Casey Goode, AKA Officially Quigley, didn't mean to become an influencer. Originally moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music, she began to fill her free time with creative projects and Officially Quigley was born.
We love Officially Quigley's wanderlust-inducing travel shots and awesome sense of fashion. Like everyone else, she had to start somewhere, right?
As with many people who have fallen into this career of digital marketing as an influencer, Casey's made a name for herself by figuring out what works and what doesn't. These are influencer mistakes that she doesn't want you to make:
Prioritizing Free Stuff Over Quality Content
Of course, receiving free product from brands is a huge influencer perk and is so exciting when you are just starting out. If you're planning on taking your brand full-time, you'll need to generate actual income as you can't pay your rent in product, right?
"Since I said yes to every opportunity, I reached this point where I was at overwhelm and I was like, I literally do not have enough time or hours in the day to create this content for trade and have every post be up to my standards of what I wanted to create," says Casey.
If you accept every free product in exchange for promotion deal you receive, this not only dilutes your brand (it looks like you'll work with anyone!) but like Casey, you won't have enough hours in the day to create all the content you need to put out. If you have a full-time job, you're going to feel the burn out super quick. When in doubt, it's always best to prioritize quality over quantity.
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Winging Content Shoots
Part of the appeal of influencer marketing to brands is that an editor, stylist, talent, videographer, and director are all wrapped up into one person - the influencer. This means cheaper prices for them, but a lot of work for influencers.
When it comes to creating the content, winging it never really works if you want something of quality.
"I really try and make sure that every shoot I do has a narrative to it and tells a story and you know, brings an authentic part of what I'm doing and who I am to the purpose of the shoot," says Casey. " I just recently did a Valentine's Day shoot and it wasn't like we just took some pictures of an outfit. We went back to the place that we had our first kiss and we went back to the place where we got engaged, and celebrated the story. That shoot took: figuring out the outfits, figuring out the location where we can shoot and if we have permission to shoot there. That's a tricky one. And it really, the research really needs to be done in advance".
If you're getting paid to create content, the responsibility is on you to plan the content and follow up accordingly. If you love creating content and following your passion, this should be one of the most fun parts of your job!
Not Following Your Passion
Let's say you want to start an Instagram to get free stuff. Or get invited to events. Or hey, even to get a little bit of fame and recognition. You're going to burn out fast. This is why Casey believes it's SO important to follow your passion. But how can you tell if you're getting in the game for the right reasons?
"If you're doing it for the wrong reasons, like you just want to get free clothes...you don't know what your real purpose is and your determination and creating your content, what the end goal is, when it gets tough, you're going to start to feel like it's not worth it anymore."
The one question you should ask yourself? "The biggest question would be why? Once you find your why, let that drive what you want to make. Start with your message and then figure out how you can represent that creatively in an individual way".
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Not Being Mindful
"A positive mind colors your reality", says Casey. Let's say you get a "no" from a brand you really want to work with. Instead of focusing on negative self-talk ('they hate me', 'I ruined the pitch'. 'I'm never going to be successful'), flip the switch and ask: what can I learn from this?
"The next step would be trying to bring mindfulness to my every day activities and not just thinking about the future, but really trying to be focused on the present moment. That can be as simple as just taking a shower, and really being in the shower, feeling the water on your skin and not really trying to get out to do the next thing or the next thing".
As an influencer, you'll hear "no" a lot. There will be times when you feel that you're not good enough or that you'll never succeed. This is one of the biggest influencer mistakes that you can make - so it's a good idea to get into the habit of positive mindset training early on.
Forgetting to Set Boundaries
Most influencers work from home where the line between the working day and relaxing time is often blurred.
"Our job is to be on our phones, and so setting boundaries with technology is really, really important", says Casey, "I had to learn the hard way. I had my husband being like, where's my wife? Like, when are you at work and when are you with me? Like, what is going on here?".
We have a feeling that even bigger things are on the horizon for Casey.
Feeling inspired by Casey's authentic and mindful journey to the top? Keep up with Officially Quigley on her Instagram!