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FEB 2021 - CHRISTINE - Daily | Kongfidence

by Nicole Baeza1 comment
FEB 2021 - CHRISTINE - Daily | Kongfidence
Find Christine's blog here: https://dailykongfidence.com/
Welcome to the second edition of our Curated Creator Series, where we interview Christine with Daily Kongfidence, where she share's her experience as an influencer and public figure on social media. 

 

Hi Christine! I'm so excited to do this interview with you! Thank you for taking the time to be in our Curated Creators Series for our February Edition! How are you doing?

I am doing well!  I know everyone had high hopes for 2021 and it started off rocky and seems like it was basically a continuation of 2020, but honestly, I feel better than ever.  I think with all that has happened, it has opened up our eyes and hearts as well as made us more aware of prioritizing ourselves, health, family, etc. more than ever.

Can you describe yourself, hobbies- interests- etc? What does Christine do in her free time or on any given day?

As a mommy it is hard to really have a lot of “free time.”  What I do for myself is take an hour each day to workout.  That keeps me happy and healthy.  I also like to take walks with my family and dog to get fresh air and connect.  And of course, I love to eat.

When and how did you start blogging? Why did you decide to have a website instead of just a social media site? 

I started blogging in 2015 and decided to not only have an Instagram account but also my own blog (www.dailykongfidence.com) where I could share more than just photos and short videos.  I wanted a blog only to share more and get more personal.  I also wanted something that I could control and take ownership of versus being at the whim of a platform such as Instagram or Twitter where if they decide to make changes or shut down one day, I would lose all of my content.  With my blog, I own all the content and it will be available to everyone for as long as I choose.

How do you balance consistently putting out amazing blog content/photos for social media and your website AND Mom responsibilities?? Please enlighten us. What are your secrets? Has being a Mom impacted your blogging style/content in anyway?

Balance is definitely something I struggle with daily.  Especially when I first started my blog and Instagram account, I didn’t have any balance.  I poured myself into my work thinking that if I wasn’t constantly “on,” I would miss something.  One less follower, one less comment, one less like.  It was absurd and tiring and also caused a lot of stress in my life and my relationship with my family.  It took me years to finally figure it out and be okay with my decisions.  Now I post in the mornings when my kids are in school and I do my work (taking photos, answering emails, meetings, editing, etc) all while they are in school, doing homework, or when they are in bed.

When I first started blogging I would always wear heels, designer pieces, and it was more about fashion.  My style has definitely evolved since I first started.  I still love fashion, but my style and content has evolved to share more of my everyday style and life including beauty, travel (pre-Covid), food, and wellness.  I’ve traded many of my heels for sneakers and more comfortable wear but still trying to be chic and confident in what I wear.

And of course as I get older too, beauty has become a huge part of my life.  Skincare is something I am truly passionate about and I love sharing my latest discoveries and products that work for me.

I've told you this before, but your photographer does an AMAZING job at capturing your outfit shots! How do you radiate with confidence in every photo? Do you have any tips for new fashion bloggers starting out, that may feel a little lost or not confident in their outfit choices/styles?

Yes, I LOVE my photographer.  I’ve been with him from the beginning (@vincentelejorde) and we have so much fun together.  Honestly, finding the right photographer is key.  Vincent makes me feel confident, knows my angles, and knows my “truth” (my style and brand).  It definitely takes a few sessions to figure out if you have chemistry with your photographer but is it important.  Find what works for you.  Are you the type that likes direction or have your own ideas?  Do you want help with creative concepts or you already have it all down?  I usually have an idea or concept for what I want to achieve with my shoots and Vincent helps me bring those to life.  I also like direction in terms of how to pose because I obviously can’t see myself in the camera. Vincent is great about telling me where to look, how to pose, and capturing the little details.  He also shows me photos along the way so I can change things up if I am not liking the photos.

Along the way there have been times that I’ve tried a “trend” that everyone was doing that just wasn’t me.  And you know what? It shows. If it isn’t authentic to you or something that you aren’t comfortable with, it is evident in your photos.  So my advice is to stay true to your style.  That’s not to say don’t try something new, but if you do, just make it your own and rock it.

Do you ever get creative block when choosing new outfits to wear?  Also, do you pre-plan your outfits daily?

There are times when I am bored with my outfits and want so be inspired.  I find inspiration from other bloggers, magazines, and designers.  Personally I love editorial photos and content that is creative and artistic.  I take those as inspiration to put together everyday looks that are effortless and chic.  I want my followers to see what I am wearing and help them create the same look with pieces they have in their closet - not necessarily go out and buy that exact piece.  Not many people have the budget for that. =)  On a typical day, I reach for elevated basics - pieces that are investments but you can wear for a lifetime.  While beautiful clothes, dramatic sleeves, and flare are always impressive and appreciated, most people want clothes they can wear everyday or capsule collections.

I don’t pre-plan my outfits because I feel that your mood determines what you want to wear that day.  If I am feeling lazy, I will put on comfortable clothes such as a sweatsuit layered with cool sneakers or combat boots with a shacked or long coat.  I love a good layering moment.  If I want to be a little more fierce, animal prints always do the trick.  I think people should dress to reflect their mood or how they want to feel that day.

Can you tell me how you developed your brand image, aesthetic, and vision? I'm blown away!

I wish I had a secret to share.  I honestly started this journey wanting to share my outfits to show that moms still could dress up and be cool after having kids.  I never expected to build the relationships I have and for Dailykongfidence to become a full fledged business.  I just wanted to share my creative side, a mix of fashion, everyday, and beauty in an artistic but relatable way.  I guess what I want to convey is that you evolve as you develop your brand because it’s you and apart of your lifestyle.  You can make goals and plans, but it’s also good to be flexible and adjust to changes (like Instagram Stories, TikTok, Reels, IGTV, etc.) yet still stay true to your brand.  I am so grateful for everything I have accomplished and all the relationships I’ve made.  

Can you tell me a bit about your style growing up? Were you always into fashion and beauty trends growing up?

If you ask my family this question, they would say I was always into fashion even as a little girl.  My mom said I would wear my prettiest, yellow summer dress  with cowboy boots in the middle of winter to go to school.  I remember making paperclip earrings to wear for my elementary school photos and saving my allowance for those Guess jeans that I had to have.  I also remember making my own glitter nail polish as a kid and always experimenting with my hair and makeup.  So yes, I guess fashion and beauty have always been apart of me growing up whether I knew it or now.
 
What is something you struggle with the most, in your brand image or just life in general?

Prioritizing myself.  It took a while for me to learn that it’s okay to say no.  You don’t have to be ill mannered about it, but putting yourself first to say no won’t be the end of the world.  Saying no to projects that don’t suit you, saying no to events that will take valuable time away from my family, or saying no to spreading yourself too thin you become unhealthy is not sustainable.  Prioritize and include yourself in your priorities to build a better brand and a better you.

What inspires you? Or, who, and why? More specifically, what inspires you when you are creating new content?

I get inspiration from everywhere.  It can be from other bloggers or content creators, movies, brands, basically from everyday life.  I love being introduced to new brands and products and it’s not rare for me to be influenced by other influencers.  I recently posted what I purchased recently and who influenced me and it was great to see the comments from my followers but also give credit to my fellow bloggers.

Can you dive into the creative process behind your content? For example, in outfits... the colors you put together in a fit or the cut of your clothing. Is it all thought out or would you say you throw it on and it just works?

When in doubt, always go monochrome or have one “dramatic” piece in your look.  I think a mix of textures, prints, and proportions always makes an outfit pop.  I don’t follow any specific rules because outfits are an extension of your personality so rules don’t apply.  Anyone can put together looks and as long as they are confident in their choices and rock them, that’s all you need.  For my style, I want to share relatable looks that I actually wear out for brunch, date nights, to pick up my kids, or events (pre-Covid of course).  I try to stay true to my style which is a mix of designer and more affordable brands, casual chic, and the occasional dress up looks.

Do you maintain your social media and blog full time? When did you make that transition if at all, and what did you do before? If so, was taking the leap to full time difficult? If not, are you planning to take this full-time in the future?

Prior to starting my blog, I was a stay-at-home mom tending to my three kids.  So in a sense I was always full-time but I guess the better question would be when did I start considering Dailykongfidence a full fledged business.  I realized Dailykongfidence was a full-time business when I was making a steady income off my partnerships.  I was blogging almost nine months before I got my first paid partnership.  Then after that, it took another three months until I was offered another paid partnership.  So it doesn’t happen quickly, it takes hard work, consistency, dedication, and a reason to continue.  For me, the reason was the comments and feedback I receive from my followers.  Everyday those messages keep me going and help me create content and a purpose for my brand.  With anything in life, if your reason is just to make money, it’s not going to happen.  You have to have a purpose, a reason why your followers want to see you daily, and most of all, enjoy what you do.  

What was the defining moment for you in your influencer journey where you sat back and thought, "I've really got this down," ?

I think the real defining moment for me was when I was able to turn down partnerships and say no to brands that I didn’t believe in or felt wasn’t in line with my style without a second thought.  It was never about the money for me as I didn’t imagine that this could be a full-time business.  But when I felt the power of declining campaigns was when I really felt like I had established myself as a brand.

Where do you see your blog/social media page in 1 year, 5 years, 10? Is your brand something you would like to keep to a smaller team or would you ever expand and hire more people to help to be more hands-off?

I am definitely a Type A person.  It’s hard for me to be hands-off and trust that things will get done.  Right now I have a team of three but in terms of content, it is all me.  I think there will be a time when I hire more people just for my own sanity, but I will always have my voice and style in everything.

If you could describe your personality in 5 words, which words would you choose?

Easy going, reliable, hard-working, supportive, disciplined

What challenges did you face when first starting as an influencer/blogger? What advice would you give to new bloggers that are trying to perfect their aesthetic?

The hardest part for me starting out as an influencer was that I didn’t know anyone in the businesses.  I started alone and had to figure it out through experience.  I would tell new bloggers to find one or two other bloggers to connect with, ask advice, grow with or learn from.  Anything from shoot locations, giveaways, how to reach out to brands, apps they use, all of that information is so helpful.


As far as aesthetics go, honestly it is what you want to achieve with your brand/ blog.  I used to stress about a cohesive feed and making my page beautiful, but I love that the trend is now to be more real and post whatever you feel.  I still like my feed to have some sort of unity or direction to it, but I definitely don’t kill myself to make it happen.

What are your favorite foods to eat?

Gosh there are so many.  Food makes me happy.  If I wasn’t a fashion/ beauty influencer, I would definitely have been a food blogger.  Sushi is my number one, but I honestly love all foods and have a major sweet tooth for baked goods, dark chocolate, boba, etc.

What is one of the biggest triumphs you've had to overcome since starting? Could you expand on it a bit?

One of the biggest triumphs I had to overcome and still work at overcoming is opening yourself up for the good and the bad.  Being on social media you are venerable to criticism.  Fortunately most of the comments I’ve received have been positive and encouraging but there’s always those one or two that you can’t let get to you.

The other thing I had to overcome and again, still work at is shooting in public.  Every once in a while I will get comments, hoots and hollers (yes, I’ve even gotten yelled “Insta-Ho” once) and my photographer, Vincent, and I just laugh it off.  There are also times where if there are too many people in a location I want to shoot, I just move on because I don’t want an audience watching me as I am photographed.

What is your favorite part about being an influencer and managing a blog? Least favorite?

My favorite part by far is all the relationships I’ve made through blogging.  From meeting other bloggers and making friends, to working with brands I never imagined I would connect with.  Blogging has provided me opportunities to speak on panels, “model” for brands, work with non-profits, and more.  I still pinch myself when a brand I love reaches out and wants to work with ME!  

My least favorite part of blogging is dealing with all of Instagram’s changes and not being in control over it (which is why you should also have a blog).  Before everything became such a business on Instagram, I really enjoyed just scrolling my feed of people I followed and seeing what they posted when they posted it.  Now with algorithm changes and all these updates to predict what people want to see, it is a lot more challenging to share my posts and also see posts from those that I follow.

What are some assumptions or myths you'd like to bust about influencers or the journey of becoming one?

The major assumption about influencers is that it is easy and all about events, traveling and free products.  Behind every product, event, travel, basically behind every post, there are hours of work to even get it to that point (such as reaching out to brands, planning the shoot, booking photographer, the storyline, etc.).  When we go to events, we have to make sure we capture live content, tell a story, shoot a photo, and share.  It’s always work first, then we enjoy.  Just like all of our food shots…we eat everything cold because we have to wait for everything to come out first, shoot multiple angles, videos, etc, before we can actually eat the food.  So basically, don’t ever go out to eat with a blogger because you will be starving and eat cold food. =). Essentially, as influencers we do the work of like 10 people - journalist, photographer, creative director, producer, model, PR, personal assistant, just to name a few.

All jokes aside, it is a wonderful journey and one filled with growth, opportunities and experiences I would not have had on my own.  But I want people to know that there is a lot of hard work that is put into it.  Most people only see the end result which is a flawless photo on Instagram.  It takes a lot of work and dedication and it is not as easy as it appears.  Like I mentioned, it took me nine months to make my first $300 on a post.  Nine months of posting 3 photos a day, blogging 4-5x a week, reaching out to brands, and buying my own clothes.  I started five years ago and things may be a little different now, but I still believe hard work still matters.

About how long does it take to make new content, and how do ideas for new content come to you? Do you have a place where you write down ideas as they come and pre-plan your post?

I try to stay as authentic as I can and plan content as it comes to me.  The outfits I post are pieces I bought myself or from brands I have relationships with.  However, I always pick all my own clothes and products and if it is a product that a brand insists on sending on their own, I let them know in advance that I will only share if it is something I love.

As far as ideas and inspiration and where I keep them, I use Pinterest a lot to save images that inspire me.  I also save a lot of photos and videos on Instagram so I can easily refer back to them.  I pre-plan my photo shoots about a day or two in advance to have all of my outfits and accessories organized by look to be as efficient as possible when I am with my photographer), but as far as actually posting the photos, I don’t pre-plan those posts.  I know many content creators that use apps to pre-plan posts which is useful for scheduling and to create a cohesive feed.  Other than my sponsored posts where those dates are already pre-determined with the brand, I post what I feel that morning.

How do you decide which brands you would like to promote? Also, has a brand ever tried taking advantage of your kindness? If so, what are some warning signs to look out for, that up and coming influencer should be aware of... AKA Red Flags. (If not, no worries!)

When deciding which brands to work with, first and foremost is do I already use some of their products or wear their clothes?  If so, it’s an easy and authentic relationship.  If it is a new brand that I haven’t heard of, I definitely do my due diligence before committing to work together, see if there are products/ pieces I am interested in, and if they are product related, I ask to try the product before committing to a campaign.  

I have been fortunate enough to work with incredible brand partners.  It is important to establish goals for each party before going into a contract.  Also expectations must be set and written out.  Before I create content (especially video), I pitch my idea and get it approved beforehand so that there are less edits when the first draft is shared.  If you make sure expectations and do’s and don’ts are set from the beginning (I.e. number of rounds of edits, etc) the less back and forth and headaches for both parties.  

Some red flags I’ve seen are email addresses that seem fishy.  With all the scam accounts and hackers out there, you can’t be too safe.  Don’t click on any links that seem suspicious!  I’ve had one experience where a “photographer” working for a brand requested my availability and offered a very lucrative day rate for my time.  When I inquired specific details and said I would take this offer to my agent, I was ghosted.  

Just be safe and if it seems a little odd, there’s probably something else going on.  It’s also nice when things like that happen to reach out to other bloggers who may have worked with the brand before to ask their experience.

What are your plans for Daily Kongfidence in the coming year?  Any exciting announcements coming up? Have you ever thought of launching your own merch?

This year I want to focus more on providing video content whether that be on Reels or IGTV as I feel that videos share a more complete picture than just a static photo.  I also want to share more home decor content, activewear since that is a huge part of my life, and hopefully more travel once things settle down and we can safely travel.

I have been approached by several companies looking to start my own line in clothes, beauty, and even jewelry.  I definitely haven’t closed the door on that, yet I don’t have plans at this moment to pursue my own merchandise.  But never say never…

Well I thank you so much for your time! This was a lot of fun and I really appreciate you! Do you have any questions for me? I'm so excited to see your journey continue this year and continue following to see the new content you create!!!

Sure, I love all your designs and creativity.  Where do you find the most inspiration from when coming up with designs and do trends influence you in coming up with certain styles as well?  Also, asking you from an influencer perspective, what is the best way for influencers to help support you as a small business owner?  What has been the most effective for you as marketing?
Ahh, inspiration from me comes from anything and everything. I also get inspired and motivated seeing you and other women in business do their own thing and being consistent in their work! I try my best to come up with designs that I would like to wear myself. The best way for anyone to support us is to tag us in their story and feed post! It definitely helps spread awareness on our small businesses. The most effective marketing for me has been prioritizing my customer service experience- maybe not the "ideal" marketing tactic, but I love engaging with customers and getting to know them on a personal level. Thank you for your questions and thank you so much for your time Christine!
Christine's Links:
Instagram | @dailykongfidence
Facebook Page | Daily Kongfidence

 

 

POST COMMENTS

Madison S.
Madison S.

So cool to learn more about Christine and very motivational. “Being on social media you are vulnerable to criticism.” FACTS!

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