Episode 191: Show Notes
Today on the show we welcome back Lauren Taylor. Lauren is the founder of The Letter; an annual mag that inspires women to live their best lives. She is also a content creator, brand ambassador, has partnered with empowering brands like Aerie and Abercrombie and has done amazing things in both her writing, photography and now filming for her YouTube channel. When we think about a social media influencer, we tend to think of someone who has five million followers! But this is not necessarily true and this is one of the reasons we are excited to welcome Lauren back on the show.
Lauren was last here over a year ago, way back in episode 23, where we talked about how to collaborate with big brands and being a social media influencer with a small following and why that model works, as proven by Lauren. Today, we catch up with Lauren and dive into some of the results from the strategies she has been implementing into her social media over the last year. We also discuss how to find your purpose and stay true to yourself when big brands come a-knocking and ultimately, how to find joy in what you are doing every single day. We hope you enjoy listening to Lauren as much as we do!
It’s Okay To Accomplish Big Things and Still Be “Normal”
Lauren has come a long way over the last year in her business and one of her gigantic accomplishments has been working with Aerie and their storefront campaign, as well as working with other big brands like Abercrombie. She has also been doing some speaking engagements on various platforms. What is so great about Lauren is that she proves that you don’t need to be this crazy, insane, popular, million followers big deal to accomplish great things. You can just be normal, you can just be an everyday type of girl and still accomplish these things. Lauren loves to be an example and a voice to that. Lauren’s biggest mission has moved toward answering the questions of; “How can we live our best life? How can we afford to live our best life? And how can we accomplish these big dreams?” These accomplishments have been big for Lauren and she wants to show other people that they can achieve them too.
Why Big Brands Pay Attention To Personality Before Numbers
So why is it that big brands like Aerie and Abercrombie are paying attention to Lauren’s brand personality, rather than her social media following? Lauren believe it’s her trust factor. She is the brand’s audience and her audience is the brand’s audience. Brands want to relate to somebody because there is a move toward diversity and real representation in marketing. This is a movement that should have happened years ago. But it is a perfect time for women to stand out, to speak out and to do their own dang thing and not let the vanity metrics hold them back. This is what brands, like Abercrombie and Aerie, are really looking for and is what Lauren believes they saw in her. So many people think they need to have reached so many followers before they can approach somebody “big” and the truth is, you don’t need to wait for more followers. Go ahead and make it work right now because you are in it right now! There are so many things that you can do for a brand – so much more than showing them that you have ten thousand followers. At the end of the day, it’s not about numbers, it’s about your attitude towards life.
Go For It! Don’t Wait For Opportunities To Land At Your Feet
Lauren really puts herself out there. She is the type of person who will call up an airline and just ask for free tickets. Lauren believes that we put so many limitations on ourselves; on what we can ask for, on who we can reach out for, on what we want to jump on to and that we have to open up that part of our brain that has no limitations and ask. It’s not easy. It is intimidating. But we need to remember that it’s just people on the other line at the end of the day and that there is opportunity everywhere. It’s just a matter of are we going to grab it or not? On the flip side, just because you have a big following it doesn’t mean that opportunities are all of a sudden going to jump out at you. You have to reach for them, ask for them, go and get them.
Finding Purpose and Staying True To Yourself In The Face of Big Brands
Lauren is very careful about who she works with and one of the first things she thinks about is, “Will my audience benefit from this?” Her whole mission is her audience and inspiring them. So with the brands that she works with she tries to ensure that their mission and message is aligned with her own. Lauren’s number one focus is fostering relationships with her existing audience, rather than trying to rapidly grow that audience. If you can build that trust up and build them up, then they are going to be loyal forever. It can be a struggle to stay true to yourself when brands have a certain mould or box that they want to put you in – maybe they want to make you say or do something tht you probably wouldn’t ordinarily say or do in real life. When that happens, Lauren asks herself: “Is it worth it?” And nine times out of ten, it’s not. Lauren has turned down some really big brands for this reason and this is what keeps her staying true to herself. Because if you don’t stay true to yourself now, then in the future you are not going to look like the real, authentic, genuine person that you keep shouting to the rooftops that you are. We should all aspire to be a part of something that is bigger than ourselves. Yes, money is important but it’s not all about money of course. Lauren wants others to be inspired by her for sticking to her purpose and so she makes decisions based on what is going to get her there.
Putting Your Face On Things: The Letter Mag and YouTube Channel
Lauren feels that people don’t necessarily follow products, but they follow the story behind the products. This is the reason Lauren decided to put her face on the next issue of The Letter Mag; in the hope that people will be inspired by her story and that it will resonate with them. People now understand that Lauren created this thing, that it’s her baby. You never really know who you are inspiring. We never really know exactly who is reading our work, listening to our podcasts, following us on social media because a lot of people don’t comment or reach out. But knowing this should still inspire us to keep going. Lauren has recently just translated her written words to video with her new YouTube channel. Lauren has always loved public speaking and felt like YouTube was just a natural next step for her. And having that creative power over your content can become a little addictive too!
What Is The Bigger Picture For Lauren’s Brand?
Lauren‘s bigger picture for her brand is not entirely clear yet. She is only 26 years old and is not too sure what the future holds. But her main purpose is to inspire others, to live a joyful life and to leave a legacy. For her, there is not some grand rigid timeline as to what she achieves and when. We should not be afraid to change our ideas, try new things. Lauren knows that she wants to do more speaking this year but one of her new biggest dreams is to figure out where she is going because she is feeling in a slight limbo period and is moving into many different directions. She wants to travel more, experience the world, and meet her audiences around the world because there is so much out there and we are one tiny part of it. She wants to really focus on her relationships and building a tribe because the top can be a lonely place if you haven’t taken the time to invest in others.
- It’s Okay To Accomplish Big Things and Still Be “Normal.” [0:05:00.1]
- Why Big Brands Pay Attention To Personality Before Numbers. [0:09:17.1]
- Go For It! Don’t Wait For Opportunities To Land At Your Feet. [0:17:22.1]
- Finding Purpose and Staying True To Yourself In The Face of Big Brands. [0:18:20.1]
- Putting Your Face On Things: The Letter Mag and YouTube Channel. [0:25:32.1]
- What Is The Bigger Picture For Lauren’s Brand? [0:33:39.1]
- Formally identify your brand voice and vision.
- Focus on engagement and relationships.
- Be consistent.
- Show big brands before you tell them.
- Get out your head and go do it!