Starting MinnestonerGirl was an incredibly terrifying experience. I knew what I wanted to do, but that was about it! I didn’t know how to start, where to start, what to start with, or where to go from my start point. There is no set manual for starting your own influencer/blogging/content-creating/photography/lifestyle/beauty brand for college or life. Because if so I would have exited onto that ramp about 16 years ago.
Life in our teenage years is a lot of flying around by the seat of our pants. We are making most of our decisions based on split second thinking or because our friends are doing it. I did a lot of things in my teenage years, but one of them was NOT nurturing my creative soul. Instead of spending more time taking care of my artistic self, I booted her out of the car on my way to boot camp.
I didn’t know there was more use for her at the time. I thought being creative was a waste of my time because I wasn’t making money at it, and didn’t see any way I could. I had great dreams and ideas cooked up with my creativity and inspiration, but I had no idea how to make those dreams reality, so I gave up.
Maybe it is a good thing I am a late bloomer. Maybe age can only help me at this point.
At seventeen I was extremely young, naive, and uneducated on how the world around me worked. If I would have tried to start MinnestonerGirl back than, I would have most likely given up at the first sign of failure. Age has helped season me to the harsh saltiness of failure, and I am ready to live a creatively passionate life.
My motives were simple. I wanted to be my authentic self, and display this to the world in the most bare ass way I knew how. By launching a whole social media brand. My intentions were pure, my execution was shaky at best, but I set off into the great uncharted waters of my creativity. I had NO idea what I was doing, but for some reason the universe threw me a life line.
I did a little research myself, googled a couple buzz keywords I had heard, and found some basic steps to making my brand. I put in some creative elbow grease myself, did a couple ‘photoshoots’ with my mom, and did my very best at editing my artwork.
Last summer I threw together the introduction to Minnestonergirl, and I’ve been sailing along ever since. Sometimes I feel more like a floating bouie in the middle of the ocean, than a boat, and I am unsure if I would ever find my safe harbor. But I just keep swimming, sometimes floating, other times drifting.
It wasn’t until I connected with ladies from my on niche group that I started to feel the ground underneath me. I initially started interacting with women in the cannabis community. Then I branched out to women in the fitness community.
My rule of thumb and tip for you is, find people with around the same follower count as you. As well as same someone that might share your same passions, sense of humor, hobbies, interests, spirituality, viewpoints, etc.
Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy for me at first. Talking to people on the internet was very strange for me, and I had to teach myself to do it ( so don’t feel weird if it’s the same for you).
As I started connecting and talking to women on the internet more regularly I found comfort, compassion, and my own squad of cheerleaders. These women got to learn about me and I learned about them. I realized that when I opened up, they did in return. We became internet friends, then my own band of misfits, then a community. I like to think of myself as the friendly stoner girl from next door in this community.
I understand we all may run into a ‘dud’ from time to time. I wouldn’t let the party pooper rain on your parade. Take any negative people you encounter and chalk them up to a learning experience from life. A lesson on ‘How to not treat people’.
This community I have around me has helped me create my page, I was able to find out what I truly enjoyed and tailored my content to that, and in turn it is attracting MY AUDIENCE! These ladies became my friends but also my target audience. They have helped me find my brand, my voice, and my aesthetic. I am truly and forever grateful.