1. Sit down, be humble.
Nobody likes entitled, and nobody likes overly cocky. Nobody cares if you have 100k if you act like a cold-hearted bitch. In this competitive industry, numbers won't get you as far as a powerful voice and influential platform. Be humble, be appreciative, and be thankful. Trust me when I say that being thankful and genuine with both your colleagues (aka business owners, PR managers, etc.) and your followers will really thank you in the long run.
2. Your hustle determines your paycheck.
A lot of bloggers ask me, "How do you get paid when companies won't reach out to you?"
The answer is simple - I reach out to them. Don't wait for the opportunity; act on it. If you have a brilliant and creative idea, find one (or multiple companies) that you would love to involve in this project and craft a proposal around your idea. More often than not, companies are interested in creating content with passionate influencers and the worst they can do is say no.
While rejection may hurt, feelings of regret and not trying new things hurts even more. So what are you waiting for? It's time to get out a pen and paper - let's get them creative juices rollin'.
3. People follow you for your influence and your voice, not your numbers.
With the shitty Instagram algorithm becoming more and more intolerable by the second, I continue to hear an endless amount of complaints about how nobody is growing.
However, I learned a long time ago that complaints get you nowhere and change does. Instead of asking "Why aren't I gaining any followers these days?", why not ask yourself "How can I help out my community? How can I create content that will stimulate my readers' minds?"
When people see that you're focused on your goals and actively pushing to become a more effective influencer, you will naturally attract an audience that will continue to support you endlessly. This will be the same audience that will translate among multiple platforms and will follow you wherever you go, whether it's on Instagram or the next trending app years from now.
4. Don't feel obligated to work with every company that is interested in your work.
I'll admit that past Michelle used to jump on every collaboration that she received. However, times have changed, young blogger Mish has grown up, and now she knows better.
For anyone who has a clear mission statement for their brand or blog, I would highly recommend NOT working with every company that wants to send you complimentary products and/or a paycheck. The more companies you work with, the more confusing your brand becomes to other companies and your followers. And along the way of accepting collaboration after collaboration, you may lose the trust of your followers in the long run if you cannot explain to them what your brand is really about if you are saying yes to every company.
Only work with brands that align with your blog and push your brand's mission statement even further. Stay consistent, and don't venture off too far from your own personality and comfort zone. When you reject brands that don't fit your style, aesthetic, or feed, you only leave room for better opportunities ahead that do fit your brand.
5. If you want to be treated like a professional, stay professional.
If you ever receive an email where a company undermines your work or value, do not send an angry email back. Not only is it a waste of your time, but it also just comes across as unprofessional. Simply ignore them, or tell them your honest thoughts in a calm, but effective manner and leave it at that. As I always say, anger and unnecessary sass never help communicate your point any better than addressing things rationally.
Also, this is a pet peeve or turn-off to me, but to each their own. If I attend a media event that involves gifting or goodie bags at the end of the night, I would NEVER open it at the venue or in front of the host/hostess. I personally don't think it looks good to be gushing over your gifts in public, nor is it necessary to open your gift the very second you receive it. Save the unboxing for Instastories at home, and don't forget to thank the company for their generosity!
6. Be aggressive - but in the right way.
In the past and even today, I would craft an extremely detailed proposal of a project I would love to work on with a company, only to receive no response - multiple times.
I thought they were interested? Do they hate me? Did I say something wrong?
More often than not, the employee who manages the public relations or marketing side of the company most likely missed your email. If you think about it, hundreds of other influencers are reaching out to the same company so there's a high chance that your specific email will be lost in the mail. After all, the world is saturated with content creators, and same with the email inboxes of every company that exists.
But you know what I learned while being an entrepreneur? You NEED to be aggressive if you want to get your point across, or if you want to be noticed. Think of it like a recommendation letter or job interview situation - you need to follow up constantly with a professor to make sure that they've sent in your letter or call the employer if they are interested in hiring you for the job. Whether we like it or not, the ones in power may not be the ones who control our future - it's us.
Here's a fun story to remind you to stay positive and focused when your follow-ups are being ignored - it took me at least SIX follow-up emails (one sent every 2-3 days) to finally work with a company that I collaborate with on a regular basis to this very day. If I had given up after the first one or two emails, where would that have left me? Back at square one. If you want to get ahead, you have to think ahead. Be fearless, work hard, and your results will show.
I hope that these tips resonated with you guys & I would love to write more articles similar to this one - after all, inspirational tips and tricks are one of my favorite topics to share with you all! If you want me to write about any additional topics, please share with me your requests in the comments below or feel free to DM me on Instagram!
As a hardworking content creator fearlessly pursuing your long-term goals in this competitive industry, I know that it's easy to lose inspiration or motivation in the process of chasing our dreams. Throughout my years of blogging, let me just tell you that I've personally experienced a roller coaster of ups and downs when it came to a consistent and determined work ethic. One day, I'd feel a surge of inspiration and then the next, a complete 360 where I didn't feel like doing anything. Why is this, you ask? Well, it's human nature to experience different emotions (happiness, sadness, anger, etc.) as we go through life, and the same goes with feelings of motivation. That's why I've compiled FIVE tips to help YOU stay inspired when things feel like they're crashing down. With this post, I hope that at least one of these tips helps lift you out of that uninspired rut!
1. Get away from work. Take a break, go outdoors, book a vacation.
One of the best and worst parts about being a content creator is that the flow of content never stops. Coming from a competitive industry that is highly saturated with content creators, not only are we are expected to create content 24/7, but we frequently have to develop innovative ideas that no one has done before as well. When you work under the pressure of trying to stand out among the crowd all the while balancing your current workload, it's easy to fall victim to a lack of motivation and hopelessness.
This industry is not like your standard 9-5 - you can't just clock out when you want to because trust me, an influencer's brain doesn't work that way. When you brain is running 24/7 for weeks, months or years, it's very easy to feel burnt out and lose all motivation in your work and progress. That's why this field isn't meant for everybody.
But let's just say that you're just going through a rough patch and need to find a source of motivation or a pick-me-up? In that case, one of the best things you can do for yourself is TAKE A BREAK. Every individual works differently, so whether that means taking a week-long hiatus from social media or booking an all-day spa appointment, do what's best for YOU. Some people feel reenergized off of one rest day, while others need a week to feel fully refreshed. I respect anybody who respects and knows how to treat their body when life gets tough. And don't forget to remember that health comes first. With better health, comes a better work ethic, better productivity, and thus, better progress to get you closer towards your goals.
2. Find role models, motivational speakers, inspirational quotes - anything to keep those creative juices flowing.
What I love most about this creative industry is the fact that we can find motivation within a few clicks of your phone or computer mouse. If you're a content creator and recently feel like it isn't fun to post on social media anymore (or worse, if it feels torturous), then YOU need to do something about your situation. Complaints and excuses won't get you anywhere, but taking action will. When I'm in a creative rut, I always re-read old posts from various lifestyle and travel bloggers that I look up to in order to reignite my creativity.
When you look up to a certain individual and find their content refreshing and heartwarming, you already know that they're inspirational to your life in some way. To each their own, but here are a few content creators that I personally look up to or check up on frequently in order to keep my creative juices flowing.
Also, another useful tip to stay motivated is using PINTEREST. Taking the time to research and read through a list of inspirational quotes really lifts my spirits up. I've created a few Pinterest boards on motivational quotes, and I suggest that you do the same!
3. Block time out of your day/week to schedule an inspirational or motivational task in.
When you're always on the grind creating content, there has to be a point when you reach total and utter exhaustion. You don't ever want to completely burn yourself out, or else you'll end up taking a longer time to recover - which eliminates overall productivity in the end. I have a close friend who is in the creative industry and shares with me that he always stops himself from overworking himself once the clock hits 10PM. From 10PM, he strictly dedicates his free time before bedtime to LEARN so that he can become even more knowledgeable in his field. Honestly, I told him that I would do the same, but haven't done so yet - so scheduling a block of time to LEARN something new about my field is definitely something I have to incorporate into my future schedule.
When you take the time out of your day or week to learn something new, you are benefitting your quality of life. Instead of repeating the same ol' steps or tactics, you can use the tips that you've learned to create even BETTER content. That's why it's so important to take some time out of your day, whether it is 30 minutes to an hour, towards learning something new. You'll thank yourself later.
For me, a few inspirational/motivational tactics that I block time out of include, but are not limited to, listening to a motivational speaker (I highly recommend Gary Vee), reading books on entrepreneurship/monetization/productivity or skimming through Instagram/YouTube for creative and aesthetic photography or videography styles. The creativity never ends, and neither should yours.
4. Get out of your comfort zone and try new things!
This is probably easier said than done, but once you're in the mindset to change and grow, this fourth point will really resonate with you. For years, I loved dressing up in floral and lace dresses and rompers. However, because of my Asian baby face, TONS of strangers would go up to me during photoshoots and ask if I was taking my senior portraits (for HIGH SCHOOL). First and foremost, hold up - it's been TEN years since I've been out of high school. The more I went out to photoshoot, the more this subject was brought up - and the thought of being acknowledged as an adolescent instead of an adult started to chip away at my head like an annoying woodpecker.
But, instead of complaining about this situation and not doing anything about it, I eventually told myself that I WANT to be recognized as an adult by wearin more mature clothing. Yes, I will always love my rompers and dresses, but I'm proud of the fact that I finally have convinced myself to be more open-minded when it comes to fashion. Nowadays, I want to try my very best to dress more business chic and classy so that I can be treated like an adult. Remember, although you cannot change what happens around you, you hold the power to how you react to certain situations and the right decisions could move you forward in life.
5. Write down your short-term and long-term goals and check back on them every now and then. Make this plan more effective by having a friend hold you accountable!
I solemnly swear that I am a crazy planner lady. I'm also a crazy dog lady, but let's save that story for another time. One of the most effective planners that I've used to keep track of my life goals is Passion Planner! This planner literally goes above-and-beyond a normal planner's functions, as it promotes positivity, productivity, and chasing your goals within a reasonable deadline.
If you don't ever hold yourself accountable for getting a certain task done within a certain time limit, then how can you ever safely say that you've achieved your goals? Let Passion Planner be your guide towards a more organized and fulfilled life. What I love about Passion Planner is that there is an introduction that literally lures you in towards a more positive outlook on life. This introduction not only sets the mood of inspiration, but it also provides monthly "check-in" pages and "passion roadmaps" to fill out so you know exactly what you're working towards.
If you aren't feeling the Passion Planner specifically, you can always purchase a more affordable notebook or planner and fill out the empty lines yourself. Bonus points if you jot down all of your goals and show them to your friend so that he/she can help you keep your priorities in check!
After reading this blog post, I hope that one (or more) of these tips have ignited that spark of creativity and inspiration within you! Please click the heart button at the bottom of this post if you enjoy these inspirational pieces, and let me know in the comments section below if you'd like me to write more of these pieces!