Interview with The Balanced Blonde on Working with Brands, Social Media, and Authenticity

Interview with The Balanced Blonde on Working with Brands, Social Media, and Authenticity

 Hi babes!

I am super pumped today to share this interview with you guys. I feel like most of you know Jordan Younger, creator of The Balanced Blonde. Like if you’re a blogger or even semi on Instagram, I feel like you HAVE to have heard Jordan’s story or at least come across her.

The Balanced Blonde has come a longgggg way. I watched Jordan go from The Blonde Vegan to The Balanced Blonde to launching TBV apparel to a book and NOW to an amazing podcast. You can peep her blog here, follow her on Insta here, and my fave part right now, listen to her Soul On Fire podcast on iTunes here.

If you’re a blogger, highly recommend checking out Episode 38 about Jordan’s blogging journey here. 

What I love about Jordan is that she is REAL. And I say that all the time, but it’s just 100% true. I feel like I could go to yoga class with her and she would be the same girl I hear talking on her podcast every week.

If there’s any girl who can talk branding, it’s her. And if there’s any girl who can talk making a career out of blogging, it’s 110% her.

I’ll let Jordan take it away from here.

So Jordan, you always talk about how you are a writer first. You love creative writing, you were in school for it, etc. I’m kind of the same way…not writing is not an option for me. You are SO good at getting your voice across in your writing – I see it even more now that I listen to you talk on the podcast…your blog voice is like perfectly your actual talking voice. What is one writing tip that has truly made a difference in your blog/brand?

Thank you so much, that is the kindest thing ever!! My biggest and only goal with my writing is to write exactly how I talk. I’ve had teachers tell me since I was about 6 years old that I write the exact way that I talk, so I think it comes naturally to me! That is why I have so much fun blogging and connecting with readers in that beautiful way.

As far as a writing tip… remaining authentic to who I am. When I try to force something, from a single sentence to a full blog post or a full book proposal, it does NOT sound like me. It does not sound genuine. I don’t ever find that to be worth it or inspiring, so I try to stay away from projects and partnerships that don’t ring true to me and my authentic voice!

Talking digital products – you’ve launched your yoga e-book and the TBV cleanse – all online products. What’s a unique + important tip for someone who wants to launch an e-book or an online course? What was the biggest challenge in launching something online?

Yes and yes! I also had a clothing line that was sold exclusively online for three years. I think it’s very important to market the product consistently and in a variety of ways. A lot of potential customers won’t even know you sell a product if you don’t make it incredibly obvious all of the time. On the Internet people generally don’t follow someone closely enough (except for the random occasion that they do) to know EVERYTHING they are up to.

So I have found that promoting often and even in a way that can feel repetitious always brings in new customers, because there will always be a large majority of people learning about your product (or learning something new about your product) for the first time.

Just don’t step over the line and be pushy about it — make people WANT it, don’t make them feel like you NEED them to purchase it! It all goes back to that authenticity factor… if you believe in your product, it sells itself.

Like you said on last week’s Soul on Fire podcast, The Balanced Blonde has SO many facets of the brand. Do you think a blogger should come out of the gate with many 2-3 facets of a brand (like youtube videos, a product, and a blog) or launch them one at a time?

Some of the best advice I was ever given was by my first ever web designer, and that was to create a Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Facebook page along with my Instagram and blog. I was going to write all of those other platforms off because I knew they wouldn’t be my go-to’s, but having them and allowing them to grow alongside of my brand has been a very smart move.

Because even though I don’t use Twitter religiously, I do have a following on there that doesn’t necessarily follow me closely anywhere else! But also, every blog and every person is different so you have to find what works for you!

 

Also on your podcast episode from this week, you talk about your long-term vision for TBB. Some people aren’t the best at thinking like overall strategy or long-term goals. How should a blogger see the next steps or what’s next for their brand?

Think longterm, not short term. Don’t take on one-off partnerships that don’t ring true to you just because of a one-time big budget payment. Think of the longterm with your audience believing in you and trusting in what you say and share!

On working with brands – this is such a hot topic right now. What are your thoughts on bloggers working for free or only receiving product as compensation? In your podcast this week, you also talked about the importance of contracts. Have you ever had a tough experience with a brand and what did you learn from it?

I have had THOUSANDS of tough experiences with brands. I think all bloggers have. I have learned that it’s important to stand my ground, and to also be nice to everybody. People can be so mean on email because a lot of times in this industry, you never meet the brand or representative in person.

People have treated me like scum of the earth via email, so I make a point to never, ever stoop that low. I am nice and genuine to everyone I work with and yes — contracts make things official and I dont do partnerships without them!

That’s a wrap!! I love what she said about keeping ALL social media up to do date and staying on them. A lot of bloggers want to ditch one platform or another because they don’t see “traffic” from there. It’s 110% not always about traffic.

If your readers are on Twitter, go freaking talk to them on Twitter. Don’t worry about the traffic.

ANYWAY, go follow Jordan on Instagram and leave her a little crystal ball emoji for talking with us!

If you loved this post, you’ll love Summer Camp even more. Summer Camp was built for bloggers by myself and 2 PR contacts who work with brands like Dove, KitchenAid, and TRESemme. We pick influencers ourselves, comb through 100s of bloggers to choose for collaborations, negotiate pricing, and build long-term relationships, and in Camp, we’re going to work directly with you guys on your brands.

Below is a sneak peek of the agenda.

Day 1: Using Instagram as a Non-BS Influencer

Day 2: Pricing for Micro Influencers + Knowing Your Worth

Day 3: Exactly What Brands + PR Agencies Look For in Bloggers

Day 4: Communicating with Brands: The Good, The Bad, + The Free Exposure

Day 5: FTC Standards 101

Enroll in Camp –> here (do it before July 15 for a FREE brand strategy session with me via email)

Follow:
  • Uhhhh so you already know I adore Jordan and was SO excited for this interview! Seriously, her journey has been SO inspiring to watch and I love that she sets her own rules in blogging, and it works because she remains authentic!!

  • Great interview and great questions you asked. She is really doing her thing out there. Thanks for sharing this and these ideas from her.

    • She is killin’ it! And even while she’s like a big blogger, she’s so down to earth which I love.

  • Anna Hubbard

    Jordan is seriously #goals! So many great pieces of advice!

    • I love her! She was one of the veryyy first bloggers I started following regularly. And it’s so fun to watch her 4-5 years later be so successful!

  • Neely

    I just started listening to her Podcast a few months ago! Love her!

  • This was a fantastic interview! I love her point on making contracts – I’ve learned that the more “free porduct” or worse “EXPOSURE” promised, the more difficult the brand is to work with. A contract makes things official and easier for both parties. I also love her point on being repetitive & it will only seem repetitive to us but you have to make it known. Thank you so much for sharing Jordan’s advice -it’s invaluable! xx Shannon || http://www.champagneatshannons.com

    • So glad you liked this Shannon! Oh, I SO agree with that point. If they are realllyyy focusing on the “free exposure” part, it’s probably not a great sign. Plus, if you’re a legit brand or PR agency, the phrase “free exposure” is even a little outdated.

  • Becca

    This is such a great interview! I love the idea of the contracts, so the blogger does not get screwed over by brands. It’s so sad that so many brands try to take advantage of bloggers. I loved her point on receptive content as well, It’s something I have not done but I am planning on testing it out.

    • Me too, sometimes I want to just trust people on blind faith and it’s just not the way to go if you’re building a business.

  • Elena Stevkovska

    Great interview. I just started listening to her podcast and I must say that she is awesome.

    • Ah I love the podcast too! She even introduced me to numerology, which I know think is super cool and kind of creepily accurate

  • Nicole Stone

    Great interview! Going to her website now! Thanks for sharing!

  • I LOVEEEE The Balanced Blonde and this was a great interview! I appreciate her giving us some of these helpful insights 🙂 I’ll definitely be using her tips!

    Kristen | http://www.sophisticatedgal.com

  • I actually had heard of the Balanced Blonde before but didn’t follow her – that’s going to change now!

    • She is one of my FAVE bloggers! She was the first one I noticed who like actually made blogging a thing.

  • Great interview! I need to check out more of TBB – especially that podcast!

    • Girl I am SO pumped to have you in Summer Camp! Love that you loved Jordan, too, she is amazing and so real.

  • Christina

    I will definitely have to check her out more! I’ve never heard of TBB before today but she sounds amazing! Thanks for the great interview!

  • Mary Foley

    I love what Jordan said about letting your social media platforms grow alongside your blog and engaging with readers even if that platform doesn’t drive a whole lot of traffic. I’ve never thought of it before but it’s wicked smart!

    • Absolutely! Like just because you don’t see hundreds of page views in traffic from something doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile. On Snapchat, you can’t see ANY direct page views from it. But it’s one of the best things for building a 1 on 1 relationship with your readers.

  • I love The Balanced Blonde! I haven’t had time to listen to her podcast, but it’s next on my list! Thanks for sharing!

  • LOVELOVELOVE every single point, especially the one about not stooping to a$$hats levels. If they treat you poorly, that says something about THEM – not you!

    Coming Up Roses