How to work with influencers to promote your kids brand!

working with influencers to promote your business


One of the questions I get asked about quite a lot from the kids’ brands that I work with is how they can start approaching influencers to work with them. So I thought I would put together some tips on how you can do this. Here we go.

What is a Social Media Influencer?

First of all, I think it’s important we look at what an influencer actually is, especially on Social Media. Let’s take a look at the following definition from PixLee it states:

“A Social Media Influencer is a user on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry. A social media influencer has access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach.”

So when looking at the above it’s identifying a person who has built an authentic, engaged audience in a specific niche i.e. it could be being a parent blogger who also shares insight into their lives on Social Media. Example of this is Anna from Mother Pukka or Clemmie from Mother of Daughters.

But what are the things you need to keep in mind when thinking of working with an influencer and what are the myths behind it all?

1: Popularity

This can often be the biggest myth and key thing to look at. Popularity doesn’t always equal influence. You might see huge follower numbers there, but as we also know with our business accounts you can get any Tom, Dick or Harry following you sometimes and they’re not always our target customer, so imagine how many of these may also be following your influencer of choice. What you should be looking at over Follower numbers is, that’s right you probably guessed it, engagement!

You need to look at how much interaction their posts get and this is beyond likes, what is the engagement? You might find someone has 20K followers and a post that gets 561 likes and 5 comments. Look at this when you are considering who to approach and potentially work with for your brand or business.

2: Relationships

Working with an influencer is like anything else in business, it’s about the relationship you both have. Now, of course, this will take time, but if you are wanting to create a sustainable relationship that can not only work for you and your business initially but long-term and generate sales this is what you need to consider.

So find the influencers who are right for your business. Don’t just target the ones based on their numbers (as point above). You want to work with someone who has the same values as you and your business, would be a great fit for your product or service. You find that when a product really works and suits the influencers life and their values they talk about it in a much more natural and authentic way too.

A great way to start building these relationships is to identify who, then start interacting and engaging, if you generally like them and like what they’re about this wouldn’t feel like work either, it will feel natural. Then when you want to approach them they may already recognise your name and know about your business, ice broken.

Another great idea is to see how you could both work on some content together, maybe a guest blog post on your site or a joint interview perhaps.

3: Measuring ROI

Depending on how you decide to work with an influencer it could be via gifting a product or a paid post/story etc you need to make sure you are measuring the ROI on this work. I don’t just mean via likes and comments or more followers for you – we all know this a vanity metric at times and people can just jump on a follow wagon through influence, it needs to attribute back to sales – money in the bank for your business.

4: Decide your terms

This is a relationship and you need to state exactly what each party expects and will be delivered. So think about what you will be giving, whether that a product or you’re paying, the value of those things and then think about what you expect. Make a list of what this includes i.e.
X number of mentions
1 x post on feed including these tags and hashtags, links
2 x mentions in Stories including these tags and hashtags and swipe up links

You can then reach an agreement with the influencer on what is going to happen so you both know what is expected from each of you. You then have metrics you can measure for your ROI by looking at your analytics, see where there has been website traffic to your store from the day the post/story went out and look at that monetary conversion.

5: Does it fit in with your bigger picture?

Working with an influencer is the same as any marketing activity you have planned, asked yourself does it fit? It is right for where you want to go with the business, does it work with your other activities you have planned? It should ideally fit in with your other strategies and ideas – remember all the marketing cogs work as one.

*A new term on the block*

Nano-influencers. These are accounts with roughly 1000-5000 following (remember to take a look at their followers too and see if they align with your target audience) and they are now having quite high engagement on Instagram due to lower following and closer relationships with their followers. So it could be worth looking at this type of influencer and how this might work for your business.

The New York Times published an article on this just recently. Take a look here.

I hope this blog has helped you think about how you can work with influencers in your business, what to look for and more importantly what to ask when working together.

If you want to look at what a good engagement rate is and what that looks like here is a handy selection of tools from Influencer Marketing Hub.

How do I start a family Blog?


You want to start a family-focused blog but not sure where to begin? Here are some tips to help you.

Blogging is a fantastic space to document what is going on in your life, your opinions about things, creating communities, bringing like-minded individuals together – there are so many benefits to starting a blog. Having one that focuses on family, and your family is a brilliant way to start because you will no doubt have content that people can relate to and that’s why we like reading blogs. We read stories about what people are doing or going through and we connect with them. We also like reading them to see what amazing things people have discovered or places they’ve been to and recommend. Blogging is a huge online area and there is space for everyone. We all have unique voices and we have all something to say.

What is it going to be about?

When starting up with a blog you do need to think first and foremost what your blog is going to be about – perhaps you really love the area that you live so you want to bring content to other parents in that area or even outside visitors about all the amazing things you can do there as a family. You might just want to document your parenting journey and how you’re finding it. Maybe you’ve always been interested in fashion and now want to blog about what styles you have found work for you as a parent. The ideas are endless, but to begin you need to find yours.

What platform should I use?

So you have your idea of what you want to be talking to people about so the next thing to look at is where are you going to do it? What platform are you going to use? I would always recommend WordPress because it is a brilliant platform for blogs. You will often find that most blogs are on as it is free and there are lots of templates you can use to create a nice blog. The interface is really nice and simple too so you don’t have to get too overwhelmed everytime you want to post.

With you can sometimes find that customisation can be quite limited to the templates you choose and that to get a bit more flexibility you might need to look at their Business package and if you really want a nice template possibly even consider purchasing a premium one too. However I do think it’s important that I highlight that there are two WordPresses – and – both the same company but both have different functions, features and flexibility. If you want to have a read through the difference between the two you can on my post here.

This is where you need to think about what exactly you want from your blog and what scope you want it to have. For example, if eventually, you would like to have a Shop integrated with your blog then would be a better choice. If you wanted your blog to have scope to potential run as a business where you may need additional functions again I would look at The same if you want to create a truly bespoke blog design I would use

Thinking about getting “found”

Now you’re going to need to think with a marketing head here too because you do want your content to get found and read by people and you can’t just rely on Social Media for this. So when looking at a platform take into account SEO ( Search Engine Optimisation) which is what you need on your pages and blog posts so you get “found” in Google when people search for keywords or topics that could relate to your blog posts – for example

“How to get creative with vegetables so your kids will eat them”

This is the title of your post, fab! But you now need to make sure that you can create a unique page title for this post and be able to customise the description of the page. This isn’t the blog content itself this is in addition and this is your SEO.

To show you in real terms.

I popped this very blog title example into Google and this was the top search result


And this is a blogger.

That Purple line you can see, that’s her unique page title.

The green is the link to the post.

The text after the date is the description, which sadly cuts off and isn’t as SEO friendly as it could be, ideally these should be 160 characters. But you can see where it has picked up the keywords in her content on her post as these are shown in bold.

This is why when choosing a platform for your family focused blog you need to think about whether you can edit your SEO for your blog posts as this will determine how you content gets ranked and how visible it is for people searching.

Should I care that much about design?

This is really down to personal preference and what you want from your blog. You may just want to focus on the content alone and aren’t bothered too much about the look of it for your readers. Blogger’s like The UnMummsy Mum first created her blog on Blogger and for years kept the blog on this however now she has a nice new design for the site which actually makes it more like a website than a blog (it’s lovely) with lots of different pages for people to choose from without losing that blog feel.

Another favourite of mine is Fritha’s otherwise known as Tigerlily Quinn she has a lovely design that also really fits with the content she talks about and her personality.

So really, when it comes to the design of your blog it is down to what you want it to be and represent. For me personally I love a nice blog that takes me on a journey, it’s visually pleasing and a nice layout for me to follow. However, the most important thing above all will always be your content and what you are sharing with the world.


Why experimenting with your Social Media is good for your business

Trial and Error with Social Media

I think personally that we can all get into a vacuum with our Social Media. It can truly run the roost in our businesses and often we can be so under it’s spell that it means we stay “safe”. The constant changes in algorithms mean that we can feel like slaves to it, worried about changing things up in case we upset the current rules and our content drops off the face of the feed. This is a real shame.

Of course there are tips and tricks you can follow to help get your content noticed by your audience, but really what social media boils down to is what it was always about – creating engaging content for your audience. This is the foundation of social, you create the content, people engage, you interact and you have conversations. You are being “social” in a digital space with people across the country, the world even. What a fantastic thing it is, and don’t get me wrong there are plenty of ways in which social media isn’t there for good and I’m sure we’ve all seen the ugly side with people we love to follow or even experienced it ourselves – but I’m not here to talk about that. I want to talk about how in business we can stay stuck and lose our inner child characteristic to play and experiment.

Switching things up on your social media does not mean your business will suddenly fail overnight or you’ll lose a hundred followers, on the contrary you could even see increases or the drop might actually be people who aren’t your target customer in the first place – so you shouldn’t be sad about them (it’s not a numbers game after all remember?). I think trying things out on your social media platforms is the only way you will truly know what works and what doesn’t for your business and for your audience.

Ways to switch things up

If you feel that engagement has been a bit flat lately why not take 30 mins to look at your last 20 posts, look at the content you shared, your comments, your voice – what got engagement, what date or time did you send it? Ask yourself these questions and make a note. Using this information give yourself a new format for the next week, try new times of the day – use your insights to give you ideas.

Perhaps your feed hasn’t exactly gone the way you wanted, maybe you want more colour or a bit of a theme to it – try it, test it out and see after about 20/30 posts what the change has been , what have you noticed? Are people engaging more?

Maybe you even need to take a bigger leap and drop a platform – perhaps you joined this particular one because you thought “you had to” and in reality you’re finding it a strain on your time, your brain and instead of enjoying it it’s a slog. If it’s not working you can either invigorate new life into it by having a strategy in place or maybe you say Goodbye and drop it altogether – you control this and the choice is yours.


Don’t be afraid

As I’ve said above it’s so easy to feel scared about changing things be that posting times, content, the look of your feed – but don’t be scared, don’t let fear rule you. It’s your feed and you can try out things as much as you like, you’re finding what works and the only way to find out what works is by experimenting!

If some things don’t work out, that’s fine, learn from them and move on to the next at least you’ll know and you’ll be stronger for it, not weaker.

Give it a go and let me know if you do try to shake things up and how you get on I’d love to know.

Why Planning helps and how to do it!

Planning…what a word


I’ve always been a bit of an organised freak. Don’t get me wrong I’m not like Monica Geller levels but I do like to have things tidy, organised and feel like I’m together. I won’t lie, that all kind of went out the window a bit when I had our daughter and the things I used to love being in control of so much sort of fell by the way side. It happens though, I wasn’t crushed by it to be honest I actually found it forced me to relax a little bit and let things go.

When I became a business owner however I realised once again how having my “stuff” together meant I had a better day. I felt more on top of things, less overwhelmed and like I was going to achieve. So why does having a plan help so much and how can you start doing it?

Starting small


I think when it comes to planning the best thing to do is to start small. Start by creating a To Day list so don’t think of all the things you need to do in the world for your business, you know that huge every growing to-do list you look at, cry at and then go to Instagram to escape from. I’m talking about your To Day list – what are you wanting to achieve today, just today, however many hours you choose to work.


Be Realistic


The key when planning your To Day list and with any planning is to be realistic. If you are only working 5 hours a day because you are juggling your childcare or even another job what can you realistic achieve in that time that’s going to work for you. Don’t think everything, think something. Because that some thing you achieve that day is one thing more off the larger to-do list – it’s achievement. If you don’t be real with yourself and what you can do that’s when this creeps in…





Oooh it’s like a dirty word isn’t it, but it’s everywhere. I don’t think I go through one day on Instagram where I don’t see a post about the dreaded overwhelm. If I was to visual it I think it would look like that stuff in the Netflix’s show Stranger Things, you know the black stuff that engulfs everything – that’s overwhelm to me and I don’t like. I don’t like feeling like it and it breaks my heart to see others feel like it too.


We can help combat overwhelm with planning. I always love to grab a bit piece of paper and draw out the month, then I plot down all the things I know are coming up – events, offers, new services, new opts in etc. If you’re a product based business this could be new lines, new stock, promotions, your newsletter etc. Get them all down and scribbled. Then think about where you are going to promote all these things. You’re starting to form a plan.

Help is always at hand


As business owners there are fabulous communities online to help us through the fog we often find ourselves in – isn’t it fab? You maybe working alone at home but you have a ton of virtual colleagues around you. If you’re feeling the overwhelm reach out, shout out, ask for help because it’s out there and trust me we all need a helping hand sometimes.

I specialise in helping businesses get clear and out of this fog by having a plan in place, so if you want to chat about how I can help you let’s hop on a FREE call and talk about it. It’s what I’m here for. vs vs

Having a website is such an exciting thing isn’t it? After the business planning, getting your branding, logo and identity sorted you really want to get stuck in and get a website up and running. Now, there are so many options out there of how to create your own website, so many platforms to use and if you are getting started and having trouble with what to consider and think about you can check in with my Websites: Where Do I Start post as this one is going to focus on two platform choices in particular – and

Now you might be thinking already “they’re the same Maxine, they’re both WordPress”, well hang on to your mittens kittens because actually they are two very different platforms and provide very different things.

Let’s dive in.


This is a hosting service created by the co-founder of WordPress. So because it uses the word “WordPress” it’s easy to see why you can get confused and think they’re both the same platform, but is essentially a free platform and if you are looking to have a blog site then this is perfect for that, because your words are what people are wanting to read and they’re not coming to see an all singing all dancing design.

Using means you are letting WordPress host your website for you, now this is what I mean by host:

It’s where you website is stored on a server so that it can be accessed over the tinterwebs.

It’s because of this that has a lot of appeal because it is FREE and they take care of the hosting for you. There are other packages that you can go for which will enable more features because generally the free version can be very limiting. It does however give you up to 3GB of free space so if you are a blogger who blogs maybe 2/3 times a month this could potentially last you a while. I’m now going to look at some of the other benefits for

The Good

Back Up’s & Updates
Every website should be backed up and if you’re using another platform then do check how they backup your website and keep it safe. With they take care of any backups and any platform updates for you, they will happen automatically – no worry, no stress (YES!).

If you are wanting a service based business website or a store then I wouldn’t recommend using because you will need more than what it provides, but for a blogger who needs a nice template with very small customisations – possibly colours of text, fonts choices etc then you have a range of free and paid templates that you can choice from. So if you’re someone who doesn’t want to get their hands dirty with design then this is perfect.

The Ugly

“How can this be a benefit and a con? Are you conning me?” Nope, I am not and while the free templates and themes provide great basis for very simple sites with little to no customisation as I said above on the Free version you are very limited to what you can change – you might choose a theme that has a very nasty colour background for when your mouse hovers over something and can’t change it and if it puts you off chances are it will put your audience off too so keep this in mind when looking at this platform and what you want your website to do.

Ads are placed on all free sites, so if you want a professional looking blog that’s Ad free you will need to upgrade to get rid of this mess. The upgrade to remove these is $36 per year – not too bad really.

Also it is worth noting that even though WordPress place Ad’s on your site you cannot place Ad’s there. So if you are a family blogger looking to get into affiliate marketing with some of the brands and businesses you mention or work with and want to start earning from your audience clicking their ads you will need to apply for their advertising programs called WordAds and you will share the revenue with them. If you are on their upgraded platforms like Business or Premium use can use this function from the get go.

I’ll be talking a bit about Plugins when I get on the side of things because that platform relies heavily on the use of plugins where as free version does not. It will not let you upload plugins. What do I mean by a plugin you ask:

It’s a bit of software that can enhance the functions within your website

Plugins are amazing because they can really open up your site, give you more function and help your site look and feel how you want it to. On the Business package lets you install compatible ones and then the big boy VIP lets you install plugins at a $5000 per month – Holy Moly!

Google Analytics
If you want to really know what your websites users are doing you should have Google Analytics installed and doesn’t let you use it on their free version. You are totally reliant on their stats that they collect, again higher packages it will let you.

What’s the other bits it can’t or won’t do?

Hmmm quite a few other things:

  • If they think at anytime your website is violating their T&C’s then it is a goner, they will delete it no questions asked and your site is like that toy in the reject bin, it’s never coming back.
  • Obviously are doing all the “work” in terms of hosting, what it looks like etc so naturally they are going to have their name at the bottom of your website.
  • If you want an online shop this is not the platform for you, you cannot create one on here.
  • If you want to have a membership site and sell courses, again not the platform for you.


So there we are the run down on

The main reason people like it is because it’s free and cost’s less than having a “hosted” site – however the restrictions in capability and functions means to get what you want you’ll actually be paying out more in the long run than if you went hosted and got it designed by a professional. It’s always worth looking at the long term cost not short term gain when it comes to websites.

So now, the contender…

You are reading this blog on a website. It is one that I designed and then built myself. I love I think it is a great platform, don’t get me wrong it frustrates me sometimes, as any website would do so I can see how if your website design knowledge is limited or even non existent how it would seem a super scary choice to look at.

This version of WordPress is where you would need to host it yourself, even on a server at home or pay a company to host the site. There are some wonderful sites out there like Siteground, however again do your research before just choosing one as some are pretty shocking. Now here’s the thing… is absolutely FREE to use. The platform itself costs you nothing, all you are paying for is to have it hosting with a hosting provider ( and your website domain of course, again can be purchased through a provider).

Loads of people get confused and think will cost them thousands, nope, simply not true. The cost comes in like I said with:

  • Hosting Platform – generally about £120 per year
  • Domain – generally anything from £5 -£12 per year

The other cost would be if you decided to employ a website designer to design and build your site for you. But again this is a one off cost and then it’s done, you are only paying for the above, so actually it works out cheaper than some other website platforms with their monthly subscriptions (for life).

The Good

Flexibility & Control
Unlike this baby is all yours, you have full control, you can build a website completely from scratch using a framework theme or again find a free or paid for theme.You will be able to make it yours with better customisation options – YES!

Another huge point is that you own all the data on your website, unlike it won’t be turned off if you do something you shouldn’t be but you wouldn’t be doing that anyway, will you?

You can add free, paid and custom Plugins to the website. These will enable you to enhance the features for you and for your audience, a brilliant one alone is Yoast SEO which enables you to take control of the SEO for your website pages and improve your visibility in Google and other search engines. Plugins can be anything from an Instagram, feed, a contact form, a newsletter sign up – the world is your oyster.

As said above there is a whole world of themes to choose from, paid and free and you can customise all the elements you want to so you have a site that is yours and not like a million other businesses who choose the same template.

If you do go down the route of designing and building the site yourself you can use a theme framework to enable you to do that, these are generally blank themes ready for you to get creative.

There are so many Plugins that you could add to give you a wealth of analytics for your site, but also the main thing is that you can connect Google Analytics which is fantastic, the mother of all data hubs.

You will find a lot more software programmes can integrate with i.e. Mailchimp for example. A lot clients I work with use Mailchimp because it is also free so this is perfect for pairing the two together.

Store & Memberships
Using Plugins like Woo-commerce you can turn your website into a fully functioning online store – hooray!! That’s right taking payments and everything – woop woop!

Also the same with if you are a coach for mums who want to start their own businesses and you want to sell online courses, you can create a membership site using and a plugin.There are loads of great ones out there to choose from, ones that will also let you customise making your site look seamless.

The Ugly

One of the biggest things that can put people off is the updates and it’s true you are responsible for making sure the updates to your theme, plugins and even WordPress itself happen otherwise you could find parts of your site not working how it should, but it is okay and there isn’t anything to be scared of because…

Back Ups
You are responsible for making your own back ups of the site so as long as you make regular back ups and do a back up before you do any updates, you should be okay.

It’s really easy to make back ups of your site because again there are Plugin’s for that. I personally use Updraft Plus and found them to be really good. I can connect the back up to go to my Dropbox account once a month.


So there it is, a run down of the two WordPress platforms and what makes them different. See, they have the same name but actually offer very different functions and capabilities. The important thing to remember whenever you are embarking on creating a website is to research the platform that will be right for you long term, don’t just think about upfront savings or quickness, you want something you can build on and that will last.


GDPR and your Email Marketing

GDPR and your email marketing

For this final instalment I am going to be focusing on how GDPR affects your email marketing. I know many of you use email marketing to reach your audience and GDPR is going to make you look at how you are currently doing this as there will be changes afoot. The big one is consent. As I said, many of you will be doing email marketing and most likely use Mailchimp – who by the way also have some blog posts and advice on GDPR. Looking at your email lists ask yourself this question – how did you obtain this data? Was it by them signing up to your newsletter via your website? Did you meet them at an exhibition and took their business card? Are they people who expressed interest in your collection/product/service?

Mixing Paint Colours

What? We can’t just mix it all up – oh no

Signing up via the website

If you have a sign up form on your site you need to express clearly in easy to understand plain language what a person is signing up for. So just having “Sign Up Here” Will not be enough, you need to start thinking about adding in: Sign up to join our newsletter We will be contacting you once a month with details of our new product launches, tips and ideas for wearing our range and exclusive offers just for you. If you no longer wish to receive our emails you can opt-out at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link which features on the bottom of all our emails. Your emails should always feature an Unsubscribe link – Mailchimp does put this in automatically on its email so never remove this feature.

Meeting them at an exhibition

You did an event and had a lovely chat, took their card and thought you’d add them to your mailing list – this now needs to change. You need to ask them and have recorded proof that they want to be added to your mailing list. This is why in the great days of tech being in our finger-tips it’s worth having a form, similar to your sign up form, on a tablet where the person can complete their details and “tick” if they want to sign up to your mailing list. If they don’t tick you don’t add them. You can follow up their interest by contacting them personally after the event via your business email but do not add them to your mailing list if they didn’t ask to be added.


Now, Customers are people who have done business with you, but again they might not want to be part of your mailing list, don’t think you can automatically email them because they bought from you, again you need to ask, you need to get consent. This could be a tick box to your mailing list in the e-receipt or e-invoice that then links to your list. Also, more and more consumers are expressing their “right to be forgotten”. Now, what’s this you might be thinking. This is where any individual has the right to ask for their data to be removed where there is no reason for it to be continually used. The ICO have more information on this and how you customers might exercise this right, but also you may want to with companies you deal with as well. A email sign up may not use the unsubscribe link but email you directly and ask to be taken off the list – keep a record of this request and then remove them from your list immediately. Do not add it to the to-do list because if you forget and an email goes out and that person is still on your list they could raise a complaint against you. I would strongly advise if you use a site like Shopify or Squarespace, Wix or WordPress with any data collection functions, be it email sign ups or ecommerce records that you contact these sites and check what their own compliance will be with GDPR. You need to know you are using websites that are following the new rules. The same with Mailchimp and any other email service provider. Mailchimp do go into detail about how they will be doing their own compliance in this document.

baby on the computer sorting out his email marketing lists for GDPR

“Hang on, I’ve got some business admin to do. Put my milk on hold for a minute.”

Current Email Lists

You are going to need to do some email list admin, especially if you have lists which you’ve created using some of those methods I said above i.e. the adding them to the list with no proof of consent from the individual. Look at your current lists, make a note of where you got the data from,  if you do not have written or logged proof anywhere from that individual that they wanted to be on your mailing list and receive your emails you can do 1 of 2 things:

  1. Re-consent
  2. Delete this data and do not contact these people.

Robin Adams, who runs email consultancy Perfect Blend and Chimp Answers has brilliant advice. He also runs a Facebook Group and have been doing lots of webinars on GDPR and has great advice for businesses so I definitely recommend having a look at this page and group. He has also done a lot on Re-consent as well which is worth looking at. If any individual in your lists gave consent and you have record of it and it abides by the current rules you are fine with those individuals, if it doesn’t then this is where you need to make one of those two choices with this data.

AND FINALLY…The Disclaimer once again.

I really want to add again that I am in no way an “expert” on this, there are people in this field that have trained in GDPR specifically because it is that HUGE. In these posts I have just tried to collate together what I have seen, read and heard over the last two years and my understanding of all this. So please, do read up on this yourselves, consult a legal profession or the ICO directly – they will be able to help you as remember every business will be affected by the changes in GDPR so you are not alone. Saying that, don’t think that the ICO will have their hands full and so you can go under the radar “no one will know about my little business” – do not take the risk. As a business you do have a responsibility – this isn’t just something you can pay someone to come in and magically sort out all your GDPR needs, they can help you understand and help with some preparation perhaps but you need to know as a business how to be compliant going forward and stand by that compliance. I hope these three posts have helped. It does seem rather scary and a bit intimidating I know but try to think logically about it, follow the steps in the guides you find, take the time out to get ready and do the admin because it will be better further down the line when this all comes into affect. You want to be prepared, you want to be compliant, you want to still have your business, don’t let GDPR trip you up.

baby hiding under really snazzy hat

“So if I just hide under my really snazzy hat, GDPR won’t find me right?”