08.15.17

How to build your online community and establish your brand. 

So happy to be sharing Part two with the loveliest group of bloggers and social influencers to share a new series I have started here on my blog called #TheMomBlogCollective. Twice a month, a group of 10 of us will be sharing a blog post on the same topic — related to blogging, instagram, working with brands, making money, photography, motherhood and more. More than almost anything else, each of us get asked how we started blogging, what tips we have for someone looking to start, how to work with companies for sponsored posts and more, so those questions are the starting point for our series. 

So today we are talking about “building an online community and establishing your brand.” I have below a little Q&A! Feel free to comment or message me with any other questions you may have. 

How do you define your brand for a blog and instagram and how did you create it?

I think Defining and creating your brand can feel intimidating at first when there are so many directions one can go! When I think of the word “brand” I define it as this: A brand is something that is true to your passions, style, lifestyle, and the way you think. It differentiates you from another because it’s different, fully YOU, and unique in a way that “no one can ever be you, ” so go crazy and define who you are..Having a defined brand in place will attract new and engaged followers to keep coming back because they know what they will get from you each time they come to your feed. 

 When I first started my Instagram and blog I knew I wanted to create a brand that felt true to who I am and my style. I wanted to draw my audience in with writings that would captivate their hearts, and touch something deep inside their souls. I knew I wanted to create beautiful images that showed our love for nature, organic living, decor, and style whether that be for myself or my daughters. My brand started to become more clear the second year of starting my blog and Instagram. I began to see a pattern of what my followers liked out of my posts and the also the types of posts that were not attention grabbing. My advice for anyone starting out with a new blog or Instagram would be to first: establish your brand, write down what makes you “YOU.” Think about what colors/filters will show off your style, creativity, and grab another’s attention. Think about what you could put in your bio that would explain who you are in one short sentence the first time someone comes across your feed. Think about what will be unique and different from others. And go for it!
How did you start gaining followers in an organic way?
Once I started establishing my brand and started to feel more comfortable with the flow and creativity of my feed and blog, I then chose one filter for all images that I felt reflected the tones and colors I wanted portrayed in my feed. When it comes to growing your Instagram organically my best advice to anyone starting out is to ENGAGE. Engage with the followers you already have and engage with new feeds you find inspiring and draw you in. Growing your Instagram organically can feel slow at times but I think it’s definitely worth the effort in the long run. Just like any job it takes time to get to the know the people that love your brand and find your blog inspiring. Make sure to connect with your followers in a genuine and supportive way. 

Why is it important to engage with your following?
Engaging with your followers is going to be the best way to build your brand and set yourself up for success. The best way to do this is very simple: start commenting and liking other people’s photos. When you find someone you connect with and love, make sure you are supporting them by liking and commenting on their posts. As you start to gain new followers a good trick is to save one of their photos so you don’t forget who is following you. That way each week you can go back to the photos you have saved and remember to connect/engage with these creatives. This is also a great way to find support and friendships on Instagram where it becomes more than just a like or comment. You will find genuine relationship where you both are supporting another’s passions and dreams. Because we all have them and want to see them flourish. 

How have I built a community on Instagram

Building a community/support through Instagram is essential if you plan on building a successful brand for yourself, working with other brands, and bringing in an income for your family. I have met so many beautiful women on this social creative space that have taught me beautiful things, reminded me of strength I’d forgotten I had, and lifted my spirits with support and genuine love when I needed it the most. This community of people that stand by and support me has only come with time, engagement, and truly caring about the people that follow along my journey as a mother. As you build your brand remember that you will need to establish a community of like minded women and men that will support you and love you for who you are. Growing an Instagram organically versus buying your followers is so worth it in the end. It’s worth the extra time and energy because you will be creating more than just followers, you are forming a community, a tribe of support, a love for who you are and the dreams you are making come true for you and your family. Remember that each person that takes the time to follow and engage with you on your social media has passions, and feelings too. Be sure to follow along their special journey and provide support and love to them as well. This will in return create more engaging feed and blog for future followers to follow you and again will create that community of trust and support every mother and women needs.

Be sure to check out the other blogs and get some super awesome insight and other perspectives on these same questions!

Blogs and IG handles:

darlingnightingale.com | @darlingnightingale
occasionallyperfect.com | @occasionally_perfect
mrsseacannon.com | @mrsseacannon
britthavens.com | @britthavens
koleimpressions.com | @steph__pollock
cultivatemotherhood.com | @cultivatemotherhood
www.ashleynoel.life | @_ashley_noel_
hellobabybrown.com | @hellobabybrown
www.a-blessed-nest.com | @blessednestblog
thelovedesignedlife.com | @thelovedesignedlife
kristlesclarity.com | @hereyeswereolivegreen
@amylouhawthorne

Xo,
Sophia 

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