I get a lot of questions about this, so I decided to start off my Things-To-Do Thursday with a group I am a part of: The SoCal Blogger Babes (Click here to view site). It has really helped me tremendously through my Influencer journey, so I figured it would be beneficial to share with you all. I’ve been part of the group since around March, and I have to say if you are trying to get connected to your local blogging community, this is the way to go. Since then, SCBB has branched out to Los Angeles, San Diego, Inland Empire, New York, and most recently, San Antonio. I decided to join about a month after I made up my mind that I wanted to become an influencer. All it really came down to was: I had no idea what I was doing. I was going through various member’s IG pages and thinking, wow these girls really seem to have their acts together. Many of them were attending events, had collaborations to post about, seemed to have a lot of other influencers to hang out with, and most importantly had things worthwhile to talk about. After seeing some of the cool things they got to do through their IG page (view here) and seeing on their website that their main goal was to create genuine friendships, I figured it was worth a try. I’ll break it down for you with what I have found the most beneficial being a part of this group the last 10 months.
Getting Connected to the Blogging World. Like I mentioned before, when I first started on this influencer journey, I had no idea what I was doing. I actually thought that by posting a few pictures of my outfits, using a couple hashtags, and tagging the brands that I wore would equate to a following, engagement, and potential brand collaborations. It was so nice to join the group and be able to get to know local bloggers who had different amounts of followers, but all had similar interests (to create authentic content via their social media platforms). Some girls were brand new like me, while others in the group have been blogging for years. I felt at home right away, and was able to discuss with them what worked with their blogs, and what didn’t. It is so nice to be able to reach out with any questions I have when it comes to my Instagram or blog and be able to pick their brains any time I’m started to feel confused, overwhelmed, or uncertain. Through them I have learned so much: how to collaborate with brands, blogger etiquette, the do’s and don’ts of social media, a better understanding of the Instagram algorithm, and the importance and responsibility that comes with deciding to take this journey.
Brand Outreach. Another huge benefit of joining SoCal Blogger Babes, I would soon find out, is the brand outreach that they do. The leaders of SoCal Blogger Babes reach out to various brands to do collaborations. Every month, they put out a spreadsheet of potential collaborations or events you can attend. They are clear about what is required of you before you choose to sign up. Girls are then chosen, and voila: you are connected with that brand. I can not stress how helpful this has been for me. Unlike some bloggers that are able to focus on this full-time, I work a full-time job. That doesn’t give me much time to reach out to brands and send out hundreds of emails to see if anyone would be interested in working with me. By being able to post collaborations set up by the SoCal Blogger Babes, and being taught the basics of posting etiquette, I am now having brands reach out to me directly. I have been able to do so many cool things with the SoCal Blogger Babes including: getting set up with brands to do photo shoots, learning brand new activities, going to tons of exclusive shopping events, walking in fashion shows, and getting invited to countless other events. More importantly, it has been so amazing to be able to both find brands to work with that my followers will love, as well as helping small businesses by shining a light on what they are doing. So much of marketing today has to do with advertising, so I am very grateful to be able to help small brands become known.
Making Genuine Friendships. As cheesy as it sounds, I think the greatest benefit about joining the SoCal Blogger Babes has been getting to know this very special group of girls. My number one question about the group is if the girls I encounter are nice, and I can honestly say you could reach out to anyone in the group and they would be happy to answer any questions you have. As the founder, Shelby (Instagram here), has explained before, a lot of the blogging world is being able to hide behind a phone or computer screen. People are able to put up a facade of a perfect life. What any blogger will soon find out is this sort of lifestyle isn’t always glamorous. It’s actually a lot of hard work. That’s why it’s so important to make friendships with other women who understand. The group has made me understand something that seemed so unattainable (becoming an influencer) possible. It’s so nice to be able to see a girl with pretty pictures on her feed is actually a real person, filled with the same hopes and insecurities as you. By joining this group of BOSSES, I have constant support. I know tons of us have had difficulty trying to explain to people outside of the industry exactly what you are doing, so it’s so nice to be around other women that understand, and are genuinely rooting for your success. I have never experienced any sort of competition with the other members, and it’s really a community of women supporting women. That’s not easy to find in today’s world. Like they say, “everything is better with your babes”, and it’s true.
I can’t stress enough how much joining the group has helped me grow my platform and really discover what I wanted to do as far as an influencer/blogger. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me and I’d be happy to answer them. If you are considering joining, click here. Happy Thursday!