- Manou Oeschger is a social media influencer based in Brentwood, California.
- When she had her son Liam in 2019, Oeschger pivoted from posting fashion content to sharing mum-related content on Instagram.
- Now, Oeschger does brand collaborations with baby-food, skin, and hair-care companies that can net her up to $US12,000 a month.
- During the pandemic, she says she’s averaging 20 sponsored posts a month and charges $US500 to $US1,500 per post.
- This is her story, as told to freelance writer Kaila Yu.
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I never planned on being a mummy influencer.
When I was 24 years old, I had sudden success in the music industry when I was cast by Disney in Germany into the band beFour. We toured all over Europe, sold music records, and had our own show on the Disney Channel in Europe. I’d always dreamed of moving to the United States, so after three years in the band, I moved to Los Angeles to pursue music in 2010.
As I pursued music, a friend suggested that I start posting fashion photos on Instagram.
As a singer, I embraced wild, over-the-top fashion, which included having a mohawk at one point. At that time, many fashion influencers were starting to build successful careers on the platform. My Instagram grew quickly as I was performing at high schools three times a week, which offered a unique opportunity to promote my Instagram to a new audience.
At first, I posted photos my boyfriend Chris shot of me on his iPhone. After I’d gained about 15,000 followers, which was a lot back in 2010, I was able to start charging for sponsored posts. Shortly afterward, I’d made enough to purchase a professional camera, a Canon 5D, with my earnings. My Instagram growth was going so well that I stopped pursuing music to focus on Instagram full-time when I reached 20,000 followers.
In 2018, Chris and I got married and soon welcomed our baby Liam in September 2019. As all mothers know, life changes immediately the moment your first child is born.
I’d originally planned to keep up my fashion content on Instagram, but as a new mum, there was no time for dressing up.
Gone were the days when we could spontaneously drive into the desert to search for remote, undiscovered shooting locations. I had a hard time creating fashion content as a new mum since there was no time for high-fashion shoots and makeup, so I pivoted to mummy content.
I’ve been a part of the new mummy Instagram community for over a year now, and feel very grateful and fulfilled by this community I’ve found online.
On a typical day, I wake up at 7 a.m. to go through my emails before Liam wakes up an hour later.
Once he’s up, we have breakfast together and walk him in the stroller with the dogs. At 10 a.m., it’s back to bed for Liam, which gives me time to shower and do my hair and makeup. We all grab lunch together at noon.
Chris and I both currently work from home; his job as a concert photographer was sidelined during the pandemic, so at the moment he’s focused on shooting and editing content for my Instagram account.
We spend most afternoons shooting Instagram content, with our timeline depending on Liam.
Usually we’ll drive to a location and squeeze in an hour or two of shooting before returning home no later than 4 p.m. for Liam’s mealtime. Afterward, Chris and I switch off playing with Liam while the other catches up on work.
As a 1-year-old, Liam eats again at 7 p.m. and is in bed by 8. Once he’s in bed, we’ll finish up our work and watch some TV before going to bed.
Before having Liam, we used to shoot everything in one day and spread it out into a week of posting, which was much less hectic. Now we need to shoot at least three to four times a week to get all the content that we need.
I’ve been busy with sponsored posts during the pandemic, as brands are still investing quite heavily on social media promotions. However, I’ve received fewer European brand deals this year, since it seems that some companies are holding back from shipping packages overseas. The quarantine has also eliminated any collaboration shoots with other bloggers, so we’re holding back from these shoots until it’s safe.
I spend a lot of my time researching and staying on top of trends to share with my followers.
While a lot of my time is spent scheduling and publishing posts, I’m always on the lookout for new things I can learn and share with my Instagram community. The biggest challenge for me is writing captions, because I don’t consider writing to be my greatest strength. I also spend time planning ahead and creating daily Instagram stories.
At the beginning of each week, I schedule all my posts in a spreadsheet.
Normally, I publish one Instagram post and five to ten Instagram stories daily. During the holidays we averaged two posts a day since there were so many Thanksgiving and Christmas brand deals to fit in. I use a spreadsheet to keep organised and plan ahead.
On average, we charge brands from $US500 to $US1,500 per post and we offer several package deals. It’s much more fruitful for us to collaborate with a brand on a series of five posts instead of just a single post, and it’s also more beneficial to the brand because it brings authenticity to the campaign. We’ve been so blessed this year even amid the pandemic, and are currently averaging 20 sponsored posts a month.
My advice to aspiring influencers is to invest time reaching out to brands that fit your aesthetic and message.
Once you identify your ideal brand partners, negotiate multiple post campaigns with them. The key to our success is working with brands on a long-term basis.
I feel so fulfilled in my new life as a mummy influencer. It’s a 24/7 job, but I love helping other new mothers in their own journeys. I’m no longer obsessed with my number of followers, and now I’m much more concerned about the impact and knowledge that I can impart to my followers.
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