Sponsored posts, a poll
  Sponsored post for kids sunglasses

Sponsored post for kids sunglasses

I’m not even gonna start explaining why I haven’t blogged in so long, no excuses, just been busy with other things :) I’m still a very unexperienced blogger, haha! But I want to write about the poll I made on Instagram via my account @minimockspetra a while back. You can see the poll in my Story highlights.

it all started with Anna from @thenorrmans and a post she made about ads, sponsored posts, collaborations and commercials on Instagram (on the 9th of October). She was fed up with seeing all these inspiring people (mostly Swedish I believe) that made collaborations with brands, weekly. How can everyone make ads for the same big brands and waste their skills on commercials? She said that she wanted to have as few ads as possible in her life and here she couldn’t escape them. Anna asked her followers if they liked commercials. Many said no, of course. Who does like having their favorite shows and series interrupted with commercial breaks, reading a magazine and half the pages are ads for makeup and design, and when you follow 100 or so interior IG-ers and bloggers and they post a sponsored post once in a while, it feels like a lot, right? She felt concerned and wanted to ask around. How do we feel about that? The major question here was, but if you followers stop following you, is it worth it with all this advertising?

Totally legitimate question!

The reaction from the influencers did not hold back. Many got upset. Anna didn’t see the whole picture, this is a way of supporting oneself and one’s family, whilst doing something one really love. Considering how much free inspiration the interior bloggers and influencers shared, a few ads once in a while couldn’t be that harmful. Many of Anna’s followers pointed out that they had unfollowed many accounts since they felt that they posted too much sponsored material. And so on…

  Sponsored post for bedding brand

Sponsored post for bedding brand

Since I also make sponsored posts (collaborations) on my private IG sometimes I first felt a little sad and worried about the harsh reactions of both sides. It was a very relevant subject and I think many of the 20K+ accounts felt very threatened. Therefor the loud discussion that followed. In a world of inspiration, esthetics, design and photography, the question about commercialism is always a hot potato. Tell me about it, I grew up with a photographer and an artist as parents. It’s very sensitive. There might be a tiny few that would think the same about the sports industry. But, we are so used to sponsored athletes and games and matches that we hardly react anymore. They work with brands (and get paid a lot) that suits their way of life (definitely not always, read Zlatan and betting companies) and we think it’s ok because we are so used of seeing them wearing the big brands and playing in a football stadium sprinkled in advertising. Nothing new there. No one cares. We are still inspired with their achievements.

But, when it comes to the arts (including photo and design), stay the hell out. No one should make money. At least not talk about it. It’s a struggle. Lets say that you’re an interior designer, IKEA calls and ask if you want to make a collaboration with them. It’s a chance of a life time for you. This is it! But you will always feel you’re betraying someone. Like you’re stabbing your own in the back.

Anywhooo, I felt that I had to ask my own followers (all 90K+) how they felt about me making sponsored posts and advertising on Instagram in general. I put together a poll in my Stories, didn’t take long and I was a little stressed to get it out because I didn’t want to sit back and do nothing. What would my followers think. So here comes the result (around 15K answered!) and my personal comments:

  • Have you recently unfollowed accounts because they’ve posted too many sponsored collaborations?

yes 55%, no 45%

Here many left a comment about the frequency of posts, it was only if they felt that sponsored posts took over from the actual everyday life of the IGer. The ‘every-day-spons’ rate was way too often. And if someone posted about things that didn’t align with the account’s interests and taste.

  • What is too many for you?

once a week 94%, once a month 6%

What can we read from this? Well when we put it against each other like ‘once a week’ against ‘once a month’, of course you pick the ‘once a week’. Many left a comment saying that even once a week was ok but if everyone does it, then yes, it feels like all the time. Once a month is a way better option here. It apparently feels more authentic and real, if you want to be trustworthy. We should also separate sponsored posts from ‘tips and inspiration’. Here is when tagging the photo comes in handy.

  • Is it better to sneakily advertise for something than to tag the post with ‘sponsored’?

yes 19%, no 81%

Many agreed on that if we are advertising for something we want it to show. Or it feels like a lie (as someone wrote). But still 19% that prefer it not to be ‘in your face’ . “I wouldn’t pay so much notice to the sponsored part if it didn’t show, and therefor not care so much now, and dislike so many accounts” (one comment).

  • Do you find it helpful when a photo is tagged with brands so you know where products are from?

yes 96% no 4%

Pretty clear response here I think. I tag photos so that the brands can see them and also for my followers to know where the products are from. Another take here, is to not tag photos to get more comments. Very sneaky! :) I didn’t receive any ‘no’ comments here so I’m not sure how to interpret those 4%.

  • Do you feel that if someone has tagged a brand in their photo it must have been a gift?

yes 26% no 74%

This is very interesting I think. Since I’m one of those accounts that receive quite a few free gifts from small and growing brands all over the world. I tag them in my photos so they can see that I’ve appreciated their gift and I tag them so my followers can see where they can buy them. It’s advertising yes. But the main part of my tagged photos are things that i’ve bought myself and want to help my followers to find. That’s the story. I’m not a big tagger, I’m really not, and I see it more as a guiding help than advertising.

  • Does the word ‘influencer’ mean something good to you?

Yes 43% no 57%

So incredibly interesting, omg! More than half of the poll participants think that influencer is not a positive word. Personally I wouldn’t call myself an influencer, because I’m other things, designer, shop owner, bosslady(!) haha, and more. But I can’t get around the fact that ‘influencer’ leaves such a bitter taste. I think it’s misused by media and also a dominant female profession. If it was mainly men who were influencers then it would probably be talked about in another way and more respected. I’m sure.

  • Where do you draw the line between advertisement and inspiration?

So many answered, and felt the need to do so I think. The comments here were all very similar! Adverts can be inspirational too, but they HAVE to align with the character of the account. We have built this relationship with our followers and I think that with some of the collabs, we break that trust that we have worked so hard for to grow. Inspiration for many is the everyday life but of course then also styled photos. We all know that many of the big accounts work really hard to make their photos stand out. A few mentioned @allthatisshe as a person they felt made something creative out of the collabs she has. When the actual brands she works with are presented in a fun and inspiring way. I take with me to think twice when I agree on sponsored material because they have to represent me too.

  Collaboration with bicycle brand

Collaboration with bicycle brand

I do about 6 sponsored posts a year with obvious advertisement. The payed advertising will normally be for bigger brands, Google, Lindex, Zara, Afound, Adobe and others. Small brands, like my own Betón, won’t normally have the budget for these things. So how do I think when I say yes to these? First I go through what they propose. What does it include? I choose my collaborations carefully and like when they challenge me and my creativity and photography. I’ve always loved marketing so I find these jobs very interesting! I don’ mind to include the family, if they want to. There is always someone not up for it and I don’t make that into a problem, just have to rethink. I make sure they pay well for the amount of work I put into them cause I know how hard stylists, photographers, editors and producers work!

  • Have you noticed I make sponsored posts sometimes?

yes 41% no 59%

Also very interesting response. That more than half of the participants haven’t even noticed that I make sponsored posts. Either I should get better at outing that or take it as a positive reaction. I’m not sure. I feel that maybe the collabs I’ve done so far have aligned with my account maybe. Always very family oriented, children’s clothing brands have been a good one for me. Or even the Google products I’ve worked with has suited us as a city family.

  • Do you find my sponsored posts annoying?

yes 6% no 94%

I can see why 6% would be annoyed about sponsored posts. Like one person that asked me about the Zara Home editorial I recently did, because it didn’t fit with me owning a small business, and I totally understand her for asking. But the editorial was so much more to me. It was a styling and photography job, more so than a sponsored post. A real, real challenge and we had so much fun doing it. I am proud of that editorial, I worked hard.

But, and there’s always a but, I will get better on analyzing the few collaborations I do and make sure they always stand for what I represent and for what I love!

  • Would you rather see no sponsored posts in my feed?

yes 19% no 81%

This question was a little difficult apparently since many wrote me saying that they’ve put the wrong answer in. They meant to have said yes but pressed no. I guess the English was a little bad from my side. Sorry about that. But I can stil read that about 15% probably answered yes for the right reason. And those followers are the reason that I don’t do so many sponsored collabs. I would also feel it being too many if I did more.

  Blog post for clothing brand

Blog post for clothing brand

  • What is, according to you, your worst/best type of sponsored post?

These two questions were answered by sooo many. And many more answered about the ‘worst’ post rather than the ‘best’! :) They really wanted to tell me what a bad sponsored post was and I thought that was interesting. A good sponsored post is one (according to the participants) that align with the account/person. A post that is made with humor, warmth and joy. Particularly one with a story to it. Not just “now 20% on all toys at my favorite place with code ….” that was a bad sponsored post. But more interweaved in a personal story or event.

A bad sponsored post (according to the participants) is one playing on the followers feelings, like you telling a sad story and than at the end you scoop in a product that you want to help sell. Not so tasteful. It would be more ok if it was for a charity though. Also a post that is too commercialized, like you doing a tadaaaa, standing infront of a dishwasher. Or when an IG:er or blogger talks about one brand for a month and then the next month is another competing brand that is hot. Like you would do Nike Nike Nike and then a few weeks later it would be Adidas Adidas Adidas!

I felt it important for myself to make this poll, just to see where my own followers stood in the matter. I will also share my demography:

Top countries of my followers are:

USA 14%, Sweden 9%, Australia 8%, Great Britain 6%, Spain 5%

Cities: London, Melbourne, Stockholm, New York, Paris

Age and gender: 94%(!) female between 25-45 years. No news there :)

I hope you found it interesting, I surely did! Congrats for reading all the way down here :)

xx Petra

Some time is freed up!

Hi my dears! So little time to write blog posts omg, how do you guys do it?!

I just wanted to say that Clara who is working with me in the shop has started on two days a week (and Tilde one day), so I have more time now to take on clients! It's so much fun and I think I want to do it more and more :) There are so many great ideas out there, and so many lovely folks that reaches out. So if you are one of them that needs a little help with your business, please contact me on petra.gardefjord@gmail.com! Before the summer we have a few one-to-one spaces. Check out the Business Aid Menu here! Or we can always custom make something for you, many are combining two or three of the Aid solutions. 

I'm working on so many posts here but I never finish them *sigh* But soon!

Have a lovely day!

xx

Petra

Quick 5 - Elena Holmberg, CINK

I first met Elle in the south of Sweden on a girl weekend we did together with our mutual friend Ullis . Our goal for the trip was to just hang out, drink wine, read magazines and enjoy the beautiful scenery, and well, sleep really! Elle didn't seem very happy with her work situation and she felt a bit suffocated I think. We talked about the pros of being self employed and the freedom it gave us, Ullis and myself. We started to brainstorm about new products, where was there a gap in the baby and toddler market? And we found it. CINK was born!

Elle was really inspired by the conversations we had during those days. I gave her more meet on her bones by telling her where to search and literally where to begin. The 1-year journey started. She invested a lot of money and hard work. And headaches. I tried to be there for business support all the way through, and Ullis as that important believing  friend that we all need. And look where she is today! I'm so immensely proud of her, she really proved that anything is possible. What a success story! 

  • Family: Elena 35 years, Patrik 36 years, Jack 5 years and Dante 2 years!

 

When was the biggest wow-moment for your brand?!

Every little step on the way has been a wow-moment. Holding the first sample in my hand, opening up the web shop, getting my first retailer request. But I think the biggest wow was when Family Living featured Cink as one of the most important Scandinavian designs this year. That made me feel really proud.

What do you love most about a new week?

This is probably the first time in my life I am actually longing for Mondays. Since I have promised myself to always put family first I really try to put business aside during weekends even though it’s really hard since I love what I do. Opening up my computer on Mondays and starting the week with packing new orders, answering emails and dig into all the other tasks gives me the biggest kick of energy!

Have you hit any obstacles along the way, what happened?

Oh my! What obstacles have I not ran in to! Getting the products right has been the absolutely hardest part. It’s been a lot of back and forward with the manufacturing and also trying to find the most eco-friendly way for my business has been difficult. We still have a long way to go but I’m trying to remind myself that I have only just started and all these parts will eventually fall into place.

What would be the last part of your work you would delegate to someone else?!

I really have difficulties delegating any of it :) I’m a total control freak and want to learn every part of running a business before I delegate it to someone else. But the creative part and the customer contact is something that I will probably hold on to forever since this is the core of the business.

Do you feel that you can be a successful business owner and still have time for the family?

Absolutely! The whole reason why I wanted to start my own business was because I wanted more control over my own life and more time with my family. Seeing my kids 2 hours per day after coming home from work made me really depressed. I still work a lot, probably even more then before, but now I can choose my own working hours. And most importantly this journey has made me so happy and content with my life that I feel I am a much better parent now, having the energy and patience that I was lacking before.

But my goal with all this has never been to get rich. That dream would probably have been more difficult to combine with more family time. This is something that works for me and my family and I am so happy I dared to take a leap of faith to try out my dream!

Skärmavbild 2018-03-23 kl. 09.29.25.png
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 All photos by Ulrika Nihlén

All photos by Ulrika Nihlén

The Business Aid Menu - what is it?

So I've had many requests to post the menu of my business aids here. At the moment I'm very busy with ten clients (feels kind of max since I also run a shop haha!) but please email me so I can put you on the list if you are interested! They have various length to them and the shorter ones are definitely possible to squeeze in very soon. 

To tell you little bit more about how it all works I'll start by saying that many of my clients start by choosing small because they have a small business and a tight budget. But pretty much always ends up wanting to go further or to add another meeting. It's just something about getting that individual help and support, it's so cheering and quite unique. And in the long run it's worth the money for sure! So here are the 4 different choices:

 

Aid #1 - the ten Q&As

Are you a bit stuck, or lost in the business jungle? Do you need a quick fix?

To help you continue on your destined path I will take the time and answer your top 10 questions you have for your business, (or planned business) via email. It can be anything really; how to work with the visual, what platform is best suited for your webshop, should you aim big or small..? And so on

After the initial 10 answers, we will discuss them until you feel satisfied with the help. If you have further questions, you can start over with a new 10. 

€100 / 1000 SEK

 

Aid #2 - the visual (perfect for IG peeps)

Are you looking for a more in-depth help and overall visual consulting? Is Instagram and Pinterest your main marketing tools?

We will, via email and / or Skype, go through your visual obstacles. How you can best present your product or ideas, what mood are you looking for and who inspires you. I believe ni the possibility to sell anything with the right visual presentation. Make it your own!

After the initial email conversations, we can also add a 30mins Skype call if we feel the urge to talk more freely.

€150 / 1500 SEK

 

Aid #3 - the breakfast meeting (this one has been very popular)

Do you live in Stockholm or nearby? Maybe planning to visit? I love a good breakfast and a chat in this beautiful city.

We meet up and talk about your business and ideas for a whole 2 hours. How to move forward and what to think about when planning the next step. A very casual way of making a lot of progress. Breakfast is on me!

We will follow up for the next 4 weeks visa email or a second shorter meeting if needed.

€200 / 2000 SEK

 

Aid #4 - the full monty (hard not to pick this one!)

Are you completely stuck?

We will sit down several times over a 2 months period (physical meeting/Skype/email) and work on your brand profile, your Instagram feed, your photo skills, your website and other important pieces in your puzzle. We will together make it work and by the end of these two months, people will know who you are! It's the ultimate individual coaching!

Price on request

 

Of course available in Swedish too since that's my first language!

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Quick 5 - Barb Bruno, Tinycottons

One company that I've followed closely since the beginning is the incredibly successful Tinycottons. Its owner and founder Barbara Bruno is a dear friend of mine (she is the loveliest girl) and many years ago we even did a collaboration together! She really impresses me, with that big family and all

It all started from the home of Barbara and Gerard in 2013 in Barcelona. Barb shares with me; "during 1 and a half year we worked there, we changed website 4 times, we changed our couriers 5 times , we hired many and fired a few, we moved the office 3 times, we worked with one supplier at the beginning and now we have more than 12! We have 5 Tinycottons concept stores in spain. We started with sizing 0-24 months, and now we have 0-10y, plus women, plus body, plus collabs, plus basics!" What a journey!

  • Family: Gerard and Barbara, Cruz 16, Cata 15, Greg 10, and Vincent 6 months

When was the biggest wow moment for your brand?!

Every week I have some wow and little wows, could be anything or everything, but to be honest my big surprise was in NYC when someone from Puma came to talk to me in a fair, and asked would you be interested in a collab with Puma? Worldwide? For a few seasons! I was really shocked and extremely happy, a big company like Puma, looking into our very tiiiiiny brand, I thought this is the way, good done tiny team!

What do you love most about a new week?

Hehehe, I like that for me is always different, I hate routines in general, I know this is not a plus, but someway I have the job I always dreamt about, everyday is so different, every week is a new thing, our tight calendars hit my face everytime (because of that fobia to the routine) but I have such a great team, and I'm so thankful for that, without them this company would be impossible. I also enjoy to work with my husband, is something everyone ask, and yes, we like it! We love what we do!

Have you hit any obstacles along the way, what happened?

You always have obstacles, this journey its not easy, but when I say I can’t do it anymore, I always remember how far you can go with your ideas and hard work, so the answer is, working and working, and working … no secret. (also surround yourself with good people, good persons, that understand your way of doing things, and share your dreams in someway)

What would be the last part of your work you would delegate to someone else?!

Probably, the finances, I love the holistic thought about doing business, but the finances part, it's the worst … hehe! When you start with only one employee you need to do everything, so I'm used to delegate since the beginning, overtime we hired someone, I delegated a part of my own work, but now the finances are the last thing to delegate. 

Do you feel that you can be a successful business owner and still have time for the family?

Sometimes I feel not, but I try to do my best at both, the weekends or the evenings, very late we spend quality time together. I really enjoy traveling everybody together, and that's the best thing you can give your kids, to know the world together, to be tolerant, to share your values, be a good person is a must, and enjoy all the cultures is the best thing to feed your soul!

 

Thank you gorgeous Barb for the chat! xx

 

 

 Barb in her office!

Barb in her office!

 SS18 Tinycottons

SS18 Tinycottons