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10 Things I Learned from my First Pop Up Shop

 

a bunch of people smiling and laughing at a pop up shop


10 Things I Learned from my First Pop Up Shop 

WHY I STOPPED HOLDING BACK 

Earlier this year, something shifted in my brain and I decided to finally start taking myself seriously as a business woman (you can read about why here.) I’ve been plugging along for about six years, working to grow a YouTube channel, Instagram and of course my blog. And somewhere in the back of my mind, I had always dreamed that someday, when everything truly began to take off and I was this world famous success story, I would start a business. I could see the headlines already!

“Girlboss, Veronica Reitz, Starts the Fashion Line the World Has Been Waiting for at the Mere Age of 18! (in addition to curing cancer, traveling the entire planet and starring as the lead role in the latest block buster hit!)”
Is that an extremely long headline? Yes, yes it is.
Am I overly ambitious? Yes, yes I am.
The only problem with being born with so much determination though, is that it’s often accompanied by a healthy dose of perfectionism, fear of failure and fear of rejection.
Which means that “the mere age of 18” came and went, right along with ages 19-24. And as I was reluctantly stepping into my 24th year, I felt a whopping sense of guilt and an existential crisis starting to creep onto the scene. I hadn’t achieved a fraction of the things I planned on achieving by then and despite the fact that I’m still quite young, I felt time slipping away at an uncomfortable rate. It seemed to me that this was now or never.
 
I was done waiting around for someone else to give me permission or tell me it was time. 

If I wanted to start pursuing my career as an entrepreneur, it was time to get serious.

a bunch of people smiling and laughing at a pop up shop

 

HOW IT CAME TOGETHER 
I had a bit of experience selling things on Etsy and Ebay, but I was never clear on my branding or my goals. However, after years of changing blog names, trying different styles and finally finding my own voice, I was ready at last to open up the Wear is She Now online boutique! And I felt a celebration was in order! I’ve always had a penchant for Pop Up Shops. I love the novelty of them, the excitement factor that comes from knowing it’s only there for a limited time and the creativity behind them!
 
So I imagined hosting my own Pop Up Shop/launch party! 
Essentially, this was going to be a yard sale on steroids. I didn’t have the funds, the know how or the inventory to rent out a proper space. But my friends and I had done some yard sales in the past and gotten really creative with them. I wanted to try taking things up a notch and use this as a chance for some exposure and trial run for something bigger in the future. I knew it wouldn’t be perfect, but I’d spent far too much  time avoiding my dreams because of my perfectionism.
At this point, I was ready to take the plunge no matter what. 
From my experiences with yard sales in the past, I noticed that the biggest issue was attracting the right clientele. I was selling my pre-loved clothes and a lot of the potential customers who showed up weren’t interested in buying them. They were more excited about little knickknacks and comic books. I took this as a challenge to find an incentive for my target demographic to come!
So I came up with this idea to host a raffle. I knew I wanted to market it on Instagram since that’s where a majority of my local following is, so I wanted to raffle off something that would be valuable to those following my page.
 I came up with “The Insta-Famous Starter Pack: everything you need for a flawless feed!” 
My dream was to fill it with gift cards to some of the most Instagrammable places around and other exciting goodies that any instagram lover would die for! But I was already pouring a ton of money into something I knew I would be lucky just to break even on, so I referred back to all the stories I’d read of clever business owners getting their crazy ideas funded and did something I’d never done before.
I pitched about 15 local businesses to see if they’d be interested in collaborating on my endeavor. I was prepared for all of them to turn me down. But to my surprise, nearly half of them said yes! 
By the end of it, the basket was worth over $200 and the most I’d spent on it was $6 for the actual basket itself. I built a selfie station and made up 2 ways to enter the raffle.
1. Follow me on Instagram and share your pictures from the event using #wearisshenowpopup.
2. Buy anything and automatically get entered!
I figured that this would help increase sales and marketing by encouraging people to share! It didn’t exactly work out that way, but we’ll get to that later.

And then just to double down on the whole incentive thing, I bought a cheap cotton candy maker and gave away free cotton candy to anyone who wanted it.

little girls selling lemonade and cotton candy at a Pop Up Shop

I spent the next two months pouring every ounce of my free time into planning, building, marketing,

and personally inviting potential customers. I made flyers and hung them all around town in places I thought my target demographic might see them. I revamped my website by purchasing my own domain name, updating the design and adding a “shop” tab. I bought a white tent, a bunch of decorations and had my dad help me build a lemonade stand out of palette boards that a friend of mine kindly gave me. I printed out a butt load of coupons for 20% off my online store and handed one out to every single customer.
In the end, things didn’t come out exactly the way that I’d hoped. But I was kind of prepared for that. I knew that no matter what happened, it would be a learning experience and it certainly was! So today, here are 10 things I learned from my first Pop Up Shop!
 
WHAT I LEARNED FROM RUNNING A POP UP SHOP 
1. THE BEST WAY TO LEARN IS BY DOING
I could have spent several more years planning, dreaming and scheming until everything felt right. But guess what? It rarely ever feels like the right time. When you’re about to embark on a new journey, it will always feel scary and you’ll most likely question yourself to the point of analysis paralysis. There will always be a million reasons not to do something, but you have to push past all that and just START. Your creative brain can come up with a countless amount of scenarios as to how things will go when you do take the plunge, but no information is as valuable as the information you get by just going for it!
KEY LESSON LEARNED: Stop making excuses and start doing.
2. THE MARKET TELLS YOU WHAT IT WANTS, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND
I decided to host my shop for 2 days. On the first day, I was shocked and quite disappointed to see that much of my hard work was lost on people. My sister had set up her own table in the back of my shop to sell some of her old tchotchkes and I never expected it generate the response that it did. Right as you walked up to the yard, you would see my giant white tent covered in streamers and a big balloon banner that read “Wear is She Now.” I had set up the clothes and shoes like a real store, with mannequins and everything!
 But despite my best efforts, a majority of people blew right past all my hard work to pick through my sister’s miscellaneous assortment of trinkets. 
At first, I was extremely frustrated and upset. What was so special about a used coffee mug with a picture of a moose on it? But I was only coming from my own perspective. Sure, that’s not what I would be looking for, but if that’s what my customers wanted, then I had to deliver! So the next day, I put my pride aside and interspersed a bunch of random knickknacks throughout my clothing displays. I thought it looked messy, and not at all how I envisioned it.
But guess what? My sales almost doubled. 
People stopped to take a look at the random stuff I put out and when they did, they also took note of the clothes. It got their attention, it was what they wanted, not what I wanted. Any entrepreneur will tell you that one of the most important abilities you can possess as a business owner, is the ability to listen and I learned that first hand that day.
KEY LESSON LEARNED: Don’t let your pride and vision get in the way of listening to what your customers want.
3. ALWAYS PROVIDE VALUE 
Another vital ability to cultivate as an entrepreneur is knowing how to provide value though everything you do. Yes, I was hosting an event, for the launch of my new business endeavor. But at the end of the day, it really wasn’t about me and I learned this multiple ways while running my Pop Up Shop.
First of all, the way in which I approached the local businesses I was hoping to collaborate with for the raffle was very careful. I did not go to them and talk about myself and my brilliant new plan. I introduced myself, yes. I told them about the event, yes.
The key was, I lead with why it would benefit them to be a part of it. 
I offered to do something in return for them and let them know that this would be helpful for their own marketing efforts. I doubt it would have been nearly as successful had I approached them with a sense of entitlement.
Secondly, as I mentioned before, I had to learn to provide exactly what my customers wanted. First, you have to listen, but then you have to give. Once you know what people are looking for, give it to them! Your vision is valuable and important but it’s not as important as your customer’s needs.
KEY LESSON LEARNED: Everything you do should be an act of service, not entitlement.
4. BE CRYSTAL CLEAR
Like I mentioned previously, I spent a lot of effort building a selfie station and putting together the raffle basket, but as much as I hate to admit, few people noticed them. I had set up the selfie booth in the back, behind a lot of the displays and quite far away. There wasn’t much drawing attention to it so unless I specifically pointed it out, it went unnoticed.
I had attempted to display the raffle basket a little more boldly but I realized later that many people were confused by it. I had forgotten, yet again, to think from the perspective of my customers. They weren’t expecting to come to a yard sale and enter into a raffle or strike a pose at a selfie station.
They had no idea that the basket was worth over $200 and that I’d worked my ass off to put it together. 
When I noticed that no one giving it a second look, I greeted each person and told them right away that we were hosting a raffle and that a bunch of local businesses donated to it. You have to respect your customers time. Many of them are in a rush, they aren’t always paying attention and it’s your job to make that they are.

KEY LESSON LEARNED: Don’t make your customers do the work. Make everything clear, simple and noticeable.

 a man and a woman taking selfies at a Pop Up Shop
source: instagram

 

5. KEEP TRYING EVEN AFTER YOU FAIL
Failure is a hard part of every journey, but it’s also an extremely necessary one. In fact, we often learn the most from our failures. There was a lot that didn’t happen the way I expected or hoped, and a lot that took me by surprise, in both good ways and bad. But the most important thing you can do from there is keep going. Don’t let it break you or discourage you. It’s all part of the process. Playing it safe keeps you from failing but it also keeps you from growing.
The goal is to move on and do things smarter next time. 
You don’t want to keep making the same mistakes over and over again. You want to gather information for the purpose of using it to make you better and brighter so that the next time you try, because you will try again, you get a little closer to your goal.
KEY LESSON LEARNED: Failure is not the end, it’s part of the process.
6. DON’T REINVENT THE WHEEL 
Being such a head strong, determined person means that I have a tendency to get a little blindsided by my own ambition. Sometimes, you can be screaming the right message to the wrong neighborhood. I love to be big, and bold and extra and I don’t do anything half assed. I put my heart and soul into this Pop Up Shop and I worked my ass off to market it to the right people. But at the end of the day, while I saw this as my first Pop Up Shop, my break out moment taking the world by storm, the world saw it as just a yard sale. And most of the people coming to yard sales, didn’t understand what I was trying to accomplish. They attract an older crowd, one that doesn’t often understand the value of selfie stations and Insta-famous starter packs.
Don’t get me wrong! There was a handful of lovely people who totally got it and shared nothing but wonderful words of support! But I’m talking majority here, and most of the people that turned up were not interested in a young woman’s pre-loved clothes. Some of them even confessed that they were confused by my display.
 
Some mentioned they didn’t stop by at first because they thought it was a private party while others literally laughed when I offered them free cotton candy or a chance to win a basket of goodies worth $200+. 
I realized something very important. I could spend all of my time trying to rebrand what yard sales have been for as long as I can remember, or I could pour all of that hard work, time and energy into a market that is already built to appreciate that kind of hard work. I believe in myself and my ideas, but I was trying to reinvent the wheel. My goal was never to continuously have yard sales anyway, but it taught me a lot about about letting your creativity roam in the right spaces and it pushed me to want to take the next step of my journey.
KEY LESSON LEARNED: Spend your time and energy wisely by showcasing great ideas in the right space.
7. DON’T EXPECT EVERYONE TO SEE YOUR VISION 
Sometimes, when you have these fantastic, passion fueled visions, it’s hard to imagine that others won’t be quite as excited as you are. You may be met with negativity, or worse, silence. But don’t let this discourage you. Plan to show and not tell.
People have a much easier time coming around when they see the proof and that’s a lesson I had to learn the hard way. 
I was sitting on my couch literally shaking with nerves and excitement to send out the big text I’d prepared a month prior, announcing my Pop Up Shop to my friends. I had imagined the moment over and over in my head so many times. Everyone would be so thrilled for me, right?!
Wrong.
Hardly anyone answered. It was a bit painful and disheartening, but I had to wise up. It’s no one else’s job to be as invested in your endeavors as you are. You will have to earn most people’s enthusiasm by actually delivering on your incredible ideas. And if you’re lucky enough to have anyone that supports your visions right off the bat, treat them like the absolute gems they are.

KEY LESSON LEARNED: You have to be fully invested in your passions before anyone else is.

a man and a woman taking selfies at a Pop Up Shop

 

8. CHOOSE YOUR TEAM WISELY
This is one of the most important lessons I learned throughout this whole Pop Up Shop experience. I rarely want to trust anyone else with my ideas and visions, but the reality of running a business is that you need help. But more importantly, you need the right help.
Your team can make or break you so when choosing who you want to be a part of your journey, choose wisely. 
I learned a lot about who I can count on, who is unreliable, who’s willing to be helpful and who is unable to follow directions. In the midst of a crisis, will you and your team be able to cope? Does your team work well together?
At one point during the first day of my Pop Up Shop, it felt like everything was going wrong and the stress of it all broke me down to tears. But my boyfriend swooped in, helped me figure out every situation that was going wrong and wouldn’t let me return to the shop until I called myself a girlboss “like you mean it!” and started smiling again.
I’m grateful to be with such a supportive partner, but this isn’t always the case. It’s very common to have plenty of friends and family members, people you really love, who disappoint you, or who even go out of their way to make things harder for you. It’s sad, but it’s a reality.

KEY LESSON LEARNED: Every person you love does not have to be a part of your team, but every person on your team should be someone you love.

man holding pizza in front of lemonade stand at Pop Up Shop
My wonderful boyfriend bought the whole team Pizza 🙂

9. STOP WAITING AROUND 

One of the proudest lessons I learned from trying my hand at a Pop Up Shop was realizing just how much time is wasted by telling yourself you’re not ready. Remember how I mentioned that I pitched 15 different brands to help me out with the raffle? Well right before I pitched my first one, I was dragging my feet SO. MUCH. I had given myself a ton of silly restrictions and conditions before I could ask.
For example: “They won’t take me seriously if I don’t have business cards.”
But I had direct messaged them all through Instagram, so having business cards didn’t even matter. I realized that I was just looking for a bunch of excuses and using perfectionism as a way to procrastinate because I was afraid of rejection. And then one day, I just did it. I didn’t feel ready, I didn’t feel professional, but I asked anyway. And more people than I ever expected to, actually said yes.
KEY LESSON LEARNED: Be mindful of the stories you’re telling yourself as to why can’t do something. The biggest thing in your way is often you.
10. YOU GET TO DEFINE SUCCESS
No matter what happens, how you define success is your choice. There is no Success Police coming to monitor your results. Even your failures can be considered successes but at the same time, even the most magical moments in your career can be painted as failures if you’re always looking at the glass half empty. Any time you’re putting yourself out there, trying something new and going against the grain, that’s a cause for celebration if you ask me! There was a lot I had hoped would go differently during my Pop Up Shop, but there was also a lot to be proud of. I say, if you learned something, that’s success in it’s own right. It’s not that you aren’t successful at smaller levels, it’s just that your success begins to get bigger and bigger as you grow too!
KEY LESSON LEARNED: Success is relative to each person. Don’t forget to celebrate even the smallest wins!
So there you have it beautiful boss babes! I hope this was helpful for whatever goal you might be trying to achieve! Just know that I’m rooting for you and I’m here to answer whatever questions you might have! Good luck on your journey and remember that the world is your runway!
With peace, love and pixie dust,
-Veronica

How Netflix’s ‘Girlboss’ Changed my Life

A brunette girl wearing white sunglass and a pink blazer

OUTFIT:
blazer: Nordstrom 
sunglasses: Nordstrom 

How Did This Happen?

I royally screwed up, again.

This was now the second time I messed up my schedule and forgot to go to work. My boss called me up, reamed me out, and I was feeling like a flaming sack of dog poo.

I came home to watch Girlboss for about the hundredth time. Since it’s creation, it’s been my go-to show whenever I need a pick me up. Something about Sophia, (the main character based off real life Nasty Gal creator, Sophia Amoruso,) really spoke to me. She’s so filled with passion, energy, determination and absolutely no clue what to do with all of it until she realizes she’s a natural entrepreneur. I was dying to devour more of her story. How did she continue growing her business? How was she going to overcome all of her hardships? What would she do next? And what was she going to wear through it all? But as usual, I got to the end of season 1 and found myself desperately wishing for a season 2. And then, finally, something in my brain clicked.

If I couldn’t watch more of her story, I’d just have to live it out.

The poster for the Netflix series Girlboss

A Little Backstory…or a lot.

In recent history, I’ve been feeling wildly out of alignment in terms of my destiny, a fact I’ve been alluding to in some recent blog posts. Since graduating High School, I’ve worked several jobs at once to afford traveling the world and put myself through college. I did everything from yoga instructing, answering phones as a receptionist, working at children’s camps and retail stores, house sitting, dog walking, baby sitting, and any other gig I could find in between.

However, college never felt like the perfect path for me. I changed my major at least once a year because I had so many passions, and hated the idea of choosing between them! I wanted to learn everything, do everything, see everything, and the thought of picking just one thing to get stuck in forever was terrifying. I felt lost and directionless but I’d never really been educated on alternative roads to success, so I felt like a loser for not wanting to pursue more than just an Associates Degree. Especially whenever friends or family asked what I planned to do instead, and I had no clue what to tell them.

There had to be something more… but what?

When I got certified to teach yoga, I thought I finally found the thing I could do forever. Of course, it didn’t fully pay the bills, so I kept working sporadic, unconventional jobs on the side too. My schedule was never the same and I lived paycheck to paycheck, but it was all worth it to me. Yoga allowed me to help and inspire people, make my own hours, explore my creativity and maybe even travel the world. And most importantly, it gave me plenty of time to pursue my favorite hobby; making YouTube videos.

a typography quote that says good things come to those who hustle

I had been enamored with the “Influencer” lifestyle from the moment YouTubers started taking the world by storm. I watched as my favorite content creators were going from making videos in their bedroom, to getting their own fashion lines, traveling the world and living the kind of life I had only imagined in my wildest dreams. I loved that it was such a free space, to live and explore anything you wanted to. Freedom. Creativity. Passion. That’s what all of these Influencers had, and I wanted to be one of them.

I didn’t dare tell anyone what my real ambition was because for such a long time I felt like an absolute impostor. I suppose I was waiting for something or someone to give me permission. I didn’t want to talk about it until I was already a success. I was terrified of what people would think. I felt like I had to prove myself first. One day I’d have my own fashion line.

One day I’d start a business, write a book, travel the world, help people, become a girlboss! But not now, not until I “mattered.”

I worked on my YouTube and Blog inconsistently for 6 years, stopping and starting because I’d get embarrassed, or unmotivated or busy. But finally, at long last, I was about to get my very first paycheck from YouTube and that would validate me! Now I’d have something to show for all my hard work and maybe one day soon, I could actually turn this into a career!

And then YouTube changed their Partner program and demonetized me.

Finding my Purpose

I had no idea how long it would be before I might become a Partner again. I took a long, hard look at everything I’d been working towards and the life I was living and realized, I didn’t care. I wasn’t giving up that easy. I still loved creating content and truthfully, I only had myself to blame. I hadn’t been taking myself seriously. I was being too wishy-washy. I wasn’t showing up to the world everyday like I was grateful to be there. I spent so much time feeling insecure, confused and shy that I didn’t allow myself to truly pursue the destiny I knew I was meant for.

I had wasted too much precious time absorbing content when I should’ve been out their creating it. I knew one day I’d have a family, a home, major responsibilities, a “real job.” That’s what I was supposed to want right? So these were my years to really go for it, if it were ever going to happen. So much time had flown before my eyes since the first day I sat in front of a camera and introduced myself to the world.

I had so many bright visions on that day, of what my life would be like by this point, and I’d allowed fear, embarrassment and frustration to get in the way of all that. But not anymore.

I was getting exhausted, being pulled in so many different directions from a million different side hustles. I couldn’t focus, and I was getting so stressed and forgetful that I was constantly late or in the wrong place at the wrong time and the worst part was, I felt I had no real direction or reason for doing it all. I was investing all of my time and energy into everyone else’s businesses, and at long last, I was finally ready to invest in my own. It started to become clear that nothing I was doing was as fulfilling as the blogger world, not even yoga. I felt disappointed in myself for not wanting to pursue yoga as a career anymore, but yoga had helped me start listening to my heart again, and I finally knew what it was saying.

I realized I’d always been secretly hoping that my efforts on YouTube, Instagram or my blog would take off and then I’d finally be able to devote all my time and energy to doing that, and only that. 

Despite the fact that I wasn’t making money, I wasn’t ready to give up yet and that kind of passion is hard to tap into.

But I was stuck at a crossroads. I knew that if I was ever going to live my dream life, I needed to start devoting every last drop of time and attention into creating that life for myself. But I also needed to make money in the mean time to you know… survive? I didn’t want to go back to the 9-5 working world because I knew that would eat up too much of my time for too little money, but I also didn’t want to keep running around between side hustles that left me exhausted and unfocused. And that’s when Girlboss changed my life.

Unleashing my Inner Girlboss

After watching Sophia walk off camera in the finale of Girlboss one last time, I noticed a beautifully brand new parallel in our stories. She’d been growing her business on Ebay with wild success until suddenly, she was kicked off and forced to take her career to the next level, on her own. I thought about how the paycheck I’d worked for for YEARS to get was ripped away from me by YouTube and wondered if, like Sophia, I could find a way to branch off on my own without being at the mercy of anyone other than myself.

Practically overnight, I made the decision to bring my passions to life. I stopped caring about what anyone thought and more importantly, I stopped waiting around for permission. I didn’t need to wait for anyone to tell me I could start a business or change the world or do anything else I’d been waiting to do until I became “relevant.” This is my life and I make the decisions! Little by little, slow and steady, this is how we grow. Not by hiding our gifts away and then revealing them when perhaps it’s too late. And maybe it never goes anywhere! Maybe it never turns into the big, crazy fantasy we always imagined. But maybe it will. And maybe along the way, the lessons you learn, and the people you help are much more important than the end results anyway.

So while Sophia’s story ends with a launch party, that’s precisely where I wanted mine to begin.

On July 7, 2018, I announced the Official Wear is She Now online store to the world. A microscopic win at best in the eyes of many, but to me, this meant everything. This was my statement to the universe, I’m here, I’m excited and grateful to be alive and I’m ready now, more than ever to do what I’ve always been meant to do! To celebrate I hosted a launch party and Pop Up Shop right in my front yard! It was small, it wasn’t perfect, but it was the first official step on my journey since fully embracing my purpose.

Look, I’m not a business expert, I’m not a fashion guru and most of the time, I have no idea what the hell I’m doing. But for the first time in my whole career, because yes, this is my career, I feel I deserve to be on the playing field. I might not be the best player out there, but it’s a hell of a lot more thrilling than being on the sidelines! (not sure why I randomly chose to use a sports analogy there… I hate sports, but I digress.)
I choose to show up in the world as a Girlboss, despite my lack of know how or experience or all the fears I still face on the daily. And you can too!

Whatever it is you want to do, whether you feel “ready” or not, it’s time for you to start, because the only real thing standing in your way is yourself. 

Here’s the thing, you’ve only got a little bit of time on this earth. I know everyone says that, but we need to hear it over and over until it sinks in because we take it for granted all too often. Sometimes it takes these giant setbacks in the road to wake us up, to make us realize that we should’ve started sooner or that we should’ve kept going. So take it from someone who spent too much time on all the wrong things, whatever your passion is, go out and start seeking it NOW. Not later today, not tomorrow, not in a week. What have you been putting off that you’re afraid to face? What have you been dreaming of since you were little that you never wanted to admit? Follow that passion and let the world shape you into the girlboss you know you’re supposed to be.

Where is She Now?

Currently, I’m still grinding it out with a few of my side hustles just to pay the bills but for the first time EVER I’m seeing the fruits of my labor in so many ways! My online boutique is growing little by little, I’ve been landing brand deals and I’m discovering countless ways every day to make money as a blogger and YouTuber, aside from the YouTube partnership program. That means I get to do what I love a little more everyday and for the first time in my life, I don’t feel confused or scared. Most importantly though, my mindset has shifted. I no longer feel like an impostor. All the extra hustling is bearable, even enjoyable again because there’s so much purpose fueling everything I do. I hope that by this time next year, I’ll have so much more to update you on! From now on I know exactly who I am and what my purpose is.

I’m a girlboss, baby! And I can’t wait to show you what comes next.

With peace, love and pixie dust,
-Veronica

10 Tips for Micro Influencers

10 tips for micro influencers, how to become a micro influencer
get this dress here!

The term “Influencer” is getting thrown around quite a bit these days and the topic seems to be more polarizing than whether or not Ross and Rachel were actually on a break. Some people have no idea what the term even means while others are desperate to be crowned with such a glorious title. Upon hearing the term, you might instantly imagine famous bloggers, vloggers and instagrammers like Alexis Ren or Zoella. We watch them get showered with free gifts from incredible companies or go away on fancy vacations, completely free of charge. And then we discover that they’re not just getting free stuff, they’re getting PAID on top of that! It seems more like a fantasy than an opportunity accessible to anyone, right?

But what many people don’t realize, is that success can come at a much smaller level. “Micro Influencers” have plenty of opportunities to work within this industry as well. In many cases the engagement rate of smaller influencers is much higher than those with a massive following. And great engagement is one of the first things a brand looks for. Plus, Micro Influencers don’t cost nearly as much! So if you’re telling yourself you can’t be successful because you’re “too small,” it’s time to wake up! The only thing standing in your way, is you.  
How do I know all of this? Because I’m speaking from personal experience! In fact, I received my first brand deal before I even had 1,000 followers on Instagram and around 1,500 subscribers on YouTube! So if you’re curious to learn how I did this and what I’ve learned along the way so far, keep reading!

WHAT IS A MICRO INFLUENCER?

Micro Influencers are those of us who are hustling like you wouldn’t believe, but whose following is significantly smaller than the big wigs. While professional, full time Influencers are speaking to a crowd of sometimes millions of people, Micro Influencers might only be speaking to a crowd of a few thousand. 
micro influencer Lo Shepherd

micro influencer lo shepherd gives us tips
the lovely Lo Shepherd is an amazing Micro Influencer! 

One of the most challenging parts about speaking to such a small audience though, is staying motivated. Of course the initial attraction to such a dream job can begin to wane once it becomes clear how difficult a career path this can be. Working your way up the ranks can be filled with tons of rejection, frustration, confusion and quite obviously, this can all get exhausting! And if you thought you hated learning about algorithms in High School math, try growing your Instagram following and THEN come talk to me. It’s easy to see that it ain’t easy! 

So how do we avoid burnout? Is this all worth it? When can we finally begin to see some results? And how does one even begin to break into the Influencer world? As a Micro Influencer who’s been at this for 6 years, I’m here today to share my tips for staying motivated, making some money and landing brand deals! 
STAYING MOTIVATED & AVOIDING BURNOUT 
1. JUST KEEP SWIMMING
When I began this journey back in 2012, I imagined it would only take a few months, maybe a year to start really getting somewhere. But six years later, I’m only just beginning to reap the rewards now. But before you get nervous, hear me out! Yes, it will take time and patience, but more importantly, it takes consistency. 
And was I working consistently for the past six years? Absolutely not. I would get discouraged, distracted, embarrassed and give up way too often. If I could give one piece of advice to young Veronica, I’d tell her to keep at it, even when she felt like it was too hard. Unfortunately, I can’t go back and help myself, but hopefully I can help some of you! And if you won’t take it from me, then take it from Dory people! Just keep swimming! 

2. SPEND YOUR ENERGY WISELY 
I was listening to an episode of The Influencer Podcast that featured Marie Forleo, who is an absolutely magical unicorn of a human being, and she said something that truly changed the game for me. Marie brought up the idea that two identical things cannot occupy the same space at the same time. She related this concept to our thoughts, explaining that if you allow fear, doubt and frustration to occupy your mind, there will be no room left for motivation, positivity, etc. And it takes a great deal of the latter in order to be successful. 
I began to notice as I was reading back some old diary entries just how true this was for me. Only a few weeks prior to this, I was filled with so much self-doubt and questioning all the work I was doing as an aspiring Influencer. But reading my thoughts at that moment, I realized how much my mentality had changed since then and how much more successful I was already becoming because of that. 
And the reason for this mental shift? I had thrown all of my energy into launching an online boutique and hosting a big launch party for it. There was absolutely no time for anything other than hard work, dedication and optimism. So be mindful of your mind and what thoughts you’re filling it with! 

how to become a micro influencer like sade solomon

how to become a micro influencer like sade solomon
Sade Solomon is another fantastic Micro Influencer 
3. PUT ASIDE YOUR PRIDE 
When I very first started creating YouTube videos,
I.
Was.
TERRIFIED.
I felt like such a loser sandwich with a side of lame-o fries! (which, coincidentally, is probably the dorkiest thing I could’ve said at that moment.) I was worried that people would make fun of me and I basically planned on keeping it a secret until I was somehow magically, already famous. Guys, please do not do this. You’ll be hindering your growth SO. MUCH. If you have multiple social media accounts that you can be using to share all your hard work, don’t keep quiet out of fear! 
Because guess what happened? People found my videos anyway… and they loved them! Will some people criticize you? Yes, they will. But are you really willing to throw away your dream career just because you’re afraid of what some random dude in his Mom’s basement might comment on your work? No, you’re not. So don’t pay it any mind. People will keep talking, you just keep working. 
4. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVITY 
Who are you choosing to spend your time with? Is there anyone in your life who totally doesn’t get what you’re trying to do? The answer is often a resounding “yes,” and more often than not, the critics make up a majority of the people we’re surrounding ourselves with. Here’s the thing though: you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And when you think of it like that, spaces for the Top 5 should get a lot harder to fill.

Sadly, we can’t always cut the negative people out so easily, nor should we do this. Sometimes these Negative Nancy’s just need a more positive influence in their life, and that could ultimately be you! But if you’re in a situation where you feel really alone and misunderstood, surround yourself with light. Read books, listen to podcasts, follow blogs, watch videos. Find others who will help build you up in whatever form you can. And DON’T EVER take advice from anyone other than the people who are in the places you want to be. 

5. MAKE SURE YOUR HEART IS IN IT 
If you’re thinking of or actively trying to become and Influencer and it doesn’t seem to be fulfilling you, take a step back and ask yourself why you’re doing this. The idea of getting free stuff can’t be your main driving force. You have to love what you do so much in order to be okay with all the hard work. Every job has it’s difficulties, and you have to decide what’s worth it and what’s not! Liz Gilbert calls this, “finding your favorite flavor of shit sandwich.” And there’s nothing wrong with taking a break if that’s really what you need. It took me giving up multiple times to realize I was always going to come back to it in the end. If YouTube is Noah, I’m the Allie. Find your Noah. 
how to become a micro influencer with ten tips

GETTING STARTED & HOW TO GROW 

6. JUST DO IT
So maybe you haven’t even started yet and you’ve been wondering how you should. And don’t worry because I’m going to give you the greatest possible tip you can ever hear, ready? In order to start, all you have to do is…
Start.
Yes it’s that simple. Stop thinking about it, stop tossing it over in your head and coming up with a million excuses not to do it. Just. Start. That’s the only way you’l learn, grow and figure out if this is right for you! A year from now, you’ll be so much happier you started when you did! 

7. DON’T BUY FOLLOWERS 
On any platform that allows you to buy your following just to keep up appearances, DO NOT DO IT. First of all, it’s lame. Second of all, now more than ever, it’s painfully obvious when your following is fake. And if you ever want to land brand deals and foster a good relationship with companies, this is only going to hurt you.

Remember how I mentioned the fact that companies are always looking for engagement rates? This is because they won’t want to pay you to work with them if you have 100k followers, but only 100 likes on your pictures. To them, this is a bad sign. It tells them you’re either not honest or not able to hold anyone’s attention and in their eyes, investing in you won’t be as profitable as investing in someone else with a truly engaged following.

8. CREATE QUALITY WORK 
I don’t mean this in the obvious sense that you’re probably used to hearing. Yes, you should be putting out content you can be proud of whether that’s an Instagram picture, a YouTube video, a blog post, etc. However, what I really mean by this is that whenever you are working with brands, you should always be be coming from a place of service NOT entitlement. And this is not just for your future, but for the industry as a whole.

These days, companies are beginning to grow weary of anyone claiming to be an influencer due to the unfortunate arrogance surrounding the term in many cases. Many people expect to walk into a room and say they’re a blogger, just to get the perks without actually doing the work. But this mentality ruins it for those of us grinding day in and day out. Every time a company gets burned by one of us, it makes it that much harder for all of us to prove that we are serious. 

how to become a micro influencer with these 10 tips
how to become a micro influencer with these 10 tips
how to become a micro influencer with these 10 tips
MAKING MONEY & LANDING BRAND DEALS 
9. FIND THE RIGHT RESOURCES
Confused about how exactly to get paid? The good news is, there are plenty of resources out there to help you! So let me break it down.
For starters there’s the affiliate route, where you can earn a percentage of the sales you generate by using affiliate links for the products you discuss on your platforms. You can use a website like MagicLinks in order to generate those links and after you’ve made over $50 worth of revenue, you’ll get a check in the mail! Plus, it’s FREE to sign up and they can help you get connected with brands looking for people to work with.
However, the real money comes from getting sponsorships and brand deals. If you’re creating good content and your engagement looks promising, brands might start reaching out to you even when your following is small! That’s right! Stop telling yourself you have to be a superstar in order to work with anyone. Brands often want to work with smaller Influencers! And they can find you more easily if you create accounts on places like Fohr or Influenster which are almost like a LinkedIn profiles for influencers. Again, it’s free to sign up as an Influencer, and once you’ve created a profile, companies will be able to reach out to you directly or send you stuff to review!

10. PITCH YOURSELF! 
Now, it’s all well and good to make those accounts and wait patiently for something to happen, but it’s even better to go out there and make something happen… if you know what you’re doing! You don’t get what you don’t ask for! But how you ask could either make you or break you. I recommend taking Julie Solomon’s free webinar course on pitching to brands. I’d go so far as to say it changed my life, and the moment I can afford her Pitch it Perfect Course, you better believe I’m signing up!

After you’ve done a little research and feel comfortable giving it a shot, I recommend starting with local brands. Many smaller business local to your area might be in the same boat you are! They’re working hard to grow and they’ll be grateful for the help. You might even have more of a following than them! And you might be able to convince them to spend a portion of their marketing budget on you. 

Remember that launch party I discussed in Tip #2? Well I managed to get 5 different local companies to sponsor the event and help me create a raffle basket worth over $250. I bought a basket for $6 at Michaels, but the rest was paid for entirely by those brands. And I did this by using Julie’s technique of Service Based Pitching! It’s powerful and it works, even for Micro Influencers.

how to become a micro influencer with Julie Solomon

how to become a micro influencer with Julie Solomon

how to become a micro influencer with Julie Solomon
Julie Solomon is not exactly a Micro Influencer but she’s an incredible person to learn from! 
So there you go guys! I hope these tips were helpful! If you’re interested in hearing more of the things I’ve learned along the way, or if you have any more questions, please feel free to leave a comment below! Good luck on your journey and know that I’m rooting for you!

With peace, love and pixie dust,
Veronica

OUTFIT DETAILS
Bag: Mary Frances

how to become a micro influencer with Julie Solomon

The Secret to my 2018 Productivity- The Seasons Within me

There are few things I love more than the changing of the seasons. As someone who is constantly chasing newness, (new cultures, new foods, new ideas,) I adore the feeling of a fresh start. Often by the time a new season rolls around, I’ve had my fill of the last one and now I’m PUMPED for whatever the next one is about to bring: spring flowers, summer BBQ’s, autumn pumpkins and winter holidays (to name just a few.)

source: Pinterest

Unbeknownst to them, two of my biggest life gurus are Chip and Joanna Gaines. They are magical unicorns who seem to radiate nothing other than success, positivity and all around fantastical-ness. They are arguably reclaiming “The Midas Touch” as “The Gaines Touch.” One of the things I love most about them though, is how they constantly discuss the different “seasons of their lives.” This idea recently sparked something within me. I began to notice that there are seasons within myself as well: a season of cleansing, a season of curiosity, a season of creation and a season of calm. Shaping my life this way feels much more conducive to achieving my goals than the ways I’ve tried in the past. I am a bit of a self-growth nerd and always looking for innovative ways to be the best me possible.

(Yes, I’m a Capricorn.)

Last year, I tried focusing on 12 different goals for each 12 months of the year. This proved to be semi-effective, but didn’t render the results I was really hoping for.
But for 2018, I’ve been testing out this new methodology. Rather than segmenting my life into 12 pieces, it feels more natural to honor the seasons my heart and mind tend to move through at their own pace.

A Season of Cleansing-
This season is marked by detoxification, preparation and creating space.
This generally coincides with springtime as it seems to invigorate all of us enough to do massive bouts of “spring cleaning.” The new year is still ripe and we all want to freshen things up and make room for a better us. I take this time to detox everything from my wardrobe to my diet and purge my life from any bad habits and toxic people. So yeah, don’t piss me off in April. Jk
… kinda.

source: Pinterest

A Season of Curiosity-
This season is marked by discovery, consumption and animation.
As that need for detoxification beings to wane, suddenly I have the urge to consume, filling up all the space I’ve just created. I think it’s a pretty natural process especially in such a consumerist society. We naturally tend to want to fill everything from silences to empty closets. However, this year, instead of consuming more STUFF, I’ve chosen to satisfy this hunger by devouring knowledge. And “devour” is the perfect descriptor here because I have been absolutely ravenous for books lately. I explore every avenue of curiosity by taking classes, reading, asking questions and all so that I’m well prepared for my next season.

source: Pinterest

 A Season of Creation-
This season is marked by action, energy and determination.
This is the time I put all my knowledge to good use. It’s easy to become a perpetual student, as understanding the process of something is generally much easier than the actual application of the knowledge. This season is perhaps a bit fierce, akin to a blazing day of summer though they don’t always coincide. But it’s a time to take action and turn all that brain food into the energy that propels me into my dreams.

source: Pinterest

A Season of Calm-
This season is marked by self love, coziness, and giving.
It’s the time to scale everything back, understand what worked well, what I could do better and learn to be mindful again. I enjoy the fruits of my labor, the little things and get adamant about creating equal parts “me time,” and time for loved ones. It’s selfishness and selflessness in harmony.

source: Pinterest

Each season blends into the next and they often include elements of each other, especially the one immediately preceding or following it. Just as some spring days feel hot enough to be summer, a day within my energetic season of creation can feel a lot more like a day within my season of calm. In this way,  I remain balanced (well.. at least I try to. This is all sounding a lot more zen than I usually feel.) I don’t force myself into starting a new season until intuitively it feels right. Sometimes one needs to be much longer than another but when it’s time to move on, I know.

Anyway, I’m curious to know (as I’m currently in the Season of Curiosity,) if this resonated with any of you. Do you feel moved by any specific “seasons” throughout the year and if so, what are they? Let me know below or on Instagram or Youtube!

Signing off with peace, love and pixie dust,
-Veronica

Why You Should be Mindful of Your Progression- How to Stay Productive and Positive

This morning while doing my yoga practice I discovered something that had me very excitable: for the first time ever, I was able to to reach behind my back and touch my finger tips. Now this may not seem very interesting or exciting to anyone else, but opening up my right shoulder flexibility has been a struggle for years. I was always able to clasp my fingers on the other side, but my right shoulder, being the one that takes the brunt of most of my responsibilities as a righty, never allowed for it. This really frustrated me… until this morning!!! I began thinking a lot about how wonderful it is when you can tangibly feel your progression through life. Those mini achievements along the way are some of lives greatest feelings. Yet it also had me thinking about how we don’t spend enough time on them. How we are always focusing on what we weren’t able to accomplish rather than what we were, or how we let those moments pass too quickly before worrying about how to be even better. And then I started thinking about I shouldn’t be thinking any of this because I was practicing yoga and better yogi would be more focused… (see what I mean?)

Anyway, I wanted to spend a little time this morning showing myself some gratitude and actually ruminating on my accomplishments as opposed to my failures. So here’s a quick little Ode to Progression in the form of 5 things I’m proud of!

1. I’ve practiced yoga consecutively for the past five days and unlocked a pose I’ve been working on for years.

2. I just paid off my last credit card, starting off 2018 debt free!

3. This past week I taught myself some new ice skating moves. I fell down a lot, but I got back up more.

4. Last year, for the first time ever, a company reached out to me because of my YouTube content and wanted to work together. The recognition felt incredible!

5. It’s still January and I’ve already read 5 books this year!

It’s wonderful to have goals and dreams, but every now and then it’s important to give ourselves credit for all that we’ve done along the way. What are some things you’re proud of?

Oh! and can we agree that both this view and these pants are stunning??? I recently spent a weekend in New York City at the Nomo Soho (there’s a giant blog post about that coming soon!) That’s where these pictures were taken. And these pants- UGH! I am so in love! I love the lavender/pinky color and the mesh panels down the back. I bought them here, and couldn’t be happier! 

Shop the look!

Sports bra: http://go.magik.ly/ml/945g/
Yoga pants: http://go.magik.ly/ml/945e/