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Inside Influence: One On One With Shannon O’Dowd

I spoke to influencer Shannon O'Dowd about her best advice

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?

Shannon: I’m an only child, I have slight OCD, and movies about dogs make me cry uncontrollably (even the pretty happy ones).

Adam: How did you get here? How did you become an influencer? What is the inside story?

Shannon: I did it begrudgingly really. I knew that IG and Youtube were platforms to promote my coaching business as an on-camera coach so it should be a no-brainer to do video content. Yet, I really struggled initially with both carving out the time to put out content as well as feeling a little vain and self-centered to think people wanted to see what I thought or felt about anything. However, once I started getting a following and positive response from people, it became a really fun form of self-expression as well as feeling like I could also provide quality content that can help people.  

Adam: What advice do you have for those interested in working with influencers? How do you do decide who to work with?

Shannon: I think the best advice I could give a brand for business looking to do a campaign with an influencer is to know and respect the influencer’s style and give them the autonomy to create content for you that also stays true to their voice and what their followers expect from them. It’s always important to create guidelines of course, but they are the artist creating an expression of your product. Plus the less you pay, the less you really can manage all those factors. If you are paying Gal Gadot a few hundred thousand dollars (or a million) to wear your sneakers in a post, you can have a lot of say on how that post looks, when it is posted, what text is in the written part of the post, etc.

Adam: What advice do you have for those interested in becoming influencers?

Shannon: I think the most important thing to consider when you are interested in becoming an influencer is having something specific you want to say and to choose a lane to say it in. If you LOVE home design and want to share your finds and thoughts with people choosing something specific like “home design on a budget” where you help people find really expensive looking things at an affordable price would be a way to go. Not only are you not in such a generic, overly populated area but you also are creating value and something specific people can know they can expect you to deliver…with all the content and platforms out there, specificity is everything. And consistency. You have to give people content they can count on.

Adam: What is the biggest misconception about the influencer world and life as an influencer?

Shannon: Probably that it happens overnight and that the brand for the influencer was completely figured out beforehand. There is a bit of trial and error involved in finding out what content people will find value in you providing. It’s also SO much more than posting a good pic.

Adam: What has being an influencer taught you about branding and marketing? What are your three best marketing and branding tips?

Shannon: You need to be strategic like finding other influencers in your space and doing collars so that you can share followers, find what time/day is best that people respond to your posts, reaching out to brands and letting them know you like their product(s) and share with them a post you did for them, etc. It really is a business and there are many steps necessary before you can monetize your identity and/or brand.

Adam: Who are the best leaders you have been around and what have you learned from them? What do you believe everyone should know about leadership?

Shannon: I’ve been around so many amazing leaders but the people that really have shaped me have been the women business owners, tastemakers, and thought leaders I’ve had the privilege to know, be mentored by, and even be friends. Watching women lead from their innate feminine power and not trying to lead “like a man” (because we just aren’t the same) has really shown me that you can be respected and valued as a woman without needing to be seen in a negative light or as the “b” word.

Adam: What are your hobbies and how have they shaped you?

Shannon: Yoga, Meditation, Homeopathic Therapies, Consciousness/Awareness work, and all things self-help. This work has had made a huge impact on my career because it is a HUGE part of the way I coach. I’m able to read emotional, verbal, and physical cues from clients to pick up what they need from me and the best way to “go in” with my coaching. It absolutely has shaped my approach.

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