Why Being an Influencer Now May Be More Important Than Ever

    April 03 2020

    With the recent crisis, it has been hard for me to watch how everything is currently unfolding throughout the world around us. Living in New York during this time has also brought its own unique fears into the mix. Watching the city that I love go through such a difficult time has left me feeling paralyzed and, to be quite honest, hopeless at times. There are days where I don't feel as though I have much to give, or that the content I create won't even matter. But even on the hardest days, we know it's quite the opposite for all of us.This is the best time for everyone to share positivity on social media.Our audiences are tuning in more and more to what we have to say right now, and they are looking to us to help guide them and keep them afloat when anxieties and scary thoughts are so prevalent. I've been trying so hard to shift my mindset onto more positive things, and the best way to do this has been getting personal with my audience – tapping into our shared experience. As content creators, we need them just as much as they need us, and now is the time to engage and connect.I started Leopard Martini, a fashion, decor, and lifestyle blog, back when blogs were quickly beginning to carve out space for themselves around several little corners of the internet. It was 2011, and I had just graduated from college and was starting Grad School. I was in desperate need of finding an outlet to channel all of my creative energy into while taking so many crazy math courses. (I needed an escape from school big time!) Fast forward to 2020, and this May will mark nine years with Leopard Martini (LM).The blog has grown to take me on countless adventures that I could never have dreamed of. I've gained so many amazing friendships along the way, and have worked with some of my favorite (dream) brands including DVF, Estēe Lauder, Vogue, Jo Malone London, & Anthropologie (to name a few), and was published in Vanity Fair Magazine in the summer of 2017. Above all, Leopard Martini has always served as an escape, and has been the best therapeutic outlet for me to get my thoughts out, share what's currently inspiring me, and connect with other like-minded friends out there! That sentiment still rings true today.Both in my personal life and in the world, I've always promised myself to remain authentic to my blog's audience and stick to my mission for launching my blog in the first place. My love for connection, for sharing my passions, and for inspiring others to continuously seek the things that bring them joy has always been top of mind. There are three ways to continue to inspire and excite your audience during this time – while also taking care of yourself too.

    Stay True to Your Mission

    One of the most important things you can continue to do right now is to stay true to your mission and your ethos. Remember why your followers love your content in the first place. I've listed my mission and goal for Leopard Martini on the About Page on my website as it's so dear to my heart. I strive to always keep things upbeat and positive on LM. Always, always always. I discovered my niche through tapping into my audience both on social and through my website, listening to what they wanted to see more of, and catering my content to their needs. Deeply connecting with my audience through personal moments and vulnerability throughout my writing career over the years has created the community that I have today.I encourage you to revisit your mission. Find those things that resonate with you and focus on continuing to provide a haven for your readers, no matter what is going on around us or in the world. Listen to what they're needing and what they want from you too! One of the best ways I've found in doing this is by creating polls or Q&As on Instagram and incorporating an open dialogue with my followers. Discover what content you can provide for your audience right now. A lot of my audience is newly adjusting to social distancing, inspiring my recent increase in self-care content and blog post on tips for working from home. Ultimately, it's important to tap into your community's interests. They are eager to connect with you now more than ever – listen to their needs and align them with your brand and mission.

    Promote Calm

    I've spoken with so many friends right now, both content creators and business owners, who are feeling overwhelmed and scared at the moment. (As I think many of us are currently feeling.) They mentioned that they've been limiting their screen time to only the things that promote calm and help to bring them peace of mind. They're shifting away from the news (while also finding a balance of staying informed), but gravitating more towards accounts on social media that help to brighten their day and instill positivity.Try incorporating this mindset into your daily practice when creating content. Share what you love, what inspires you, ways to practice self-care at home. Try a new workout video, recipe, or book you've been eager to dive into! Two of my favorite rituals, as of late, have been filling my apartment with fresh blooms along with taking daily Epsom salt soaks in our tub. I've shared little snippets of this with my followers to help promote a sense of calm and relaxation throughout their day when they visit my IG. Instagram Stories is my absolute favorite way to connect right now.

    Spread Positivity

    The best thing you can do right now for your audience is to continue to spread positivity and light during this time. Things are still uncertain about the climate of our world right now, but what is certain is your mission and bringing joy to your community right now. My goal when people visit my blog or my social channels has always been to make it a haven and a safe space for them to explore. I want to inspire them in the little things so that they can see the beauty around us everywhere – especially when times are hard.My community includes women of all ages (and some men!) who relish in enjoying the little things in life. Through comments and DM's, we discovered a shared love for embracing the simple things in life like a delicious home-cooked meal, a rejuvenating yoga class, a romantic dinner with their love, or a self-care moment at home. I focus on inspiring them daily through thoughtful and light-hearted topics within style, beauty, travel, and interior design. I love encouraging them to create a space that's all their own while placing an emphasis on my love for slow living and the things that I believe matter most.

    What You Can Do Starting Today

    So many people are currently spending most of their time at home right now, and it's the best time to share ways that they can enjoy it and make the most of it. (We won't always have this time at home with our loved ones!) Now is the time to slow down, relish what we love, and connect in ways we haven't before.Share glimpses of your new normal, while also promoting calm, enjoyment, and a spirit of abundance and joy. Here are a few things I've been sharing daily with my followers:

    • Walks in the park
    • Pictures of little indulgences at home: detox baths, skincare routines, currently reading, or glasses of champagne (for fun!)
    • What's on the menu! Things that my husband, Nathan, and I are cooking at home
    • Honesty, some days are harder than others!

    A Note on Brand Partnerships & Work

    This is a slower time for content creators everywhere. Many of us have lost opportunities with work that we were relying on – from canceled trips and events to canceled speaking appearances. The best thing that we can continue to do right now is to stay positive, continue to create, and continue to share what inspires you and makes you, YOU. Now is the time to lean in and tap into our creativity! And don't lose hope, the more we create, the more we will grow, and the more opportunities await us on the other side of this. There are so many ways that you can continue to inspire your audience during this time. The opportunities are truly endless for you to grow along with them. We are all in this together, and the more love and positivity that we can spread, the easier it will be for us to get through this.

    How will you continue to spread love and light during this season?

    Learn more about Darren Griffin, on PLANOLY

    Darren Griffin

    Darren Griffin was a contributing Senior Writer at PLANOLY. His expertise includes culture, fashion, and social media marketing.

    More by Darren Griffin


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