The evolution of influencing and personal shopping
Tanya talks about how she got started. She was an empty nester and asked herself, “What is this thing called blogging?” Tanya knew she had a voice for fashion, beauty, lifestyle and travel, so she met with a website designer to get her blog set up. The rest is history.
A study done by the Pew Research Center in March 2021 says that about three in 10 Americans are almost constantly online.
How did she gain a following?
Tanya stresses that what gains you a following is staying true to yourself, having a voice and being consistent. She knows her market and knows what brands or stores wouldn’t fit her audience. Tedious in the early stages, it took a solid year of writing blog posts before any brand approached Tanya for a partnership.
The shift from blogging to Instagram.
Blogging used to be the “hot take” with social media as a side hustle, but now, Tanya says it has completely inverted itself with Instagram being the main platform for influencing and gaining a following.
What does Tanya look for in a brand that approaches her?
Tanya asks herself: a) Would she buy this with her own money? b) Is this something she would use? c) If she does use it, does it work? d) Does she feel like her followers and blog subscribers are really interested in this?
How have social media platforms grown Tanya’s passion for fashion, lifestyle, beauty and travel?
Tanya is inspired by what others do. How people create content only continues to grow the influencing industry.
How has influencing has changed Tanya’s approach to brand loyalty?
It has opened her eyes to everything that is out there as well as what she was already using. Tanya discusses the organic partnership with Revision Skincare products and how that relationship developed. Other brands may notice this partnership with Tanya and will reach out to her to share their products that Tanya may not know about. Brand loyalty has opened up what she can discover for others, which makes Tanya a “vessel for discovery” both for herself and for her followers.
How does Tanya make her money?
Commissionable links and brand partnerships.
Tanya discusses LTK, LIKEtoKNOW.it, formerly rewardStyle founded by SMU alum Amber Venz Box and Baxter Box. She explains the roots of LTK and how the affiliate linking technology works.
Tanya does not use ads because she doesn’t like the way it looks. She talks about collaborating with brands that pitch to her and what the fee will be depending on the expected deliverables.
Tanya talks about her older demographic and says an older demographic used to be unique but not so much anymore.
Tanya turned away big money from a brand wanting to partner because she knew it wouldn’t fit her audience and would not be authentic. Knowing your audience is key to earning trust from followers.
What are Tanya’s thoughts on influencing feeding insecurities?
Tanya says it’s been a bit easier for her because she has already gone through big life steps such as getting married, childbirth and raising children. She knows that Instagram isn’t real and recognizes the pressure of being a young influencer.
Tenni King introduction:
Tenni King is a personal shopper in Dallas who started her business, Well Fashioned by Tenni King, in November 2019 months before COVID-19.
Tenni says she feels she is more approachable as an influencer and blogger because she isn’t your typical tall, skinny girl where everything looks good on her. She says she is 5’3,” a size 10 and curvy.
She likes to show people different ways to wear clothes and feels it’s her duty to help her clients feel confident in their body and insecurities. Tenni focuses on the relationship and experience her clients have hoping to be the “fresh eye” that helps them feel their best.
Tanya talks personal shopping
Tanya talks about the similarities and differences between influencing and personal shopping.
They both drive online business. Influencing is Tanya’s style shared with people she doesn’t know, where personal shopping is knowing the client’s closet, body type, style and sizes.
Tanya reflects on the pandemic.
Tanya and her husband Pete were in Belize when COVID-19 hit the U.S. She could feel in the air that it was not good. Tanya remembers thinking she doesn’t know what this is going to mean for blogging and influencing. Tanya says in hindsight, the pandemic catapulted online shopping so much forward that data shows the amount of online shopping that happened in 2020 was what the expected revenue numbers were for 2025.
Jeremy Edge, LPC introduction:
Jeremy Edge is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas who helps adults, teens and children with gaming disorders, addiction, and disordered screen use. His services provide clients with cognitive behavioral therapy.
He predicts he will have more clients come to him for help with online shopping addiction. In a Zoom interview, Jeremy Edge explained the science of addiction relating to online shopping and screen use focusing on three aspects: dopamine, variable reward and instant gratification.
Does Tanya ever need a social media cleanse?
She says no because she really enjoys it. Tanya believes that there are some influencers that are on Instagram way too much and sharing information that shouldn’t be shared with all their followers.
Next, Tanya and I discuss the thing we all dread, hackers.
Tanya says it is very scary because influencers reply on this app (Instagram) that gives us no help when something goes wrong.
Is Tanya ever concerned about her privacy?
Tanya and her husband are very private people, but she says they don’t come across that way on Instagram. She says she has a rhythm to her day of what she posts from starting with a positive quote or meme, what she’s wearing, her pets, sometimes what she is doing and she ends the day with funny memes. Tanya says what people need to remember is that she is showing the best part of herself and only about 5% of her day.
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, Instagram is the preferred social media channel for brands who engage in influencer marketing. In 2021, Instagram’s popularity for influencer marketing increased to 79%, compared to 68% for 2020. Other social media platforms including Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube had a percentage rate of 50% or below for popularity in influencer marketing.
Where does Tanya see influencing going in the next five or 10 years?
Tanya says so much has developed because of influencing like agencies who rep influencers and brands. She says companies are taking money out of traditional advertising and putting it toward influencers because they are buying the person’s trust and loyalty. Tanya says she thinks more people are going to want to buy the trust of an influencer in terms of advertising.
National advertisers are becoming fascinated with influencer marketing. In a 2018 study done by the Association of National Advertisers, out of about 75% of companies that used influencer marketing, only 36% found it to be effective.
Tanya shares her advice for influencers starting today.
She says if she was starting today, she would worry about growing her Instagram and TikTok following and not even worry about the blog. People Tanya’s age still find blog posts valuable, but today, people want information quickly without having to read a blog post. Tanya says anyone can be an influencer, but people forget how much hard work it takes. She says there are no hours to influencing. It’s 24/7, but she is the happiest she has ever been.