I wanted to be one of the Liketoknow.it speakers at the HGTV Block Party, I almost crapped my pants. HA! As much as I was excited for this opportunity, I’m also an introvert that hates talking in front of a crowd. Cecilia kept reminding me that I’m just talking about my job and what I love, so I shouldn’t be nervous. Once I was up there, the nerves went away. I had so much fun, and one of my favorite parts of the event was meeting some of you in person!
On today’s blog post, I wanted to share with you the questions that they asked me. Here’s my answers!
QUESTION ONE: Tell us about how you got into the influencer space. Did you always want to work in home styling and interior design?
Home decor or even being an influencer/blogger was definitely not planned for me. I used to be a photographer with my twin sister, but we decided to close that chapter after having a lot of kids. With photographing on the weekends/weeknights it just didn’t work out; after closing that chapter I became a stay at home mom.
Being a stay at home is a hard job and I felt like I was losing a little bit of myself. I created an Instagram account to document my new build, but I would post occasionally here and there… no one really knew about the account. When we were actually moved into the house, one day I decided that I was going to decorate different parts of my house and post every…single…day. I started using hashtags, started tagging companies/accounts, played the hashtag games…this was all before the Instagram algorithm. Then eventually, accounts started sharing my page and my pictures which brought traffic to my page. Brands and shops started noticing and that’s when I started getting emails and messages to collaborate. What started off as “just for fun” became a job…a fun job!
I would have never thought to be in the home decor/interior design world if you had asked me when I was in my 20’s. You should have seen my first house 13 years ago! I had red walls in the living room and I don’t even like the color red! It was not cute at all. This is our third time building, but when we built our first house that was the start of my love for interiors. I loved decorating that house; it was this house where my coastal farmhouse style emerged. This was way before I got into Instagram. Even though we were in that house for a little over a year, I loved decorating a house to make it feel like “home” for my family.
QUESTION TWO: How did your background in wedding and lifestyle photography help you jumpstart your career as a home influencer and what did that transition look like?
I never went to school for photography, I was self taught. I feel like I’ve always had a creative eye with styling, color coordinating, and of course photographing. The only thing that really changed was that instead of styling sessions and photographing people, I was styling homes and photographing my house. I already knew how to take pictures with a DSLR camera and how to edit pictures. I also knew how to blog because I had a blog for my photography business. This time around rather than sharing my client sessions/weddings, its all about me. 😉 I’ve always been used to being behind the camera, so that was definitely an easy transition because photographing my house meant I didn’t have to be in front of the camera. Within the past year, I’m slowly adding in more lifestyle images to my feed and actually being in front of the camera because I feel like “we” are our brand so people need to see “us.”
I always feel like photography and how your images look is so important…first impression to our Instagram account is important. When people check out your feed for the first time, they see your first 6-9 images. That’s when they decide if they want to follow you or not. Sometimes they won’t even read your caption, but if they like what they see they’ll click the follow button. When someone asks me what they should focus on to become an influencer/blogger. The first thing I usually say is learn how to take pictures. You could be really good at styling and home decor, but if your pictures don’t look good you might not get noticed. It’s actually really easy! I use my phone for almost everything these days. I have the new iPhone and it takes really good pictures; I also use my phone to edit my pictures. Using my phone is more convenient for me, but at least if I need to use my big camera and edit images on Lightroom/Photoshop on my computer, I can do that too.
QUESTION THREE: LIKEtoKNOW.it was created to both help you power your influencer business and provide consumers the answer to the question they were always asking, “Where’d you get that?” What role does LIKEtoKNOW.it play in powering your influencer business, particularly in the home influencer space?
LIKEtoKNOW.it is a great one stop shop! We get so many comments and messages asking the same questions repeatedly “Where’d you get that?”, so responding to each person is one less thing we have to do. Maybe in the consumer’s eyes it doesn’t take that long, but when you get a lot of messages/comments it takes time on our end to respond to each person individually. It’s a great way for us to show people how to style your space or change it up for a particular season/holiday in addition to linking everything for them. Some people aren’t visual, so this helps them get a similar look for their own home.
QUESTION FOUR: What advice would you give to someone interested in turning their love for content creation into a successful business, brand, and career? Is there anything you wish you knew when you started out?
First, I would say just do it! If you have the passion and you know you’re good at what you’re doing, what’s stopping you? I think the biggest mistake is to dream and talk about it, but failing to muster enough courage to actually start it. If you don’t do it now, when will you? “The only risks you regret in life are the risks you don’t take.” Second, I would say stay in your lane and put your blinders on. It’s hard not to compare yourself to others who are successful and getting opportunities you would love to have. I’ve found when you compare yourself to others it disrupts your drive and the passion behind what you’re doing. Be happy with the opportunities you’re getting instead of what you’re not getting.
One thing I wish I knew was that you can actually make money and that it’s okay to say no to opportunities. I mean I had no idea…again I started the Instagram account as a hobby. Posting on Instagram was just for fun; eventually I realized that I could actually get paid to post on Instagram, Instagram stories and the blog. You also have to know your worth…time is money! I was saying “yes” to a lot of shops/brands that reached out to me when I first started. Sometimes, I was saying yes when I already had a lot on my plate with work and staying at home with the kids. Now, I only say “yes” to opportunities when I love the products, know it’s a good fit or when I know I have time.
Thank you Liketoknow.it for including me in this event! Also, for Cecilia for joining me! We always say that we would get so much stuff done while we’re “away,” but we never get anything done! HA!
Look at these flowers and this precious card I came home to after my trip! Nick and the kids are the sweetest!