From Blog to Tribe: How I Turned Followers into a Supportive Community

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The author is a San Francisco-based artist and designer who runs the lifestyle blog, inspiring others to value themselves and lead healthier lifestyles and she also has a supportive community from her followers. They have facilitated self-love poetry workshops at retail establishments and collaborated with companies like Territory Foods. The author is an enterprising person with a history of running a cake pop catering company and creating flowery headgears. Their best ability is to laugh, finding humor in difficult situations and finding humor in difficult situations. Their name is derived from Ani, a former capital of Armenia, and they have visited Armenia twice. They started blogging 11 years ago, using the domain name “anichivchyan,” but decided to rename it “yours truly, Ani” in 2013 to create a digital journal.

What about you can you tell us?

I recently moved back to Los Angeles, where I was born, after earning an English degree from UC Berkeley (#GoBears) and spending five years in the Bay Area. I work full-time for the San Francisco-based art and design company Wescover, a website that identifies who made what in settings, as the Head of Creator Community.

In addition to working a full-time job, I also run the lifestyle blog, where I try to inspire others to value who they are and lead healthier, more holistic lifestyles. I do this by posting lifestyle articles, poetry, and quotes that promote self-acceptance and encouragement.

I’ve had the chance to give back to and engage with my neighborhood by facilitating self-love poetry workshops at retail establishments including Outdoor Voices, Modcloth, and Saje Natural Wellness. Additionally, I’ve had the honor of working with several amazing companies that I like, including Territory Foods, a match made in heaven due to Parsnip!

Several funny things about me:

I’m an enterprising person.

We once ran a cake pop catering company together (@instagramcakepops)! We started catering cake pops for weddings, bar mitzvahs, birthday parties, and other events around four years ago. I started my first “business” by collecting and selling unusual and distinctively designed pencils in fourth grade, and I later produced and marketed flowery headgear in college (many people bought them for music festivals).

My best ability is to laugh.

As a youngster, I used to get in trouble for laughing excessively in class! Right now, stand-up comedy is my favorite. Finding the comedy in the circumstance and laughing heartily through trying times is something I’ve found to be really helpful.

My name is taken from the name of a former capital of Armenia.

The city of Ani served as the seat of the Bagratid Armenian kingdom. I am immensely proud of my Armenian background even though I was not born there. I have been to the Motherland twice, most recently on a short-term mission trip to serve Yerevan and several of Armenia’s villages.

How did Yours Truly Ani come to be?

I started blogging almost 11 years ago! At the time, my name and last name were mirrored in the domain name of my website: “anichivchyan.” After taking a break from blogging, I discovered how much I had missed it. In 2013, I made the decision to start writing again, and I went with the handle “yours truly, Ani” since I wanted my blog to resemble a digital journal. The fact that I studied in English in college made it apt as well!

What principles guide your personal and professional decisions?

Be honest: I’ll only say things that are sincere and true. I want to be honest with my audience and with myself.

I try to provide information that is helpful for my audience by taking into account what they find useful.

It is crucial that I foster an atmosphere that promotes the sharing of positive messages and encouraging comments.

Before I can give to the community, I need to take care of my physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health. Otherwise, I’ll be trying to pour from an empty cup! I believe it is crucial to unwind and take a break for this reason.

How important are these aspects when choosing which businesses to work with?

very important If I don’t really appreciate a brand’s product or service, I won’t interact with it. If the collaboration did not complement what my audience finds value, it would be meaningless for both myself and the brand. For me, the brand’s message and ultimate goal are of utmost importance.

What are some of the biggest mistakes businesses make when attempting to work with influencers?

I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with such outstanding businesses! a few mistakes to avoid:

not doing enough research before getting in touch with an influencer (for instance, when I get emails about sponsoring a diaper company but I don’t have kids, it makes no sense for me to support the brand).

not allowing the influencer to have any creative input on the project.

Being unwilling to establish a long-term engagement with the influencer or to develop a connection with them (if the first effort is successful, this may be a huge win for the company).

Failure to appreciate the amount of labor required for each initiative leads to the influencer receiving unjust pay (case by case).

Starting an influencer program may be stressful for some businesses. What suggestions do you have for other businesses wishing to take this step?

Determine your key performance indicators (KPIs) and an aim for your influencer program launch (e.g., boost brand recognition or increase sales of your new product by x%) so that you can gauge the campaign’s effectiveness.

Think about the ideal influencer you would like to work with. Their brand must complement your business’s objective and messaging. After that, start compiling a list of influencers to contact.

Determine the compensation strategy (which may entail product swaps for promotion or financial rewards).

4. Start your outreach efforts!

Step 5: Assess the campaign’s effectiveness.

A smart place to start is by collaborating with a nearby company (like a shop or café) and holding an event where you may meet local influencers in person. You can present each influencer with a gift package and ask them nicely to promote the event on their Instagram stories or in any other way they deem appropriate.

For the company where you work, you are the Director of Creator Community. What is your best piece of advise for companies looking to build a bigger community around their brand, mission, or product?

The definition of “community” that I discovered online is as follows: “a feeling of fellowship with others resulting from sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” In the beginning, your community might consist of just one or two people in addition to your internal staff! Prioritizing serving your present community is crucial if you want to grow your community. After that, this is what I would suggest:

Find out what is most important to and valued in your community. Inquire about their challenges, triumphs, objectives, and ways that you might help them. Engage in phone or Zoom conversations, ask questions (via social media, your newsletter, or even surveys), engage in face-to-face interactions, or otherwise make an effort to get to know them.

Start collecting a list of community “leaders,” who are really just brand promoters. These people will assist you in promoting your business because they love it and are already a member of your community, much like the influencers you work with.

Participate in their activities and work with them to help. Ask members of the community for suggestions on who you should contact next, who you should work with next, and what organizations or “ambassadors” you may partner with!

Give your community a voice! Include them in your email, blog, and social media posts; work with them on Instagram takeovers; etc.

Any partnerships you are looking for that our members might be able to help with?

Every month, I write a post titled “monthly goals” that usually includes information on my weekly HIIT workouts, paleo diet, personal finance objectives (I’m trying to pay off my student debts), and self-care routines like daily devotions. A collaboration on one of my monthly goals postings would be quite interesting.

There will be extra material on the following subjects in addition to the monthly objectives posts: paleo cooking, caring for curly hair, my basic cosmetics routine, beauty tips for eczema-prone skin, at-home exercise, and the outfits I wear while I work from home. Please email me if your company fits into any of the following categories: fashion, beauty, lifestyle, or wellness. I’d love to work with more firms in these fields.

Which fitness, eating, or skin care fad has your attention right now? What else are you unable to understand?

Foods that fit the paleo diet and unprocessed cosmetics will always be my favorites.

I just can’t seem to get into CBD skincare; it’s not that I have anything against it; I just haven’t yet.

Thank you for your:

Plant-based protein is the favored vegan trend! I’m now consuming Après’ mint chocolate protein drink and Vega’s chocolate protein powder.

I have so many favorites, and since I enjoy trying out new goods, this always shifts. I adore First Aid Beauty right now. Their products are gentle and fantastic for my eczema-prone, dry skin!

Favorite female-founded business: Wescover! A lady and mother of two children co-founded the business. I also enjoy Vixen Kitchen, another company started by women and a member of Parsnip. They make delicious paleo ice cream!

Popular wellness activities include praying and meditating.

Covid Issue 19:

How are you dealing with this period while keeping your mental health?

I put my confidence in God and reflect on His promises and words as a believer, which comforts me in these tough times.

I start by taking several deep breaths when I’m feeling worried or apprehensive. I then concentrate on an uplifting idea. I can’t focus about two things at once, so I make a point of reminding myself of my blessings, which helps me feel less anxious.

Taking care of my body: My mental health is impacted by my diet and activity. I’m making sure to keep up a good diet (mainly paleo), drink enough water, and work out often. I feel more normal when I stick to my regimen.

I strongly advise anyone who is thinking about therapy to give it a go since it is quite helpful. Additionally, many therapists provide phone therapy.

I can keep in touch with my friends and family via FaceTime.

What advice do you have for influencers or small businesses looking to work with brands right now?

I’ve been telling myself these things:

Don’t be hesitant to approach brands or influencers because consumers are still making purchases and companies are still running advertisements; however, be more cautious right now. Sincerely inquire about how the individual (or business) is doing and whether you may be of help.

Exercise inventiveness and think beyond the box when it comes to partnerships.

In light of the significance of emphasizing the good, I think it would be advantageous to stay involved in your neighborhood and actively look for success stories! If you are a brand, you might be able to connect with other brands in your network to identify ways to encourage one another, exchange feedback and guidance, and commemorate both modest and significant successes. Influencers fall under the same category.

Since Wescover’s headquarters are in San Francisco and you are located in Los Angeles, you have been working remotely for a few months. Any recommendations for productive home work?

Put your jammies away. I still wear really comfortable clothing (yoga pants), but it’s important that I get out of my pajamas.

Keep a schedule and follow it. Create daily goals to help you remain on track.

Take a true lunch break, and if you must, go to sleep or lay down. I also like to go for a little walk during my lunch break.

Give your work your undivided focus when you’re working. Give your vacation your whole attention if you’re taking one. It can be cognitively difficult to multitask.

It can be considerate to let your family or roommates know about your conference calls if you live with them.

Keep in daily contact with your team and manager.

Keep your space tidy; make your bed if your home office is in your bedroom. Organize your workplace or workstation before the day is over so that you may come back to it the following day with fresh eyes.

More information

You can check my blog or my Youtube.

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