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 out, here’s what we learned from this month’s insta-live babe Carrie Anne from mamma lifestyle brand Mere Soeur…
1. You can learn how to do stuff
Now known for her edgy products and graphic slogans, Carrie spoke about the first product she ever made – a tote bag – using none other than Vista Print! (Who remembers that brilliant website?!) Point is, she had no idea how to use Photoshop when she starte out, but she was so determined to make her product that she didn’t let that hold her back. She used what was at her disposal, then made it her long-term goal to learn how to use professional tools like Photoshop to better her product in the future. When there’s a will, there’s a way!
2. Have a product/service
Carrie and I spoke about the whole ‘influencer’ thing and the difference between blogging for the sake of being a blogger and blogging to make a difference. We both agreed that when you have a product or a service to offer, it automatically feels like a real, bonafide job rather than just a hobby. Blogging is still such a new concept, but a lot of people are just doing it because they want to be an influencer, rather than doing it because they believe in something. If you want to have longevity, purpose and direction as an influencer, you need to be thinking about what you’ve actually got to offer people aside from the pretty pictures.
3. Don’t let small things hold you back
Carrie’s first ever blog photo was taken NOT by an Instagram husband, but by her Nan in the field outside her house! When people tell me they aren’t moving forward with their blog/Insta it’s usually because of small setbacks, like they don’t have anyone to take their photos for them – trust me, there is ALWAYS someone who will take your pics! *Calls Nan*
4. Tunnel vision beats comparison
We spoke about the disease of comparison, and how both of us have, at times, felt completely inferior, or like we aren’t doing the most, just by looking through other successful people’s Instagrams – it’s toxic! Carrie’s remedy for this is to just have complete tunnel vision – try not to even bother looking at what your competitors are up to, and instead focus your energy on your own success. One of the upsides of the algorithm is that it’s now much easier to curate what you see on Instagram (the more you engage with accounts that make you feel positive, the more of that positive content Instagram will show you) so we’re actually able to fill our feeds with good vibes!
5. You’ll know when you’ve found your following
Finding your tribe on Instagram takes time, but you’ll know when you’ve found them! They are active at the same time as you, they have similar interests, and similar routines and you’ll notice your engagement increase when you’ve figured out who you are speaking to. For Carrie, Instagram was a place to reach out to and inspire other mums, and she found that they all had very similar routines to her own, making it easier to connect with like-minded people.
6. Be direct
When reaching out to brands or new business connections, Carrie and I spoke about how important it is to be direct and actually lay out what you hope to gain from them. We both receive so many emails that dance around the subject, leaving us confused as to what they actually want from us. Make sure you write out in detail what you actually have in mind, how long it will take, how much it will cost, what are the deliverables etc – show that you actually mean business!
7. On growing your following…
Carrie was lucky enough to grow the majority of her Instagram following the old way (i.e. pre-algorithm) and at that time it was so much easier to organically build a following, get your content seen and connect with your followers. Nowadays, she said, it’s all about cross promoting. Getting shout-outs from other big following accounts or doing collabs is the best way to get your content seen through all the white noise.
8. The real stuff happens outside of the ‘gram
People get so caught up in having a cool Instagram and building their brand on it, that they forget the good content gets created by the stuff you’re doing IRL. One thing Carrie said that really resonates is that your followers don’t exactly equate to number of sales, no matter how many you have. Especially now that every second follower seems to be a bot, you really have to work on your business outside of Instagram in order to make sales. Instagram is a great tool to help promote what you’re doing IRL, but it takes a lot more than a fire Insta account to build a successful business!
9. Make good quality product
Whether your biz revolves around providing a product or a service, make sure its good quality and your 100% best work – otherwise what’s the point? Carrie’s advice on this was that people are always more likely to share a bad review than a good review, and that’s what she keeps in the back of her mind whenever she’s creating a new product.
10. Network – but be genuine
For Carrie, networking is just like making new friends. When you think about it, the people you want to work with should have similar interests and personalities that harmonise with your own, making it a very similar process to making friends – so don’t treat it like a business transaction, and don’t force it – people can immediately tell if you’re being genuine or if you want something from them.
Follow Carrie on Instagram @mre.soeur
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