Ooooooh man...This post is a long time coming, so buckle up! It might be quite the trip.
Over 6 years ago I was struggling. I was 3 weeks postpartum, with my second child; feeling bored and lonely as my husband was working nights as a security guard and also going through school so he wasn't around much. I found myself wishing that I could do a little bit more...
I wasn't unhappy being a stay-at-home-mom, actually, quite the opposite! It was exactly what I'd always wanted to do and I was so proud of my husband for working so hard to provide for us, but at the same time I felt a little....unfulfilled?
Is it even okay to say that?
Ugh. I feel like the moment that you admit that people automatically think that being a mom is not enough. Or that you're just wishing away your time with them until you can go off and do something more "successful"; but that's not it!
It's hard to explain, but when I say unfulfilled I don't mean that motherhood wasn't enough for me or that I was too good to be "just" a stay-at-home-mom....I just felt this nudge inside me that there was something else for me in this season.
Oh, and to be completely transparent, while my husband worked hard to provide for us, and I am not trying to undermine that fact at all, there were things that I wanted that were out of our budget. I knew that unless he got a huge raise, or I found some way to financially contribute, we were going to be keeping our heads barely above water. And that felt pretty heavy.
So...I was bored. Lonely. And needed to make money; but had no money to invest so my plan of action needed to be free.
Enter my idea to start a blog, this blog actually. Only at first it was a Wordpress plug-in site that I built myself and it was baaaaaad 🤣 Oh good gravy; those early days can be a bit embarrassing, but they're part of my story, so I love them just as much.
So yes, I started a blog, because I love to write and originally my plan was to become the east big blogger. Aaaaaand then I did some research and realized how hard it was to build an audience and earn passive income off ads...Like really hard.
But I did notice that a lot of popular bloggers were on social media and that they seemed to be doing a lot of what they called "collabs". Free stuff, free vacays, clothes, all the things.
Hmmmm Steph likes things...Maybe this could work!
And then Came the 'Gram
And so I got on Instagram.
OH man. When I say those early days were rough, I mean it.
I was confident that I could get on and post any old picture but as long as I was showing "true" mom life, honest mom life, mothers everywhere would flock to my page.
Well they didn't.
Turns out people don't want to look at grainy photos of my laundry pile when they *gasp* have their own laundry pile sitting right in front of them.
So I pivoted. It took me months, but I read every article I could find about editing photos, aesthetic, using Lightroom, and all the fancy apps; anything I could do to help me start to transform my feed from inconsequential to influential.
And slowly, it started to happen.
I did a lot, a lot, of things wrong (more on that some other time), but slowly I started to build a following and got to share my story with others. And it was thrilling.
I was actually having conversations with other adults; in the middle of the day!
Not only that, but when I got pregnant with my third baby and started to share about home birth, things really began to take off. As I shared my story and encouraged others to look into their options I had moms messaging me telling me that they were planning a home birth or decided to have an unmedicated hospital birth. It was thrilling to feel like I was a part of something bigger than myself by being able to reach so many women.
On top of all that, my dreams of being able to help financially support my family (and my shopping addiction) suddenly became a reality...
And then Came the Brands
I will never forget the look on my husband's face when I turned to him randomly and said;
"I made 15,000 dollar this month."
A blank stare. Shock. Confusion.
"You mean fifteen hundred?" He asked.
"No. Fifteen thousand."
Just earlier that afternoon I'd taken a moment to add up the totals from all the recent brand gigs I had acquired (which had come on quite suddenly because of Mother's Day.) I'd ended up with quite a few all at once, and when it was all said and done I'd been paid a little over fifteen thousand dollars for a handful of partnerships over a 2 week time frame.
WHOSE LIFE WAS I LIVING!?
I think that was the moment my husband really started to take what I was doing seriously. He'd always been supportive; taken photos when I asked him to, even posed for photos on occasion. But real, quantifiable money hitting our bank account? That was different.
It didn't seem real to me at first either. And in the beginning I was totally taken advantage of by brands because I had no idea what to charge and what to charge for. But as I grew and learned I began to make better deals for more money.
And then suddenly I was matching my husband's income....And more.
Being a "social media influencer" began to open up opportunities for our family that we never would have dreamed out. Specials events, movie premiers, paid vacations, ritzy swag, again,
WHOSE LIFE WAS THIS!?
I never ever in a million years dreamed that it could happen for me, which is why I want to help every mama I can make it happen for her (if she wants to!)
And then Came YOU!
I still get asked regularly for advice on "how to get started". And man! That's a huge and loaded question! There is so much that I want to tell young hopefuls because I see myself in their desire to do more for their family.
I see myself in the want to inspire other mamas. The goal of contributing to the family finances -from home! The dream of being a part of something bigger than yourself.
So I took everything that I know about how to get started and I rolled it into a thorough course to walk social media influencer hopefuls through the ins and outs of getting started on social media. From building a brand, to growing your audience, to earning money; all of it.
This is the guide I wish I would have had when I started. And it's my new hope and dream to be the mentor you need as you begin your process.
Because my motto always has been "if I can do it, YOU CAN DO IT!" and I still wholeheartedly believe that.
There is space enough for us in the social media stratosphere to share our stories, inspire others, earn uncapped income, partner with like minded people, and everything in-between!
If you've ever had a dream of growing your influence on social media and earning an income from your phone, I hope you'll take a moment to learn more about the Influential Mama Course, launching in October! It's everything I wish I would have had all those years ago and will help you achieve your goals much faster than I did 🤣😅🙈 (Who knew that with strategy, branding, and a general knowledge of social media you could grow MUCH quicker!? ha ha)
I believe in you, and your dreams mama. If that quiet, lonely mom of 2 with NO social media or camera experience can do it, so can you!
I'm rooting for you!