So you want to be an influencer? Read about the mindset to have now as you embark upon your creative journey.
For a long time, as far back as I could remember I always wanted to do something that allowed me to be creative. Back then, (before I knew Christ) I hadn’t known that I indeed had a God given gift, I just thought that it was something that I wanted to do. Not because everyone else was doing it or even talking about it. During that time,the only social media popping was myspace and even with that social media wasn’t all the rage during that time anyways. I’m talking late 90’s early 2000’s.
Anyways, as the years passed by I found myself feeling like I had to make a decision and set my mind on one thing that I wanted to do. Ya girl has done just about everything from making jewelry, party décor and creation,hosting and creating events I mean EVERYTHING! I’ve always gravitated to anything that allowed me to create and so it’s no surprise that I’ve found myself living in the land of influencers, content creators, and bloggers. People love to say“Everybody’s an influencer” not realizing that influencing is why we were created.
As the African proverb puts it, ‘If you think you’re too small to make a difference, you haven’t spent the night with a mosquito.’ The mosquito makes a difference in an annoying way, but the principle is the same. One person can stop a great injustice. One person can be a voice for truth. One person's kindness can save a life. Each person matters. We are supposed to use our influence for the good of everyone Psalm 96:1-13. God chose Israel. He blessed the people of Israel in a special way. His purpose was not that they should feel proud and superior to others. Rather, it was that they should be a blessing to the whole world (Genesis 12:3) And so is the same in 2020 that we use our God given gifts to influence others to do good, step into their fullest potential, give hope, & represent Christ. However, it is easier said than done.
The world of social media isn’t all smiles, celebration, & joy. Social media can be cruel, full of hate, scrutiny, and judgmental folks… You get my drift! And sometimes imposter syndrome, the need to play the comparison game,and uncertainty try to creep in and distract us from our purpose. Just like your story, your purpose looks different than anyone else’s. As a new influencer learning the ropes I’d like to share what I’ve learned thus far pertaining to developing confidence to start blogging, content creating, and becoming an influencer, figuring out what exactly people want to see from me,and how to step into the influencer space with vulnerability, excitement and a clear vision of what I can offer my community.
When I decided to start a blog or a “professional” Instagram channel, the thoughts of what people will think of me and how I’d will be judged was REAL. When I made the decision to step out on faith and create my brand I knew it wasn’t going to be a cake walk, but I was determined to birth this thing. In doing so,I did my research, I got a website made, purchased a domain, wrote a few blogs and waited for everything to unfold. I would announce my website and it would be smooth sailing from there. Truth is, it wasn’t. No one was reading my blog,my interaction on Instagram was subpar, and I was just coasting. I experienced what I thought was “mom funk” but was the ugly face of postpartum depression and anxiety. I was also trying my best to navigate through that as well. I felt like my life was in shambles and I didn’t know how I was going to bounce back. What I thought people would love to read, they weren’t reading,
I was inconsistent, and my creative juices went dry. Eventually, things began to look a lot brighter for me as it pertains to my state of mind and confidence and that’s when I told my husband: “Bae, I just want to be me! You see, Instagram will have you messed up…If you let it mess you up. I was thinking about what I thought people wanted to see instead of just putting out there what I’m good at and learning. Fear held me back from a lot of things but my mind is renewed and I am ready to tap into my full purpose and go after what’s mine because I’m the magic! Today, I'm sharing with you (5) things to keep in mind as a new influencer/blogger/content creator:
I’ve struggled with stepping out on faith more than once and all I wanted was to be 100% sure I was not making a mistake before I took the first step. In the past my go to was asking God for confirmation or a sign. Sometimes I received them but other times I didn’t. I recall a time when I was applying for jobs. I got an offer but I wasn’t excited about the position. I was, however, over my job. I felt torn and wanted God to give me an explicit answer…but He didn’t. Instead, He told me I needed to learn to decipher His voice through the noise.
I think we desire for God to give us a clear yes or no because we want what’s easy. We don’t want to deal with the risk of the unknown. But if we knew how everything would play out beforehand, it wouldn't require faith. And if God simply dropped signs out the sky every time we asked,how would we learn to discern His voice? We’d be too dependent on what we could see.
So, you follow these dope influencers, bloggers, and content creators on Instagram but you won’t reach out to them (which btw is totally free) not counting your coins but girl, you also refuse to sign-up for their free master class, pay for a workbook or guide( if you got it), or sign-up for a one-on-one. Now, I’ll reiterate I AM NOT IN YOUR POCKETS SIS! So if you don't have it I get it, but anything free?!?!
Get on it. And I’m not talking about just any old person who labels themselves as such but, the ones that you relate too, who are consistent, and YOU SEE RESULTS! I can’t get any more clear on that part. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink, and you can’t tell me how to make money and you’re broke. Be smart about this ladies. But back to the initial point,reach out to these people, you’d be surprised at who responds back. If you do run into someone who doesn’t respond or is reluctant to provide you with any feedback just keep it moving. There’s more people willing to help then none and there’s always finding it out for yourself! so then you can change the narrative and help someone else.
Let’s be honest, we’ve all done it or currently find ourselves within the barriers of this trap. We compare our lives, our businesses, our bodies, our families, houses, and kids. And even though we hate the comparison game we still do it. Girl, everyone we look at is at a different level and in a different season of their lives. Social media is merely a highlight reel of the great things people want you to see. Sure, you may see some vulnerable and transparent posts however, it is important for us to focus on the path set before us. When we compare ourselves and our circumstances to others what we do is fall in love with the perception of their reality and hate our actual reality. We need to keep in mind that while Stephanie’s kids are all on the honor roll and her husband brings her flowers every day, she might be living a different real life on the other side of that screen.
Chances are, unless she’s a really, really close friend, you only have a perception of the life she lives. Don’t fall for an ‘InstaSham’ version of other's lives. You know theInstaSham updates, the house is perfect, the kids are knitting scarves for the homeless and the parents just finished a lovely 5 course meal, but in reality it took an hour to clean up the room and make the kids stop playing video games long enough to pose for the picture. I too have been there. Let's flip it to a positive: Compliment, Don’t Compare!
It’s so important that we stay true to who we are and not who or what we think people want us to be. If I’m being honest, it robs you from the fulfillment that being a creator once gave you. I recently told my husband, “Bae,I'm just ready to do me” I’m not just a mom, I'm not just a wife, I’m not just a student. I am a woman who loves many things and I have a story to tell. If you like it that’s whats up, but if you don’t oh well. It serves us no good to be focused on people who honestly, more than likely, don’t even like us if I can keep it 100! Be the best version of you! And whoever you’re supposed to encourage, inspire, and uplift will be there for the ride.
I HAD to save this one for last because whew chile, I struggled with this honey. Consistency + Discipline is a heck of a combination! And I’m not just talking posting and writing just to say that you did.I’m talking your BTS (behind the scenes). Are you planning your content, are you giving yourself time dedicated to batching hashtags, captions, drafting-posts, recording and editing videos? It’s crazy and a lot of this stuff I didn't know starting out.
One of my favorite influencers Tina at HerLifeSparkles really helped me out. She randomly found me or I found her and started following her on IG (I can't remember) and she hit my DM”s because she saw I was from Virginia and that’s where she’s originally from. We chatted for about 30 minutes and during that time she shared some tips with me briefly. Eventually, I put some coin to the side and signed up for a one-on-one with her. She gave me tips and also poured into me about being an influencer.
Fast forward to about a week ago, I hit her up on IG as I normally do, but this time I was like hey I just really want to thank you for your knowledge and really for just being real. She shared with me in that same conversation that “people don’t usually apply the tips that their provided, sometimes you find that their just looking for the magic recipe and there is none.” I thought that was the craziest thing I ever heard. Cuz girls, we still have to do the work!
You're going to pay someone a few hundred dollars to NOT apply the tips that were provided to you. Sis, you just wasted your money, your time, and the other person's time when you did that. Don’t be focused on the outcome and neglect the process. Make a plan, be present, and when you’re uninspired do it anyway. It’s hard to be consistent because we’re more drawn to the positive feelings of outcomes rather than the struggle of the journey. Most of us quit during the struggle before we can experience the rewards of staying the course. Stay the course, keep showing up, and embrace the process. It’s a blessing on the other side of the lesson. I pray that you were inspired and motivated to step out on whatever it is that you believe YOU were created to do. If not you, then WHO? if not now, then WHEN? Drop me a line and let me know what you think of this read? I would love to engage with you all.