The 11 Question Influencer Interview: a Chat With Stacey of @StaceyLovesShopping
Today, we chatted with Stacey, an Influencer from Columbus, Ohio who’s goal is to create a space where women can connect, have fun, shop, and get outfit ideas without the overwhelm of the fashion world. You can follow Stacey on Instagram: @staceylovesshopping
So, Stacey: Let’s get into it. How does it feel to describe yourself as an Influencer?
So honestly, I really don’t love the word influencer. I wish there were a better word for what I do. It makes me feel uncomfortable when I am introduced as an influencer. Why? I’m not totally sure. I created this space on the internet to have somewhere that women can have fun, shop a little and get outfit ideas or everyday life tips without feeling intimidated by the fashion world.
I’m not trying to “influence“ anyone to buy anything – instead I like to create content that is valuable and relatable to my followers and they can take and apply to their own lives and closets. If by doing this I have influenced their shopping habits then hopefully it is for the good and they feel amazing in whatever it is that I influenced them to buy! I’m not here to just “sell” things to my followers. I think of my followers as my best friends and never recommend something to them that I am not passionate about.
How do you feel Influencer Marketing has changed the way that both small businesses and big corporations connect with their audiences?
I think influencer marketing has had a huge impact on both small and large businesses. Social media and influencer marketing gives these brands an outlet to let their “personality” shine. It makes them much more relatable and gives the brands a more personal feel. Smaller brands can be seen by theIR exact demographic by choosing the “right” influencer to work with giving them a huge advantage vs before social media. Buyers are more apt to buy from brands that give off a more personal feel because they can establish a connection with them.
What’s something that people don’t see behind the scenes when it comes to creating content for brands?
There is a ton of work that goes on behind the scenes of creating content for brands. A lot of people just see the end product and don’t realize the amount of work it took to get that one picture or that one video. There is a lot of prep work from reviewing contracts, making sure you are in compliance with contracts, prepping the items (whether that be steaming clothes, creating outfits, creating graphics, writing blog posts, orchestrating choreography for a short video). The list goes on forever. I love creating relatable content so I try to plan and organize my content to align with my followers and present it in a way that is effective but also relatable at the same time which takes some work behind the scenes.
How did you find yourself in the Influencer space?
So I found myself in this influencer space a few years ago. I had recently moved back to Ohio and didn’t really know anyone. I was a stay at home mom to 3 littles and really needed an outlet to keep myself sane. I had followed a few bloggers at this time and thought it would be fun to give it a go. I had previously owned a small online children’s boutique and really enjoyed the social media aspect of that.
Even though the boutique didn’t make it, I wanted to do something with the knowledge I had acquired from my previous experience. Also, after having 3 kids my wardrobe was pretty lackluster. I wanted to upgrade my own wardrobe and help other moms in the same situation upgrade theirs! So one day I just went for it and posted my first outfit selfie.
I started posting my daily outfits and people just started following along. It took a while to get my groove and to become comfortable behind the camera but as I became more comfortable my following began to grow. Women were so appreciative to have a safe place to ask the fashion questions that they were afraid to ask in stores. It also quickly became a space that moms could come “hang out” and have a little fun.
What’s the “why” behind what you do?
The “why” of what I do is pretty simple. I want to help make women smile every day. I want them to have fun and to help them gain confidence in their wardrobe at the same time. A lot of women my age are lost on where to shop for clothes that are age appropriate but affordable at the same time. I love to share all my fashion finds and deals hoping that they can find some items that make them feel like a million bucks! I also love to make people laugh and if you follow my Instagram stories I love to create funny, relatable every day life content that just makes you feel good. I share a ton of mom life blunders that get some laughs but make my followers feel better about their own life at home if that makes any sense!
What’s a day-in-the-life of Stacey look like?
A day in the life of Stacey is always a little chaotic. I’m not a super organized person but I always am striving to be. Usually I wake up and furiously try to get my 3 kids to school on time. After that I dedicate a few hours of work time before my littlest gets home from preschool. I create content, take pictures, answer emails, etc. Once my kids get him I try to be as present as possible , which is super tough when your job is on your phone! I usually have to cart kids around to all their after school activities, make dinner and just survive until bedtime.
Throughout the day I am constantly creating content and posting on my Instagram stories to give my followers a peek inside my life. I think this creates that connection between influencer and follower. After all the kids are in bed I go back to work and work for a few hours before going to sleep. I usually post to social media, catch up on messages my followers send and search out the best deals of the day.
When you partner with brands, what are your red flags? What are your green flags?
When I partner with brands the first thing I look at is – is this something I would use? Then I ask – is this something my followers would like? If the answer to either of those is no then it’s an immediate red flag. Another red flag is the brands social media or online presence. Are they a brand that I have heard of before? Do they have a social media following that is trustworthy? Nothing says red flag like a company with a “fake” following online. You can easily tell my scrolling through the followers on a brands page to see if they are actual people or if they are just bots. A green flag for me are professional pitches, either from a brand or from a marketing firm/talent agency. You wouldn’t believe the amount of unprofessional, poorly written pitches that come in my inbox.
What was your experience like working with HireInfluence?
My experience working with Hire Influence was fantastic! They were highly professional and very easy to work with. My contact person answered all my questions in a timely fashion and really represented me well with the brand. I had a fair contract and the content brief was clear and concise. I had absolutely zero issues at all and would work with Hire Influence again in a heartbeat!
How has your life changed since entering the Influencer space?
My life hasn’t changed tremendously since becoming an “influencer.” ’m still a stay at home mom to my three kiddos but now I just have a bit more work to do when they are gone. The second salary in our household has been extremely helpful. I think the biggest change has been that now I have 40,000 new friends that I get to chat with all day long. It’s an amazing community I have built and it’s amazing to have all that support and encouragement come from complete strangers.
How do you envision your career growing and shifting over the next year? The next five years?
I plan on continuing to grow my online presence in the next year. I am really focused on branching out to multiple platforms online – instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Amazon, Pinterest – you name it and it’s probably on my list. I think I’m the next 5 years the influencer space is going to shift to much more relatable content. Less filters, less carefully edited campaigns and more spontaneous content. People are wising up to some of the tricks of the internet and they don’t want to be “tricked” into buying anything. People want real and raw content that is relatable and valuable. Trust is everything. Everyone is craving more “realness” from the influencers they follow and I think that will just continue in the next few years.
What surprises you most about the Influencer marketing industry?
I think the potential growth in the influencer marketing industry surprises me the most. The potential is huge right now and it’s only going to keep growing. Hardly anyone watches commercials or reads ads anymore but almost everyone follows a few “influencers” on social media – whether it’s for fashion, home or just lifestyle.
Want more Stacey? You can follow Stacey on Instagram at @StaceyLovesShopping!