How to Teach Your Man to be the IG Business Partner You Deserve: Our Story

Now, although this post is geared towards bloggers/content creators, I know many people outside of this whole influencer world are curious as to how this whole thing works. So in addition to spilling the tea on how we grew my account, I also wanted to share our tips on how your S/O can also become your business partner.

So before I continue, I have to give major props to my boo for growing into a role he did not ask for. Without him, none of this would have been possible. You believed in me before I even believed in myself and for that, I love you so much! YOU DA REAL MVP, BB!

Ah, so where should we begin!?

If you’re first starting out and have no idea where to start, don’t stress, because I was there…we were there! And I’d like to preface that although I’m referring to a significant other, these tips can hold true to any helpful person in your life.

Backstory:

Prior to bae and I dating, I had been blogging for half a year but only shared my posts with my inner circle of about 1K friends and family on Instagram.

Although, my blog views were low, each post fulfilled me more and more. Especially when I would receive messages that people actually resonated with my content… OMG, the best feeling in the world! I also felt creatively liberated after suppressing this side of me for so long. But, it wasn’t easy, y’all! I was simultaneously just as nervous to really open myself up and remain vulnerable on this platform, I was so used to posting random sh*t, like the fortune in my cookie that came with my Panda Express meal, not paragraphs on (for example) my journey dealing with anxiety, and the like. So with each post, I felt my walls go down, little by little.

So after half-heartedly blogging for 6 months, I finally decided to publish one of my most proudest pieces to date, “Why it is Okay to be Single”. I figured, I needed to give this blogging thing a true shot and put my entire soul into my writing. Coincidentally, this was published just a few days before my now bf, asked me on our first date.

Well, the rest was history! We were inseparable! One of the things I was attracted to the most about him, was his genuine interest in my passions and blog! He complimented my work and it was clear, he had read a few reads! In fact, he had been a food blogger for a while so we shared that common interest.

As our time together grew, so did our mini roadtrips. And since he has an eye for photography and landscape, he had asked me to pose for the camera a few times. And although, I’ve always been photogenic, I felt so awkward and uncomfortable, LOL. This was brand spankin’ new! I did not want him seeing my bad angles, ugly outtakes, etc! But weekend after weekend, he had encouraged me to shake the shyness off.

After a few months in, I remember us having this serious conversation about my intentions surrounding the blog and online presence.

Bae had hyped me up and really gave me the pep talk I needed to hear. In sum, he laid out the facts. He believed in my content, my creative talent, and potential brand but in order to see real growth, I needed to give this my allll and actually share it with the world, (not just the 1K followers on my private IG account.)

He vowed that he would do everything in his power to help me grow! BUT DAMMMNN, WHAT A CRAZY, WILD, STRESSFUL, BEAUTIFUL, JOURNEY ITS BEEN!! (We legit had no idea what we were in for!!)

The Beginning of Our IG/Content Curation Journey:

For starters, we really had no effing clue what we were doing.

On 2.05.18 we decided to try out our first curated post! This was the day, I made my profile public and one year ago to the date, I can say that day/decision was the first day of the rest of my life. I know, sounds dramatic but its so true!

In my caption, I let my followers know the shift of purpose I’d decided to make for my platform. It was my way of 1) holding myself accountable for all I had set out to do, but also 2) alerting my peeps that things would begin to look different.

Bae and I began utilizing our road trips as mini shoots. Both of us gravitate towards aesthetic photography so we just began to take shots that felt whimsical and pleasing to the eye!

At that point, what became equally important was learning/figuring out what editing software/style we liked. Bae introduced me to Adobe Lightroom and together, we learned the ins and outs of the program. I truly believe in creating a cohesive Insta feed through your editing but, at the beginning, it’ll likely take you some time to know what that exactly will look like. You can try out cool or warm toned photos, colorful, black and white, etc. Some people buy presets from other creators to slap onto their every photo or you can go our route and create your own presets; either or!

But this photographer/subject relationship is the hardest part! At first, I felt awkward telling bae that I did not like a photo. But now, let me tell y’all, she does not hold back! Haha, ugh!

In the beginning, it’ll take you some time to develop a trusting relationship with your partner/photographer. Especially if your partner does not come from an artistic background, YOU WILL HAVE TO EXPLAIN WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR. DON’T ASSUME. Even though bae enjoyed taking photos before, ya girl required a whole new level of expertise! SO, YOU WILL NEED TO TEACH HIM!

If you don’t know exactly what this is: I would suggest coming up with a mood board and showing your partner. What niche are you wanting to dabble into? Fashion, Lifestyle, Beauty, Fitness, Travel, etc… the possibilities are endless and with trial and error, you will find yourself gravitating towards one over the other.

So we decided to shoot every weekend at cool locations with some cool outfits that I had in my closet. In the meantime, I began engaging with accounts I found on my explore page and tried to build relationships via DMs with other aspiring content curators/bloggers.

Almost two months later, I landed my first collab. Now, this was the dopest feeling because it made us feel like we had been doing something right.

But with this, also came the pressures to provide service/quality to brands outside of the one we were trying to build for our own.  The bar of expectations were now raised and bae felt that. (Well the relationship did! Will elaborate in a bit)

Road to 10k:

As time passed, I began connecting with soooo many like-minded people! I decided to use the same unfiltered/authentic voice that I spoke in in my blog posts but now in my work over on IG. The more I did this, the more I felt like I was resonating with others. Like actualllly making an impact in someone else’s life, no better feeling! A couple months in, (still figuring out what the heck I was doing) a girl had confided in me in that her random stumbling across my content the night before, actually saved her from hurting herself. I was taken aback. That conversation really moved me.  What good would it be to just post photos? I needed to provide real relatable substance to those who came across my content. I began to feel like this was God’s way of telling me I was heading down the right path…that this was the purpose he had intended for me to live out. That 1 heavy, genuine message, turned into at times 120+ a day. I truly felt so incredibly blessed that my words and photos actually meant something to so many souls!

BUT. All of this correspondence takes time! SOOOO MUCH TIME!

And if you’re in a relationship, this is time away from the relationship!

We struggled with finding this balance for such a long period! This, I’d say is this second hardest part about being business partners with your S/O! It’s really about finding that right balance. But in order for this to work out, your partner must be truly understanding of the hard work this whole thing takes. But in order for your partner to truly understand this world, you must introduce him to it. Show him your stats, explain the pros and cons of this industry, what your intentions are for the passion and if then your partner is willing and all in, here are…

Ways your partner can support:

  • Take his role seriously: 
    • Bae and I are celebrating today as OUR 1 year IG anniversary. The brand of “Jasmin Vanessa” has two heads behind it. He takes pride in all his efforts surrounding my IG, because he has also put his heart and soul into it! AND HE’S SEEN THE BENEFITS! We’ve been blessed enough to BOTH reap the benefits of complementary stays, dinners, amazing experiences, the opportunity to connect with so many people, creating amazing works of art, and just simply sharing each little milestone together.  If your man is talking crap about your passions, thank you, next! LOL JK… But seriously, your S/O may need some convincing, and thats totally okay! I suggest sharing your vision in its full potential! Map it out, create a powerpoint, buy him dinner on shoot days, just whatever you need to get them fully on board. Because at the end of the day, this is a career, and in just one year from now, your life may very well look 100% different! I know yours, does!
  • Research:
    • Understand the dynamics in turning your IG account into a business.
    • Read business articles, study other content curators, watch YouTube vids, etc.
  • Master an editing software:
    • + assist with edits
    • Bae and I worked together to create our own presets (which we hope to release in the near future)
  • First, learn your preferred style of photography:
    • And show him! Practice makes perfect!
  • Be your photographer.
    • THIS can be the trickiest part! We allll know how bratty we can get when we’ve been photographed in an unflattering angle! And sometimes if a friend takes a shot, we’ll joke or mask our frustration. But when it comes to family members or S/O, most of us will say it as it is. I saw a meme recently that said: *Me after my man takes my photo, “Ew, I hate this photo!!” *Him to me: “What do you want me to do about it, thats how you look!!” HAHA. Some days will be easier than others but I def think this is an art form that can take years to master. I mean it makes sense considering, we as the influencer have a creative concept in mind and we are just hoping our partner can evoke that on the other side of the lens. It really is a symbiotic relationship that requires time and patience. What has helped us is positioning bae in the perspective I’d want him to shoot me in, I take the photo on my phone and he’ll study it and then refer back to cross reference while shooting me on his camera or phone.
  • Be the listening ear you’ll need.
    • If your partner is out of the loop, the complaints or frustrations you have about this platform, will sound so ridiculous. But if your partner is as invested and knowledgeable in this as you are, they will not only be understanding but actually have the capacity to provide you insight, morale boosters, and hopefully constructive criticism.
  • Give honest feedback:
    • I am such an indecisive person but having that reassurance or difference in opinion means everything to me!
    • I live for constructive criticism. I always want to know the areas I could improve on for the next time, so having that outsider perspective can really shape and mold your brand into something even greater.
  • Assist in emailing brands:
    • Once you are at a point where you are working with brands, email correspondence can feel overwhelming. Especially when you are constantly negotiating your rates, getting campaign approvals, or just planning out your sponsored content for the month.
    • This is where you will make your money, so having your partner knowledgable in the business side of things can be a hugee help!

___

Today, one year later:

02.05.19. We are still wrapping our heads around this all! Just a little over a year ago, I knew I was called to do something more. God was tugging on my heart to ACT but I was just so scared to take that next step. I almost allowed fear of critique and the unknown to block me from one of the biggest blessings God had waiting for me. I truly believe if something is tugging at your heart and it scares TF out of you, it is not random, it is what you were called to do! I am so entirely grateful for every single soul who I’ve connected with this past year. And all I can say is THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Y’all have pushed me to become openly vulnerable, true to my authentic self, and just overall a better freaking person and I thank y’all for giving me so so much in such a short amount of time! I wake up every single day with the intent to create aesthetically pleasing content but most importantly, content that is of substance and content that will somehow shake up and challenge my little community for the better! Love y’all and thank you bae, for everything! I hope I can give just as much to y’all, as you have given me! XOXO

Personal Growth > Social Media Growth

The number one question I receive on social media is : “How do you suggest I best grow my following?” And there is not one simple answer to this. For me, It’s actually taken a lot of PERSONAL growth to even see a dent in my social media growth.

As many of y’all know, blogging and maintaining a social media presence…is basically a full-time job. We are expected to create quality content time and time again, which I LOVE! BUT! We all know the occasional struggle of when we pour our heart into a post, yet it does not do as well as we thought it would! It can be really, really, really discouraging at times. But then theres the other side of that too! When my content compels people to reach out to me, it is in those moments where I feel the most fulfilled. It’s like “whoa, I’m actually making some sort of impact here!” So all this to say, this industry can be an emotional rollercoaster!

And of course, as an individual trying to navigate my way through this space, my own  psyche is affected by it all. I’ve had to learn or am still learning how to be inspired by others’ content rather than intimated. I’ve had to learn how to be vulnerable with all of my followers, rather than just showing the surface level of who I am. I’ve had to shake off and/or learn from any negative comments or criticism I get on posts. And most importantly, I’ve had to gain the patience and understanding that this journey of becoming an “influencer” TAKES TIME! And the most important part of the journey (at least for me) is learning how to accept and grow as a person from all of the ebbs and flows that come our way. Back in February, right before I started to take this platform seriously, I was still very weary and unsure of my content. The numbers meant everything to me and I was heartbroken when they were not up to par. I would compare my humble ass beginnings to one of an influencer with millions of followers! But thank God as time has past, I’ve grown so much as a person and hence, that wisdom and maturity has poured over into my creative realm.

I think the most common sentiment I receive from people asking this question, is discouragement. “Why is my account not growing?! UGHH!” That question alone has the ability to make you second guess yourself and even your potential of making it on this platform. But what has helped me is shifting that question of “how do I grow my followers?” to “what do I need to do to grow as a person so that my content reflects that?”

As an example, I share with y’all these two photos.

The bottom was a girl who was shy and thus a bit uncomfortable with her photographer. I was self-conscious of what the people around me were thinking and you can see that in my pose!

pg1.jpeg

Over time, I worked through those personal flaws. You now see (in the featured photo) a confident, DFAG gal, living her best posing life. Of course there was a line of people staring at me, but oh well! In addition, you also see the strong connection and trust, I’ve built with my photographer. My personal growth blossomed and in turn, so did my creative juices.

Sooooo, if we only shift our thinking and look inwards for growth, that growth can be multiplied in our content and reach so many more people than even imagined!

I found this quote online and thought it was pretty magical:

“Dream big, develop yourself, unleash your potential, play well with others, play to your strengths, enjoy the process, share your unique gifts with the world, and grow your greatness by testing yourself, expanding yourself, learning and improving.” – Unknown

How to Feel Inspired When You’ve Lost Motivation

Heller, friends, Happy Thursday! I find it well suited to touch on this topic as it is one that has been so powerful in my life. Ever since I launched this blog, I’ve felt my creative juices flowing more than ever! There are days where I’ve had so many ideas for shoots and/or blog posts that I’m just like, “whoa, this is pretty bad ass”. But on the contrary, I’ve met days where literally nothing comes to mind and all inspo is lost. This feeling of being stuck is entirely frustrating because I know what I’ve been capable of creating. But its almost as if my own psyche gets in the way. This being said, I wanted to share my tips in how to feel inspired, when all motivation is lost.

  1. Channel your energy within
    • For me at least, my mind is always in a million places at once! During breakfast, I’m already thinking about what to make for dinner. If I am stressed at work, I’m thinking ahead to all that still needs to be done before the end of the week. If yet another stupid decision is made by our government, I’m already thinking of its’ repercussions. All this to say, my mind can be so hyperactive sometimes, which leaves my energies are all over the place. And when you try adding content curation to the mix, it’s obvious that the creative energies are either shot or not of quality.
    • It is in these moments where I have to acknowledge both the chaos internally and externally and simply focus within; freeing my mind of worries and opening space for the creative juices to flow in and out. You know, be in the moment!
  2. Take a Break
    • Due to the heavy demands of our day to day, by the time we sit down with the intent to create, often times we are just too exhausted to do so; creative block.  As much as I love to be productive, there are some days when, it just won’t happen. I’ve had weeks where I’ve tried to jam pack my day and almost force some sort of content to come out, but all I was doing was leaving myself discouraged. Once I accepted that I needed to just rest and pick it up another day, I then allowed myself the time to gain inspiration.
  3. Venture to a New Location
    • My room is usually my work space. A place where I am relaxed and clear minded. However, there are days where I don’t exactly feel inspired in such a familiar/quiet space. The best way to break this, is to step outside of your comfort zone and head to a new location. Whether that be a local coffee shop, nearby park, beach, museum, etc. You will be introduced to new stimuli and hopefully new inspo.
  4. Keep Your Head Up
    • Its easy to feel discouraged when you dedicate so much time into your content and it does not get the feedback you were expecting. I am so guilty of this. There was one time in particular where my stats were so low that I thought, “ugh maybe people are getting tired of my content” and I literally laid there, felt defeated, and could not sleep. Instead of allowing this to propel me to work harder for the next one, I allowed those numbers to crush my spirit. For following day, I had 0 motivation to work. By the end of the day, I just had to remind myself that not all content will be received in the same way. This being said, I had to shake it off and keep on going! I legit had to inspire AKA talk some sense into myself, through positive affirmations…
    • For example: “Gurrrrl, look at all of the content you have put out lately, you’re a bad ass B- Keep it up!”
  5. Turn to Creative Outlets
    • Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, and Moodboards- are all great outlets for inspo. If I have an idea of a location, but am not sure what props, outfits, aesthetic I’m trying to achieve, I will look up related posts, narrow down my options, and of course put my own spin on it.
    • But this can be dangerous at times. I think at some point or another, we have alllll compared our work to those we find already published. If we think too much about it, we can start to doubt our own work. So in short, focus on finding the inspiration you were looking for vs comparing their content/success to your current state of work. I have to remind myself, that there is room for everyone as we each bring something different to the creative table.

 

In short (not really, lol) I hope that these tips are helpful in times of need! Xoxo

 

My One Year Blogging Anniversary

A year ago today I officially launched this blog! Ahhhh, like for real, where has the time gone? A part of me feels like I’m still so new to this whole blogosphere with so much left to learn! The other part of me feels extremely comfortable and grateful of the growth I’ve seen in my writing and creativity thus far, so much that sharing with you all has become such a normal part of my life and one of the most dearest things to me.

For several years, I had suppressed the creative side of myself because of fear of others’ opinions. It was this decision to publish Alll That Jas that gave me the liberation of putting myself out there. And although I am only beginning to do so, I feel my creative energies are slowly but surely being quenched. The original purpose of this blog was to create an expressive outlet of my own, a passion project per say, to wind down after the 9-5. But as time as passed, I realized this has become more than a passion project for me. Blogging is absolutely the highlight of my day and has grown to become a part of who I am, (I know, dramatic…but really) I legitimately find so much joy sharing content and engaging with my readers.

This year, my New Year’s Resolution is to push my boundaries. I want to utilize my social media more than ever and this blog especially by sharing relatable yet original material. And there might be times when some people may not be able to relate, but my hope is to encourage dialogue and connect with as many people from as many backgrounds as possible, because isn’t that what community is all about?

Over this past year, I’ve seen this blog grow in so many ways.  First off, it looks quite different! I spent numerous hours playing around with designs and learning how to code some of it. I’ve toyed around with what categories I’ve felt most passionate writing about and also tracked which ones seem to be the most interesting for my audience. I’ve found that in the very beginning, I was struggling with what my next post would be. I would take a while and literally sit on a post for weeks at a time. As time has passed, I’m noticing so much more ease and confidence into every post I publish. In fact, I am finding myself writing up to 3 posts at a time, scheduling which post to publish first. This past year has been a lot of trial and error but I feel extremely excited with the direction of where Alll That Jas is going.

I have so many fun ideas on where to take the blog in my second year! I plan on posting tons of new beauty, outfits, and relationship content. But I am going to ask you as an audience most importantly, what would YOU like to see more of: travel, relationship advice, beauty tips, recipes, etc? PLEASE DO LET ME KNOW 🙂 

From the bottom of my heart, I just wanted to extend my highest gratitude to every single one of you who has taken the time to read my posts. In this digital age, we are so use to instant content that sometimes reading a full article, can be tiresome…so THANK YOU for dedicating the time out of your busy schedules! Every like, every comment, every follow gives me the continued motivation to push the boundaries!

We tend to limit ourselves because of fear of critique. Many of us have self imposed this “glass ceiling” by our own expectations and comparisons of where we should be. Are you limited by your own expectations of what’s possible for you? Let’s not create this invisible barrier to success, let’s just create! Creating Alll That Jas has been the biggest gift I could give myself. Through this, I have been able to tap into a side of myself I had been longing to meet! I have connected with peers in ways, I probably would not have otherwise.

I encourage any person who has allowed fear to be the barricade to their happiness, to step outside of their comfort zone and take a risk! Lord knows it took me quiet some time to do so.

I’d like to end things with my new favorite quote, “Great things never came from comfort zones.” This is my motto moving forward! And although, I am nowhere near my dream of becoming a full-time lifestyle influencer, I will continue to find joy and growth in my blogging. Great things are ahead and I can’t wait to have you guys along with me for the ride! Xo