With Mother’s Day around the corner, Durban influencer and mom Nontoh Nxumalo shares some insight for others who might like to collab their way into the parent influencer lifestyle.
Mom of two Nontobeko, or ‘Naturally Nonts’ as she is known on social media, says being a full-time blogger has definite perks as a mom. It was her reason for diving into the world of content creation … to carve out as much time as she can to be with her family.
“Being an influencer means putting yourself out there for the world to judge. It’s helped me to grow and overcome my insecurities and fear of rejection. I’m now I’m in a space where I don’t need people’s validation or approval. Because social media is constantly evolving, I am also constantly learning and improving myself to keep up to date, stay creative and grow my following. I also get to interact with different people and have made some amazing friendships on and offline,” she tells us.
Initially sharing content about her natural hair journey and hoping to inspire and encourage young black girls to love and embrace their beautiful coils and curls too, Nontoh now focusses more on motherhood and the spin-off has gained her a very supportive following over the past two years.
“As a mom influencer, I use my platforms to discuss social issues and share relatable mom life content so that other moms know they are not alone. Having a close relationship with my audience helps me to have a better understanding of what content they’re interested in. I also don’t treat my audience as followers … I treat them as my online family.”
When it comes to working closely with and choosing brands (she’s worked with brands including Barney, Comfyza, Jam Clothing, Super Sun Maize and Lielieboo Bespoke Clothing), Nontoh says she opts for those that are in line with her own interests and values and fit with her audience. She and her youngest daughter, Nicholle, are currently working with South African clothing label Nomad and Grace as brand ambassadors.
“I work with brands I love and use in my home – those that I can easily recommend to friends and family. Getting new brands to work with me comes down to me choosing products I’m not familiar with, then testing and reviewing before moving into partnership. Tagging has a massive role to play in the relative brand seeing the post, following you back and reaching out with a future proposal.”
And how much should or shouldn’t you share on social media?
“I am very careful with what I post when it comes to my children. I don’t post anything that might be embarrassing at a later stage. I don’t say what schools they attend and I never include a location. I also always ask permission when it comes to taking pictures and videos for social media.”
Nontoh believes a great mother always does her best to be there for her children and makes room for them to make mistakes and learn from them. She says she is really blessed that her mom is still such a big part of her life.
“Patience, kindness and unwavering love all fall under what it means to be a good mother and I hope someday my girls will see me in the same loving light I see my mother. One day a year is not really enough to celebrate the work mothers do, but Mother’s Day is still a wonderful opportunity to spoil them. I don’t always get to spend Mother’s Day with my mother but I always try to do something special for her. As for me, I’m hinting for a lovely spa day. A little reset and relaxation will be really great!”
Details: Follow Nontoh on IG: naturally.nonts or FB: @Naturally.nonts
Nontoh’s tips for future influencers
- Pick your platform. Whether you want be an influencer on Instagram, Tiktok or YouTube, the very first step is to choose where you want to spread your message. Start with one platform first, and move to another as you grow, because every platform has its own rules that you need to learn and follow.
- Choose your niche. What are you interested in that you can consistently create content about and also relate to your tribe?
- Establish your online presence and start creating quality content. You don’t need expensive equipment – all you need is your phone and natural lightning. Tip: when taking a photo make sure you have a clear background.
- Avoid posting random pictures of your friends and family because your page will end up looking like a personal page instead of business page. Let the focus be on you, unless, of course, the content you’re creating is about family.
- Don’t chase numbers. Rather focus on building relationships with your audience. Remind yourself that the goal is not to have millions of followers but is to build trust with your audience. Treat them like normal people, not just followers, and growth will follow.
- You need to constantly improve yourself and advance your knowledge in your niche.
- Be consistent and create valuable content that adds value to your audience.
- Be authentic. Stay true to yourself and don’t try to be someone you are not because that will never last. Accept yourself as you are and let that be your selling point when building your brand.
- Always be available to answer questions from your audience.
- Be able to impact someone’s life in a positive manner and make them want come back to your page; don’t make them feel bad about themselves.
- Be comfortable with taking pictures in public.
- Be patient, don’t assume that you will grow over night, and give yourself time.
- On the financial side, typically, influencers rely on sponsored content to make a living. Rates range anywhere from R1000 to R2000 a post up to R10000 a post. From posting a picture to the main feed with #ad, to sharing swipe-up links in a series of stories, sponsored content takes on many different shapes. Rates for these types of brand deals also vary. Some also sell their own products and services. But it all starts by building trust with your audience.
Photos: PENNY KATZ PHOTOGRAPHY, pennykatzphotography.myportfolio.com, 083 214 0692