Welcome to the second installment of The Mom Blog Collective: How to Build an Online Community + Define Your Brand.
If you’re new here, here’s the scoop. Every other week, a group of amazing and inspiring mamas will answer the same set of questions to do with blogging, Instagram, photography, collaborations, sponsored posts, balancing it all with motherhood, and more. This week they invited me to join in!
We each have different perspectives and different opinions, so this is a fun way to learn from one another. We hope you’ll join along! Check out the hashtag #themomblogcollective to see everyone on Instagram, and I will also link you to all of the amazing blog posts here at the bottom of my post!
How I Built My Online Community + Established My Brand
For as long as I can remember journaling and documenting my life, my surrounds and my relationships with those I love has been a passion. It’s just come in various forms. You could call me a creative type. Quite expressive at times. Always doing, drawing or making something.
“Her eyes were olive green – incisive and clear.” – Dan Brown
This quote inspired my Instagram handle @hereyeswereolivegreen. My eyes just happen to be olive green, but I found this quote so fitting for me many years before I ever dreamed of having my own brand.
Nature is so inspiring to me. My house is full of plants. And majority of my images are earth tones and have some sort of greenery or florals involved, somewhere. That is part of my “theme” I guess you could say.
But really for me, this all came about after my first son was born four years ago. And around the same time is when I discovered the “Mom community” of Instagram. I began to connect with other woman all over the nation (eventually the world), and for someone who was a pretty isolated new mom the timing couldn’t have been better. Because as much as motherhood gave me purpose it’s easy to get lost in at times.
I made the decision to make my Instagram public, followed those who I found inspiring, relatable, etc. And continued to engage and documenting. I quickly found that sharing our life became therapeutic me. I loved writing my thoughts out, getting feed back from others who could relate or had advice. Posting each milestone for our boys. And sharing my love for small shops and my own personal style. Back then Kristle’s Clarity was a outlet from my duties as a wife and stay at home mom, a place to decompress but it has sparked so much more within me over the years. This all took time. Finding my groove, learning new skills and growing a genuinely engaged audience takes time and patience. Which is not always easy to do when your really exited and motivated about something new or your passion.
So I encourage anyone who is interested in starting a brand to find your passion, and share! Whether it be a group of people with like minds, supports or those who inspire you etc. Find them. Root them on. Watch each other grow.
I now have been pretty active on Instagram and blog for over the last three years. During that time I have shared my journey as a wife and mother. I documented my pregnancies, snippets of our life in the military, my boys through various stages and now the start of my photography business.
About two years ago I started to consistently incorporate and work with brands on my blog and Instagram posts. During that time I read articles, pins, blog posts and more about growing and sustaining a brand. And in my opinion, because Instagram especially is mainly about capturing your audiences eye first, learning the very basics of photography and styling is important.
With that being said, as much as everyone loves high light reels filled of beautiful memories and awesome products/brands they also want to get to know me and my life. And I think that is what has contributed to my growth and my audience being accepting of the change to some sponsored posts as well.
Another part of my brand that is crucial; is engaging with not only other creatives as I mentioned before but “my own community”. Because that’s truly how it all began. I didn’t join in with any intention or thought it would lead me here.. I try connect with those in my audience as much as I can, while still having a balance within my personal life. I will ask questions, share a situation and genuinely ask for suggestions and engage back on their feeds.
It’s quite important to me that questions are answered and sweet comments don’t go without recognition. Because I certainly appreciate the same when I try to connect with others. I will be honest though, as of late I have been failing miserably at this. And it makes me sad. Life right now is hectic right now. Our family has some big changes (soon to be shared!), so my time on social media and quite frankly on my business is limited. I hope to resume as normal soon! For now it might be a few days or weeks before I get back to each and every one. Thank you for your understanding and patience.
For anyone looking to start your own brand my suggestion to you are this : Do it. Go with your gut. Stick with your style, your beliefs. Be vulnerable. I see my best work when I let go of the pressures and “rules”.
Follow the links below to connect and read other perspectives on this topic from some amazingly inspiring lades.
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