Today we wanted to highlight “helpfluencers,” influencers who work to support charitable causes as well as other businesses, rather than merely focusing on personal gain and profit. One excellent example is the Family of 5 (F05) Travel Blog. Last month, F05 offered support to the many small businesses impacted by the pandemic. While acknowledging that they lack the advertising reach of huge media or Instagram accounts, the travel bloggers sought to help however possible and created a special page on their blog to promote small businesses in Switzerland as well as some throughout Europe. The #F05support web page features numerous businesses organized in eight different categories.
Kingfluencers interviewed Family of 5 blog creators Jean and Camilla to learn more about this initiative as well as their influencer journey.
Positive Responses to the F05Support Campaign
Camilla explained, “The participating businesses have been very happy and grateful, and each has shared with their own followers. While it’s hard to quantify how effective the campaign is, my sister is an illustrator for example and recently got a commission from a new client in Switzerland, a sale she attributes to this campaign.”
What the couple has found most surprising is the diversity.
A wide range of businesses have been interested including services, people selling things from home, and shops on the street.
The Family of 5 has been receiving one new submission every two to three days. When asked if they’ve had to reject any applicants, Jean was surprised to reflect that they have not yet had to do so.
Jean and Camilla didn’t intend to become influencers. Camilla remembers, “We went on some hikes, each with a child on our back, and were almost in tears by the time we finished. These hikes weren’t realistic for us, so we started a travel blog writing reviews and specifically sharing places that were easy to walk with children. We also have a disabled son, so our blogs talk about accessibility for those with limited mobility, and we didn’t think too much beyond that. We were surprised when people asked us to visit for free, and then it snowballed.
Over time, the blog grew beyond traveling to also include products and services and has collaborated with Kingfluencers. Now one primary goal for the couple is to remain authentic.
How to Convey Authenticity
When asked the couple how they can demonstrate their authenticity, Camilla replied, “it’s uncomfortable for us to be in such a position and our gratitude is really heartfelt. We’ve toured Switzerland and most stays were paid for. People can see us taking expensive train trips, and we know it’s not accessible to many of our followers.
We’re delighted, we pinch ourselves that we’re so lucky and we convey to our followers that we don’t take this for granted. We know it’s not normal for most — it’s not even normal for us. That’s all we can do to make sure people know, and also give something back when we can. We’ve also asked for tickets to offer to our followers.
Jean added, “Authenticity is something that has been important to us since the early days. We don’t do it for money. I work in a private bank, and Camilla has a small business. We can criticize if we want, and if someone doesn’t want to work with us afterward, no problem. We have the choice, and we decline a lot of offers.”
Travelers Adjusting to Lockdown & Promoting Charities
Jean stated, “With the COVID-19 pandemic we are stuck at home and not traveling, and we didn’t want to bombard our account with pics from 2018. We wondered what we could do except encourage people to stay home.”
Camilla continued, “But we also have a part on our page which is dedicated to charities, including our own charity for our son’s condition, the Children’s Vestibular Disorder Association. Advertising related charities is another way to shine a light on people.
We’ve also built a good relationship with an association in Switzerland called Planète Enfants Malade that helps provide joyful experiences to children. We met when we happened to be sitting next to their director in a restaurant. Promoting the charity on Instagram helps, so the budget goes to things more worthwhile rather than marketing since that’s not the best use of donations.” [As marketers, we worked to transcend the knee-jerk reaction to balk at the implication that marketing is not a “worthwhile” expenditure, because, yes, Camilla is correct here!]
Advice for Instagrammers?
Be yourselves. You can’t build an account pretending to be someone else. There will be limits to that. Be authentic, and people will read your story. Your life will change! (Only joking) And don’t do it to become popular.
“For example, the hashtag #Switzerland is all too perfect. You might be inclined to accept a lot of collaborations just to show that you have them, but I don’t think you’ll go far with this attitude. Instead, find your own angle. Bring something to the table. Offer little tips that can be useful. Don’t repeat what others have said. What’s different for you?
“There are many family bloggers out there, but we had a different vision for Family of 5. It’s given us more humility as well as encouraged us to try and approach the topics differently.”
Author: Yoeri Callebaut, Chief Growth and Marketing Officer at Kingfluencers