• Wendy

Exposing Myself as an Influencer

Hey guys, my name is Wendy and I'm an influencer. I guess I should define the word influencer before I get into my TED talk since even Microsoft Word doesn't think it's a real word. (I'm staring at a red squiggly line under the word as I type.)

According to the Oxford Dictionary, an influencer is a person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media.

Now, under this definition, I am considered an influencer. It all happened by accident. And just like the Prince of Bel Air, I will tell you my story.

Janet Kwan captured this old view of my kitchen

I started an Instagram account really late in the game, around late 2017 right when we were about to purchase our new home (thekwendyhome 2.0 as you know it.) I didn't want to bog down my friends and family about my home renovations because it was taking over my private account. I was constantly storying about tile and what kind of white paint I should pick. As you can imagine, it was as entertaining to them as watching paint dry. And sometimes I even storied that.

Here is a snap of thekwendyhome 1.0

So I started @thekwendyhome, where I could story and post to my heart's content about faucets and wallpaper. I wanted a place to document our renovation journey and I followed people that were an inspiration to me. I used Instagram like most use Pinterest except I loved Instagram because I could directly interact with the people who lived in the homes I admire so much!

And that's when I discovered MY PEOPLE. The people who cared about the different kinds of white paints and understood the subtly of pure white and off white. I found a community that I could bounce ideas off of and had the best tips from gardening to grouting! That's when I wanted to contribute my ideas and inspiration because so many have helped me!

So I started sharing more pictures and posts. I would swap links, share purchases and when things went I sale, I announced it to my friends!

Soon, I began posting regularly. Like every day! I treated Instagram like a blog/ diary because ridiculous things happened to me on the daily and I wanted to tell stories. I would write essays for captions, and I still do to this day.

Photo Credit: Janet Kwan

This was around 2018. I was chatting and making friends and real connections with people! (I've made some really really great friends (some in real life) and I plan to visit the others one day!)

My account really starting getting momentum and hit 10K in March 2019. It was a huge milestone and I remember celebrating because I would have never thought that so many people would want to hear about my misadventures and seek me out as a friend.

In April 2019, as we sat in our hotel room of our vacation, I purchased a blog domain. I hummed and hawed because it felt so frivolous to spend $90 on a website for no reason. But I wanted to start a blog because I had so much more to say than an Instagram caption could hold!

I wanted to talk about plant care, easy DIYs, basically just a place to download my thoughts and have them live on the internet forever just in case something happened to Instagram.

Then in the spring of 2019 (just a little over a year ago) I get an email for an opportunity to work on a campaign. And I could not believe it. I never thought to do one or sought a partnership out before. But I was so stoked! I loved the brand and had the perfect project to do it for so I went for it!

I was so excited to do something I loved, with a brand I was proud to be associated with and share it with you guys! And on top of that I got compensated a little for it too! I didn't even know I could get paid for doing this at that point!

And I wrote a little DIY for it and it was such a rush to see some of you guys do your own DIY and share it with me! I felt like I had contributed something to my own home and yours.

Photo Credit: Janet Kwan

That's how it all started! And then as time went on and my community grew, more and more brands reached out to me for partnerships. I was cautiously excited because not all partnerships were a good fit. I wanted to make sure that WE would love anything I do.

It got to the point where I thought it was time to get some mentors in this field. I needed some guidance and navigate how to choose work and how to work with brands.

So in mid 2019 I took a course specifically for people who wanted to work with brands. I chose this course because it was with reputable industry leaders in my niche whom I have come to admire and see as my mentors. (Whether they know that or not haha!)

And I started taking up more projects as they were offered and were a good fit for my community and for my own home/ myself! It became my side hustle and I saw it as a way to support my hobby, (mostly buying plants and pillows.)

But this year, in March 2020, the pandemic hit. At the point of writing this blog post, I'm expecting to hear from my company by tonight about the future of my flight attending career. Between us, I'm 99% sure I'm being laid off.

Photo Credit: Janet Kwan

Now the side projects I took up for fun gets all my attention because I don't fly anymore. And even though I didn't choose to become an Influencer, or a content creator, or an Instagramer, whatever you want to call it. I'm glad to accidentally become one.

I didn't choose to dive in full time but now that I'm given this option, I am so grateful to have this platform. And doubly so because not only is it something I love to do, it has become a viable option to generate income for me.

But at the end of the day, even if this wasn't a job, I would still be doing it. And I'm so grateful to have you guys as part of this community and I will strive to do my best to bring you content that is wholesome, enjoyable and fun!

So that's the story of how I sort of accidentally became an Influencer. And if I think about it, I was an influencer before brand partnerships came into play, because I was already sharing and recommending things I love long before brands offered to work with me.

And guess what, you're an influencer too. We all are. Because we all have a circle of people with whom we have influence over when we chat about good and bad experiences of anything!

Photo Credit: Janet Kwan

And as any good friend would do when recommending something, I would only ever recommend things I:

1) love

2) have great experiences with

3) am excited about

4) and think you'll like too.

That's how it all started. And that's how it'll always be around here. It will always just be me sharing about things I love with you guys.

So yah, that's me. I don't know if this was what you were expecting when you clicked on this blog post. But that's how I became an Influencer.

And for those wondering about my flight attending career, I'm really hoping and praying that this is temporary and one day I will fly the friendly skies again. But until then, I'll see you guys on Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest or the blog.

Photo Credit: Janet Kwan

I know God has a plan for me and I will try my best to honour Him through this new chapter of my life.

I'm curious as to what I will learn and how I'll grow. Thanks for learning and growing along side of me. It's always less scary when you have a friend.

Thanks for reading guys.



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