HelloSociety Blog

Influencer-Powered Social Media Marketing

Emily Carrick

August 19, 2016


I have no idea how this happened: suddenly, it’s the end of August. Sadly, today is my last day as an intern here at HelloSociety, but instead of crying myself to sleep at the thought of saying goodbye, I’m writing this final blog post. Buying back-to-school gear is the only way to console myself about summertime ending. Whether you’re starting high school, entering your final year of college (like me!), or just looking for some September nostalgia, these five back-to-school essentials will make the transition smooth, fun, and easy.



Posted In - Top 5 social examples of the week

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Emily Carrick

August 12, 2016


S’mores are the perfect summer dessert—gooey, chocolatey, melt-in-your-mouth, and ideal for lazy summery nights outside. Biting into a burnt-black marshmallow never fails to remind me of my childhood growing up on the beach. But even if you’re not at a bonfire, s’mores are a delicious option for a sweet treat. With a few weeks left in summertime, it’s exactly the right time to try these recipes. Read on for 5 yummy twists on s’mores!



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Jenna Handweiler

August 11, 2016


Laptop and coffee cup in girl’s hands sitting on a wooden floor

This month’s installment of HelloStudio Tips is about building relationships with brands. We’re covering everything from strategies that will help you land your dream collaboration, to the art of saying “no” without burning bridges. Read along as we answer your questions below and provide tips on navigating the tricky business of working with brands.

Q: I’ve been fortunate enough to partner with a lot of great brands, but there are still quite a few brands I’d like to work with that I can’t seem to secure. Do you have any advice for landing your dream collaboration?

A: One of the most effective ways to secure a collaboration is by getting the brand’s attention.

Here are a few ways to do just that:

· Demonstrate your loyalty – Brands want to work with Influencers who already use and feature their products, so consistency and loyalty goes a long way. It’s important to be mindful not to feature any brands or companies that might be direct competitors of the brand you’re hoping to work with.

· Connect via social media – Social media is one of the most effective ways to get on a brand’s radar. By consistently engaging with a brand and tagging their products, the brand is more likely to take note of you and your interest in them. Not only can this lead to a potential repost, but it can aid in building an organic relationship for future collaborations.

· Nurture your relationship and be patient – Building a relationship takes time, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t land a collaboration from the get-go. Taking a genuine interest in the brand over time builds trust and shows that you value the relationship, as opposed to a one-time business transaction.

· Communicate professionally – Whether the brand is approaching you or you’re proactively pitching to them, it’s important to communicate professionally. This means responding promptly, having a media kit that outlines your experience and brands you’ve previously worked with, blog and social stats, audience demographics, etc.

· Reach out to them – Create an offer they can’t refuse by establishing your value and the ways in which a collaboration will benefit them. Whether it’s providing them with content, driving exposure through your audience or helping to sell their product, highlight the ways in which they can benefit from you and your audience. If you’re struggling to find the right contact person, consider reaching out to the brand’s customer service department to connect you to the appropriate person.

· Produce high-quality content – Social media numbers and blog stats are important, but they aren’t everything. Compelling content is just as, if not more valuable. So even if your numbers aren’t where you want them to be, don’t get discouraged.

· Be flexible – If your dream collaboration comes your way, but the budget isn’t what you hoped it would be, being flexible with your rate and terms in the beginning can benefit you in the long run. Your willingness to negotiate and invest in the brand relationship can ultimately lead to more collaborations down the line.

Q: While I’m flattered to receive emails from brands and agencies that want to work with me, it can feel daunting to respond to all of them, especially when I’m not interested in the opportunity. Is there an effective way to say no without burning any bridges?

A: For many of us, learning to say no can be a challenge. We often say yes to things we’re not interested in for fear of being rude or letting others down. However, the problem with saying yes too willingly is that it often results in sacrificing our own needs and priorities.

As an influencer, you’ve probably found yourself in this very situation when being faced with an opportunity that just doesn’t suit you or your brand. Regardless of the reason, it’s still important to respond. Not only did this person take the time to reach out to you, but you never know if they might turn out to be a valuable contact for another opportunity down the line, so it’s important to maintain a good relationship with them.

A brief, polite response should do the trick. We suggest something like this:

Hi _____ ,

It’s so nice to hear from you, and thank you so much for reaching out!

Unfortunately I have to pass at this time due to _____ (timing, budget, not the right fit, etc.), but I really appreciate your consideration for this opportunity and hope we can collaborate in the future.

Thank you again, and best of luck with this campaign in the meantime!


To submit questions for the next installment of HelloStudio Tips, send your questions to tori@hellosociety.com!

Posted In - Social Media Tips

Emily Carrick

August 5, 2016


Summer is going by so quickly! With September just around the corner and school starting up again, plenty of people are moving into new houses. Whether your friends are getting their first Adult Apartments, moving in with significant others, or just changing addresses since their leases are up, housewarming gift ideas are always good to have in your back pocket. Read for five fun and easy DIY housewarming gifts!



Posted In - Top 5 Pinterest pins of the week, Top 5 social examples of the week

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Emily Carrick

July 29, 2016


I love women. All women. So let me assure you of the difficulty of narrowing down this list when I could make a top 100 list of every different shade of woman (Top 50 Latina Women Who Live in Venice and Like Braiding their Hair). Just know that there are a million other women that could be on this list.

Last night, I sat curled up on the couch watching Hillary Clinton’s historic DNC speech while my dad did the dishes in the kitchen. Women are doing amazing things all over the world. Feminism is alive and well and more complex than ever. Here are five incredible examples of inspiring women!



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Emily Carrick

July 22, 2016


I am a cat person. I grew up with (count ’em) nine different cats; it’s hard to escape that kind of immersion. However, in recent months, I have attempted to overcome my innate fear of dogs and prejudiced preference for cats. My endeavor to become a dog lover is mostly inspired by my dad’s new dog, Bailey, but it’s a universal phenomenon—I’ve started to embrace every dog I come across. (Shout out to HelloSociety’s own Stella, the most beautiful creature I have ever known.) Even my immediate physiological response to meeting dogs has changed recently: I see a dog and my instinct is to start cooing wildly. I try to tone it down for the sake of propriety.

In honor of the pure beauty of our canine friends, here are five adorable dog Vines. (Okay, and one extra. I couldn’t pick.)

1. Yamato

She’s so talented! Look at how great that jump is! She totally deserves that treat.


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Emily Carrick

July 15, 2016


I am not athletic. If you know me, this will not come as a surprise. However, I have recently started striving to present a semi-athletic aura to the outer world. Like, outdoorsy-chic. Like, I just bought $110 Chacos for the aesthetic. (I live in the South, okay.)

To help encourage this semi-athletic image, sometimes I go hiking. Key word: sometimes. And I always complain a lot. (I have low iron, all right, I get tired really easily.) For any other new hikers, here are five gorgeous, relatively easy LA hikes, as seen on Instagram.

1. Runyon Canyon

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Like any real LA native, I’ve never actually been to Runyon (also because I’m new to this athletic thing). But it’s definitely a location—purportedly great for celeb sightings, dog walks, and casual hikers. Views of the LA cityscape, Griffith Park, and the Hollywood Sign.

2. Will Rogers State Park

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I just went here with my friends and a tiny dog, and with a six-mile loop and great views of the Santa Monica coastline, it was beautiful and not very difficult. This locale features picnic tables near the parking lot and at the peak of the hike, Inspiration Point—so you can even have lunch if you think ahead.

3. Beachwood Canyon (Hollywood Sign)

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Shockingly, I have actually done this, when all of my friends and I said, Huh, we’ve lived in LA our entire lives and never even seen the Hollywood Sign. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a day it won’t be overcrowded with tourists, but it’s still worth trying once, especially if an out-of-town friend is visiting.

4. Point Dume

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I know it probably seems overhyped, but I genuinely love Malibu. I will find any excuse to drive on PCH. One great excuse is this beach hiking trail, which isn’t very long and provides breath-taking views of the Santa Monica Bay and Malibu coast. You literally feel like you’re on top of the ocean.

5. Eaton Canyon

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This four-mile hiking trail in Pasadena features a 40-foot waterfall. Need I say more?

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Emily Carrick

July 8, 2016


When I came home to LA for the summer, the first thing I wanted to do was head straight for California Pizza Kitchen for their kids’ mac and cheese. Also, obviously, In-N-Out and the beach and all of the one million boba tea shops. But nothing compares to the cheesy goodness of mac and cheese. Whether classic and kid-friendly or gussied up to appease adults’ fancy palates, mac is literally always good. In honor of yesterday’s National Macaroni Day (naked macaroni rather than the cheesy variety, but it’s the spirit of the thing), here are five delicious YouTube recipes.

1. Waffled Macaroni and Cheese

Mac and cheese WAFFLES. Have you ever heard of such glory? If there’s one food item better than mac, it’s waffles. Plus this recipe is from the Today show, and man do I love the Today show. (My body may be 21, but my soul is a 45-year-old housewife.) See more here.

2. Southern Baked Mac and Cheese

I go to school in North Carolina, and in my three years below the Mason-Dixon line, the biggest thing I’ve learned about the South is that they love their mac and cheese. One of my friends from NC loves Southern-style mac and cheese so much that she refuses to grant the Kraft variety the name “mac and cheese.” (If it’s not baked with breadcrumbs on top, it’s just “pasta with cheese sauce.”) Here is one such example of “true” mac and cheese. See more here.

3. Truffle Mac and Cheese

If you’re looking for a more frou-frou style, you can’t go wrong with white truffle mac and cheese. Truffle mac represents an incredible phenomenon of today’s cooking: basic stuff made fancy by the sheer pretension of the modern palate. It’s like you want to be eating mac and cheese, but you’re not five, so you feel like you gotta kick it up a notch. I love the irony of it all, but I also love the result: fancy mac and cheese is bomb.

4. Mac and Cheese Pizza

Chances are, if you’re the type of person who likes mac and cheese, you’re also the type of person who likes pizza. I don’t want to generalize, but c’mon, let’s be real. So what would be better than combining the two? This type has bacon stuffed into the crust.

5. Orange and Black Mac and Cheese

Combine pop culture and mac and cheese. Watch Danielle Brooks and Samira Wiley from Orange is the New Black make Dorito-and-Cheeto mac and cheese. This cooking duo calls itself Pasty (their characters Poussey + Taystee, playing off those “Tasty” recipe videos you see all over Facebook). “Them Doritos and them Cheetos make it wassup,” Samira says. Couldn’t have put it better myself.

Posted In - Top 5 social examples of the week

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Jenna Handweiler

July 6, 2016


Trisha Hughes - Eat Your Beets

Meet Trisha Hughes, HelloSociety Influencer and founder and author of Eat Your Beets! Spend a few minutes browsing Trisha’s blog and you’ll quickly learn why her authentic voice and passion for creating healthy, family-friendly recipes has earned her a dedicated following. She’s got a knack for relatable storytelling and an approachable personality that makes you want to be her best friend, and her audience of over 100k Instagram followers seem to agree. When she’s not busy traveling, blogging and teaching photography workshops, Trisha can be found in Wichita, Kansas, where she resides with her family. We caught up with this busy mom of four to learn her tips and tricks for balancing it all. Read along as Trisha shares her photography tips, advice on standing out in an ever-growing community of Influencers, challenges of balancing motherhood while working, and much more.

For those who are just being introduced to you, can you share a little bit about yourself?

Sure! I’m a Midwestern gal and mom of four. I was raised in Oklahoma, but I’ve lived all over the world. I went to college to study theatre performance but never ended up making a career out of it, as I met my husband my senior year and we moved to Europe shortly after we were married. After my sole job of being a mom for about 8 years, I started thinking of what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I knew eventually my kiddos would grow up and head off to school and I’d have these hours in the day I’d want to fill with something. My best friend, who was running a successful blog, encouraged me to try that out so I did!  

How do you find balance between being a mom of four and keeping up with the rest of your responsibilities outside of motherhood?

Personally, I don’t think that a balance exists. I’m either really good at running my business or really good at being a mom, but I’m never really good at both of those things at the same time. I think the secret to being successful is managing expectations and doing your best to not compare yourself to others. Sometimes I look at my peers and it pains me how much they’ve accomplished. I ache because I feel like I’ll never be as ‘good’ or successful as someone else. Then I have to remind myself that I’ve built my business while also raising a gaggle of children, and even though my business is important to me, my kids will always be my first priority.  

What is something your followers might not know about you from visiting your site and social channels?

Oh gosh, a lot of stuff! I think because I mainly share food, there’s probably a lot people don’t know about me. I’m a military spouse. That’s not something I’ve talked about too often. I’m obsessed with music and love to sing. I’m equally obsessed with true crime podcasts. I’m super sarcastic and have a ridiculously loud laugh.  

What’s been your favorite brand collaboration with HelloSociety and why?

Without question it would be the collaboration with Eurostar. I am still pinching myself that it happened. Honestly, I can’t put into words the opportunity I was given, and I just have so much gratitude to everyone at HelloSociety and the whole team from Eurostar. Everyone worked so hard to get us to Europe and make sure we had an amazing time there. Being sent on an amazing trip like that is like blogger urban legend. You always hear of your friend’s cousin’s college roommate who got to do something like that, but you never imagine it will happen to you!

How long had you been blogging before you were able to partner with brands? Do you ever pitch ideas to brands you’d like to work with? Or do you typically wait for them to approach you? 

It was probably a couple of years before I started working with brands. I know a lot of people who don’t like working with brands, but I get really excited about the idea of creating something for a brand. When I first started, I pitched lots of ideas and got lots of no’s, so I don’t pitch ideas anymore. I also don’t enjoy negotiating, and find it to be challenging, so that’s one of the biggest reasons I love being part of HelloSociety because there’s no negotiating. It’s more of a, “Do you want this opportunity? Yes or no.”

Do you have an all-time favorite post or recipe on Eat Your Beets?

One of my very favorite posts is probably this homemade marshmallow post. Marshmallows are one of those things you always think you should try and make but they just sound too hard or scary. At least that was how I felt! Once I finally made them I had to laugh at how ridiculously easy they are. So, so, so easy to make and so delicious! The day I made them, we ended up having this fantastic overcast and sleeting day (it was shortly before Christmas) and my kitchen was giving me all the heart eyes with some amazing light. The images that came out of that day were some of the darkest and most contrasted I’d shot up to that point, and I realized just how much I loved that style.

You’re just as talented behind the camera as you are in the kitchen! Do you have any photography tips for those who are just starting out?

Well, thanks so much for saying that! I have tons of tips for people just starting out, but I’ll try and keep it short. I’d say most important to me is learning how to shoot in manual. Doing that is the number one way to guarantee you have total control over your images. Secondly, I’d say skip the kit lens that comes with some cameras and get a good prime (referring to the fixed focal length) lens. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but having a prime vs. a zoom lens just makes learning manual easier in my opinion. Finally, practice! Shoot daily! There isn’t any secret to being a good photographer. You just need to be open to learning and practice as much as possible.

What do you find to be the most rewarding part about working for yourself? And the most challenging? 

I think the most rewarding part is the fact that I can make money from something that I created out of nothing. The fact that you can develop a product, market it, and sell it to others is fascinating to me. I also love the fact that this industry gives me the independence to be able to work from home, especially since we move every three years.

The biggest challenge that I’ve encountered is that there’s no road map. You can look at the landscape of where bloggers have come in the last ten years, many of which now have their own television shows, cookbooks, brands, etc., and so you think, wow, the level of possibility is always increasing, but there’s no one way to do things, which is good and bad. Being able to do whatever you want can feel daunting if you’re not sure what it is that you want to do.

If you could give a piece of advice to other mothers who want to pursue blogging full-time, what would it be? 

Don’t wait for everything to be perfect, just put something out there. It can feel daunting and frightening to put yourself out there and it’s very easy to compare your brand new blog with one post on it to somebody’s blog who has been doing it for five years. When you put something out there, you want to be proud of it, but you need to remember that you’re not seeing that other person’s journey. You, too, will eventually develop your own voice and your own style.

I would also advise them to manage their expectations when it comes to how much you’ll get done in a day, and just know that some days will be productive, and some days won’t, and that’s okay. It’s also important to set up a schedule and routine for your kids. I always make sure to keep myself in check so that I haven’t just sat at the computer all day. It’s important to make time for the things that they want to do every single day. But with four kids, I won’t pretend it’s easy. It’s very, very, hard to get everything done.

Do you have any advice when it comes to standing out in an ever-growing community of bloggers and Influencers? 

I think I would say to figure out what it is about you that makes you different, and go with that. I think being authentic and honest is something that I try to do quite a bit. I joke about the art of slow living and that’s not my life or reality. I think it’s important to remember that while your reality may not be as glamorous as somebody else’s, it doesn’t mean it’s any less. And I don’t mean to discount anybody who lives that life because I’m sure it’s wonderful; I will just never know.

To stay up to date wish Trisha, connect with her on social:


And for more photograph tips, check out Trisha’s ebooks, Shot In The Dark & Eat Pretty Things.

Posted In - HelloInterviews

Emily Carrick

July 2, 2016


As HelloSociety’s tiny, bright-eyed summer intern (Emily, the selfie-obsessed academic from last post), I am freshly 21 years old. My birthday is today, July 1, so the Fourth of July always feels like a big celebration just for me. Especially this year, with the 1st on a Friday and the 4th on a Monday—it’s essentially an entire weekend of nonstop excitement, plus a lot of red and blue. This year, like I said, I’m turning 21, so it’s the perfect time for some Fourth of July cocktails. Here are five fun ways you can get your booze on this Independence Day. Happy drinking, and happy freedom!

1. Blueberry Coconut Sparkler
Bubbly and summery with the coconut addition. Perfect for your 4th happy hour (or hours).

3 cups fresh blueberries
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup coconut rum
2 1/2 cups ginger ale
Coconut Flakes (optional garnish)



Posted In - Top 5 Pinterest pins of the week, Top 5 social examples of the week

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