5 Tips For Working With Brands on Instagram

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“I want to be an influencer that works with brands but no one is reaching out to me as often as I would like.”

“I’m tired of sitting around and waiting for collaborations. I want to take action into my own hands but I just don’t know how”

If you have ever thought, or are currently thinking, something similar to these, you are in the right place.

We all want to know the secrets when it comes to reaching out to brands and getting endless partnerships. Over the past few months I've been fortunate enough to gain experience in this area and I’m about to spill the tea. Now, I’m no “expert” on the topic but I most definitely can not wait to share with you everything that I’ve had to learn the hard way, so that you don’t have to.

First, let’s get something straight. If you are here and you are thinking to yourself:

  • I don't have enough followers to work with brands yet.

  • I don’t think brands would want to work with lil ol’ me.

  • I don't have the skills it takes to pitch to brands.

Write those thoughts down on a piece of paper and set it to flames. THOSE ARE COMPLETE LIES. Your voice matters. Your art matters. Your perspective is a perspective no one else has. Embrace it. Own it. Flawnt it.

I received my first partnership at 3,000 followers and I even know people who have 1,000 followers who work with brands on the daily, so myth busted.

Since there are a lot of tips I can give you when it comes to this topic, I'm going to be splitting this up into two different blog posts:

First, today, I will give you 5 general guidelines to follow when working with brands.

Second, will be exactly how to craft your pitch and what you should say when reaching out to brands. How about you take a quick second to sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss out on that post! I’ll be right here waiting for you when you come back.

All signed up? Good! Let’s dive right in:

Tip #1: Is this brand in line with the message I am sharing with my followers? Work with brands that you genuinely support or products that you will actually use. The purpose of this is to keep your page as authentic as possible and for you to remain YOU. Once I agreed to do a collaboration with a brand solely because it was paid and I wanted the money. The product wasn’t even something that I would use...ever. Then when I posted my agreed post, it was the worst engagement I had ever received on a collaboration, my followers could tell this wasn’t genuinely me! Stay true to who you are, don’t sell out.

Tip #2: Pay attention to their preferred method of communication! When reaching out to brands check their bio. If they have an email listed always reach out via email. I prefer this because 1. It looks more professional and 2. As your Instagram grows, your DMs grow. Email is the easiest way for me to keep track of my collaborations. 3. If Instagram dies today, you have stocked up on multiple brands emails and can continue to communicate with them. If they don’t reply to your email in a week, you can always send a follow-up through DM.

Tip #3: If you are planning to pitch, don’t ask for free stuff. I'm sure you're thinking “Isn’t that the goal here Millie?" And yes, technically you are correct, most collaborations are in exchange for product. However, that should not be your intent for the collaboration. If you directly say “send me x, y and z” brands can read right through you and will be able to tell that you're Pitch is not genuine. Your intention should be “How can I help this brand?”, “What do I have to offer to them?”. We’ll that more about this in my next blog post…

The goal should not be for selfish gain, but for mutual growth.

Tip #4: Treat yourself as a brand/business. This is very important when it comes to communication and professionalism. We all get those people ‘slidin in the DM’s’ trying to get our attention. “Hey, let’s shoot”, “You’re beautiful. What’s your number?”, “How much for sessions?”. As flattering as they may be, if that person spent a little more time crafting a detailed message, we would probably spend our time to reply. Same goes for brands. They are more likely going to work with an influencer who took the time to write them a professional email rather than the person who DM’d them saying “Love your products. Let’s collab” *insert mic drop*

Tip #5: Engage with them. I have said this before in a previous blog post but here we go again! There’s nothing a brand loves more than a truly dedicated and excited supporter. Follow them, comment on their photos, turn on their post notifications for the time being, etc. Just like your mother/father/teacher taught you growing up: treat others how you want to be treated.

That wraps it up for today folks. Remember, my next post will be about crafting the perfect pitch! I will teach you exactly what to say to get a brands attention and some proper etiquette tips. Sign up for the newsletter so you don’t miss out!







How and Where to Spend the PERFECT Spa Day

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Imagine this:

You are drinking an iced cold Peach Bellini under the warm sun, floating in a cool relaxation pool, after the most luxurious massage you’ve ever experienced. After some time, you exfoliate your skin head to toe with a unique California Red Mud. Now with a gentle breeze brushing against your face, you take a nap on the most comfortable outdoor hammock.

What if I told you that you don’t have to imagine that...this can be your reality! This was my reality just last month. Whether you are looking for a place to relax, celebrate, or just hang out with friends, I have found the perfect hidden gem for you.

Glen Ivy Hot Springs. There is truly no destination quite like it.

For the past 7 years, I’ve been going to this beautiful location for my birthday. After attending so many times, I guess one could say I’m a “professional spa-goer”. I’m here today to teach you the in’s and out’s of how to have the PERFECT spa day at Glen Ivy Hot Springs.

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What to bring:

  • The necessities: sunglasses, sunscreen, your favorite summer outfit

  • Flip flops: If you’re attending on a hot summer day, walking around barefoot might not be the best idea (ouch!)

  • Your ID and a debit/credit card: you will be able to put these on file so you don’t have to walk around with your wallet

What not to bring:

  • Extra special valuables. If you have something that is super near and dear to your heart, it would be silly to bring to a spa. Luckily, you have access to free lockers provided to you by Glen Ivy, but if you’re walking around with your phone and you put it down to go swimming, they are not responsible for any lost or stolen items. Bottom line, just be safe and smart!

  • Your favorite bathing suit. Although it’s been said that mud baths don’t stain/ruin swimwear, I have a few bathing suits that would beg to differ.

NEED TO KNOW tips and tricks:

  • Get there early, especially if you’re going during the summer. When Glen Ivy hits capacity they will stop allowing entries (unless you have a pre-scheduled appointment) so it’s best to arrive at least 30 minutes before they open.

  • Book service appointments ahead of time. If you’re wanting to receive a service like a massage, go to the grotto or mani/pedi, call at least a week ahead of time to guarantee your spot. There had been times where I tried to book the day I arrived and everything was already booked up.

  • Go on your birthday! If you attend on your birthday, you get free admission (with a purchase of a service).

  • You don’t really NEED to bring a towel, they have clean towels around every corner. I literally only bring a towel to sit on when I get back to my car because my seats get really hot!

  • If you are someone who never goes anywhere without your favorite water bottle, bring it empty! You are not allowed to bring in your own beverages (unless its a sealed water bottle), but they have chilled water and gatorade like beverages for free throughout the spa so that you can keep your refreshment up all day.

  • Tie your locker key to your suit. After securing your belongings in a locker, you get the key! The orange band it is attached to may fit around your wrist, but it will be too loose to feel secure. Tie it to your swimsuit!

  • Bring a change of clothes. At the end of the day, I always take a shower in their locker rooms (it’s really just an excuse for me to use the body wash which smells AMAZING). They do have a dryer for your bathing suit, but I just prefer to change into fresh clothes after!

There you have it everyone. I hope you find some of these pointe useful for you.
Please take a moment to sign up for my newsletter and maybe next time I’ll create a “Day in the life” video at this beautiful destination.

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Follow your joy

Millie



How To Get brands to notice you

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Being an influencer on Social Media is becoming so trendy that many brands are seeing the benefit of investing more of their marketing budget toward Micro-Influencers. If you are actively involved with social media and consider yourself an “Influencer” then you have most likely had your share of lavish watch or handcrafted jewelry companies reach out to you for a TFP (trade for post) agreement. The excitement of your first collaboration is a game changer:

“Someone wants to work with lil ol’ me!?”
“I’m finally on the right track”
“This is it. This is my moment and it’s just the beginning”

But after a just few of those social media successes the excitement starts to die down or brands stop reaching out.

If you’re right there with me and have your hand waving in the air yelling “YES, Millie, this is me” (or even if you haven’t experienced a brand collaboration yet) you will definitely relate to my next question:

“How do I get LEGIT brands to reach out to me with quality products?”

Now, if you want me to answer that question honestly…

you don’t.

If that is your main concern, then let me stop you right there…

your mindset is wrong!

Technically we have no control when it comes to what other brands do. We can’t force them to click on our profile and write an email to us - well we COULD but that might lead us to jail and we wouldn’t want that, there’s not many brand collaborations there ;)

HOWEVER, do not worry! There are still components we DO have control of that will make brands want to reach out to us and those components are what we are going to focus on today.

Now first, we need to shift our mindset and adjust the question we’re asking ourselves:

“How can I make my Instagram ‘Brand Friendly’ so when brands come across my page, they will have the urge to reach out to me!?”

Let’s tackle the answer to that question with 5 simple adjustments:

1. Make your profile “clickable
Before a brand even scrolls your feed, what is the first thing they notice? Your username and profile picture! If your photo is a selfie or has a snapchat filter with a username like “milliegirl1234”, I’m sorry, honey, but that is not eye-catching or professional enough to intrigue a prospective brand. Have your profile picture and username match your brand and personality

2. Make your profile public!
I cannot tell you how many times I have had someone reach out to me asking how to get brands to notice them and their account is on private! If your account is on private, no one can see your content, or what you create, or what you are even about etc. If you have reservations about showing certain pictures to just anyone and everyone, then try having a personal account that remains private, and a business account that remains public.

3. Make your bio ABOUT YOU
A lot of people don’t know this but there are websites that act as search engines for brands to easily find influencers by looking at key words from your bio. For example, if a brand is looking for Influencers in “San Diego”, they can search that as a keyword, and if “San Diego” is in your bio, you will pop up on their list of potential Influencers. Your bio has a limited amount of characters so everything a brand should know about you needs to fit in there. Maybe it’s time to put your favorite quote as a caption to a photo instead of taking up important space in your bio.

4. Make your feed/content consistent
This piece of advice is one that I’m sure we have all heard a million times. Although it is the most common advice you hear, it is also the most crucial to growing your account and maintaining a “brand friendly” feed. With consistent coloring and photos focused on your niche, brands will know by a simple glance at your feed what YOU are about, if your style matches their style, and exactly what type of content they can expect from you when working together. Here are two examples:

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The first one is an example of an inconsistent feed. Yes, maybe the pictures INDIVIDUALLY look great, but as a whole they are kind of all over the place. Is this a food blogger? Photographer? Just someone posting photos with their friends? It doesn’t give the brand a clear image of what they can expect when working together:

The second feed has consistency in coloring from the highlight covers to each photo. The brand will look at this feed and know exactly what style photo they’ll get in return if they choose to work with them

5. Be on-top of your engagement
It is not about numbers anymore. Well actually, let me rephrase that - It’s not about your number of followers anymore. Brands can spot someone who bought fake followers in a heartbeat, they would rather work with someone who has followers who truly believe in them. What they are looking for are Influencers with a 3%+ engagement. What is engagement? Engagement is the percentage of your followers that are engaging with your photos.
For example, if you have 10,000 followers, on average they are looking for a minimum of 300 likes per post (of course the % of engagement varies per brand).

6. BONUS TIP: Reach out to them!
This is my personal favorite. If you want a brand to notice you, it’s okay to kind of “get in their face”. Turn on their post notifications, engage with their posts, buy their products and post photos using them, tag them etc. Just make sure you don’t come across an overly obsessed and attached ex.

With all that being said, we can make our account as “brand friendly” as possible, but after all those tips are applied, why WAIT for brands to reach out to you? Why not reach out to them yourself!?

Next week in my blog I will be posting some tips when it comes to “How to pitch to brands”. This can seem SUPER intimidating, but after applying my tips, you may just get brand deals left and right.

Sign up for my newsletter to be the first one notified when the blog is up!
 

JULY FAVORITES

August, the best month of the year...and I’m not just saying that because of my birthday - okay maybe I am. Last month I posted about my “favorites” from the prior month and a lot of you seemed to find those pretty fun, so why not keep it up!? I've decided to separate my favorites into three categories: food, fashion and fun. Let’s jump right in to my July Favorites!

FOOD

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If you’re ever in Northern San Diego County, this restaurant is a NEED TO TRY. Campfire treats you to the origins of cooking and hospitality by setting everything from the cocktails and plates, to the aesthetic of the overall environment, "authentically campfire". The kitchen is just behind clear windows so you can be entertained by watching your meal be prepared by the talented chefs.
My recommendations?
Server: Ask for Roman, his suggestions and knowledge of the menu and every dish and drink they made was incredible.
Meal: Order their broccoli! I know it sounds so silly, usually i'm not a fan of broccoli either, but in the words of Roman "it will change your view of broccoli" and he's absolutely right!
Dessert: You can't go wrong with the S'mores. Everything is house made and it completes the "campfire experience".

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FASHION

Last month I went to my very first ever Blogger Brunch. At the brunch I met multiple bloggers with similar passions, filled my belly, watched Mama Mia 2 and received lots of love from sponsors, and by love I mean products. I knew ahead of time that I was going to receive a little gift bag with items from sponsors but I had no idea I would fall in love with so many of them. The item that I became obsess with was this cute strapless white top from Eliza J Dresses. It fits like a glove and every time I wear it, people fall in love with it just like I did. I highly recommend if you're looking for a semi-formal summer top, GRAB THIS ADORABLE ONE!
My recommendations?
The items run a little big, normally i'm a small but I ordered a medium and it fits perfectly

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FUN

Now if you are looking for the perfect place to relax and be treated like royalty, search no more! Bellus Academy is one of the most awarded beauty and wellness institution in the country. They are both a beauty school AND salon/spa with multiple locations in San Diego County. Every interaction I had with staff and students were all positive, going above and beyond my expectations for the day. 
My recommendations?
If you've never had a facial before...oh my goodness you need to experience the greatness! Click here to book a service at the Poway location I went to.

JUNE FAVORITES

Happy July friends!

Before the craziness of the Fourth of July kicks off tomorrow, I thought I’d look back on last month and share with you some of my absolute favorite items I found myself using the entire month. I’d like to start off by clarifying, this blog is NOT sponsored by any of these companies. All of these items are items I truly love.

 Photographer: IG  @johnsperspective

Photographer: IG @johnsperspective

As some of you know, I went on a mini vacation to Mexico for a weekend last month with my wonderful boyfriend, John, and his loving family. Before heading out there I partnered with a few awesome companies to create content for. One of the companies was a little online jewelry shop. I wore the necklaces for the photos our first day there. Then I wore them again with my outfit the 2nd day. Then I came home and found myself wearing them ALL THE FLIPPIN TIME! These two necklaces layered together are now my go-to necklace combo when I need a gold look. You can find these beauties here and use code ‘MILLIE15’ for 15% off:

 

https://blissfullylissjewelry.com/collections/necklaces/products/camille-coin-necklace
https://blissfullylissjewelry.com/collections/necklaces/products/cape-may-necklace

On the topic of accessories, my next June fav is a must if you love living a colorful life with retro vibes. My Orange Round Rainbow Optx Sunglasses are always a HIT when I wear them in public. I can promise you that if go out wearing them, you will receive compliments left and right. It might take a few seconds for your eyes to adjust when first putting them on since the tone of them is so harshly orange, but they bring a beautiful new perspective to things you’re so used to seeing every day.

https://rainbowoptx.com/collections/round-metal-frames/products/sacral-chakra-orange-round-metal-frame

 Photographer: IG  @by.rob

Photographer: IG @by.rob

Moving on to my Instagram followers favorite item right now, my gray wig. If you saw my IGTV video, you may know that I am starting to wear wigs for photoshoots so I can give my natural hair a chance to grow out and be healthy again. One of the wigs I bought, made everyone go crazy (in a positive excited way) when they saw it on my story, so I thought why not share it with you all!? Originally I wasn’t a fan of the wig because of the curls it came with...they were just not good at all. Then I took the time to sit with it, straighten it, and cut it. Now I wear it ALL THE TIME because it just looks so real. This is where I got mine:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01JCSGRW0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Last but not least, let’s get into a little bit of makeup. Usually my go-to foundation is the Urban Decay All Nighter Waterproof longwear liquid foundation...wow that’s a mouthful. But you know, let’s be real, sometimes money can be tight and we don’t have pocket change of $40-50 to spend on makeup. A foundation that I have been using is the NYX Total Control Drop Foundation in Beige ($14). For me it’s perfect for work AND shoots because you can adjust the coverage by the amount of drops you use! When I’m doing my makeup for work, I do a lighter coverage look vs when I do my makeup for a photoshoot, I do more of a full coverage look and the foundation works great for BOTH! This is where you can get yours:

https://www.nyxcosmetics.com/total-control-drop-foundation/NYX_413.html?cgid=face

Hope you guys check out these awesome items. Let me know what some of your favorite products were last month. I'd love to check out some new stuff and maybe it will make it onto my July Favs list!

Xoxo,
Millie

Feeling Trapped

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I feel trapped...

I know what I want to be doing in life and where I want to be, but i’m not there yet and it is absolutely frustrating. I want so badly to be “there” or to start heading “there” but it feels like I’m stuck “here”. No matter how many steps I take, I feel like I am in a dream where I’m trying to run but can’t move forward. I’m in some foreign land with a map and the map is showing me where I need to get to and how to get there but I can’t move, my feet are absorbed in quicksand. How am I supposed to take my first step? How do I make it past this barrier? I do not know...but this is what I do know.

I know that I have a family, friends and an amazing boyfriend who all support me.
I know that God has my back and He wants the best for me.
I know that I’m not perfect.
I know that I was given these passions for a reason and I want to do great things with them.
I know that if I want this, I am going to have to work incredibly hard for it.
I know that there will be times where I will feel like I’m not talented enough, or creative enough to keep going.
I know that this is something I want badly enough to not give up no matter what.
I know that there will always be somewhere in my circumstance where I can find joy.

It’s been over a month since I last posted on my blog and frankly it’s because i’m worried the ideas I have, the content I’m writing, the structure of it all, even the little things like my grammar, isn’t good enough...but HEY, you’re still here! Even if it’s just you mom and dad (hi!) at least someone is reading this. While my feet are stuck in quicksand, I will keep writing. I will keep posting. I will keep doing what I love until I find a way out of other situations.

In the meantime...keep finding your joy!

Xoxo,
Millie

Gaining control of your life

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Hello everyone,

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but life is crazy! I’m not just talking about for me, but for you too. Not matter what age you are, now-a-days everything is GO GO GO. It can feel like the situation you are in is out of your hands and there’s nothing you can do to slow down or be in control. Ahhh control...we all want it. Sometimes we don’t even know we want it. Just think about it for a second;

Maybe you want others to be nice to you, or like you? You want time to slow down? How about wanting to go to sleep earlier? Eat healthier? Make more money? Well my friend, if you can relate to any one of those things, or thought of something, you wish to have some control.

Now, let’s explore this idea of control a little shall we?

con·trol (kənˈtrōl/)
noun
1. the power to influence or direct [people's] behavior or the course of events.
verb
1. to exercise restraint or direction over.

If you’re not a master mind controller, you might be thinking “how the heck am I supposed to control other people’s behaviors!?”. This is the part where I tell you the truth...you don’t. You can’t control how others treat you. However, aren’t you a person? Do you have the power to influence or direct your behavior? Yes. So I’d like to challenge you with this...

Go grab two pieces of paper. In the middle of one piece of paper write “Things I CAN control”. Then in the middle of the other, write “Things I CAN’T control”. Now begin your lists.

I did this the other day and felt the need to share with you all. I strongly believe this is such an important exercise for everyone to do. Writing down the things I didn’t have control over brought me such a release mentally and so much freedom from those things. Then looking at my list of things that I DO have control of made me realize that there is so much more in life I can do!

So it’s your turn! Write these two lists. How was it? How do you feel? Comment on this post what you thought, I’d love to hear!

Xoxo

How to be successful for real

 
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Success. Everyone wants to obtain this amazing idea of 'success'. By the end of this blog post, not only will have learned how to obtain ultimate success in your life, but you'll be able to answer all the questions on the image of this blog, and it's a lot easier than you think!  First, lets start with the basics, we must have an understanding of what ‘success’ is. Let’s check to see what the super handy dandy www.dictionary.com says:

(suc·cess)
noun: the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.

Now let’s take a look at www.urbandictionary.com, the top result is:

The product of constantly striving for self improvement.

I was talking to a good friend the other day about this very subject because they are not as successful as they would like to be at this point in their life. So we explored this idea of ‘success’.  I think our society has painted a false picture of what success should look like:

- You should have a really nice car and lots of fancy clothes to be successful.
- You should own a large, expensive house to look successful.
- You should be able to go out to dinner in nice restaurants every night so you’ll look successful.
- You should be able to buy whatever you want - all name brands- to feel successful.

Basically if you make a lot of money and you’re filthy rich THEN you have reached success, right? Not necessarily. Did you notice that none of the above definitions mentioned wealth as the destination of success? Success is about setting personal goals and putting effort and purpose into them to achieve them. Maybe one of your goals is related to money. That’s totally okay. But what if we forgot about everything we think we know about success and defined it as our own? I’ll start:

@modernnmilliee’s definition of (suc·cess)

1. The accomplishment of finding joy in every situation and persevering
2. The ability to surround myself with people who make me happy and support me
3. Finding new ways to better myself (mentally, physically, emotionally, etc.)
4. Doing whatever the heck it is that makes me truly happy without caring what others think

Now it’s your turn!

Take some time right now to write in the comments what your definition of success is.

First official blog post!

 Photographer:  @martin13photography

Photographer: @martin13photography

Can you believe it? We are already at 6k!

Honestly, I didn’t think I would get here this quickly so you’re going to have to bare with me while I get the hang of this blogging thing.

I’m sure you’re wondering, “Millie, what can I expect from this blog? What are you going to be posting/talking about? How often will you be posting?” and those are all great questions. I will be posting once a week until I'm able to post more frequently. As I find my niche we will be talking about anything and everything modern, after-all, I am “Modern” Millie (Ba dum tsss!). We will cover a variety of topics from coffee, to makeup, to struggles with insomnia and anxiety, to how to feel more organized in this crazy life we live! If you have any suggestions of topic ideas, send them over and I will do my best to discuss it here.

Well friends, welcome on to this roller coaster. I’m sure there will be plenty of ups and downs on this journey we're embarking on. I hope you choose to stay with me throughout this entire ride and please...keep your hands, arms, feet and legs inside the vehicle at all times. Until next week…

Follow your joy,
Millie  

Website Launch and FIRST Announcement

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Welcome everyone!

If you are reading this then that means my Instagram has hit 5k followers and my website is officially live! Thank you so much for all of your support, I wouldn't be here without each and every one of you standing by my side. Go ahead, roam around this new place, learn something you never knew, discover my little pockets of joy, maybe say hi if you get around to it. Either way, welcome! 

As you may see, my website is portfolio focused right now. This is for future companies and photographers I will be working with. It might seem a little small but that is because there are so many different directions I plan to grow and explore with you!

Lets talk about the next journey I will be embarking on...

As I continue to grow, it is important to me that I continue to stay connected with you and keep you in the loop of my crazy roller coaster life. I decided that one of the best ways to do that now-a-days is with a blog:

My blog will launch when I reach 6,000 followers!!

In the meantime I am preparing blog posts so that I can keep my activity consistent throughout my Instagram AND website. I know how frustrating it can be as a follower to go weeks without an update from your favorite blogger. Don't you worry for one second, of course I have a plan to avoid leaving you empty handed.

That's all I have for you guys for now. Thanks again for all the love. I absolutely can't wait to reach the next goal together.

Keep finding your joy,

- Millie