A few weeks ago while chatting with Candace Read, she mentioned that she had lost a good friend in the process of building a following and pursuing a career in blogging, which got us thinking about how creative professionals talk to their friends and families about their work. Do you try to explain the intricacies of the Instagram community, or why you choose to share the details of your life with total strangers? Does your mom refer to your wildly successful blog as your “little hobby”? Is it easier when you surround yourself with fellow creators who “get it”?
We asked, you answered. Here’s what 9 creators had to say.
“I'm a travel blogger. Older people (grandparents and even my in-laws) cannot grasp the concept of making money online by 'just taking some pictures on holiday and putting them on the internet'. Also a lot of friends refer to it as 'getting things for free' but fail to see how much work one has to put in it :) I also see that many of my acquaintances are somehow inspired and become a temporary ‘wanna-be travel blogger’ when they do go on that 1 holiday per year. They even suddenly start to write captions in English for 2 weeks!”
- Ben, Belgian travel blogger at Ben Goes Places.
“I’m in the lifestyle parenting niche [on Instagram] and people are always asking me about what I do. I just tell them I'm a product photographer, or that I do advertising for different businesses.”
-Jaclyn of @Jaclynhuber
“Most people think I'm just not wanting to work a ‘regular’ job and think it's just a hobby. I got criticism for it until I told the critics how much I make on average per month. Then they suddenly supported me. The support from others didn't come in until I was making $1200/month. Older family members still don't understand and still don't know why I no longer work as a retail manager or just focus 100% on being a SAHM (stay at home mom). It's like there's no in between idea that could possibly be worthy to them.
I decided in most cases to then talk about the benefits of the job, like being able to work from home and how it's helped with my PTSD recovery, and my daughter gets to do things like gymnastics which we otherwise couldn't afford if I was just a SAHM. That was sometimes a more tangible idea for them to understand, but most would still consider it a fun hobby that had zero stress. lol!”
-Amanda Foresee of Home By Foresee
“I'm a full time kindergarten teacher by day and an internationally recognized hand embroidery artist by night. I have almost 30k Instagram followers and bring in a good chunk of money for my family every month, but my family still refers to what I do as a ‘hobby’ or ‘your little shop’.
I tend to not talk about my business or Instagram with family/friends unless asked, because nobody really understands it or appreciates the work it takes to make it happen. I have a few supportive co-workers but the people that tend to be the most supportive and understanding are fellow influencers. When I hit a milestone or something great happens, I want to celebrate, and often find that nobody I know ‘IRL’ understands my excitement.”
-Erin McMom of Erin McMom Stitches and Patterns
“I'm kind of waiting to make substantial money per month to tell them... Haha. I am basically waiting for success before I dare tell them. But they know I have a blog and I love travel photography... they just don't think I have the intention of living from it.”
- Chloe of Universal Tongues
“Most people have told me to get a 'real job' just because influencing and being a blogger isn't that common yet, but my family has been super supportive. I did lose a few friends, but clearly, they weren't meant to be, and I also made new ones! It's a job like any other and those who don't accept it need to sod off basically :)”
-Shelley Morecroft of Shelley Morecroft: A Petite Fashion Blog
“I have a full-time career which I juggle with the photography/influencer stuff that I do. Friends and family usually are really excited about what I do on the side and are very supportive. Some of my friends often brag to other people about what I do. Had I been doing only this and didn’t have a full-time career, maybe they would be less understanding, unless the money I made spoke for itself.
Even [the people at] my work [are] very supportive about what I do on the side, lots of the directors and VPs follow me on social media. The challenge for me is having enough time to do both haha.”
-Tudor Stanescu of Legion X Studios
“I'm a full time photographer, which includes designing and maintaining an active social media and blog presence. My family doesn't understand, and I have a difficult time educating them. I've been told I don't work. And because I'm on social media frequently I've been told by my MIL that I have an addiction. However, they don't use the platform nor do they allow me to educate them on how it's marketing. When I started gaining a larger following I saw many of my friends/family unfollow me. It can be discouraging. Sometimes my husband even struggles to accept the changes. But when he sees the impact my work has and that I'm actually making money, then he's more supportive. At least I have him.
I believe unless they actually work through the complete process and see the results then they won't truly understand. And they have to be open to being educated-- actually interested, which most people aren't. I've had family ask me [about it] and when I start to explain what I do and how it works, they eventually change the subject. My family and most of my friends couldn't even tell you my web address. So I don't talk to them about it, unless I sense a sincere genuine interest. Otherwise it's just disheartening.”
-Ashley Nicole of Ashley Nicole Wedding Photography and Blog
What has your experience been like when talking to friends and family? Email me at sarah[at]snapfluence.com and tell me your story!
Photo credit: Unsplash
Creative Community Developer at Snapfluence.
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