At Collectively, we love the diversity of our community, and the myriad of professional talents everyone brings to our network. From stylists, to creative directors, painters, to business professionals, recipe savants to DIY mavens, animators, filmmakers, and more, each brings an immense amount of passion to their work. And when the going get’s tough, it’s passion, creativity and a sense of community that keeps them going! We compiled 10 pieces of advice from our community to help give your creative side a little boost when you need it most.
1. Be prepared to pivot; don’t get stuck in one-way thinking or one-way content creation.
10 years ago, influencer marketing was synonymous with blog posts. Now, it’s so much more and evolving rapidly. Embracing constant change will allow you to be flexible and grow along with the industry.
“The industry is literally changing each and every day and learning to roll with the punches has never been more important.” Kentucky Gent
2. Ask questions and seek help.
It’s OK if you don’t have it all figured out, or if you rely on feedback from helpful friends and colleagues. In fact, the most successful people we know aren’t afraid to ask for help or seek clarity when they’re stuck.
“I also really like that when you are accepted into a campaign they send over a creative brief that helps give you guidance for what the brand is looking for. I usually always have a direction in mind for my work but I do appreciate the spark of inspiration to help get the creative process going.” Meet at the Barre
3. Create content from a place of passion.
What evokes an undeniable spark of emotion within you? Is it fashion, food, nutrition, family, or maybe politics, nature, or something else? What moves you deeply feeds creativity, so call on your passions to help inform your content.
“I had motivation and passion that made me want to keep going, regardless of how many followers I had. I wanted to sew, and I wanted to share, and I wanted to learn how to put outfits together (even though I wasn’t very good at that either)." Merrick's Art
4. Explore what makes you tick.
Not sure what you’re truly passionate about? Dedicate time each day to exploring. Remember just because you’re good at something, doesn’t mean it’s what really get’s you going!
“Challenge yourself to take some time this week to step away from the never-ending list of things you should be doing and soak up some time doing what you love. It’s not always easy but I promise it’s always worth it.” Pretty & Fun
5. Engage in meaningful campaigns.
Getting paid to participate in a brand’s campaign is great. Getting paid to take part in a campaign that is meaningful to you is even better and more fulfilling in the end.
“Campaigns should be focused on contributing and inspiring society in a positive and meaningful way, creating quality content to brand the product, and engaging the audience so that they can become a future customer.” Amy Marietta
6. Cultivate community!
Don’t underestimate the power of networking, and the importance of connection with other like-minded people. Collaboration is at the heart of industry and vital to success in an interconnected digital world.
“It’s been a long road to reach the point where my worth as a creator is recognized and valued, and the only things that kept me going during those lean times was the camaraderie I built with my fellow bloggers as well as the stylists, photographers, and designers with whom I share my professional world…No matter how big the business blogging and online content creation becomes, what matters at the end of the day is the lives we touch, the positive growth and evolution we support, and the strength of our bonds as we lean on each other through the uncharted territory that is our shared future.” Anne Sage
7. Be open to learning and growing.
What worked great last year might not be working the same this year – which could be a result of platform changes, brand shifts, or more competition in the space. Staying nimble and keeping up with the shifts in the industry, and being honest about your areas of growth, will help you become a stronger creator.
“I keep an eye out on these brands after the fact to see who they ended up working with and take notes. Often times it just wasn’t the right fit on either side, but other times there’s something I can learn from the influencers selected.” Household Mag
8. Dust yourself off and try, try again.
At the end of the day, it’s better to have tried and failed, then to have never tried at all. Allow a wholehearted attempt to count as a successful win (even if it didn’t pan out perfectly!).
“I would not let fear of failure or the need to wait till I could put out a ‘perfect product’ hold me back. So I rolled up my sleeves and dug in. Read posts and listened to podcasts about blogging. Worked on my photography. Met (in-person and online) other bloggers. And even attended a conference or two.” Donuts, Dresses, and Dirt
9. Stay true to you.
There’s nobody else quite like you (Rob Cantor said it best in our Intel campaign !) and there’s nothing more important than honoring your creativity and authentic self – even if it means turning down a campaign.
“Brands contact me all of the time and 9 times out of 10, I don’t think their message is the best for me and my readers. As a blogger, I see my blog and social media channels as a true reflection of myself and don’t take any old promotion just to make money. I truly believe readers can feel it when you try to do that.” The Egg Out West
10. Take risks.
Every creative venture includes an amount of risk, but that’s inevitable. It can be scary to start something new, change direction, or forge a new path, because there’s the risk of loss, failure or rejection. Cultivating a healthy resilience to risk is helpful, and possibly mandatory, for success as a digital content creator today.
“There’s a turning point in every career where you’re given a choice—to either stay safe and color inside the lines, or to see what happens. Letting yourself set your own rules—giving yourself permission to do what feels right—is a major step away from the norm. It’s scary. But it opens doors for challenges and opportunities.” Heather Day
11. Adopt this mantra: obstacles can be overcome.
When the path ahead looks daunting, remember, others have gone before you. It’s not impossible to follow in their footsteps. With solid resources, a sense of your true passions, and an openness to taking risks, anything is possible.
“Despite the early days of taking photos with a point and shoot in my dorm room at night, despite not having a smartphone or Instagram, despite not knowing how to resize my images to all be the same width, despite not knowing basic photography tricks, I kept on it. And it’s paid off in so many wonderful ways!” A Daily Something
Want to learn more about our creative community? Email us.