With so many influencers already making a strong presence on Instagram, it might be difficult to find where you fit in. What makes micro-influencers special is their niche and their ability to form unique partnerships with different brands. Lynda Darko is someone who isn't afraid to promote her niche in order to build partnerships. She tells us how you can maximize the gifts and tools you already have to become a micro-influencer, while staying true to your image!
Meet Lynda (@lynda_darko)
A lover of Jesus Christ, happily married wife and mother to a real life miracle! Lynda works as an IT Consultant by day and a faith and fashion Instagram blogger somewhere in between. She’s a praise and worship minister at her church in Maryland and is passionate about marriages/relationships. Lynda shares fashion tips and encourages women to always look put together!
BCI got the chance to sit down with Lynda to learn more.
My first brand deal was for New York & Company, and they hit my DM’s.
What inspired you to become an Instagram fashion blogger?
Outside of fashion, I still work in corporate America and a lot of my closet is professional clothes. But, now, I don’t really go out a lot. So I thought, why not just share my clothes? My friends who are bigger influencers would really push for me to get brand deals, but I really just enjoy sharing! My first brand deal was for New York & Company, and they hit my DM’s. I got Venus recently. I’m enjoying it because brands are sending me clothes and it’s fun! And I love encouraging women to look good. When you wear a lot of hats and you’re doing all these things, especially behind closed doors, I really just want to encourage women.
But I heard the Lord say, what if I encouraged you to inspire 2 people?
What advice can you give for someone just starting their journey as a micro-influencer?
Social media and the numbers game can be very discouraging, especially for people who are just starting out. You have to have something that’s driving you, or you’re gonna stop. Don’t let the numbers devalue how you’re starting, just because the numbers aren’t growing or you’re not where you want to be. But I heard the Lord say, what if I encouraged you to inspire 2 people? And you never go past the 2,500 followers? Then what? Will you stop? That was a reality check for me and it also helped change my perspective to stop focusing so much on the numbers. I have a voice too, and I know for a fact God has given me something for it. No matter what, I obey, post, and go!
...just be confident and come with a plan!
What strategies do you use to form partnerships with brands?
I just hit the DM’s, introduce myself, and hope they respond. Last November/ December, I saw TJ Maxx was doing a challenge, and I asked if they had any opportunities for micro-influencers. First of all, they liked my message, and I was like maybe that was an accident! And then they responded telling me to send them an email. Fast forward, I got to market with them for the challenge. People were asking how I got their attention, and for one, it was God. But just be confident and come with a plan! I pitched them ideas and they loved my Marriage Monday idea. Going in with a plan is A1.
If I take faith out because I want to grow more, then I’m just gonna be left stranded.
How do you consistently integrate faith into your brand?
Faith for me is the foundation. I love the new “I’m So Pretty” makeup challenge, but I had the idea to use Kirk Franklin’s “Revolution” and I posted that! A lot of people loved it and thought it was creative, but God literally gave me that idea. I’ll even pray for my captions. I’ll ask God, what do people need to hear? If I take faith out because I want to grow more, then I’m just gonna be left stranded.
If you don’t enjoy it and you’re doing it for a lot of numbers, then you’ll stop.
How do you balance working a full time job while managing being a mother, wife, influencer, and everything else?
Prioritizing! Because you just can’t do it all. Especially when you're married and a mom, you feel like you can do it all, and you want to do it all, but listen to your body. What drives me to keep going is that there’s a passion behind what I’m doing, and the Holy Spirit strengthens me and empowers me to do it. If you don’t enjoy it and you’re doing it for a lot of numbers, then you’ll stop. And I give myself grace because every day looks different. Even though I have a calendar, everything does not get done every single day, but I have must-do’s such as prayer, my devotion, and spending time with my family.
Where to Find Lynda
Whether you have 1,000 followers or 10,000 followers, Lynda reminds us to push past our doubts and to push towards our passion. You can find Lynda Darko on Instagram at lynda_darko to keep up with her latest ventures!
Editor: Nia Stringfellow
Do you have a story to share?
Reach out to @movewithnia on Instagram for a chance to be featured!