December 13, 2022

51. Want to Start a Profitable Blog in 2023? Start Here.

51. Want to Start a Profitable Blog in 2023? Start Here.
Can you guys believe that 2023 is almost here?! Where did the year go?! With each passing year, and as the girls continue to grow, it just feels like each the days and seasons are going by more and more quickly.
So as our schedules fill up for the rest of the year, and into the new one, let’s slow down a bit and set some goals and intentions for ourselves.
And I know for many of you, a goal for 2023 is to start a blog – with the hope and intention of making it profitable. So I wanted to provide a resource for you on how to do just that.
So on today’s podcast, I am sitting down with Nichelle to cover the ins and outs of blogging and the influencer business model. We are covering:
  • Tangible ways to set goals that are attainable and aligned
  • Small steps I took to when I was just getting started
  • How to know when it’s time to hire a team member
  • My deciding factor of when to leave my 9 to 5- and go full time with the blog
  • Break down on the influencer business model - and how it *actually* works
This episode is certainly geared towards those in the blogging world, or soon to be, but there are SO many good takeaways for those just wanting to start a business in general. 
One of my favorite things that Nichelle and I talked about isgoal setting.
We’ve referenced our go-to book,Traction, in previous episodes, but we dive in a little deeper on some tangible processes we execute on a daily basis here at Loverly Grey.
An example is the 10 > 3 > 1 > 4 method for goal setting. As a team, we set a 10 year, 3 year, 1 year, and then 4 quarter goal. We start with the vision, and work backward from there - making sure that we have the long term (10 year) and short term (quarterly) gaps filled in to bring that vision to life. This has been so life changing for the brand and it helps us to stay aligned with our mission and vision.
So if you’re ready to start on that business, I’d suggest starting with this method! Get clear on your vision, write down your goal with time increments of 10 years, 3 years, 1 year, and then into 4 quarters, and fill in the steps to make it happen.
We hope this conversation helps to spark motivation and gives you some tangible tips to begin on your dream journey starting today.
Want to get your hands on the book we chatted about? You can find that here!
Use code LWLFREESHIP at the Life with Loverly Shop for free shipping on all orders within the Continental US!

This podcast was transcribed using Please forgive any typos or errors.


Brittany: Hi friends! Welcome to the Life of Loverly podcast. I'm Brittany, a wife, mom, and lifestyle entrepreneur here to help you discover your best daily style and encourage you to try new things When getting dressed each day, I took a tiny following on social media and turned it into a community of over 1 million amazing women and I am so glad you're here. I'll be sharing my heart with you beyond the 15 seconds on Instagram. So we'll be diving into things like personal growth, friendships, motherhood, marriage, and of course the business of blogging. Really, this space is here to serve as your go-to resource to building a life you adore while sprinkling some kindness to others along the way. Grab an ice coffee and let's do life together. I'm Brittany and this is The Life with Loverly podcast. Hi friends. Welcome back to the Life with Loverly podcast. I am excited for today's special episode.

Nichelle: I'm excited about it too. It's a topic that is constantly asked for and I mean we just constantly get so many questions around it. So I feel like it's about time.

Brittany: So we're going to pull back the curtain a little bit and talk about the business of blogging. You guys have asked some great questions over the years and we thought we could go a little bit deeper into some of these answers for you. Our hope is that you can take a little of something away from this, whether you're a blogger, whether you're a business owner, whether you're just curious about how this works and just kind of the daily life in blogging. Our goal is to help as many of you as we can and maybe we'll share some funny stories because there's definitely been some oopsie along the way.

Nichelle:I know we mentioned we went to LTK Con back in our first episode and you were asked to speak there and I have to tell you, it was so eye-opening, hearing from a lot of the other creators that were there in this space. The questions they still had, they had been in this space as long as you and they still had lots of deep business questions and I think it's just a reminder that this industry is still so relatively new. You get to pave your own way.

Brittany:Those were some of my favorite parts of the conference. Having some of those conversations. I think for one, I'm not often in a setting where I can talk with other creators. I mean a lot of my close creator friends live in other states or areas of the countries, different time zones. So being together and having some of these conversations and being able to pick each other's brains, I feel like there's a sense of women empowering other women, but also hearing the different ways that people run their business. I've always been pretty open. If somebody has a question, I'm happy to discuss what we do. And it was also so cool to see how different so many people do things like there's no right or wrong way and like you said, this is such a new industry, we're all just trying to figure it out. But I really enjoyed sharing what we do and then getting feedback. And even in the class that I spoke on, it was just so interesting to see what people were taking notes on. I was like maybe we need to take this to the podcast.

Nichelle: The dynamics. Seeing how some people do have a team, some people don't have a team, maybe they only have one person, maybe they have several and they were so curious. "Okay, what do you do in the business?" "Like wait, one person can do that, right?" Is very eye-opening for them. But I think we have a ton of great questions that were asked I would just say in the last couple of months and on stories. So I think that we can dig right in. One of the biggest ones, it was very broad, but I think that we have a couple of questions that fall under setting goals. So whenever you work for a corporate office in a corporate setting, it's usually the company vision and you come in and it's already predetermined. It is what it is. Well you get to make that right as the business owner. So I think a lot of people are like, well where do you even start when it comes to setting goals?

Brittany:Yeah, it's kind of funny because we actually just hired a new employee and she started this week. So we sat down with her on her first day and we went over the vision, all these details about who we are at Loverly Grey and what our mission is and things like that. But we had to create that at some point. And so it was so interesting because every time we hire a new employee and sit down and have this first day meeting, I leave feeling like we are legit. We took time to set goals, set these company guidelines, make this feel super official. And not that I wasn't legit before that, but taking the time to really set this in stone can also kind of help you have a stepping point in your business. So that was really important. But setting goals as a whole, I mean I know we brought in a lot of factors and things like ideas from the book Traction.

Nichelle:Such a good book for any business owner.

Brittany:They talk about smart goals which are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant.

Nichelle:And time bound.

Brittany: So it kind of breaks out what each of those things mean but really sitting down and spending time creating goals and literally putting anything and everything on a list.

Nichelle: One of the things that we do, and this was definitely something that was inspired by the book, was making yearly goals. And I know we personally do ten three one and then from there we break that one year into four quarters just because again that's a smart action plan so it's measurable. We actually have timelines and we're time bound to all of those goals. That was a really great way I think for us to start because we had to go back to your vision, what you wanted and then we literally start at the top and bring it back into current right time.

Brittany:I know for me personally in the past I got so caught up on okay, what am I going to do next? Or I'm so busy right now, I don't have time to step away and create goals or figure it out. I just have to do these collaborations that are in my lap and maybe at the end of the month I'll have more time or at the beginning of the next month and then three months pass and I still haven't set up any of these goals for myself. What are we working for towards at the end of the day? So you really do have to sometimes slow down to speed up. I feel like we have had to learn that a few times. That's a lesson I would say I have walked away from 2022 experiencing is there were definitely times that we had to be like, we've gotta put everything on hold. Those things aren't going to be important if we don't have these other things in place. And so we have to get these other things in place. But absolutely setting goals and we'll leave the book traction in the show notes so if anybody's interested in reading that you'll be able to grab that easily. But it was very, I feel like yeah, very great. 

Nichelle: If this goes back to even back in one of the first blog business of blogging episodes that we talked about, what are you working towards? You just said that. What are you working towards? What's your vision? That's what you have to start with every single time you start to list out your goals, remember what the end result is. So I think that's one of the big takeaways I know that you and I have come to go back to the vision

Brittany:And it's so interesting because I think a lot of people start out blogging or become an influencer and they don't realize this is a legit full blown business. And so then you kind of have to do some of these businessy things that you are like, oh I just wanted to share outfits or Oh I just love home decor and this is what I was talking about. But later it really helps when you're needing help or you need to be reminded this is why we're doing this. So even in if you're years in and you haven't done this yet, it's not too late. So take that as encouragement, maybe even spend some time in January, the start of the year, setting up yourself up for 2023

Nichelle: For sure. So time management is another question that you get a lot. How do you manage your day? How do you manage life and balance work and all of those in betweens. I think that, let's take it to your workday first. How do you feel you are the most effective at managing your time throughout the work week?

Brittany: I feel like I love a schedule. Feel like we have set certain schedules up within our work week on Mondays we have a standing meeting every Monday where we go over to-dos things that came in over the weekend. We review numbers from the week before we go over collaborations that are coming up for the upcoming week. We list out what do we need to shoot, what do we need to prep, what do we need to order and get that all solidified on a day. And then we really use Monday as kind of a planning day. If we have the ability to shoot content, we shoot it on that Monday. But I feel like it's, it is a sort of catch but also let's make a plan and then figure out how we're going to execute it from there. I love a calendar. We have a wall calendar here. I use a desk calendar.

Nichelle:We have the electronic calendar.

Brittany:The Google Calendar that everybody's a part of. I feel like once we write something on the board that's like, okay, this day we're doing this. Because right now we're, we've got two calendars that are overlapping cause we've got Life with Loverly and when we're interviewing somebody for the podcast or doing planning, we've gotta have that broken out on the calendar. But then we also have the Loverly Grey calendar which is shooting content and these collaborations are going up on these days or this is what every week is not just filled with collaborations only. There's things that are fun, just random posts that I'm like, okay we keep getting more requests for work wear, let's make sure that's on the calendar so that it becomes something that we're for sure going to work on. So I think just having a system in place if you love an electronic calendar, just getting everything written out that's been super helpful for me.

Nichelle:Yeah, I think we've also learned in the last couple of weeks, I guess we've verbalized it out loud that you've gotta work within the times that work for you most creative. And we've noticed that we're definitely afternoon thinkers. I think that in the morning because we're so heads down trying to plan it out strategically, what does the day look like? What does the week look like? And then we are let loose after lunch. It's just like our brains are free. I know. So we end up creating more in the afternoons.

Brittany:Yeah, it's so interesting because I feel like sometimes we have some outside factors that we have to work around. For example, it is yesterday and today has been cold and rainy, which means we don't have very good lighting where we are wanting to shoot some of the projects that we're working on. And so we're kind of like okay the it's gloomy out but if we use some studio lighting, this time of day is going to be the best to get a little bit of extra light. So that might be flipped from the time that we're feeling our most productive and creative. So some days we kind of have to work with the weather funny. I feel like at the beginning of the week we always check the weather and we're like okay it looks like it's going to be sunny on Thursday. So we go ahead and plan Thursday's going to be a big content creating day because that's when the light is the best. And that's important because we want you guys to be able to see the true color of items when there's bad lighting you have to do a little bit more editing and I always wanna portray exact product that you're going to be getting. Oh for sure. So that's an extra factor we don't necessarily think about. But

Nichelle: I feel like today we're sitting here waiting on three packages to show up too. So we're kind of at the mercy of just gotta wait for that to come in.

Brittany:Exactly. Another issue we've run into sometimes is we'll order something and then the product will sell out and then we've waited a few days to get it in. It's sold out. Now we have to start over. We have to communicate with the brand, Hey I ordered this, it's no longer available. I need to place another order. We've gotta adjust dates. So there's a lot of times we have to be super flexible because there's just things we can't control. But having something in place that it's like, okay, no problem, we can move it around has been very helpful for me.

Nichelle:And the saying in sales stayed to what's closest to the money.

Brittany: So that's something we definitely take into consideration. So when we set up our to-do list in the day, I was always taught when I worked in the corporate sales, worked for an IT staffing firm before this and we would set up our to-do list and my boss taught me what is closest to the money. And in that world it meant what is closest to hiring a new contractor and for them to actually go in the door to start making the spread and getting their commission from that. So if there's nobody lined up to go in the door, then you need to start making some phone calls, you need to start setting some meetings, but maybe you have candidates they need to get interviewed. There's a whole all these processes that are in place that bring you closest to the money. So in this industry industry closest to the money might be making, creating content that will get out in front of my readers so that they will make a purchase.

So what does that look like? We've got a list of collaborations going on, what is the sponsored collaborations, what has to get brand approval? And then it gets put on a to-do list in a certain place. But it also helps us stay organized with maybe there's a task that is important it needs to get done today, but it's not affecting the bottom line. So that's going to get pushed maybe till four o'clock when we're wrapping up before the day ends at five. So it's kind of organizing your to-do list on what is going to make your business run. And maybe that's like I have to file my taxes and right now if I don't do that I could be in trouble. So that means I have to set this as a priority even though creating content is way more fun, but sometimes the not fun things have to get moved up so that you can get paid.


Brittany:Exactly. But that was always something that I felt was helped me stay on track for the day. And I've been using that strategy for the last almost seven years

Nichelle:When hiring a team. People have so many questions about this,

Brittany:Such a good topic.

Nichelle:Even current creators we're always curious, how do you know when to hire a team member?

Brittany: I feel like when you feel so overwhelmed and that you are just drowning, I mean you can do this for as long as you want without help, but there gets to a point where it's like it would just make things a lot easier if I had an extra set of hands to do this task. I remember when I hired my first full-time employee, I was kind of like, I don't know everything that you're going to be doing, but I just feel like I could be so much more productive if I had another set of hands and another set of eyes helping me do this or while I am shopping you can be linking it. So then when we go to do the share, it's already ready for me to share it with my followers. And I to think back on times when it was truly just me. I mean this was years ago how I would do it all by myself. And now I'm like that, how is that even possible?

Nichelle:Well then you have to start asking yourself at what capacity are you doing these things? Are you doing it at full capacity every single time at a hundred percent or are some areas failing because you're putting so much more energy into the things that you're actually really passionate about in the business when maybe you could find somebody who's super passionate about these other things that aren't getting a hundred percent of your time.

Brittany:I feel like I had a light bulb moment, after Hazel was born, I had one employee but she wasn't local. I really needed somebody in person with me who was going to really kind of help me catapult Loverly Grey to the next level. And I remember sitting holding Hazel, I think she was probably five or six months old and I'm sitting there holding her and I'm just crying and Chris is like what is wrong? And I feel like I had a lot of postpartum hormones and I would always be like, I don't wanna be crying, I just am. There's so much on my plate, I need help. I said out loud, I said, "I feel like I'm doing everything at less than 25%", including being a wife, being a mother. I was doing nothing at a hundred percent because I just didn't have the bandwidth.

That was kind of the moment where I was like, I have to hire more help or I have to stop, I cannot continue going on like this. And I think we had some conversations around that, but it was like I kind of hit this rock bottom place. And so we hired help. I mean we just did what we had to do. But I think even in times now we have a team, we have a large team and as we are adding more people on, it's in times where Nichelle and I are like, okay, we're creating positions because we have so much on our plate. What if we could give these three tasks from your list of responsibilities and these two tasks from mine and create a role, and then we would get all this time back and somebody who's really good at this could come in and do it. So I feel like that's how we've created some of these additional positions. It's funny because sometimes we'll get going and we can sit there and create five positions in the matter of an hour.


Brittany:Chris is always like, okay, let's slow down.

Nichelle: It's like Shark Tank. We have to go in and be like, “Here's our case. Would you like to sponsor us?”


Brittany: So funny. But I think at first it feels really scary, especially because feeling like no one's going to love this as much as I do. Or they're not going to give it their all. Well if you're hiring the right people, yes they will. They will support you. They are going to bring their strengths and do this to their best of their abilities. And that's where it is really cool to see and watch on the outside.

Nichelle:Absolutely. You actually had a really great piece of advice for someone at the conference on this whenever she was like, "how did you know needed to hire somebody?"

Brittany:Yes. Okay, so a friend of mine did this mastermind, CEO class. It was a one year class. I don't know what the class was, I kind of want to take it myself. So I'm going to go back to this friend and do a little bit of research on where she got this information from. But I was asking her about it. She was about three months in and she said that the teacher came to everybody and said, you're the CEO of your company. Give yourself an hourly rate. So whether that's you feel comfortable saying you make a $100 an hour, you make $50 an hour, you make $500 an hour, whatever it is, give yourself an hourly rate and then look around at all of the tasks that you are doing every day and ask yourself, is this task worth a hundred dollars an hour?

So if I'm going to sit there and steam clothes for an hour in prep for a photo shoot, is that worth a hundred dollars or could I pay somebody less? And they do that for me and I use that time to prep in other ways. And I feel like that was another ding, ding, ding moment because I was like, wow, there are so many things that I love to do but I can't do everything and I do need help. And when you think about it like that, you could hire somebody else to help you and give them a few other tasks. It makes so much sense. So if your mind works that way, that could be the key takeaway from this podcast. That you maybe need to hire some new team members or a new team member.

Nichelle:I think one of my pieces of advice that I would give comes from the book Traction. Whenever you break down your work chart, meaning your CEOs at the top, you branch down whoever's next, then whoever's under them. Okay, so your work chart, when you look at it as the CEO, you are the creator of the company. You're usually the creator or the founder. You have come up with this idea for this business. Being the creator means that you're the visionary. So you need to stay in that visionary role. Having all of these operational tasks does not allow for you to live in that creator/visionary role, which you're not going to be at your best capacity when you are doing all these operational things. We've learned that the hard way. That's a huge lesson learned in the business here is that an operational mind does not work the same as a creative mind. You can have both, but you can't ever do it together. It does not successfully work that way. You're either in creator mode or you are in operationa mode.

Brittany:And I think there are so many times this year that we've been in creator mode and then we've had to be like, okay, hold on. This creator mode is where I thrive. But I've had to step out of that and go into operational mode and that's not as fun for me. It's harder, but it's part of being a business owner. Sometimes you just have to do it. But being aware of that, and then saying, okay, let's actually hire somebody to help us in this way. And also I don't want you to hear that you must go out and hire eight new team members like tomorrow. I started by hiring one and then two and then three. Slowly we added more because we started seeing people's strengths.It just kind of became like, wow, what if we want to go down this road, we are going to need another person for that. So you can easily do this with just adding one person. I think that's kind of the gateway it allows you delegate a little bit and then we can keep growing from there.


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Nichelle:Do you feel like it allows you to have a really good work-life balance? I guess is as good as you can have one? Because I know that this is a 24/7 job.

Brittany:Yes. I work about 16 hours a day. I have allowed myself time to turn off, set up practices where I am going to be turned off from this time to this time because that's when I'm at home spending time with my kids or I'm having dinner. Even if you've followed me on Loverly Grey for a while on stories, you'll see that I don't share my kids as much as I used to. And I think it's just because I'm soaking up those precious moments with them. And sometimes I purposefully leave my phone on my nightstand and go in the playroom and hang out with them or then we eat dinner and then I pick back up after they go to bed so that I am able to have that time. But that's not always been the case. I mean there's been plenty of years where I've just gotten home and it's like, okay, I have to keep doing this. They're sitting there but I'm not really invested. And I've kind of been like, that's not really fair for them to see me always working. So we've definitely set up some practices but only because I've had some help where I can be like, okay, I can turn this off for a little while and know that it is being taken care of.

Nichelle:What was the deciding factor for you to actually leave that full-time job and take on blogging?

Brittany:I feel like I was doing blogging 50% and I was doing my sales job 50%. And while I was good at my sales job and had great numbers, I was doing well, I was kind of like, okay, I'd been there for four years. It was kind of like I either needed to work towards some type of promotion or I needed to go put everything into running this blog. And that was my true passion. I kind of also thought, okay, if I were to choose staying at Insight Global, would I actually stop Loverly Grey? Do I wanna stop that? And I was like not really, I like clothes more than I like IT.

It's just one thing has to give, I need to give a hundred percent to something. I feel like in the long run I'll be able to make way more money if I try making Loverly Grey something. And Chris was very like, I just don't understand. It just doesn't make sense on paper right now looking at what you're currently bringing in with your career and looking at the commissions you've made this year, I don't think that's comparable. Trust me, I feel like I can do this. But it was literally because I wasn't giving my full attention to either of them and I knew I needed to do that for either way.

Nichelle: Did you meet your income before you quit? Or were you were just at a place where you were like, we can manage?

Brittany:Yeah, so I think I had made $14,000 in commission my first year on the LTK platform. So I started my blog in January and then in May I was accepted onto the LTK platform. So for January to May was just for fun. There was no income coming in at all for the blog. But I had to, you had to get it going, you have to put in the work, you have tostart somewhere. And then I got on the platform and I remember doing my first collaboration with a brand. I did a try or I just wore a dress in a photo and they paid me $300 and I was like, yes! Yeah, here we go. I was making a little bit of commission but I was being really consistent. And so by the end of that year it was like $14,000 and my job before that I was making six figures.

So Chris was like oh gosh, but I was like, but look at this formula. I feel like if I had the time to pitch myself to brands and if I pitched myself to 10 brands and I got them to pay me $500 each and I did this in exchange, I can make this amount of money and then that doesn't include potential affiliates. So I definitely thought it would be worth it. So I told Chris I actually got a different job after I quit Insight Global. I worked for a real estate company in Atlanta and ran their social media and they paid me really well and it was amazing. I helped them run their social media and grew their social page. But it also allowed me to have a ton of flexibility because I only worked in their office one day, half day and then from home the rest of the time.

But I was learning things for my own business by helping them. And so I did that for probably seven months. And so I think that's something that Chris was like, okay, there is consistency as I was also growing. And then it got to a point where I told Chris, I was like, it's really not worth it for me to be doing this other job. I'm making past what they're paying me. It's just not really worth my time. I can again be putting more into this. And so I finally dropped that and it was fine, but it was a huge leap of faith. I was betting on myself every single day. I was showing up for my followers and for myself every single day proving I can do this.

Nichelle: You were treating it like a regular work day too. You were getting up in the morning, you were getting ready to go to work and you were working throughout the work day.

Brittany:That is another thing I feel like people probably think is so wild, that I get up or in even back then when I didn't have kids yet and I would wake up, get ready, start my work and I had it structured out. That is another thing I think that made me successful because at the beginning when I was home just after I left Insight Global for the first month, I was like, okay, now what am I going to do? Should I wake up at seven? Should I stay in my pajamas until noon? I don't know. You're on your own. You decide how you want to do it. And so I was a morning person, I thrived in that, okay, let me get ready. And then it made sense because what if I needed to start shooting content, I was already ready to go. So I had to learn some of those things. That wasn't just an immediate, I'm going to just start doing it like this. I remember on the first day I was home, Chris went to work and usually we would be leaving at the same time and I was still in bed and he was just like, all right, well I guess you're just going to stay in bed right now. And I was like, I don't really know what to do. My first day being at home,

Nichelle:He's great.

Brittany:He was definitely like, huh, okay, she's still in bed and she swore that this was going to be a great idea.

Nichelle: Exactly. So at the beginning you ran everything, even the collaborations you pitching yourself. At what point did you enlist in management help?

Brittany:I would say it was probably three years in. So I did all the pitching myself. And if you're new, that kind of looks like there's so many ways you could pitch a brand. But I mean I started with what are the brands that I love and then products that I'm using and is there some data that I can pull and be like, Hey, I posted a sweater from Abercrombie last week and this is what it did and I feel like that was pretty good. So here's this data. I would love to do a collaboration together. And so that's kind of how I was going about my pitches and letting them know I'm interested, but I also organically really your product. So my first full year by myself, I was also kind of just trying to gain affiliate income. And as I was building a case for why brands should work with me.

So then I was pitching brands myself and then when I hired Anna, she kind of helped me. That's where I could be like, Hey, can you email these 10 brands today while I go do these other things to prep for this try on that we're going to do? Or I'll steam the clothes and you send an email or whatever. I was able to split some of the tasks up and then she really helped me do a lot of the pitching and around this time was when LTK created their collaborations that they were doing with brands. So they were looking to their influencer partners who had good numbers with some of these brands and they were bringing collaborations that way. So that was really nice. I was at the forefront of that starting out. So there was just things coming in based off of the sales that I had.

But then I would say it was in 2019 when I just kind of felt like neither of us really had time to be sitting down and emailing and brands were reaching out to me and we were accepting collaborations that way. But neither of us really had a ton of time to just naturally pitch. And so we signed with a first management company and basically we gave them a portion of every collaboration. They took a portion, industry standard is 15 to 25%. And so they were getting 15% of any deal they were getting for me. But they also really helped get my name in front of other brands I hadn't worked with before. They, they helped me get my rates higher. And there's all these different types of formulas for rates and it goes off of how many views you get and follower count and people that actually are engaging in your content.

And there's all these different formulas to say, based off of all your stats, this is a fair number to ask a brand to pay you for whatever you're going to do. And maybe they just want stories or a blog post or a reel or an infeed post. There's a breakdown for how it all works. And so that was one thing I was kind of like, wow, I've been undercharging, who knows how long? Just because I didn't have time to refigure that out because we were so bogged down. So I feel like an immediate weight was lifted off of my shoulder when I hired a management company to the point where I feel like the 15% really that wasn't something I was worrying about. I actually was actually talking with a friend the other day who was considering management and she was asking me some questions. She was just like, I just don't know if I want to give a percentage of this to this other company. And I'm like, it is worth it.

Nichelle: For peace of mind, literally that's just taken off of the table right there. They take care of everything for you. We attempted it last year.

Brittany:So we ended up leaving our management company. We had hired a few employees and one of them we wanted to give her the role of in-house management and she did amazing at what we gave her. Gave her an impossible task.

Nichelle:We really did. But she was very easily able to get your rates up compared to what they were. You still had people. They knew you at this point, so they knew where to find you.

Brittany:I had relationships.

Nichelle:I think that it was just something that you didn't want to even have to worry about hearing because it had been out of office for so long. So that's where I think the hiccup came was you were like, I don't even really want to be a part of the conversations. Let's just go ahead and get it out of house again. And let's figure out something else.

Brittany: There's so many back and forth conversations that go on. It's not just a brand reaches out and says, hi, we would like to work with you. And then you say, great, where do I sign? Can't wait. There are so much back and forth. What is the scope of work? What is the product? I don't like that product. Can I use this product? No. I mean there's so many negotiations that were happening that I was part of all of the nitty gritty. And where management helps is they do all of that on the back end and then they present a deal and say, based off of what you've told me, based off of past collaborations, here's the buttoned up deal. Are you interested? Yes or no? And then you're able to say, yes, this sounds great.

I love those products. My followers love those products. It's going to be great getting them a coupon code to use this. When can we make this happen? So I mean, highly recommend management if you're on the fence of considering it. Definitely. I think it's worth a go. And there's so many management companies out there, I would recommend interviewing them or talking with your friends who are on a lot of these different management. Because I have several friends who are all on different management platforms. So just do some research and figure out where you feel is going to be a best fit for you. But they're 10 out of 10 would absolutely recommend.

Nichelle:Yeah. Well that goes into one of our next questions, a lot of people are really curious. How do you get paid as an influencer?

Brittany:Yes. This is always a question, I don't understand how you are making money collaborations with brands where they will give you X amount of dollars for these deliverables. So that's one way. Affiliate marketing is another way. So that would be, if I share a link and you make a purchase, I get a small percentage of that purchase. There's brand deals. Sometimes people use a coupon code and maybe a brand gives the influencer a cut of that, whatever the sales were from that coupon code. That's another way they can track things. I would say those are probably the main ways would be brand collaborations, affiliates or just direct partnerships.

Nichelle: The other question they had feeding off of that was what kind of percentage are you getting from some of these retailers? I think they are trying to understand, okay, you get paid because I have swiped up on your link? Where do you stand with that?

Brittany: So for example, Amazon or Target I guess would be a good example, is anywhere from 3 to 10% of the sale. So if a sweater is $20, then I'm getting somewhere between 3 to 10% of that. So I mean that's not a lot and that means we have sell a lot of sweaters. But I think it's built an audience over the years that come to me for certain things. And I think a lot of people, once an influencer has gained your trust and you are like, I trust them every time I get something from them, it's the way she said it was going to fit. I can wear it several ways. The color looks great, it was affordable. Whatever your reason for trusting this person is, then that usually creates a repeat shopper. So then that adds up over time. I mean most are on the smaller side.

Nichelle:What do you feel is one of the things that's led to your success?

Brittany:I would say over the years, consistency. Deciding how many times I'm going to post. When I first started out, I just had an Instagram, I started a blog a few months later, but I had an Instagram where I was like, you know what, I'm going to show up for my followers by posting two times a day and I'm going to post a work wear outfit in the morning. And then a different outfit in the afternoon. And then people started being like, we're going to come to her for work wear, we're going to come to her for lounge wear, we're going to come to her for this. Because they knew that they could get that from me. And even consistency on, we mentioned how when I was working from home just first started, I got up and got ready. I was consistent. My followers knew what to expect from me. And then in turn I was setting an example for my own self. So I think just over several different areas, it's always been consistency.

Nichelle:Do you get, I guess, gifted clothing from these collaborations? Or do you purchase your clothing?

Brittany: It's a combination. I just love shopping. So a lot of times we go out and go shopping and are buying the product that we show, but sometimes the collaboration that I might be working on, there's a gifting portion of it. And so they would gift me the items that I'll be using in the content. There's other times where brands will just send me a PR box and it's just like, Hey, no strings attached. We thought you would like these items feel free to use naturally if you like this. And sometimes I'm like, oh, I love this sweater. The brand Vince, they recently sent me this amazing sweater that I actually used in one of my gift guides and I love it. It is such a good sweater that they gifted me. I was very sweet of them. So I think it just kind of depends. I would say, I don't know if it's half and half. So it just kind of depends on the time of year, and then sometimes we're just shopping and buying things and finding a lot of the work wear stuff is all stuff that we're finding ourselves.

Nichelle:And sometimes it's just X amount is going towards gifting and then you have to actually purchase the rest.

Brittany:For example, I remember seeing a comment one time on a Lululemon reel that was like, did you go and buy all of this stuff for this reel? And I responded back and I was just part of the collaboration payment is a gift card to shop. And so I used the gift card and then I used my own money to create the outfits that we were showing. And they were like, okay, I never realized how. I didn't know if you just went out and did this, or how it works. And so everyone is different. Sometimes things are gifted, sometimes it's us just purchasing them.

Nichelle:Yeah. So would you say there's an average income for influencers out there?

Brittany:This is the question everybody wants to know.

Nichelle: I know. I don't think that we've actually answered this question before.

Brittany:So there's definitely a range and there's people that you would think are not doing well, that are killing it. It's crazy because I think it's what you put into it. I mean, I know I've mentioned a few ways to monetize, but I didn't even mention ads. People run ads on their websites that are generating income. There's so many other little ways that build into how much money people are making. I mean, to give you guys an actual number, I would say there are influencers who are making $5,000 a year doing this. And then there's influencers that are making multiple million a year and everywhere in between. It's such a broad range, but there's kind of like no cap. What you put into it I feel like is what you're going to get out of it.

Nichelle: And I think that some people understand this, but a lot of people don't. Like there's not a ton of TV that's being, I guess taken in anymore. This is today's commercial ads, all of that marketing money needed to go somewhere because people are still trying to actually promote their brands. So this is the modern day Ad.

Brittany:This is instead of watching a television ad, you are watching a reel. That's why they're pushing so much video content is because if you think about it, we consumed commercials for so long and now this is kind of the new commercial. And exactly like you said, brands are putting those marketing dollars into influencers, but it's such a fine line between pushing product just because a brand came to you and is like, Hey, I'm going to give you $20,000 to do this. Compared to being, you know what, I don't actually think my followers are going to be interested in that.

Nichelle: Or you don't necessarily know anything about it or care to use it.

Brittany:So I feel like to keep your followers trust, you really have to be particular in what you're pushing and what you're using. I think that's another thing that I would say has set me apart or set me up for success is I will turn something down. I just don't feel like it's a good fit or I don't think my audience would like it or it's going to be too much work for me to make it feel natural when maybe it isn't natural. So I think knowing, remembering that this audience trusts you and keeping that sacred and not doing anything to lose the trust.

Nichelle:For someone who just thinks that they are late to the game, it's too late to start. What's the best advice you can give somebody new to this?

Brittany:Give it a go. You have nothing to lose. I would say try to figure out what it is that you're passionate about. I think there's a lot of times people come to me and they're just like, I trying on clothes and I like doing this and I think I could do it too. I go shopping, I could just show what I'm buying too. But then it's like, okay, but is that your passion? If you don't make any money doing it, would you still do it? And so figuring out what is maybe a problem that you think you have a solution to. For me, there was not a lot of people sharing work wear when I first started really at all. Especially not affordable work wear. And so I was like, there's a problem. I'm going to solve it by showing what I'm wearing to work every day. I also really love sales, shopping and for whatever reason, when I started blogging, people didn't share sales. And now that's like all you see. But figuring out why do you want to do this? What is the problem that you see that you have a solution for that you are passionate about? And then give it a go.

Nichelle:And one of the last questions we have was, what do you feel has be been the biggest challenge for you when setting up your business?

Brittany:I feel like in the beginning I had a big problem delegating. I didn't like to hand off tasks because I mean, at the end of the day, this is a business, but it's also my life, right? It's hard to let somebody in and trust that they're going to be a representation of me in what they're doing. And it's so unique. Sometimes I go back and I'm like, I wish this was just a regular business that had guidelines or had some type of, here's how this type of business typically works. And that's not the case with this. But I feel like once I learned delegating, I wish I would've started delegating sooner. And once I kind of learned that that was a necessity, I feel like I've, I've been very happy with the results of that.

Nichelle:Well, these have been so great little nuggets of hopefully great information for you guys to build a business of your own. Maybe just we're very curious to know some of these questions from goal setting, time management, hiring, and really what it takes to run a successful business.

Brittany:I mean, honestly, anybody can run a business. I mean, if you're a self-starter, you have a good attitude, you have a vision, you have a phone, you can do this. So I think, I hope that these tips have been helpful. If you have any other specific questions or there's something that you're like, okay, so you said this, can you go into more detail? Please send us a DM on Life with Loverly . Please send us an email. We would love to continue this conversation. That's something like I really enjoy is chatting with people about taking their businesses to the next level. So yeah, we are, we're happy to help.

Nichelle:These questions always kind of spark some new ideas, I think as we go into them a little bit deeper every single time. So we really appreciate them guys.

Brittany:Yeah. Well, we can't wait to see you bring your visions to life. Until next time!

Hi friend! I hope you enjoyed this episode on the Life of Loverly podcast. Be sure to snap a screenshot on your phone during your favorite part of the episode. Post it to your Instagram stories and tag us at Life with Loverly. I love seeing what's resonating with you and reposting to spread more kindness along the way. See you next week, friend. This season of Life with Loverly is produced by Elizabeth Evans Media Productions.

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