I am so glad to announce that I had a chance to participate in the Simonetta Lein Show! The topic was "How you and your business thriving during COVID-19?"
Besides me, there were other remarkable participants:
-Steven Gubb, accounting expert and Gubba Rum Founder;
-Sophie Bowman, Forbes-published, multi-award-winning entepreneur and social media influencer;
-Luissa Burton, former Miss Europe World 2018;
-Alexandra Rushing, mom and lifestyle blogger;
-Suzann Christine, Philadelphia native singer.
The edition of this show was already mentioned in New York Weekly Times:
In Daily Dose Report:
And in IMDbPro:
If you want to watch the entire show, feel free to follow my Instagram account @hanna_redhead_fox where I posted this episode as igtv video!
Here I attach my answers for Simonetta's questions. Enjoy the reading!
-Anna, you are a traveling blogger and influencer, how have you adapted your brand and business during COVID-19?
I live in France and currently my country is marked as a red zone. Coronavirus situation is really bad here, we have 16,000 new cases daily. Regarding the fact that the current population of France is 67,000 000 it’s quite a number.
My life and my main revenue were connected with tourism industry. I worked at the luxury hotel in Geneva and visited other luxury hotels and reviewed them in my blog on weekends. Obviously, Coronavirus changed my life. Because of Covid-19 I had to cancel the majority of my trips. I lost my job (because the hotel where I worked closed), I lost some of my endorsements and new projects because I just couldn’t travel there and create the content.
Firstly I was very depressed but then I realized one thing: I live in one of the most beautiful region in the world (I live on the boarder, just between France and Switzerland, 10 km from Geneva). France is the most visited country in the world. Switzerland is just a real paradise! If you were in Switzerland you would understand what I am talking about!
So I decide to explore the region where I live and create a content here. And this decision created new opportunities for me! I was always well known in Russian speaking countries and I wanted to expand my influence, get more international contracts. And actually Coronavirus and new type of content gave me this opportunity! I got some new collaboration in Switzerland and in France. My blog started to grow again!
Thanks to Coronavirus I came up with a new business - I am launching my own presets and my online travel influencer school. I am working hard right now so that I could launch it in the end of the year, I hope to start in October. It will be available in Russian and English languages. I want to share with people my experience, my knowledge. That’s what I wanted to do since the moment my blog started to grow, but I never had time for it. But then I remember this idea in March when the quarantine started, and this time I decided that I need to follow my dream.
-Lastly, Anna, do you have any tips for smaller influencers looking to monetize their pages based on a hobby or passion like traveling?
First of all, don’t be afraid to start! I know many people that are complaining that they don’t know how to start, what to do, they are afraid of being judged, not supported by their friends and family. I will be talking a lot about it in my travel influencer school because it’s very important - to believe in yourself.
The most important thing for the beginners is to develop their personal brand. That’s the main difference between bloggers and influencers. Strong personal brand consists of good reputation and recognition. And for this you guys don’t need 1 million followers. I know influencers with 20-30 thousand followers who earn from 3 to 10k $ per month due to their strong personal brand.
And for a strong personal brand you must become a person of trust for your audience. High-quality content and constant engagement with your followers will eventually bring you to success.
And by the way, a lot of people think that Instagram account monetization can occur only because of collaboration with big brands, ambassadorship etc., but you can start with small partnerships, referral programs (when you suggest some application to your audience, for example, and get commission every time when it’s downloaded via your link). When you start doing this, other brands will find you and suggest new partnerships.
And don’t forget that you need to think about your promotion every day. Be friends with other small influencers like you, make shoutouts for shoutouts, engage in cool projects that can bring you more recognition. Don’t be afraid to tag luxury brands/hotels for free at the beginning (but don’t overdo it, I saw some bloggers that tag everyone and everything on every post, it looks cheap). Your main task for a moment is to be noticed.
Once you become recognized, you can launch your own business/product that will be successful due to your hard work on your personal brand.
-A final question I will open to panel. Given the extreme times involving health crises, social injustices, and collapsing industries, how do you maintain a business driven mindset to continue developing, expanding, and improving your brand or company? How do you motivate yourselves when so many are currently unmotivated?
It’s true that it’s really hard to stay motivated during this period. The majority of my friends lost their jobs, one of the enterprises that I worked for went bankruptcy and closed.
But I believe that we should consider this uncertain period not just as major failure but also as time for new opportunities or our chance to leave our comfort zone and try something new, just like I did. Some of my friends who lost their jobs managed to start their own businesses and succeeded. Some others moved their business online/ started freelancing.
I guess this is a good period to understand what you really want to do in your life. To analyze your strong points. When I got fired, I took a piece of paper and made a list of all the things that I know to do. It helped me to find my new purpose and to find motivation to start right now.
If you don’t want to loose your existing business you should adapt to the current situation. Those who manage to adapt their business to current people’s needs will be able to survive. Even big businesses are trying to adapt. Who could even imagine that one day Gucci will be producing face masks? I guess no one but still, this is happening!