Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to go behind the brand. First things first, though, what is something about you that the many people who follow you don’t know?
Janine: I try my best to be an open book since sharing my journey is one of the most rewarding components of my social media brand, however, I don’t think people realize I still work full-time as a psychologist. It is not easy juggling this career with my social media following, and adding teenagers and a 20 year marriage into the mix can really make things challenging, yet I enjoy leading a busy and fulfilling life. That said, vacations with my family are key!
Adam: How did you become an “influencer”? What is the inside story?
Janine: I have never been very typical and have always been proud of that. I like being different in my opinions, ideas and outlook on life. It has allowed to continuously grow and enjoy experiences most people don’t give them themselves the opportunity to take advantage of. As a matter of fact, my teenage daughters will tell you my number one piece of parenting advice is to try and “not” fit in. The less we worry about what others think, the more we can follow our heart and chase our dreams. So that is what I did at the age of 48 when I decided to do something totally outside the norm from what my female peers were doing. Instead of fighting the aging process, I decided to use my lifetime experiences in fitness, embrace my maturity and show others that age is just a number and we are only as old as we let ourselves feel. Then one cold February evening a little less than two years ago, I took my first brave step, uploaded a video of me jumping rope and hit “post”. I waited for something to happen. My nerves rattled a little as my very first comment came through. “Wow you are good!”. Instant smile. Ok, good feedback. I will continue.
Adam: What advice do you have for those interested in working with influencers? How do you do decide who to work with?
Janine: My main piece of advice for brands and influencers alike are to be genuine and authentic. In the world of social media today, people are savvy to marketing tactics so it is best to only work with partners you yourself believe in. It is good to freely discuss feedback on those brands, both good and constructive, and show your followers you have their interests in mind. Create reasons for engagement and interaction. The more the better.
Adam: What advice do you have for those interested in becoming influencers?
Janine: Like every other challenge I have taken on, I approached this new venture with the same thoughtfulness. I can’t count the number of times I have been asked this past year “How did you do it?” It’s an anomaly for people to consider how it was possible to grow such a huge social media following in such a short amount of time. I think they believe there is some “magic trick’ and want to hear my secret, but my answer is plain and simple. I did my homework and I remained true to myself. Every entrepreneur knows that success is the perfect combination of preparedness and good fortune. My success follows this same logic. I researched, read and asked questions of anyone who seemed to know about the world of social media. Not all of it was accurate and there were a lot of gray areas, still I took it all in and came to my own conclusions.
Adam: What is the biggest misconception about the influencer world and life as an influencer?
Janine: Great question. You don’t get tons of free stuff just because you have a massive following. Like any industry, building relationships is key and so is communication. Being an influencer can be a lot of fun, but only as long as you are working with integrity.
Adam: What has being an influencer taught you about branding and marketing?
Janine: I have learned so much from the brands I work with. I try to involve myself as much as possible in developing creative content around their business goals and strategies. Branding is critical to determine the people you want to message and how they will respond. Be true to yourself and focus on your passion rather than the sales end of it for true sustainable success.
Adam: What are your hobbies and how have they shaped you?
Janine: My hobbies include any form of physical activity, whether it be working out, dancing or long walks on the beach. To make it even better, including my two teenage daughters is always an added advantage. The family that plays together stays together.
Adam: Who have been the biggest influences in your life and how do you pay it forward?
Janine: My biggest influence by far was my father who passed away when I was 25. He was terminally ill, yet continued to work, exercise and even wrote a novel before he passed away. He showed me to have strength and perseverance and to never take my health for granted. His example has been a significant driving force in the message I share with my followers.