MADE Maven October Issue MADE Magazine - Page 65

MADEUS productive. Taking that time to yourself to get it together will only benefit you. The way I do that is go on vacation or go home (to Texas) to visit my family. They always re- energize me and keep me grounded. If you weren’t an influencer, what would you be doing? I can't imagine a world where I’m not influencing in one capacity or another, mainly because even before being an influencer was a career, I’ve always had influence, whether I wanted it or not. What’s funny is, I never wanted the spotlight or to be in front of people, but I can't turn it off! In school, my teachers saw me as a leader at a young age, and they would always push me in that area. I tried to be mediocre or what I considered “normal” and they would get mad and tell my parents! (laughs) As I got older I would always end up in positions where I had a level of influence, in both large and small ways. Like I said, my husband and I are both preacher’s kids and now leaders in our church, so we would most definitely still be doing ministry in some capacity. If I wasn’t an influencer online, I’d still probably working for myself still as I’m naturally self sufficient, but I’m sure I’d be somewhere doing something in front of people, encouraging people, influencing them as best I could no matter what field I’m in! How do you decide what brands you’re going to work with? I’ve learned to be very selective with my time because I don't have much of it. People don't really know how much work goes into the content we make! Especially on Youtube, one video can take me anywhere from 5 hours to a few days to edit. So I have to be selective about which brands I give my time. Usually, I choose based on how well they fit me and how much return I can get on my investment in them. Some brands don't understand time put in and will devalue an influencer by asking for way too much without offering anything for them in return. Free products are great, but bills are real, Wifi isn’t free and gas money is rising by the minute! With all the work we put in, we have to be financially stable enough to be consistent. So I have to make sure that not only do I care about what I’m promoting and my audience will resonate, but it’s worth my time and lucrative for me as a business. Without going into too much detail, do you work with brands on a consistent #mademaven basis or do you ever have a down time where you’re not working as much? Do you have a side hustle? I do work with brands consistently, but I also set my own pace because I work for myself. I’m considered an independent contractor, so I decide how hard I want to work. It’s a blessing and a curse because when I don’t want to work as hard, I’m not as productive. At the same time there are dead seasons, like around the New Year or in the summer where there isn’t as much going on, everyone is on vacation, etc. But in the influencer world, you can have multiple side hustles that still make money overnight without you thinking about it. Affiliate links, brand collaborations, and merchandise are some great ways. I take advantage of those as side hustles. What are some of the downsides of being an influencer that most people don’t know about? There’s a lot of hidden issues with being an influencer but one of the main ones is that it’s mentally draining and very lonely! We spend a lot of time alone. Unless you live in a hyper social city like NYC or LA, being an influencer is very uncommon, so not many people will be able to relate, and the ones who do live too far for you to hang out with them. I’m long distance with a lot of my friends! Not to mention 65