To learn more about Eileen, check out The Autism Cafe spotlight.
What started as a blog on Facebook in 2015, eventually grew into its own website for Eileen Lamb of The Autism Cafe. At first, the blog was just a way for her to share information and updates with friends and family in France after her oldest son, Charlie, was diagnosed with autism. She didn’t expect strangers to read her posts and appreciate what she was writing about, but they did and they wanted more. Today, Eileen’s goal is to use her blog as a platform to raise awareness for autism as well as share her thoughts on subjects she’s knowledgeable and passionate about, including special-needs issues, parenting tips, and healthy-living articles.
Read on for her tips on how to create a professional personal brand.
You are a great influencer to partner with on programs. How did you cultivate your personal brand, professionalism, and work ethic??
I stay true to myself whether I’m working on a sponsored or non-sponsored post, and I like to stay coherent in the content I share and create. My audience likes following me because of how I open up to them in the caption of my moody and magical photos. Plus, you have to treat blogging as a regular job. I always meet my deadlines, and speak with campaign managers like I would talk to my boss at an in-office job.
What advice do you have for influencers who want to create a personal brand that their favorite companies can take seriously?
I believe that honesty and consistency are great qualities in the blogging world. Honesty because you need your followers to trust you when you promote a product, and consistency so they know what to expect from you. Overall, don’t take yourself too seriously, and have fun with it.
How do you balance your content between sponsored content and non-sponsored content? Any tips for influencers still struggling to maintain that balance?
I try to keep my ratio to ⅔ non-sponsored and ⅓ sponsored, though it’s not always possible due to some brands’ deadlines overlapping. That’s another reason why I like Linqia. The flexibility of posting dates allows me to space out my sponsored posts and keep a good ratio and a good looking home page. Also, something that’s really helped me is to plan my content calendar in advance for both non-sponsored and sponsored posts.
Was there a particular moment or time where you found that something wasn’t working for your personal brand? What did you learn from it and what did you do to change it??
At one point I tried to move away from my signature golden-hour photography with some white background shots. Something about the balance of my feed as a whole seemed off with them there so I had to take a step back. This was basically an aesthetic decision.
You have a unique tone and aesthetic. How did you find what worked and what didn’t in terms of your writing style?
I’ve always loved writing. I grew up in France, and I would tell everyone “one day, I’m gonna write a book”. I learned English 6 years ago so it was difficult at first to write long pieces and to transmit my feelings in an eloquent way. Month after month, though, I gained followers and kept receiving encouraging messages from strangers. It gave me more confidence. I think the more confident I get, the better my posts get. I’m very self-conscious and I worry about coming across in the wrong way so having validation from my followers means a lot to me.
How did you find what worked and what didn’t in terms of your photography?
Trial and error. I have a slight obsession with chasing the light. Photography is a way for me to express myself. I love how creative it is, and I love magical photos with good light and candid moments. I love the aesthetic of white, light, and airy pictures but I keep going back to moodier pictures. It’s just what speaks to me, and it’s what works best on my feed.
We love the way you document your children’s growth. How do they inspire you?
My kids are my world. They are both so different from each other, yet so inspiring. They’ve taught me so much and I wouldn’t have my blog without them.
Through your writing, you’ve taught us that honesty is OK, and having depth as a blogger will not deter brands from working with you. In fact, we’ve had many brands tell us that they loved the real stories you wrote as part of their sponsored programs. What advice do you have for influencers who may be hesitant to talk about difficult subjects?
You know, I have a very hard time expressing my feelings in real life. Being autistic myself, real life interactions are sometimes extremely overwhelming. Writing has been an amazing tool for me. At first, it was difficult for me to open up even in writing. It still is, though, and I always wonder who it is exactly who’s reading my stuff. It feels like I’m letting people into my soul – very vulnerable. In the end, though, my most successful posts are the ones where I’m being vulnerable. I want my followers to know they can trust me and what I say when I give advice or recommend a product.
I’d tell influencers who are hesitant to talk about difficult subjects to just try it. They may be surprised with the response they get from their followers. People just want to relate, and struggles are a good way to do so. I don’t want to paint a perfect picture of our life. We have our ups and downs and I want my followers to know that they’re not alone.
How do you see your blog evolving in the future, and what would you most like to accomplish with it?
I hope to keep growing and working with awesome brands and to publish a book. I’m currently looking for a literary agent for my book, and it’s a dream come true.
What was your favorite Linqia program? Why?
I loved my campaign with Wente Vineyards. It was my first campaign with Linqia, and firsts are always special. I appreciated how much creative freedom we were allowed in the post, and that I was able to tell a personal story with my followers. Oh, and I liked the wine! I love a good Chardonnay.