Do you really want to know? Because I am about to break it down for you “good, bad and ugly” style. I’ve been a mom influencer for about a year and a half now and when I began this, I didn’t even know what it was! I think this mom influencer thing is a bit of a phenomen currently. How long will it stay around? I think always, It just might not always be on Instagram. People will always be wondering about the quality of products, finding ways to make money at home, finding moms to relate to, and looking for people to admire or judge. So grab a cup of coffee and pull up a chair, and learn what it’s like to be a mom influencer or “instamom.”
What is an Influencer?
You can find varying definitions online, but I am going to write my own definition for influencer: One who uses their social media reach and presence to share about their life, products they love and to be a role model or peer. Some days I feel like the role model….other days definitely the peer. An influencer is often paid for certain posts and this in turn becomes their job. They usually have a niche such as health, travel or fashion. I think it should be added that influencers should also use their “popularity” to be an encourager.
A Day in the Life
This heading is a little deceptive. There really is no regular or “same days” in a row. Much like motherhood, the days ebb and flow and can be downright unpredictable when your child wakes up with a fever and you had plans to take pictures of them smiling that day. Essentially, it is more of a to-do list per week/month and finding those pockets of time to get stuff done. Here are the basics on that to-do list throughout a given month:
Brainstorming: A lot of what you see on my Instagram feed is the result of brainstorms. Sometimes short ones and sometimes long drawn out conversations (these usually turn into the best ones honestly!). My husband and I will go back and forth with letterboard quotes, scenes with our kids in it, and shooting locations. I keep a running list of ideas on my phone and go back to it when we are looking for ideas.
Photography: Often on weekends we spend an hour shooting photos that we have brainstormed the week prior or need to shoot for a collaboration. Not all of my photos are posed, but a good amount are. I prefer to have my husband around to help make the kids smile or be in the photos himself. Sometimes we have to coordinate outfits or have specific outfits in the photo that we are shooting for a company. Most of my editing takes place in the evenings or nap time. I use Lightroom to brighten and straighten images or apply presets. My husband’s and my letterboards are usually shot as soon as he gets home from work during the week which is while the kids are napping. They are honestly the easiest ones to shoot because no kids are involved! The hardest part is setting up the tripod and staging ourselves (which I can’t complain about!).
Collaboration E-mails: Collaboration e-mails come in regularly. Some are invites where you need to apply and may or may not be accepted. Some are from companies that aren’t willing to pay. Others are from companies not on brand with my brand. So when all that is said and done, that leaves a couple other emails from companies that 1) pay well, 2) are on brand and 3) accept you.
Instagram posts: I plan for my posts to go up in the evening. I’ve tried posting during the day, but it ends up taking too much time away from my kids. I also have learned that people are online at night time just like me after their kids are put to bed. I try to respond to the incoming comments once posted for the first 15-30 minutes. This is also a balance because time with my husband is so important and precious, as well. A good account though responds to all of their comments and DMs (within reason). I personally try to go back and reciprocate comments on other people’s feeds when I have time. You want to be SOCIAL on social media. I have a whole post dedicated to my engagement on Instagram.
Instagram stories: There is also a delicate balance here as well. I don’t want my phone glued to me all day while I am with my kids, but I also want to capture some of the funny, honest and candid moments of our day. Just because the pictures on my feed are pretty, doesn’t mean our life always is. Being a mom influencer is all about balance and for me, being authentic with my audience.
Blog posts: Not all influencers have a blog. I just happen to because I love to write and have always had a blog since Xanga was a thing. While Instagram is my main avenue, I like to incorporate a couple blog posts each month. These are also usually written during nap time and the evenings.
Let’s move on to the nitty gritty. Below are my FAVORITE parts of my job, the “so-so” parts and the parts I can most definitely live without.
There is SO much good and that is why I continue this. Being a mom is amazing, and now I get to share about it while doing something I enjoy. It started off with hobbies after my oldest was born: reading, crafts, photography, etc. That last one is obviously why I am here writing this though. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing except taking photos and posting them to Instagram. Then it quickly escalated into a side business soon after my second was born.
Working with Brands: Working with brands has been fun (this also falls under the bad, too). I learn about companies I would have never known about otherwise and pick and choose what products I can stand behind, share with my audience all while getting paid to do so!
Relationships: Being a mom influencer and instamom means becoming friends with other mom influencers and instamoms. We are there to support each other, celebrate each other’s wins and learn from one another. Being home weekly can be lonely at times, so it’s nice to know other moms out there are feeling the same way and we can converse about it via each other’s posts or private messages.
Flexible schedule: I don’t typically NEED to be anywhere on any given day for this job. I make my own schedule and work around naps, errands, my husband’s work etc. The only dates I need to work with are with companies and they, too, can be flexible.
Here we are. I know you guys want the deets on this. Or you are thinking, how in the world can this gig be bad!? Well, it’s mostly good which is why I am still doing it!
Friends/family: People don’t necessarily understand what you do. Being an influencer is something NEW. “You get paid to post on Instagram? Huh?” or worse yet, people don’t ask. It is very infrequent that someone outside of the social media influencer world asks me how my work is going. People don’t understand it. They think you are having fun or have a phone addiction. It can feel a little lonely in that regard and that is why I shared this post with six ways to help support us!
Companies: I touched on this a little earlier, but since being an influencer is such a new thing, companies don’t always know what to offer you in terms of payment. There are now sites that calculate your worth for you, but it still doesn’t stop some companies from saying “Here are some $6 juice boxes for you to post about.” Would you put hours of work into something for $6 worth of juice boxes? Probably not. Now, this isn’t to say if you are just starting out this is a bad idea. (This post share more about getting started as an influencer).
Trolls/Rude messages and comments: I thankfully have not had too much of this, but there have been some. Once you gain a little bit of “recognition” people feel a right to say whatever they want. I’ve had messages about how other moms “don’t let their kids do that/or allow that” and that’s fine. I never expect to be the same as everyone (talk about the impossible!), but I also don’t know why people think it’s okay to share. I was judged for taking pictures of my kids on train tracks not in use. Since I don’t have the toughest skin, I just try to lay low and either ignore or respond kindly to these messages.
The last part of this post is going to share some common misconceptions from people not in the business. It is easy to think things and we get it! But I would also like to set the record straight with the truth.
- We only post about products we are paid to post about. While most influencers and bloggers do this, we also share OTHER things and OTHER brands we love that work for us. A good influencer is only EVER sharing products they love, but we ALSO share products that aren’t bringing extra dollar signs into our bank account.
- This is easy. Some days, yes, but a lot of times this is a lot of work. This blog post you are reading, I have written and edited over multiple days for many hours. Getting photos for ONE Instagram post can take a long time.
- It is just taking pictures. As I shared before, that one photo or story you see is just the tip. Conversations, messages, emails, bargaining, filling out paper work, brainstorming,editing—all of that is behind the scenes and is a whole other amazing layer!
Well, that’s a wrap! I LOVE what I do. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be doing it. I think that’s one of the best parts of this. I can stop or go whenever I want, take a weekend off or 2 weeks like I did over Christmas. It’s basically just sharing your life, being true to yourself with the brands you represent and forming relationships.
This truly is my dream job. The only way this can get better, is doing what I am doing getting paid to travel! 😉 Were your questions covered? What else were you wondering? Drop them below, or better yet, message me on Instagram and I’d be happy to answer 🙂