lesson for growing a legit brand and following

We all love top influencers like Lauryn from The Skinny Confidential and Heidi from The Ambitionista. Their perfectly curated Instagram feeds and dedicated followers are something we all hope to accomplish one day. Looking at their success can leave you wondering “What’s their secret?” Luckily Jo from Le Fab Chic was able to attend The Collective Conference in LA and learn from these amazing bloggers, top brand executives and many others. Today, Jo is sharing her tips with the SC community (yay!).

Here are the top 5 lessons I learned from the pros for growing a legitimate brand and following:

  1. Be a story teller: One thing all the top influencers have in common is they are great story tellers. They don’t just share products with us, they share their story along with it. The Ambitionista says it’s important to be a 360 degree story teller. People don’t just want to see your outfit, they want to know why you’re wearing it, to where, with who. This is the important element that keeps us so engaged with our favorite influencers.
  2. Know your numbers (the important ones): Most of us can state our Instagram following and blog readership numbers without batting an eyelash. However, these aren’t the only numbers brands are looking at. They want to know your engagement percentage and demographic numbers too. What age is your average reader? How many impressions are your photos getting? Brands are willing to work with you if these numbers are right for them, even if you have a smaller following.
  3. Planning is key: Having a plan for what’s next to be posted on your blog or social feeds is very important. Not only does it help you stay stress free, it also helps you grow. Planning ensures you always have consistent, high quality content being posted instead of scrambling at the last minute and throwing a low quality photo up just to post. Brands like to work with people that are posting quality content on a consistent basis. Lauryn of the skinny confidential likes to plan about 4-6 weeks ahead but also leaves room for flexibility for currently trending content. Gaby from What’s Gaby Cooking plans 4 months ahead! You can get a look at her amazing editorial calendar HERE.
  4. Build an authentic community: It can be tempting to buy or use other tactics to gain more followers. However, brands aren’t just looking for high followings anymore. They’re looking for influencers with an authentic community. It’s not about how many people are following you, but about WHO is following you. Brands want their products to be seen by people that might actually be interested in them, not robots or fake profiles. You should seem like an online friend to your followers. The best way to do this is by engaging with your followers and also other bloggers.
  5. Invest in what you own: It is very important to build a social media following to go along with your blog but that shouldn’t be your only focus. We’ve seen Instagram unfortunately change the algorithm. Vine is about to shut down. What next? That’s why Gaby from What’s Gaby Cooking suggests that you invest the most time in what you own. Nobody can change the algorithm of your blog or take away your email subscribers. So while it’s great to build your social stats, make sure you’re sending your fans to your website too. Spend just as much time creating quality content for your blog as you do for social media.

As you can see, most of these tips are about being yourself and sharing your authentic story. No matter what the trends are, always remember to be yourself. Your readers will appreciate the real you.

Thank you Jo for sharing these tips with Team SC! If you loved these, please comment below or pop on over to Jo’s Instagram @lefabchic to say hi and show a sister some love!

Additionally, here are some SC resources to help you with everything we talked about above: