We got the chance to chat with Corey Marshall, LA based foodie influencer behind @missfoodieproblems! Scroll down to learn about how she got into the biz and her advice to those trying to make it in the influencer world.
1. How did you get started in blogging?
I got started blogging early 2015. I’d graduated from college (twice) and was still unsure what I wanted my path to be. At the time I was nannying a 5 month old, so had quite a bit of time on my hands while she slept. One day I was scrolling through Instagram, as one does, and saw an influx of food focused Instagrams popping up. I already had a love for food and posted a few food related photos on my Instagram at the time, so figured WHY NOT create my own food focused one.
2. You’re a successful foodie/fashion blogger and looks like you travel. Do you have another job? If so, How do you juggle all of that??
This April (2018) I quit my day job that I’d had for 2 years. It was a job that related directly to my area of work now. I actually got hired as a Social Media Manager at an Advertising Agency after they first hired me on as an influencer to work with one of their clients. I then evolved into an Influencer Partnerships Manager and learned valuable knowledge about the back end of that world. It was a struggle at the time to juggle everything, but I made it happen. Some days would start with an event I was invited to as a blogger, then off to my day job, then off to another event after work! Nowadays I am grateful to only be juggling what I’m passionate about.
3. Do you have a system to organise and curate your posts?
I’m pretty spur of the moment with my posts a lot of the time, but I do use an app called UNUM to visually plan my Instagram grid.
4. Tell us about your first experience working with a restaurant client. How did you start reaching out to restaurants?
My first experience with working with a restaurant client was super exciting. My only goal at the beginning of making the Miss Foodie Problems Instagram was to one day get free food from it. Now almost 4 years later, I’ve gotten that and more. At first, restaurants or their PR representation would reach out, which still happens today, but I do reach out occasionally if I’ll be traveling or really want to try a restaurant. It doesn’t always pay off, but when it does, it’s still just as exciting as that first free meal.
5. Has that approach changed today? How do you go about finding new clients- or do they find you?
The approach is still pretty much the same, though my work has evolved into more than Instagram. I enjoy doing full travel guides and writeups on my blog, which makes it possible to work with brands outside of restaurants and food. Most of the time they find me, but I am never afraid to reach out. My motto is: Just ask! The worst that could happen is they don’t answer or say NO, and you’re right back to where you started.
6. Tell us about your favourite restaurant experience. Where was it? What was the
dish and who was the chef?
My most recent trip was to Denver, which overall has been one of my most treasured trips thus far. 4 places stood out to me: Panzano, Safta, The Family Jones and Marco’s Coal Fired. WHY, you ask? Service, being made to feel at home. Honestly service is more important to me than the food. The food obviously is important, but be hospitable and you have my heart.
7. Horror story time. Have you had any disaster shoots?
Honestly this happened recently, also in Denver. It was a regular reservation I made for me and a friend. It was a restaurant that had been raved about by multiple separate people. Aside from the food being pretty lackluster, it took an hour after our appetizers for our entrees to come out AND they were cold. The server and manager rectified the situation, but the way it was handled at first wasn’t the best. There was no awareness from them during the situation, until WE said something. Let me tell you, I never complain – this was the first time, but honestly coming from this industry I (we) were more concerned about someone else having to endure a similar lackluster meal.
8. Instagram has undergone a lot of changes in the last couple of years. New algorithms, advertising, etc. Has this had an impact on your work at all, for better or worse?
All of the changes have definitely had an impact on my work. It’s honestly a daily thought about whether a photo I post will do well and when it doesn’t (which is most of the time), I get down. Honestly my favorite thing about Instagram and my audience is the connections I make with them, so I’ve tried to really concentrate on that when the rest of it gets me down.
9. What would you say is the best advice or tip to build your business/following on Instagram?
This answer has changed a lot since I grew my following. It was a WHOLE lot easier to do 4 years ago. I would say, networking and engaging with people that inspire you. AND don’t dwell on your following number.
10. In your opinion, what are the vital skills needed to be a successful blogger?
11. Any advice for budding bloggers?
Find your niche, show your personality and be yourself – create stories, captions and photos that feel authentically you. Also, don’t be afraid to evolve. Life is all about change!