The idea of starting a career as an influencer seems completely out of reach to many. It is our hope that the Spotlight Interview features on this blog offer a more relatable side to life as an influencer, but we recognize that many of the interviewees are larger than life and have reached a near-celebrity status in the social media world, and within their niche circles. This month we are excited to feature an influencer and brand ambassador whose story is of the everyday woman. She’s just like you and me, a woman focused on living her life and sharing a piece of that – or a piece of her latest, greatest pie – through her online blog. Chrissy Taylor, the brains behind The Taylor House, offers inspiration to men and women around the world who deeply desire to create a lifestyle brand for themselves but don’t know where to begin. Did we mention that her blog and social content is terribly uplifting and loveable!? We thank her for sitting down with us this month to share invaluable droplets of authentic influencer wisdom!
ZJ: What inspired you to create your brand, The Taylor House and how does that original vision sit with you today?
CT: I actually called it The Taylor House for a couple reasons, my last name of course and because it was going to be everything that happened at The Taylor House. I would say that today that’s still about the same with just a heavy focus on the food we eat!
ZJ: Your Instagram profile is compiled of a lot of different images, but the theme I gather the most is cooking. Please share more with us how it works when brands ask you to represent a campaign, and you share a recipe.
CT: 99% of the time I come up with a new recipe, either updated older recipes, a twist on a traditional recipe, or something completely new.
ZJ: After you started The Taylor House, when did you begin to see a strong following? How long did it take and what would you attribute it to?
CT: I tell people that it took at least two years before the blog really took off and started getting regular, consistent people visiting. I believe it was around the time that I started to use Social Media more to promote my own content and to interact with followers.
ZJ: You are the ultimate depiction of a social media influencer and brand ambassador. Brand ambassadors aren’t created overnight – how did you get started?
CT: I started my blog six years ago as a hobby. It was something I created to just keep in touch with family that was located across the US. It was supposed to be about my boys and our life in Minnesota. What I quickly learned was that when I shared a recipe, I would get people I didn’t know leaving me comments and sharing things on Pinterest. It was crazy! I knew there was more to this blogging and social media world and I started to research and learn as much as I could.
ZJ: How often are you creating your own unique content and reviews vs. writing more scripted content on behalf of a brand?
CT: Sponsored work is very cyclical, the fourth quarter is crazy busy, and I feel like I mainly create content for brands. The first quarter is much slower, so I’m able to post about the stuff I’m doing in my everyday life and keep it more unique content.
ZJ: As a dog lover I personally LOVED your “Good Morning America” spot sharing “Doggie Hacks” because naturally, my dog hates having baths as well. First, how do you secure such a high-profile show like that – do they find you or do you find them? Second, what kind of bump in followers did you see post-show?
CT: They contacted me! It was such a fun experience too and kind of crazy too! I remember heading out for my flight and someone commenting that I was about to be in front of millions of people. That’s kind of intimidating! Ha! It was an amazing experience, though! I didn’t really see a bump in traffic on my site, but on Facebook, I got a lot of new people and messages!
CT: Yes! I’ve helped many people with social media. I think that a lot of local people realized that I knew a little bit about what I was doing and have asked me to help them with Facebook. Of course, I love to help them. It’s kind of a thrill to see their pages start performing better!
ZJ: For all of the people who are dying to break into influencer marketing as a brand ambassador, what three pieces of advice can you offer to help them get started?
- Work on your platform – engage with people and grow your followers. You need eyeballs on your work if you want to work with brands!
- Show your personality and who you are – make yourself relatable!
- Give it time – it’s not going to happen overnight! Keep going!
ZJ: To what three things would you attribute your success?
- My work ethic is pretty strong – my parents did a great job with that!
- Having support from my husband – I would have quit a long time ago if he hadn’t pushed me.
- Network with other bloggers – talk to people that know what you’re doing, and you can bounce ideas off of!
CT: The only way to do great work is to do what you love. – Steve Jobs
ZJ: Your vision for the next 3-5 years?
- Continue to grow and learn but also teach and help other bloggers more through courses, consultation, etc.
- Bake more! Ha!
ZJ: Any announcements you would like us to share?
CT: We have a book being published! It’s all Slow Cooker recipes and will be out November 14!