10 Questions: Jessi and Millie
1. What does success as an influencer look like to you two?
We didn’t set out to become influencers, we actually started our Instagram in response to being part of Australia’s YES campaign for marriage equality. When our advert aired we received so many heartfelt messages. Naturally though, it was the hate filled and homophobic comments that had a more lasting effect on us. We realised more needed to be done to normalise same sex relationships… and so our Instagram was born.
“Successful Influencer” for us is about being a positive and relatable role model within the LGBTQ+ community. We take the time to respond to every DM and comment we receive and work hard to foster a sense of community.
Often we receive messages from teenagers who are being bullied or whose families have disowned them. They talk of feeling isolated, alone, rejected, and some of them are suicidal. Nearly all of them tell us that they use Instagram as an escape, a place to seek advice and a reason to hope. If we can influence one person to hang on, keep fighting and to see the light at the end of the tunnel—then we have succeeded.
If more companies use LGBTQ+ people as influencers, it highlights their support for our community. By being inclusive, it also demonstrates a level of acceptance, which can only have positive repercussions.
2. Would you consider yourselves introverts or extroverts?
We definitely aren’t natural extroverts, which seems unusual when you consider we make our lives so public. It’s something we have to work on, especially when we are in front of someone else’s camera.
3. How do you try and stand out from other people with similar followings and niches? What makes you different?
Perhaps ironically what makes us stand out is that our account is generally unpolished compared to most. We have a raw and relatable feed that people seem to like. Our captions and stories speak candidly about relationships, sexuality and mental health.
Many accounts on Instagram focus on a flashy lifestyle and personal wealth which is certainly inspirational, but perhaps unattainable. Our focus in life and therefore Instagram is sustainability, recycling and living in what we believe to be the wholesome way. We hope to come across as approachable, humble and kind.
4. Do you create content full-time? If so, how'd you get there? If not, what are your other jobs like?
Currently we do not create content full time, although it's an future aspiration. Millie is a digital producer and strategist, working with brands to help them reach their chosen audience more efficiently online.
5. Who do you look to for inspiration?
We want to grow our family soon, we have made connections with some truly inspirational parents that break traditional norms. Our favourite account is @raffinee a gorgeous lesbian mum with three children under three. Raffinee shares our passion for normalising same sex relationships. Together we run the account @globalgaygirlgang—a safe inclusive space for sharing and promoting LGBTQ+ relationships. We are also obsessed with @heathercrock a mother raising 5 gorgeous adopted boys.
6. What’s the hardest thing about your job?
When it comes to influencing, the hardest thing is to know when to say no. When we started we would say yes to nearly every job offer. Now we find ourselves turning down well-paid jobs because the company or the product does not fit with our personal brand and core values.
7. What’s your favorite image that you’ve ever taken?
8. Where is the influencer landscape headed—what would your job look like in 5 years?
Prior to social media and influencer marketing, most companies relied almost entirely on mass marketing such as television, radio and print.
Mass marketing, by definition ignores segmentation and focuses on the perceived idea of the population as a whole. What this means is that the vast majority of mass media advertisements showcase cisgender, straight, white and middle class ideals.
Influencer marketing has allowed companies the freedom to be much more inclusive. Companies can now choose to work with a variety of influencers from different backgrounds and areas of society. Effectively, opening up whole new audiences and reaching new customers.
Our hope for the influencer landscape in the next 5 years is that this inclusive use of advertising will not only continue, but will grow dramatically. In terms of our personal goals for the next 5 years, we are in the process of growing our family. We aspire to be leading influencers and bloggers in the parent and family space.
9. What has being an influencer done to your self image / self confidence?
We used to begrudgingly put on mascara to take the shot. Now we have come to the realisation that we don’t need to do that. If we can’t be bothered to put on makeup, we just take the photo anyway and actually the response is almost always better. We have really got to a place of self-love and an appreciation that we aren’t perfect and nor should we try to be.
10. If someone were starting out today, what advice would you give that person?
Be yourself and be authentic, stay true to your values and don’t try and be someone you are not. There is a market for everyone. You will enjoy the process and have a much more engaged audience if you present yourself in a genuine way. Be humble and always be kind.
"10 Questions" is a series where Fohr asks influencers, well, 10 questions to get to know them better. Check out other posts in the series here.