From time to time Find Your Influence will introduce to you a social media influencer who will share their stories about life as an influencer.
My name is India Howard and I am the dramatic zebra— unique with my own stripes. Take a look at zebras; not one looks like the other so every single zebra stands out but together they are a herd and a force to be reckoned with. That’s me, the lone zebra!
I was so ignited when Find Your Influence invited me to create a blog post to share my story as a social media influencer especially since I’m in the process of creating my own blog.
How did you get to this place as an influencer?
I like to call it “a traveling thought.” I’ve always been pretty multi talented so trying new things that interest me is always an easy ride. Growing up in grade school I would always play the teacher, the librarian, the coordinator or just some type of leader. So I was born with this natural bone in my body to lead! Now – it was rough not knowing I had this power as an adolescent but that’s most of us.
Let’s fast forward. Once I moved to LA by way of Cleveland, Ohio, I chased the dream of being an actress (still in pursuit). I landed a role in “Straight Outta Compton” which motivated me to quit my 9-5. That led me to start doing odd jobs that I would soon learn was called being a Brand Ambassador. I worked for a variety of different brands and soon after became a Senior Field Marketing Specialist for just one which ended quickly once I realized I could put this same energy into my own brand.
After getting noticed in the Refinery29 YouTube series Hair Me Out in 2019 and attending the Influencer Marketing Conference and Expo in February 2020 (which is where I met Tami from Find Your Influence), I knew I was being noticed. So I took note! I realized I needed to be the boss babe that I could be! I notice when God is taking me places and when there is a shift in my life so once I felt it I just started to put myself in a position; one in which I was only familiar with due to my experience working with brands in the field. I had worked with influencers before. I’d put PR boxes together. I’ve taken influencer’s photos at events, and all that. Not knowing I would become one.
So due to my background I have officially made this seamless transition to being my own boss as an Influencer of Influencers. I call it that because of what I offer. I’m not average— I have passion, zeal, ambition, dedication, clarity, vision, eager ways of thinking, confidence, creative intuitiveness, and I can go on. However, my emotional intelligence with people is exceptional and that’s not something I can teach— it’s just something that I am and because of that it has taken me to where I am; effortlessly might I add.
I feel as though you are truly meant to do something when you can do that “thing” with ease and certainty.
I wasn’t waiting on an opportunity, I was seeking THE opportunity and in this case it happened to be as an influencer and I didn’t even know it. It sought after me— that’s why I’m here.
I exude expectations for myself so people often expect me to meet my own expectations. I think this is a beautiful place to be in. It’s about self – because I reached this place in my life expecting something of myself it transitions into others.
Affirmation: I am not worried about what people think of me because I am meeting my own expectations.
How does an influencer get 2,700 followers?
Followers – hmm! This used to be a sticky topic for me. I hated announcing it during auditions because the follower count became so “popular”. A good friend of mine who happens to be a Social Media Manager, Josephine Reid shared something important with me. She said, “Even though you have 1,000 followers (at that time) your engagement is amazing!”
I also believe that since I’ve been more consistent with posting on Instagram I’ve received a lot more recognition. I’ve noticed my reach has gone up and more people have been congratulating me on my social media presence. It is mighty interesting what you learn when you try new things. Last but not least, it’s the quality of your content— the originality and the authenticity that matters most.
I never knew I was going to be an influencer on social media. I’ve always known about the impact I’ve made on other lives’ but I never imagined it coming in this way — which has made me appreciate it even more.
Keeping an open mind helps.
After 2,700 followers, there is still a lot more to come as an influencer. What do the next steps look like? What are the next steps to really understanding the audience and helping it grow? What are the plans for your brand?
My next steps are:
- To continue to be a light via posting continually on Instagram with collaboration/partnership opportunities, sharing my writing (my most vulnerable talent), and trusting my content.
- To push myself harder to learn quicker editing skills or just hire someone because editing is not my thing.
- To create a team— I need more zebras! 🙂
The ultimate goal is to start a blog, continue growing an audience, and expand to merchandise. I’ve already got my website live, theindiahoward.com, so feel free to DM me on Instagram and let me know what kind of content you would love to see from me.
I would love to understand my audience more in order to help me grow. I am the Dramatic Zebra— which means I have so many different ways about me. You can’t really fit me into just the four corners of your phone or your laptop. YOU MUST EXPERIENCE ME! I believe creating more authentic content and finding fun, new and old ways to engage with my audience will do me some good. Create unique content, stay relevant, and move strategically!
Consider me your Modern Day Renaissance Woman
What are the things that you can control and how can you hold yourself accountable for what you want your success to be?
The thing I can control is MYSELF. Within controlling yourself comes holding yourself accountable, protecting your mental health and finding ways to stay dedicated. For example, I like making my work space fun and exciting, surrounding myself with positive social circles, knowing my support team, keeping my physical health intact, healthy relationships, investing in myself and more.
All of these are connected to shining light on your success. You must put IN to INfluence!
To follow India Howard, visit @theindiahoward on Instagram or indiahoward.com
Freelance contribution especially written for Find Your Influence by India Howard.