Recently we got a chance to look more inside the life of a NYC-based influencer Tiffany Stacy of @breakfastatetiffany. Read more about her life as a foodie and how she got started below.
How did you get started in blogging?
I spent many years working front of house in restaurants. Eventually, I landed a job in a fine dining setting and really began to see food as a carefully curated art. Somewhere along the way, I started taking pictures of it and my friends kept urging me to start a blog. My number one regret is not doing it sooner so if you’re still thinking about it- just do it!
Do you have another job in addition to blogging? How do you juggle all of that?
I am a full-time teacher and do some social management on the side as well as my own page. It’s really hard to juggle all of it because I’m basically always at work, shooting pictures or editing and working on posts. I always joke I have no days off, but seriously- I have no days off. My teaching job really exhausts me but since social is my outlet that makes me feel satisfied, I have a natural drive to prioritize it. Even if I’m too tired to go out on a school night I’m definitely at home getting things done there.
Do you have a system to keep your page looking cohesive?
I try to shoot photos in my own style. Most of the shots I take focus on one dish. I like bright well-lit photos, so I try to shoot only in daylight unless I really need to do something otherwise. I use the app UNUM to plan out my grid and try to keep it looking fun without being too busy.
Tell us about your first experience working with a restaurant client.
How did you start reaching out to restaurants?
I can’t even remember my first restaurant client because at the time I definitely didn’t realize what I was getting into. I didn’t know what I was doing would turn into a business or that it even could. I was just posting what I was eating or cooking and eventually people were inviting me to eat at their restaurant or try their product. I rarely ever reach out to restaurants and mostly work only with people who approach me.
Has that approach changed today? How do you go about finding new clients- or do they find you?
I still rely on people reaching out to me first, but I am trying to get more comfortable with reaching out to others myself this year. I think that would provide a lot of opportunities for me to make an increased amount of authentic partnerships.
Tell us about your favorite restaurant experience. Where was it? What was the dish and who was the chef?
My all-time favorite dish is the beef tartare with smoky egg vinaigrette and housemate BBQ chips at Tom Colicchio’s Colicchio & Son. Unfortunately, they have closed but I still think about that dish to this day. My most recent great dining experience was at Missy Robbins Misi. The food, the service, and the ambiance are all above par. I have so much respect for a well-crafted and attended to pasta dish. Neither of these were visits I made as an influencer, but just as dinner dates with friends.
Horror story time. Have you had any disaster shoots?
I’ve never had any disastrous shoots... yet. The worst experiences I’ve had is when the staff at a restaurant doesn’t know I’m coming. There are often miscommunications between the owners or PR companies and the people on site which always leads to a somewhat unpleasant exchange.
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?
It’s definitely had a huge impact on my work because I can’t help but get stuck on numbers sometimes. I saw a huge drop in engagement as I’m sure many people have. It was really discouraging for a while but lately, I’m trying not to let it get me down. I’m looking at it as a challenge instead- the landscape is changing, and I need to also. I’m networking, reading more books, listening to more podcasts, and generally trying to expose myself to different kinds of content as well as platforms for content. I guess what I’m saying is, challenge accepted.
We have seen a rise in popularity of micro-influencers in 2019. As a blog who falls in the category of micro influencer (under 50K) have you seen a change in the industry?
I have noticed an increase in the number of brands that approach me but not all of them are a good fit. Since I have another source of income, I don’t have to rely on taking every job that comes my way, but I would like to take on more projects. I’m hoping to connect with more brands that resonate with me this year.
In your opinion, what are the vital skills needed to be a successful blogger?
Above all else, I think you need to be extremely dedicated in order to be successful. Consistency, willingness to learn, and persevering when things get difficult are so important. I am far from where I want to be right now and have gotten frustrated so many times but that doesn’t mean I’ll be giving up anytime soon.
Any advice for budding bloggers?
Sometimes I hate this word, but you need to find your tribe. I’ve met amazing people while doing this, but it wasn’t always easy to forge real connections with everyone. You can learn a lot from books, but nothing compares to finding people to explore your creativity with that will keep pushing you forward and inspiring you.