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?
Samantha: I share a lot on social media, but something that most people don’t know about me is that I have a Masters degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. That degree has given me a solid background to do the hiring for many of the non-race related roles at Kyle Busch Motorsports.
Adam: How did you become an “influencer”? What is the inside story?
Samantha: I’ve always been interested in writing and started on Twitter back in the day bringing all of my husband’s fans behind the scenes of what was going on at the race track. That morphed into people asking me all sorts of questions about my life – from what lipstick I was wearing to where we were going on the off weekend. The more that I shared, the more people asked. From Twitter, I began a blog so that I could go into more detail about what people were asking and really share information about our lives.
However, when I shared blogs and videos on my struggles with infertility and all the emotions that I was going through to have my son, Brexton, I realized that I could make an impact. That has since fueled my passion to share different things that I’m going through to the masses and has evolved my narrative as an influencer. It really became a mutually beneficial relationship.
Adam: What advice do you have for those interested in working with influencers? How do you do decide who to work with?
Samantha: I really like supporting brands and initiatives that are true to me and my interests. Like most influencers, I want to stay authentic to who I am and those who know me best. When a company looks at potential influencers to work with they shouldn’t just look at the number of followers a person has. They need to really see who is following that person, will they be interested in the brand.
Adam: What advice do you have for those interested in becoming influencers?
Samantha: Be yourself and never worry about what anyone else thinks. And, never, ever let negative things people say get in the way of all the positive and encouraging things you have going on. Following your passion can be an incredibly rewarding feeling, but you can’t give up when things get tough. It’s those moments that you persevere through adversity that show you what you truly can accomplish.
Another important thing to remember as you grow your brand as an influencer is to only work with companies that you truly believe in their product. Its easy to get excited about free stuff and paid promotions but you have to be careful. First, your page isn’t just about selling stuff to your followers. It should first and foremost be a great way to connect with them and highlight who you really are. If you want to work with companies and promote their products thats great, but pick and choose carefully, don’t flood your timeline with sale ads, people will lose interest quickly. Also take the time to respond and interact to those that follow you, social media is after all about being social!
Adam: What is the biggest misconception about the influencer world and life as an influencer?
Samantha: The biggest misconception about being an influencer is that it’s easy. It’s a 24/7 job. You must be creative and thinking about new blogs or ideas all the time. It’s hard to turn off. Just last weekend, I was hanging with my family trying out all the new tools and apps to edit my pictures. Even during races, I’m on top of the pit box, listening to Kyle on the radio, while I’m writing blogs, editing pictures, emailing my team about upcoming meetings and events. It never stops, but I thoroughly enjoy every bit of it.
Adam What has being an influencer taught you about branding and marketing?
Samantha: Being an influencer is cultivating and building a brand for yourself. It’s no different than creating a vision or opportunity for a shoe brand or clothing line. You must understand your audience, what they like, what they don’t like and ensure that you are creating content that sets you apart from others. It is also about being authentic, not the perfect version of yourself. To build a brand you need to be honest and stay true to yourself. If your not, it will never work.
Adam: What are your hobbies and how have they shaped you?
Samantha: I love fitness and always start my day with a solid workout. That helps give me a fresh perspective on the day and what I want to achieve, whether it’s is something I want to do with my son, Brexton, or something work related that I want to get done for my online boutique Shop Murph or our foundation the Samantha and Kyle Busch Bundle of Joy Fund.
I also love decorating and organizing. I spend a lot of time at Home Goods or Z Gallerie looking for accent pieces to add to the house. I recently re-designed my closet and it was a true labor of love and super satisfying at the end.
I also really enjoy writing. For me its really relaxing and enjoyable.
Adam: Who have been the biggest influences in your life and how do you pay it forward?
Samantha: My grandmother is the inspiration for my online boutique, Shop Murph. Murph was her nickname and she always taught me that clothes do not make a woman – confidence makes a woman. And, when a woman looks her best and loves how she feels, she exudes the confidence it takes to conquer any obstacle. Her tenacity and strong spirit has fueled everything that I have accomplished, not only as an influencer, but most importantly as a wife, mom and overall person.
I try to pay it forward by instilling this in other women. I use social media to connect with them and help them thru all sorts of things from their infertility journeys to styling them for a big event.