Community might mean different things to different people, but there seems to be one thing we can all agree on… We need it, we cherish it, and to many of us moms, we live and die by the community that surrounds us. The community that makes our days not only bearable, but filled with joy. When I started this blog I had a vision. It was a vision to help connect those who follow Pleiades to some of the moms I have found through this journey. People who not only inspire me, but who create a positive culture and change the world around them for the better.
Today we are highlighting Joy Green. If you don’t already follow her on Instagram, stop what you are doing and check out her beautiful flower filled feed @joyfullygreen. Joy started her blogging career around the same time that Pleiades started, so it only seemed right for her to be the first mom that we feature here. We have both been through so many of the same trials in the last 18 months.
I caught up with Joy this week, and we talked about the challenges and trials associated with starting a successful blogging career and cultivating a captive online audience, while at the same time remaining true to your values. If you are thinking about starting a career in blogging, or hope to take your Instagram and Facebook following to the next level, read on because Joy has a lot of wisdom to share with you....
Lynsi: Joy, can you talk a little about how you got started blogging in the first place?
Joy: “For me it all started around community. Instagram as a whole was really just a way to connect with other moms at times when I felt alone. I remember being pregnant and searching #22weeks, just to get an idea of what other women were going through at the same stage in their pregnancy. Also, our daughter Kai is half Chinese-half Caucasian, and I would search out other moms who have mix babies just to help develop a sense of community. I continued to share into this community and share pictures of my daughter and my style and I will never forget the first time a shop wanted to work with me. That was kind of an “ah-ha” moment. I realized I could share something that I am passionate about and love, and use my creativity and ability to create content and leverage my influence for the better.”
Lynsi: Once you decided to start blogging and put your self out there, what were the challenges you ran into?
Joy: “I don’t think people realize how much time it takes. It is a constant balance to be a mom with a job and also keep a relationship with my followers and partners. I always want to answer every single comment, every single question and really connect with my followers and know who their children are and what we have in common, because the foundation of this is really the connections that we create and the relationships that develop.
Lynsi: I get a lot of questions and inquiries. As a business owner I am solicited often for collaborative work from bloggers and influencers and other brands, and while I love working with new people it can get overwhelming. And, sometimes it can even feel like a one sided attempt at receiving a product for free. As a blogger, what is your approach to this that has made you so successful?
Joy: “At every stage of my growth there has been a different emphasis and different struggles. When I was at 5-10K followers it required a lot of pitching and a lot of putting your self out there to find collaborations. I would pitch like 4-5 people a week. I would find PR emails and try to reach out to the right people for the exposure on pitching myself and gaining experience. My advice to anyone who is in this place is just to put your best foot forward. Go for it, and reach out to brands you really want to work with, and the worst thing that can happen is that they say no, and then you are right where you started. And when you do reach out, be personal. Explain why you want to work with that brand… what interests you about the specific partnership. This has to be all about a relationship and building your community, and theirs.”
Lynsi: When you started to really grow your account, what did you do to grow it and find partnerships?
Joy: “After 10K the world of influencer networks kind of open up to you that make things a little bit easier. I recommend sites like: www.revfluence.com and https://hashtagpaid.com/ and www.popularpays.com as they can be great places to connect with other influencers, brands and answer questions you have. This is more like a job application process as opposed to cold calling. But regardless, it is still important to be true to who you are. And you should not work with a brand that does not fit in with your own branding, community and the values that you represent.”
Lynsi: One thing that has been eye opening to me is that even really big brands spend a lot of time pitching other people/brands for collaborations and do receive a considerable amount of rejection. With that said, where do you see yourself going?
Joy: “I get most excited when I am given creative freedom to style and design content. These kinds of jobs are so fun to me, and I love conceptualizing an idea and seeing it come to life. I will always share pictures of my daughter and share my voice as a mom since that is where I am most comfortable and what my roots are. Also, I love working in video format now. Video allows you to really see family connections that don’t always translate onto a photo, so I plan to explore that space more.”
Lynsi: If you had to give advice to yourself two years ago when you were just starting, what would you say?
Joy: “I would say, stay true to yourself and remember why you are sharing in the first place. Stay true to your voice. Now, you will never find me sharing something that is irrelevant to my audience for the sake of a partnership. Respect your followers and build them up with your content and don’t be afraid to build into this community. The second thing I would say is, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. You never know what doors will open up and the life long friendships that will develop by just putting yourself out there and being you.”
"When you put your self out there, and share your soul, it really feels good to know that there are people out there listening who relate and who maybe need to hear your story. By sharing we can all come together and find a deeper sense of fulfillment.”