Tyler McElhaney, owner of Tynology, and Sarabeth McElhaney, owner of The February Fox, are an influencer power couple. With 78 Linqia programs and over 700 pieces of original content created between them, this dynamic duo has established the foundation for a successful influencer partnership. From travel and fashion to parenthood and technology, they definitely know how to inspire their audiences to take action.
We caught up with Tyler and Sarabeth to find out what it’s like in the McElhaney household and to see if we could pick their brains for the secret behind a successful influencer partnership. Check out their story below!
How do you support each other’s programs?
We oddly have near opposite strengths. If one of us is stumped or having a block, asking the other for help always works and often stimulates progress. Since we both work from home, we are able to designate specific times for each of us to dedicate to writing, photographing or networking. It’s also nice having an extra hand to help set up or tear down for photoshoots. Although our son is still a little young to help, he gets a kick out of the whole process.
How do you inspire each other to be better influencers?
We are both extremely competitive and it shows in our work. We strive to make each post more impressive than the last (or better than each other’s last). The great thing is that we each bring a unique perspective. It’s inevitable that when one of us is working on a new program, the other watches and provides constant suggestions and feedback. It’s like having a real-time collaborator for each post.
Do you participate in the same programs? If so, how do you manage promoting among shared audiences?
There have been a couple of programs that we have both participated in. We love when it’s available because it brings out our creativity and competitive nature. We’re fairly lucky in that we don’t share a whole lot of crossover when it comes to our audiences. While I (Tyler) have a lot of lingering followers from my days as a musician and people in the tech community, Sarabeth is able to reach a much larger female audience that she built through writing and posting about topics that she would want to read about herself.
Do you feature each other on your individual blogs? If so, what’s your advice for authentically weaving each other in?
We do, so long as it’s applicable. We would advise not to force it though. If we’re working on a program that is relevant to include our spouse (or child), we include it and explain through the story. We are together as a family most days so it’s common for us to discuss activities or experiences that include each other. The most important part is to make sure it’s natural. We avoid awkward segues or overly-staged photos because it will never be authentic.
You both have been successful creating videos for your sponsored programs. How do you find your videos performing? Any advice for first time or new video creators?
The videos have added an entirely new level to our storytelling. Before working with Linqia, we always shared videos of our travels (and continue to do so). It has been a great experience to transition to be able to use videos for our programs. The engagement seems to be much higher when a video is included. It’s fun to be able to embed the video across all of our social channels as well as in the blog story itself.
My advice is to invest in a quality mirrorless or DSLR camera and buy a “fast” lens (f1.8 aperture or wider). Learn to shoot manually (this is much easier than it sounds). Watch videos that inspire you and pick them apart. What music are they using? Is there dialogue? How does the audio flow between segments? Are the cuts in sync with the music? Then turn off the audio and watch it again. How long is each shot? How many different compositions do they use (close-up/mid/long shots)? Is the camera usually stationary/panning/zooming? Figuring out and getting a feeling for these little intricacies will make your videos immediately better in quality. Lastly, keep practicing. Go to the zoo and make a video on it. Make a video of your random day and set it to your favorite music. Get out of your comfort zone and you’ll be able to be more creative.
What advice would you give to people who are looking to build an influencer partnership? Would you advise them to share a blog, or keep separate identities/brands? What, in your opinions, are the benefits of each?
I think this is dependent on each person’s individual situations and preferences (and commitment level). For us, sharing a blog/identity was never really considered. We’re fairly different with a wide range of interests, so separate identities always worked better for us. Some people may benefit from sharing responsibilities, especially since blogging is always more time-intensive that anyone starting out is expecting.
Which has been your favorite Linqia program so far? Why?
Ty: I always love when I get to use my expertise in technology, geek culture, or “guy things” on a campaign. Some of my favorites are:
Sarabeth: I prefer to mix up my content to offer a little bit of something for everyone. The articles I selected as my favorites made it easy to take my show on the road, both locally and overseas, or helped me spruce up my home and family’s wardrobe.