Sponsored Posts, Authentic Growth on Instagram & Balancing a Growing Fashion Blog with Claudia of @miles.and.smiles

Sponsored Posts, Authentic Growth on Instagram & Balancing a Growing Fashion Blog with Claudia of @miles.and.smiles

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Jenna Redfield is the leader of the Twin Cities Collective, the largest resource in the Twin Cities for bloggers, small business, entrepreneurs & creatives.

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The Twin Cities Collective Podcast with Jenna Redfield

Each week, host Jenna Redfield will be sharing tips about marketing your brand, small business or blog! She will also interview Twin Cities based creatives, entrepreneurs, small business owners & bloggers about life, business, and of course, all things local! Makes sure to subscribe and follow us on our website www.twincitiescollective.com for more information. This podcast is recorded at Studio Americana at Studio Cowork in Golden Valley

Hey guys, what's up? It's your girl Jenna here and I am here with a very special guests here at the unsuspected podcast Miss Claudia Camargo. She is a blogger, blogger and creator at smiles miles and smile. So how you doing? Hi, good. How are you? Jenna? Good. I think I got all that. Yeah, true. I don't know. It's a lot to lot to remember. But yeah, so you are a fashion blogger mostly correct.

Claudia Camargo Torres 1:28

fashion and beauty and lifestyle.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 1:30

Okay, cool. So tell us your story. How did you get started blogging.

Claudia Camargo Torres 1:33

Um, so I started blogging, it was really a way of coping at the time, I was in a long distance relationship with my husband, hence the name. So miles and miles came because I was just having a tough time. And I figured, okay, well, I'm going through this journey, might as well make the best of it and help anybody out there that is probably going through the same. So that's how it started more about like relationships and how to deal with the distance and like creative ideas of like staying connected. And, you know, that's kind of like how this started. And then we close the distance. And I figured I by that point, already had like, 1000 followers on Instagram. So I was like, I don't really want to close it. People obviously, like, some of the things that I have. So I figured let me just branch out into what's going on in my life. And I know it's been successful people like it. So

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 2:22

yeah. So when did you start the blog was a few years ago.

Claudia Camargo Torres 2:26

Yeah, I started about almost three years ago. Okay.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 2:30

Yeah. So what platform Can I ask, did you use or do use? Are you still using the same,

Claudia Camargo Torres 2:35

I'm still using the same one, I started on blogger because I just really liked the Google products. Like I have my Google Drive. I haven't read my Gmail, I bought the G Suite for you know, now I that I like, made it more formal, more of a business. Like I bought the G suede and like, just everything lives in Google. So I figure blogger makes sense. So that's where my blog, I know. So you kind of started around the time when Instagram was the way to promote your blog. Has that been like the main source for you for promoting it? Or? Absolutely, I think though, that's absolutely my strongest platform. Although I don't entirely rely on it. I feel like a lot of bloggers think that, or they call themselves like, Instagram bloggers, like, I get it. I respect that if that's what you like. But I feel like being part of that platform that somebody else, somebody else has control of it, like with the algorithm and like, you're not exactly like you don't know, who's going to see your posts. I feel like creating your own platform is so important. I love Instagram. And that's like, that has been a great, a great way for me to grow. But I feel like my blog is always home, you know? Yeah,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 3:43

for sure. And I know a lot of people have come on the podcast have said that to that, you know, you have to have that other platform. Do you have any other social media that you use? Or is it mostly Instagram?

Claudia Camargo Torres 3:53

I use Facebook a lot. I feel like it has grown organically. And a lot of the brands that I've partner with, I also have found that my following like I just being connected. Is this a more organic way? I feel like because on Facebook, you can I don't know if you can, can you buy like followers?

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 4:12

No, I've never liked I think you can, but I don't think it's that popular everything. Yeah, because I feel follower count on Facebook isn't as big of a deal as it is on Instagram. And Twitter, probably.

Claudia Camargo Torres 4:23

Yeah, I guess, to me has been like I've struggled growing it, but I enjoy posting on it for some reason. So it's been growing. I mean, three years has been I mean, I'm like 500 followers there, which is not a lot, but I like it.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 4:37

I think that Facebook, it's the same with Instagram algorithm kind of affects who even sees you rose, do you end up doing any sponsored content? Like do you do any Facebook ads for the brands that you work with?

Claudia Camargo Torres 4:51

I don't they sometimes they request me to make them not admins of the page by like you can give him access to just the advertising platform. Gotcha. And so they can bump the post, they have done it a couple of times for me. And I have done some personal promotions. But it's been for like, local giveaways. So I did a giveaway for the color run back in summer for the Twin Cities. So because they gave me some tickets, and they wanted me they wanted to partner up with the blog. So I put some money behind it because I figured more people can see it. That way you paid up well for me. But I've heard that a lot of people don't really love to do it just because they don't see enough results. So yeah, I think it's you have to have a very specific strategy behind it.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 5:36

Yeah, for sure. And I think what's interesting about boosting versus like an ad is that I think boosting only shows it to your followers. Is that correct? I don't know if you know,

Claudia Camargo Torres 5:45

I know. It's the same. Is it the same? Yeah. Okay. The same.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 5:48

I don't know. I've just heard what's interesting with like, the ads though, is you can kind of target your you know, who you want. And know that you can do that with with boosting. It's not really as much in control. I feel like

Claudia Camargo Torres 5:58

Yeah, and I feel like Facebook, for example, when you you do a paid campaign, as in like boosting or doing an ad. I love how hyper targeted you get like, yeah, so I was doing I did one for myself. And it was about doing a giveaway for like newlyweds. And you could like Target like, friends of your friends that are they just got engaged. Like, like, That's

Unknown Speaker 6:25


Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 6:26

I know that there. I was talking to someone who works in real estate. And it's like, you can basically tell when someone's about to move. Yeah, you can use like, oh, all of a sudden they started liking realtor pages. And they started liking home pages. Kind of

Unknown Speaker 6:41


Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 6:42

Well, cuz you work for target. Right. So I know that target does. I don't know if you do work in any of the marketing side of that, or?

Claudia Camargo Torres 6:48

Yeah, so you know, I'm not the creative part. But I see a lot of like the market. Yeah.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 6:53

Because I know they probably are really good at that. Because they have to target like who you know, who likes whatever pages and then they kind of target that.

Claudia Camargo Torres 7:00

Yeah, there. I mean, the third target, so yeah.

Unknown Speaker 7:04

So how did you get your job there?

Claudia Camargo Torres 7:06

Um, so I used to work at an advertising agency target was our client and I just loved the brand so much. They actually reach me through LinkedIn. Oh, which is I just they found me which is crazy, because I already had that background with them. But they he was a different recruiter from a completely cheating. No, I existed and she found me through LinkedIn. And that's how that job So

Unknown Speaker 7:29

how long have

Claudia Camargo Torres 7:30

you been there? No. A year and four months. Okay. Yeah. And you like it? Oh, I love it. Yeah, it's very different. This is my first corporate job. So just very different. I've always been like in smaller places. Yeah. But

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 7:43

so what do you do there? Like what is your day to day look like?

Claudia Camargo Torres 7:46

Um, so I'm an art director, I create basically the look and feel for the campaign. So target just launched the universal threads one of their new brands, which is the denim brand so I created I did the photoshoot, I cast, I create I create what I long with a team obviously, I just met but so yeah, it's really fun. I need also helps me for the blog, you know, because I get to see all like, the trends that are coming up and all like the styling and he gives me ideas of like, how I can do you know how to I can do so good creating, like, flat lace. Yeah, so I'm learning a lot from that. So it's, like, my job helps my blog too. Yeah,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 8:22

for sure. And I feel like Do you ever get burnt out though, by being creative all the time? I feel like I wouldn't know. Really. Okay. I just feel like I would like use all my energy up at work and then be like, I don't want to do this again. You know, I

Claudia Camargo Torres 8:33

don't because I feel like with the blog, I get, I'm free to do whatever you prefer, I do lighting, I edit the photos, I'm everything so I can it's even more creativity and more like what I want it to be versus target like I have to go through approvals and and I just do apart and other people do photography or their people. So my blog is like my own production pretty much.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 8:56

Yeah, I actually went to a event where somebody worked with target to create a line How long does it take to actually get from like the idea to the actual like,

Claudia Camargo Torres 9:05

oh, man, like, yeah, like a year, not year? Yeah, yeah.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 9:08

Cuz I know. We had a Jenny on she works at Target to she's a copywriter. And then she was on the podcast, and she helped with the, the heart and heart or whatever. Yeah, she doesn't know. Yeah. Yeah. So she worked on that. So I thought that was interesting. That, you know, she was telling me like, how, like, I don't know, I'm just never I've never worked in corporate either. Like, I don't quite know how it works. And it's very interesting. It's very

Claudia Camargo Torres 9:33

different. Yeah. And being the only Latina it's also very different.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 9:38

Is it in the HR department? Or in the whole?

Claudia Camargo Torres 9:41

Yeah, in the creative department? Yeah. So I mean, 200 creative. Whoa.

Unknown Speaker 9:47

Yeah. Wow, that's surprising.

Claudia Camargo Torres 9:48

It is. Wow. Huh. But I feel like a pioneer, you know, yeah, so much being the first one, like, I have ground to grow so much faster than a lot of people just because of my background. So

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 9:58

yeah, well, it also like allows you to look at it from a different perspective, you know, people that speak Spanish or people that are, you know, from different parts of the country to, you know, and what kind of fashion they like, and I don't know if it's different? I don't know.

Claudia Camargo Torres 10:13

Absolutely, because I just did like the holiday campaign. And one thing that I kept reminding them is like, hey, like people in Miami or in LA don't have snow coats, they don't. So we need to keep in mind, like how we die, or either we do something separated from them. So because they don't think about things, which is most

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 10:31

I was wondering this because I know that there are fashion designers in all, you know, mostly in the Twin Cities. So are a lot of them from other places, or is it just kind of like Minnesota fashion? Like,

Unknown Speaker 10:42

I'm not? I'm not?

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 10:45

You're not?

I'm not

Claudia Camargo Torres 10:46

that separate?

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 10:48

I'm just I'm just curious if like some of them are like from New York and LA. And I'm just curious if they're the ones that keep up with the trends, or if it's just local fashion designers.

Claudia Camargo Torres 10:59

Now. I'm pretty sure they I mean, they go they travel a lot. Yeah, like, for this universal thread brand. They traveled to Japan, and they didn't take

Unknown Speaker 11:07

them to mobile. Gotcha. Okay,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 11:09

cool. Well, that's, that's really interesting. So you so you've been doing this blog, and you've started monetizing, correct? Yes. So how did that get started? At what point did you start taking on brands and starting to sponsor? Um,

Claudia Camargo Torres 11:22

so I think I started when I was about 2000 followers. And, Okay, first, let me say that monetizing it's a very different journey for everyone. And I don't think I'm very open with my rates, whenever anybody wants to know, hey, how much you charge reduce, I don't have any problem, say talk about it. But I think it's a very different journey for each person, because, for example, I have a full time job. So blogging is not my main source of income when I know a lot of bloggers that that's their full time job. And they depend on that money to like pay for rent, so a lot of things. So obviously, they would pay, they would charge a lot more for a blog post, where my rates are a little lower, just because this is my hobby that happens to give me money, which is like the best of both worlds. Yeah, but I just before I talk anything about monetization, I wanted to make sure that like, people understand it is like a different journey for every prison and whatever you feel comfortable with doing. So

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 12:20

yeah. So is that kind of your end goal is to eventually become full time, or do you still not right now,

Claudia Camargo Torres 12:27

okay. Like, I like my job. My job though, and I like my career. And it's blogging just happened. And I enjoy it a lot. And I feel like when if I do it my full time thing, then it starts becoming a chore. And I know, it's just like, whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it, even though like it's important to stay consistent, obviously, for growth, but I don't know not for now.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 12:48

Yeah. So so I think you came and spoke at our Instagram growth workshop last week. And you mentioned how much time you spend on it. So how can you explain how much you spent you spend nights and weekends? Yeah, when

Claudia Camargo Torres 13:00

I go home, I mean, pretty much what we're doing right now. Like I get up and work and I come to the ER, I go home, I write a blog post weekends, I I'm thankful that my husband is also my photographer, so but weekends we shoot, I edited photos, I write blog posts, and then within the week days has also become just kind of like meeting people. I since I moved to Minnesota, I made it a point to grow locally. Because we're not in a global city. So if I was in New York, if I was in LA, it's a very different story. Because it feels like brands already kind of like gravitate to those those tours, those CDs. Whereas here what the hub for dummies was Chicago, so I figure Okay, I'm gonna be in Minneapolis, connecting locally and growing locally. I feel like it's so much more important for me, I made it a goal. And I think I'm accomplishing it. I was looking at my analytics recently for Instagram and Minneapolis, one of my top cities. Yeah, just because I've put so much effort into connecting and to connect into local businesses, local brands. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 14:05


Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 14:06

is it harder for local brands to understand working with influencers? Then maybe bigger brands?

Claudia Camargo Torres 14:14

Yes, I feel like in the Twin Cities is just still such a new concept that they don't, it's there, they're eager to work with you, but they don't know. Yeah. So a lot of the things that I've had to do is kind of like educate whenever I work directly with the brand, because I also work with a couple PR agencies. So there's a middleman. But when I work directly with the brand, or the local businesses, like I have to explain to them and I I want to make sure that they're happy with the outcome and that I'm happy and that I were both in a good, comfortable place where we won't move forward. I've also made it a point to do long term relationships. I don't I don't like to do one offs, partnerships, because I feel like that comes out as not authentic. And if it's like, I'm just doing it for the money. It doesn't make sense and translates it can be like people pick up

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 15:01

on it. Yeah, I've seen some ads lately that I'm like, bear really must be desperate for money. Because this I just don't see them. Yeah. So how do you decide what what brand works for you? Um,

Claudia Camargo Torres 15:15

I don't know, whatever makes sense in my life. So

right now I got a dog two months ago, I adopted a rescue dog. His name is Milo. And I want to do a lot more dog content just because that's what's happening in my life. He's important. So I'm leveraging a couple of like local partnerships with local brands. Because I feel like guess I could go to Pittsburgh, go to Petco for those partnerships, but there's so many great local businesses that we can create, like an actual real relationship as as businesses, so I feel that's where I

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 15:53

kind of privacy really good to know that, you know, you have that passion, a new passion that you're trying to connect with local people that, you know, you might be the perfect person for them. Because you local influencer, like dogs, you know, for Yeah, yeah.

Claudia Camargo Torres 16:06

And I, I feel like I bring kind of like, since I've moved a lot, and I lived in Florida, I live in Maryland, I lived in Texas. And I bringing that background too, because kind of helped me to help local businesses understand influencer

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 16:19

marketing, for sure. Because I think that it's not as big here as it is in other places. Have you found that? Yes.

Claudia Camargo Torres 16:27

But then that also, I feel like it has damaged a little bit in the sense that a lot of influencers and bloggers are doing content for free? Or, again, that depends. I do a lot of content. It depends on the brand. It depends how much I love the brand. But I can kind of do names, right? Sure. I know, I just heard about this case. And it didn't happen to me. They didn't reach out to me, but Johnny pops popsicles, where we reaching out to influencers for and they would send them a coupon for like a box of obstacles, which is what like for 99 and then asking people to post on Instagram, I would never do that my time is more valuable than $5. So and the brand is like it's fine, but I'm not like super passionate about. Yeah, so it depends,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 17:16

I think, yeah, and I, I've talked to people lately about how the 10 cities, in general isn't used to paying for things just in general, like people like to get things for free. That includes everyone, not just brands, but also, you know, bloggers want things for free to you know, and it's like trying to figure out what is the worth of follow on Instagram, you know, and I feel like it's definitely changed with Instagram, it's like is, you know, what, what is the value of an Instagram person? You know? And I, how do you figure that out? Like, how did you find you don't have to name like, numbers, but how did you figure out how much your posts are worth or whatever was sponsored.

Claudia Camargo Torres 17:57

I started really low because I didn't know so one. One Agency that I work with, for Instagram, only school, social, native and social native, they found me I don't know how they found me. And they started offering me $25. So okay, so at that point, when I started, I was like, yeah, sure, it's extra money, like

Unknown Speaker 18:14

other you have before.

Claudia Camargo Torres 18:18

But as time went by, and I started I remember I did I compete with Uber and an Uber really love my pose. They really love how I laid it out. And then they they asked me, they wanted to use it for Mother's Day. Then they wanted to hire us. And that's where I was like, okay, what's your budget, like you already paid me for it is $25. But I don't feel like it's fair that you also because I have the marketing backer, and I know what, what type of money goes into these photo shoots for a corporation. So I know that they could have been like, Hey, here's 50 bucks, like, it's not that big of a deal for them. And they didn't want to be ended. So I didn't send the photo. And I know I may be damaged that relationship. But I also feel like it's not fair. Like I will do the pose for $25. And then moving on, I just felt like, is it where it's like, I have to do the lighting. I'm sweating. I'm styling. I'm like all the things and then it just like, Is it worth doing for $25? And I still do it sometimes because I love the brands. But I just I kept breathing and just asking to other bloggers, I feel like there's a huge taboo that you can talk about. I feel totally comfortable talking about it. Like, I would ask my friends, hey, I'm not sure how much to charge. And they would tell me kind of like a ballpark. And again, it's whatever you feel comfortable. I know bloggers that charge like 1600 dollars for one, which I mean, but they have like 100 Yeah, that's true.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 19:45

That was important. Do you think it depends on how many followers you have? Yeah. And also how engaged they are? Is that something that a lot of brands ask you about, like your engagement? Or do they actually do the research?

Claudia Camargo Torres 19:55

I think they do their research, they already have so many like,

tools that they can already know if your engagement is real or not. So again, it's true.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 20:03

Yeah, cuz we the first time we met, which was when we were talking about the workshop, what you we talked about how we hate fake followers, I guess not a good thing. And I've promoted that since I started. I'm like, you know what, you have to build your authentic brand, because it'll backfire on you. If you people find out your fake followers. Right?

Claudia Camargo Torres 20:21

Right. And I don't know if you remember a couple years ago when Instagram to clean up. And a lot of people went down to like 10 followers, and when they were like in 100,000 followers is like what happened? You don't know if they're going to do that again. And I can, I can see when people buy power. It's like if your content is not good, if your captions are not telling a story, if you're not like you're not even asking questions, we were talking about it ask questions and captions. If you're not then why, why? Why do you have because now you can buy engagement? Yeah. Why do you have people come back, like 500 comments, and you just posted this picture, like an hour ago. But then you go into those comments and is like, a hard or cute pig, or then is a real lady. So

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 21:08

I think well, it's funny I wanted, there's been I found two or three accounts locally where I can tell right away, it's fake following. And these people have like 10 k followers, and I'm like, one person at 100 k followers, and had like five likes,

Claudia Camargo Torres 21:24

I was like, Are you kidding me? But brands can see through that. That like even anybody can go into Social Blade calm right now. And like you can put anybody's handle and you can see like, whenever the growth is like, ridiculous, or like the bikes, that means that that they're buying for

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 21:43

sure. Yeah, that's how I, I looked at ours. And it was like, slowly but like, you know, like constantly going up.

Claudia Camargo Torres 21:51

It's time like, I feel like people are just hungry to be so fast, ready to work. And

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 21:57

yeah, I hundred percent agree with that. Because cuz I think people that at least even ones maybe that came to our workshop are like, well, I need like $10 right now. And I'm like, Whoa, it's not going to happen. Like we're not even there yet. We were probably about a month or two away from 10 K, but it's taken us a year and a half to build that. It's not like it came in 30 days, right?

Claudia Camargo Torres 22:17

And it's about finding what works for you and testing out. I don't know why people are like, so they just want to be the same style. Same thing, always. But it's like test out, have fun. Followers test out things ask, do polls, like so many. Nowadays that is like, why do you want to keep doing the same?

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 22:34

What has been your most successful? Like, why do you think your most successful posts have been so successful? blog post or, either.

Claudia Camargo Torres 22:44

So I had a I did a partnership with Tylenol when I recently moved to Minnesota a year ago. And the blog post was about talking about my friends Minnesota winter and getting ready for it. And it was about Tylenol. You know how, like in the winter, you get achy joints because of the cold, so Tylenol will help me with so that was kind of like the way into it. They put money behind it. So they boosted it on their channels. And I had around 25,000 visitors to though oppose. So that was like a really, really big one for me. I really, and I love that partnership, because they they love the content so much as they wanted to put some I'm guessing that it was pretty good money to like, yeah, boost it to 25,000 followers. I mean, sorry, visitors.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 23:28

Yeah, for sure. I'm curious about like the future of influencer marketing. Do you think it's growing? Do you think it's, you know, plateaued? What do you think about that?

Claudia Camargo Torres 23:39

I think it's growing. But I think it's up to us to keep it healthy. You know, I think whenever we keep saying yes to free things, just because we want to be famous. You're hurting the industry. Whenever you're buying followers, you're hurting the industry. Because if you're buying followers and buying engagement, that's okay. But then the brands can see through it. So they start saying so why do we keep putting money behind it? Yeah. So you're just hurting, not just yourself, but like the entire industry. So I feel like that's why I am so adamant about it. And I will say it forever, like if you buy followers, you're just hurting everyone.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 24:18

And I think that some brands also buy followers. I don't know if you've seen that we're really yeah, where, like, I'm not gonna name names again. But I worked for a company that's like, oh, but we can't we just buy followers. I'm like, No, no, like, that's not, you know, cuz it's like, the reason that you're building the followers is those are actual people that could be potential customers. It's not so much about the numbers. It's more about I

Claudia Camargo Torres 24:45

don't know, a brand because they have millions of followers, because I like their content.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 24:50

Yeah. So if you have all these fake followers, what's the point of them besides your cloud? Or you're like, you know, that there's no lilium? nothing beyond that.

Claudia Camargo Torres 25:00

Yeah, I know a lot of celebrities do it. They probably don't need it, but they're still so

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 25:07

I can I can see why. Like they want to fake it till they make it I guess or something. But I don't know if you saw the button to see the bow challenge. I never notice. So little bow. He's a rapper, he posted this photo where he looked like he was getting on a private jet. And then

Unknown Speaker 25:23

somebody else was on cool. Yeah, yeah.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 25:24

Yeah. So it's just like interesting that people post content that like makes them seem better than they are, which I think is interesting. So so for you, you you do all your own photo shoots with you say your husband's a photographer. So how does that work? Do you come up with the ideas? Or how do you just kind of the creative director of your own blog? Yeah,

Claudia Camargo Torres 25:43

yeah. And I've also been out with some local photographer, they reach out to me, and I love their photography. So we partner up. Yeah, but I come up with the ideas just about like, whatever is happening. I'm not really good at planning. So like, I am not the kind of present. I'm like, Valentine's is coming. So I need to do this. Just is just kind of like in the spur of the moment. Whatever. I feel good. Again, it's just, it's my form of expression. And I don't I don't I hate doing gift guides. Like that's my pet peeve. I get why bloggers do it. But well, you don't have to do an edit. I mean, you get commissions out of whatever products you post there. But I just don't have the time

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 26:22

to work together. Oh, yes. So do you? How often do you post them on? So like, on the blog, and then also on Instagram,

Claudia Camargo Torres 26:29

and Instagram, I try to do it daily. And then on the blog, and the blog is about once a week. Okay, but lately, it's been a little bit less because I've been busy. But yeah,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 26:38

do post on a specific day? Or have you found one to be better?

Claudia Camargo Torres 26:42

Um, yeah, I tried to look on my analytics to whatever it they like more. I focus a lot on my Instagram, because I've seen that a lot of my traffic to the blog comes from Instagram, like the swipe up thing. So I focus it on whatever Instagram is the best time the best day to post so.

And times I kind of do it like evenings and I do it Wednesdays, or Mondays. Those are kind of like my peak days. Do you think that's I don't know if that's true for you? Or is that? Do you think that'd be true for everyone? Mondays? and Wednesdays? Or is it just I don't know, I wouldn't say that for me for my hours.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 27:17

So we talked about this a little bit the workshop. And that's like looking at your analytics. So how often do you check that? And how often does that impact what you put out to the world? Um, I'm obsessed with no,

Claudia Camargo Torres 27:29

I I'm trying to get better at Google Analytics. Like they're a much more accurate and I think all you need a quick Have you ever have a workshop about I will totally part of it. Because I still have a hard time understanding some of those things. The terminologies is so weird sometimes. But I try to do my blogger analytics, even though it's not as accurate, but it gives me an idea of sort of like the behavior. I also there is this influencer network, I guess it's called for FOHR. Okay, for guard. And they provide you with analytics, once you connect to your Google Analytics, they get down to like what your followers like so are they into music? Are they into fashion? So that's how I tried to plan out my content around is they What do they like? What would it just gives you so much detail and I really haven't liked and so I i obsess about them?

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 28:30

Yeah, because I think some people don't even look at that, you know, when they're posting and it's kind of crazy. Yeah, I'm, I'm really an Alex too. But I sometimes tend to get too much into it. So I gotta,

Claudia Camargo Torres 28:41

you gotta like us. Yeah. And I like more analytics. Dan. I don't get a lot of comments on my blog.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 28:48

People don't anymore, but I

Claudia Camargo Torres 28:49

right. Like they're just people are lazy. They don't want to comment. They don't want to comment. They probably gave your article that they really love. You said but or a minute or something. But I just feel like common. Yeah,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 29:00

we've talked about that a few times on the podcast, but also in the Facebook group. We've talked about a lot because we do you know, Wednesday blog post promo, and more and more people are doing Instagram posts instead of blog posts, because it's a comment thread. And they just know that no one's going to comment on their blog post, but they'll comment on the Instagram post about that blog post. So hopefully, if they go to the Instagram posts, they'll click the link and go to the blog. But it's just so much harder to go from Instagram to your blog posts. You know, so many stellar clicks. Yeah, I mean, that's that's one thing about Instagram. I'm like, dang Instagram. I wish you could have the link in the caption.

Unknown Speaker 29:35

Yeah. And I think it's coming.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 29:39

Well, I feel like it's been this way since it started though. So I don't know. Yeah, maybe I think I mean, what Instagram's kind of money hungry. Always. So there may be like, well, brands will jump on board and then we'll change it. Yeah, I don't know. Because it's definitely changed things for brands. I feel like they now you know, can add products in your posts. And then you can you know, get like the Swype thing with Instagram, which is only once you hit 10 k followers. Oh, sorry. Yeah. Which that's why I'm like, so excited to hit 10 K, because I'm like that we can do this type of thing.

Claudia Camargo Torres 30:07

And Joe has me eat helps a lot for Yeah, traffic.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 30:11

Yeah, for sure. Because I'm always like, click the link description. Like, it's a lot more steps for especially like our events, like Swipe up to get tickets for our about, you know, like, that's gonna be so helpful. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Um, but yeah, so like that. Is there any other perks? I haven't had 10 k. so that the only one?

Claudia Camargo Torres 30:29

Not really, because you already have the business route Instagram account, so you get all the analytics to not really that kind of thing.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 30:38

Well, that's good to know, going forward, though. So. So Instagram, and your blog, and your business, and you're trying to manage it also, how what else do you do with your life? Do you

Unknown Speaker 30:51

have the YouTube channel? Yeah,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 30:52

talk about that. So what are you doing there?

Claudia Camargo Torres 30:54

I that started here in Minnesota. And I've been wanting to start a YouTube channel for a while. So it was like one cold winter night about a year ago. I was like, You know what? I'm just going to do yeah. I just do blogs about like, whatever is happening in my life. I did a dinner with strategic social wishes. Yeah. Right. You were there. Yeah. That dinner. I did a blog about it. And it's like so many hits. And like, like a lot of brands. I actually partner up with a lot of brands for that. Night. So okay, local brands, again, talking about how important is local so I partnered up with gem salon in St. Paul. They got me ready. So they did my hair today might make Oh, and then I partnered up with luxury garage sale in a diner. And they dress me well. I mean, I borrow their clothes. Gotcha. So which is a great way to promote Yeah, about because they gave me this like self portrait dress that I think the retail is like 1600 Oh, beautiful. And they lent it to me. I mean, it's great exposure for them. And they make me in the group. And you don't get to

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 32:01

the Oscars. Like they always just went they

Claudia Camargo Torres 32:03

Yeah, they never really buy those games. So that's another way that I've found that it's great to partner up with local brands, when not they not necessarily have the ability to give stuff away. But if you really love their stuff, I don't mind just borrowing. They made me look beautiful for one evening. So I am definitely partnering up again. And then another brand for Miami send me shoes. So I included them and I gave them video time and I talked about them and I talked them and I put their link in the description. So anyway, so channel has been just a fun thing and just buying I bought a new camera for it. Specifically just for the blogs. Because I used to have the SLR and it's just too heavy to edit.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 32:46

What kind of camera do now for the blind bought the Canon g7 x Mark? Yes, my to my list? Yeah, a lot of lawyers use my life. I know it's changed my life. I do well, because I do I do monthly blog for just like all my life. And I do it in like a montage way. But I use my phone

Claudia Camargo Torres 33:04

because it's like always with me I can i think is such a great investment. And I like any other equipment for a blog. Like I think buying a dealer is important. buying the camera for two blogs is important. And buying a mic is important. Like all these things that you look at it as an investment and he does pay off like for me paid off so fast. Within a couple Yeah,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 33:24

for sure. I mean, I, you know, used to do video professionally. That was like I did weddings and stuff. But now I'm just doing it for fun. So it's just definitely changed. Because I'm like not making like any money as much doing it because it's just for fun. But so for people that are starting out in like blogging, what do you recommend they invest in, like a DSR? Or should they wait for that and start with their phone or whatever,

Claudia Camargo Torres 33:46

um, I would just buy it off the bat, like just rip off the band aid with you will get your money back i i hundred percent tell you like because brands want content, they want good quality content that they can report. Yeah. So that's what you want, you want to create the type of content that a brand would be proud enough to put money behind her. So a de SLR is very important. And then also invest in like your branding. So yeah, hire a graphic designer, I just happened to be a graphic designer myself. So I do my did my logos I yoga, but hire a graphic designer, if you're not, you don't know how to use those tools get a great logo. I've seen so many awful logos. Like why? What else investing in a template, a good template for your blog, I think it's so important. I just rebranded this year was actually last year I rebranded and it's it's not that expensive. It's not a template, or anything like $17 I know it's kind of a headache to set it. Yeah. But it's a good investment. And

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 34:53

I think I think over time, I've invested more into my blog, which then became my business. There's little things like, you know, getting a branded email, you mentioned that, you know, you know, five bucks a month for G sweet. And then there's reporting

Claudia Camargo Torres 35:09

just makes you look more like

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 35:10

yeah, and then like another thing I invested in is like light room, 10 bucks a month, you know, things like that, where it's like little investments, but it's like, I'll pay for Canada Pro, which is, you know, an online graphic editor, but I use those all the time. So it's like, for me, it makes sense. It's worth it. I was looking at the Facebook group the other day, and somebody asked about, you know, trying to start for free. And it's like, it's very hard to start a blog for free these days, you know, like without having to invest any money in it. But, you know, because I think even if spending 100 $200 to get it up and going it

Claudia Camargo Torres 35:44

doesn't look as professional. Yeah, you have to look at it like, well, I don't hate when people don't pay for their domain. Oh, yeah. I agree with you guys. If IZ website that is.is. Just. Yeah, I just don't. I don't feel that is as reliable for some reason. In my mind. He doesn't feel his

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 36:06

Yeah, I started with that. But you know, yeah, I definitely switched. Yeah, eventually. And and I guess if you are literally on a budget, it makes sense. But you know, it depends on what you're doing with your blog. If you really want to invest and make it potentially into something, then I think you should invest. If it's literally just, I'm just doing this once a month, like you know, then I can see why you don't want to spend the money. It's not going to eventually make you money. Right? Yeah. So I'm not going to like shame anyone for not doing that. But it's like, it's it's definitely there's different different purposes for having because I've had people come up to me, and it's just like, I want a blog. But and then I go But why? Because if you're there's so many different reasons why people blog, and I think that that really impacts how you should spend your money.

Claudia Camargo Torres 36:52

Yeah, absolutely. Like, what do you want to get out of it? Yeah, yeah. And I think that's an important thing, though, like finding your why is just such a huge thing. Please, please, please don't ever gain to blogging, if you're one to make this about money, because it's not like you shouldn't you have to be passionate about it. Yeah, have to find what you love, because it translates into your goals. And I just hate when people are like, Oh, you guys have like, they think that as bloggers we have such a like luxurious labor, like we have raising things, but they don't see the word behind it. So

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 37:23

that is so true. And I think that people think it. I mean, technically, it's easy, but it's not like it's easy, in a way where you're not. It's not stressful, I guess. But it's also not like you don't have to do anything. You know, I think that's the issue is they don't see the fact that you're doing a lot of things

Claudia Camargo Torres 37:42

right. David see the behind the scenes on the editing and the Yeah,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 37:46

yeah, because I think I've seen so many people start blogs, and then just stop, because I feel like they either going into it for the wrong reasons. Or I think a lot of times, they don't know what they're doing. And so they give up but like, and I feel sad about that cuz I want to help them. But you know, it's hard when you put so much time into something and then you just kind of get rid of it. I think that's that's hard to see.

Claudia Camargo Torres 38:09

But it's also beautiful when you start to see the the roots of it. I just I signed last year, my first contract with exclusivity with a brand, I signed a contract with OA. So I'm one of the brand brand ambassadors for one year. And it was just such an amazing feeling to sign my first long term contract because that's what I want. Again, going back I want long term relationships with brands. And just the fact that they love my content so much that they want me for them for a year. It's Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 38:38

it feels great. It's awesome. I don't think

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 38:40

I've ever heard of anyone locally doing that pretty like really well. I guess I don't, I don't probably pay attention as much. I know some people work like for brands and like their brand ambassadors is that kind of what you are. So okay, so but I've never heard it where it's like there's like a contract. I've seen it where it's more just like whatever.

Claudia Camargo Torres 39:00

A bit more. Oh, yeah. With like, bigger brands. Yeah, it gets a little bit more serious for exclusivity, like I can't boast about other brand. Gotcha at all. Okay, interesting. So,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 39:11

I mean, that's, yeah, I mean, it's good for them, you know, they don't want to compete, you know, have another company paying you all sort of

Claudia Camargo Torres 39:16

tiny wouldn't really make sense for me to be talking about OA and at the same time talking about like, I don't know Queenie like, or like it doesn't it doesn't

Unknown Speaker 39:25


Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 39:26

well, I don't understand when I'm watching TV. And I see it one kind of car commercial. And then like blue next commercials for some other kind of car. I'm like, isn't that? Yeah, like, that's weird to me. Yeah.

Claudia Camargo Torres 39:36

That's, I guess that's a medium. Yeah,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 39:38

that's true. But um, yeah. So that's really interesting about being a brand ambassador and all that, because I've never really talked about that. I know, a lot of college students are like brand ambassadors for like, and obviously like love your melon, and certain, like companies, especially like local companies. Is that something that's still a big thing? Do you see being a brand ambassador? What what kind of is what you see about that locally? Is that growing? Is that something that's

Claudia Camargo Torres 40:04

still happening? Um, so the thing that I see in the Twin Cities is that, again, they do a lot of one offs. And I would love to just teach them more about long term relationships and being more interested on creating relationships, don't focus on money, don't focus on like, how many followers you have, I think you need to focus on my growing relationships. I was listening to this other podcast the other day, and he was talking about until you don't hit 50,000 followers, you're not really like, you shouldn't be worrying about money as much or as focus on growth, focus on engagement focus on and then because when you hit 50,000 followers, 50,000 followers, then it just kind of explodes into, like, that's probably when you can go full time. And but if you like a lot in the Twin Cities, I see a lot of one offs. And I would love to see a little bit more like relationship. Yeah. With influence.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 40:58

I think some of the companies are just trying it. And it's like, if it doesn't work right away, then be like, Oh, this was a mistake, you know, and I feel like, a lot of them aren't willing to put the time in to do something long term. And you know, like, is that kind of what you're saying? Or, you know why it's so many one offs?

Claudia Camargo Torres 41:14

Um, no, I don't I don't really? I don't really know. But I feel like they're just more interested on like, what's happening in the moment, like, everyone is like talking about this. I should probably talk about this, too. So what do you mean? Yeah, it's just I don't know.

Unknown Speaker 41:33

Yeah. All right. Well, I think this is wrapping it up for us. Thank you so much for coming. Claudia. I know this was something

Claudia Camargo Torres 41:39

you sure love to share whatever knowledge I have.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 41:43

Yeah, it's been super good. And I think we talked about a lot of things we haven't talked about. So that that was important for me.

Unknown Speaker 41:47

Yeah. All right. Well, how do we find you? How do we find

Claudia Camargo Torres 41:49

so my blog is miles and smiles.com miles boss blog. com, and on Instagram, at miles, that and that smiles. And if anybody ever has any questions, please reach this. free to reach out to me. Again, I'm an open book. And I also just opened the Minneapolis blogger union, so we're going to be having a lot more talks about this and also know you guys yeah,

Unknown Speaker 42:16

yeah. Well, thanks, guys for watching, and I'll talk

Unknown Speaker 42:18

to you guys are listening and

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 42:26

thanks for listening to the Twin Cities collective podcast with Jenna Redfield. Make sure to click subscribe if you haven't already. And make sure to leave us a review on iTunes. Thanks again for Ian at Studio Americana for producing this episode, as well as Melanie Lee for designing the podcast art. And thanks to Nicole I had less for the use of the song in the intro. intro. Thanks so much again, and I'll see you next time.