Every month we do an insta-live interview with bad ass chicks who are killing it in the creative industries (if you didn’t know, now you do) so for those who missed it, here’s what we learned from this month’s insta-live babe Siobhan from the mega-blog Just A Uniform…
1. Life’s too short
Siobhan was miserable in her teaching job and at age 31, after watching the Iris Apfel documentary, she realised enough was enough and decided to throw in the towel and become a full-time style blogger. She saved enough money to kick-start her freelance life and let’s just say she’s never looked back!
2. Your skills are transferable
No matter what industries you’ve worked in, if you remotely creative then the skills you have gained will eventually come in handy. The more you explore (hey that rhymes!) the more likely these skills are to lead you to your dream job. Both myself and Siobhan have worked in a tonne of different industries (teaching, music, beauty, social work, tech start-ups) and now that we are doing our dream jobs we realise how all of the skills we learned in those jobs have come in super handy!
3. Have a purpose
As well as that being general advice for your life, career and brand, it also applies to how you act in business. When it comes to monetising your brand or blog, Siobhan said where most bloggers slip-up is not having a purpose when working with brands or going to PR events, whereas she always has an idea in mind that she wants to make happen and she knows exactly who she needs to meet and what she wants to propose to them. No bullshit networking right there!
4. Followers don’t equal money
Contrary to popular belief, the amount of followers you have doesn’t equate to how much money you’re making. Brands are beginning to look at your engagement and reach analytics over your following (now that bots are so rife, half the followers aren’t real anyway!) Siobhan now includes her reach analytics in her media packs to show the real engagement she is getting, rather than her follower count – word!
5. Don’t sacrifice your brand ethos
Don’t do things that don’t relate to your brand! Siobhan mentioned a few times that brands wanted her to create certain types of content that she just knew her followers wouldn’t rate, so she had to be firm and meet in the middle so that her brand image wasn’t sacrificed. You’ve gotta learn to say no to some things!
6. PRs want newbies!
Siobhan and I spoke about how we have both got to a stage in our careers where we simply can’t make it to every PR press day we get invited to, which leaves a tonne of free space at these events that newbies just aren’t tapping into! If you’re just starting out in your industry, find the PR contacts (easily available online) of the brands you like and ask to be added to their email list, because they are hungry for people to share their content, no matter how many followers you have!
7. Shout-outs get you followers
Something that I teach in depth in my Instagram Course is how to start getting organic engagement, and one of the best ways to do that is to be shouted out by another influencer or brand that has a substantial following. Siobhan said that in the run-up to our insta-live she gained 300 new followers just from me shouting her out on my stories – crazy! And its easier than you think, just make friends with influencers who are into the same things as you by sliding into their DMs, they are real people and usually super friendly!
8. Bots ain’t cool
Siobhan mentioned an experience when she visited America where she was at a press day and when she got onto the subject of bots with a peer, they said they were a necessary tool to grow your audience. WRONG. The ‘following’ page on Insta makes it super easy to see who is using bots – if someone is liking pictures of random teenagers in Dubai at 4am then the likelihood is they are using bots and it really makes you lose respect for them. On a more positive note, the ‘following’ page can help you see what your Instagram idols are liking and commenting on, which helps you see how organic engagement happens!
9. You need to have self-discipline
Just like Jason and I, Siobhan and her husband work together on their social media agency Flashlight & Foghorn. But that means getting up at 6am every day and being ready to work at their desks by 9am. They even schedule meetings with each other and have a giant whiteboard where they plan their business moves. Serious dedication, but it pays off!
10. Your brand is allowed to change – constantly
It’s so important to constantly re-assess your brand. Like myself, Siobhan has taken breaks from vlogging and blogging in order to change up her content or question how to better it. She’s even in the process of changing the logo that has represented her blog for its whole existence, but she’s built such a solid brand now that a logo change is simply a new shopfront to her already recognisable brand!
Follow Siobhan on Instagram @justauniform