Is it possible to work full-time and grow a successful brand on the side? Absolutely.
Will it be easy? Absolutely not.
But that doesn't mean that it is impossible. Take a look at Callie and Leo of The LA Couple. They've grown their following of over 50,000 people while both working 40 hours a week.
So how do you do it? Callie and Leo share their best tips and lessons they've learned in the past two years.
Here's the big secret: Callie and Leo have the same amount of hours as everyone else. They get the content because their brand is important to them and they make time.
"It's very difficult. We're not gonna lie and sit here and be like 'it's so easy and we sleep a lot!' The fact is, we are up on Saturday mornings after working Monday through Friday every single day, and getting those sunrise shots and planning ahead. That's kind of the key. When you do have a full-time job and that's priority because that's what's paying your bills at the moment, you have to separate the two. And by separating the two, you have to carve out the time to create the content."
Manage Your Frustration
"You can plan ahead. You can go to the set or the photoshoot location, and things might not work the way that we want it." When it comes to creating content, it will never be perfect or the way that you planned it in your head. Keeping frustration at bay is key to productivity and keeping your sanity.
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There's Space For You
"When we started, a lot of people were telling us 'the market's saturated, there are so many travel couples, there are so many influencers already that there's no space for you' is basically what we were being told. It's discouraging - I have a story and it's different from everybody else's and I want to tell it," says Callie. So what are you to do when the world is trying to hold you back?
Expel that negative energy and realize that there IS space for you. Just take a look at how The LA Couple grew to see that it is true! They decided to ditch fear and focus on what they love. Everyone has a unique story to tell, and in that way the market isn't saturated at all.
"Everything is based in fear or love - if you are fearful of jumping into anything whether it's social media or taking a leap of faith into a new career path, or quitting your job, whatever that may be that's holding you back because you're fearful - most likely you're not going to succeed as much as you would have if you just went for it."
To Callie and Leo, there is no such thing as failure. If you don't gain a single follower, their belief is that you still have a beautiful portfolio of memories and events in your life. What a great outlook, right?
Be Genuine to Your Brand
Callie and Leo don't accept every product offer they're given, even if it means more free product or paid offers. They view being influencers as a responsibility - they have an obligation to stay true to an audience that trusts them (though we have a feeling that they would stay honest and authentic either way).
When an offer comes in, the first thing they do is say "is it on brand." If it's a yes, then comes a discussion of payment. If there is no budget or a smaller budget than anticipated but it's a brand that they truly love, then they can proceed with the collaboration. The love of the product will shine through in the photos which might pave the way for future partnerships who come across the content.
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Block Out The Haters
The haters aren't always anonymous internet trolls - it can be people in your closest circle.
Instagram and digital marketing is still a relatively new concept, and often times people don't understand it. "It is a foreign world...it can be a foreign language to people who have been told and conditioned throughout their lives to go to school, get a real job, make money, and then retire. That has been so programmed into what we know".
If you ask a random person off the street "how do you make money off Instagram?" chances are - they may not know the answer. As the same person "how do you make money at an office job?" and the answer becomes much more simple.
"This is the first time we've been able to use a platform like this to our advantage - it's a new working field", they say. It's true that the ability to monetize your social media has only been around for about four years - less than half a decade. "We are the trailblazers!"
Maybe your friends DO understand it - and get a little bit jealous. Maybe you're growing on a platform that they wish they were successful on. Guess what - that's their problem, not yours. Offer advice if they ask, otherwise, move on.
Define Your "Why"
For Callie and Leo, their "why" is sharing their love story. They are firm believers in positivity and spreading loving energy (could you tell?) and it shows in their content.
When it comes to defining your "why", Leo believes there's one answer that is setting you up for disaster - getting into the industry for the money. The money might take a long time to come. It may not be the amount you want. Money should be a perk, not a reason.
Prioritize Your Spending
"We've invested in the business we've created, but 90% of the time, we're shooting on our iPhones!" For a lot of influencers, the excuse of "oh, I can't afford the camera, or lights, or a drone, or other expensive equipment" holds them back from diving in - but here's a great case study that all you really need is a cell phone and a tripod.