The Coffee Date


How to Collaborate on Instagram in Four Simple Steps

Social MediaDiana TrinhComment

I see many businesses hesitate to collaborate with bloggers and brand influencers on Instagram because they don't know how to go about it. I've got a few (successful!) collaborations under my belt and learned the ins and outs of working with a blogger or brand influencer for a collaboration on Instagram. And let me tell you something: each one can vary. Because each blogger works their business differently in terms of choosing and styling products, posting on Instagram, and of course, everybody's favorite topic, payment, that means each collaboration can differ. The basics of collaborating with a blogger or brand influencer that stay the same.

Collaborating with a blogger or brand influencer doesn't have to be difficult. In fact, with my four easy steps to collaborating on Instagram, you're next collaboration should be a breeze.

Four Easy Steps to Collaborating on Instagram

1. Find a blogger or brand influencer you want to work with.

It's important to find someone you want to work with, right? You can just scroll through your Instagram feed and pick anybody, right? Well, that's not exactly how it works. You can't just pick anybody. You need to pick someone that works well with your products and your business.

For instance, if you sell clothing and accessories for women who rock the boho-chic style, you wouldn't want to work with a city style blogger. The two wouldn't mix well. The pictures wouldn't look right and that blogger's Instagram followers wouldn't be interested in your business at all because they are probably interested in the same city style as the blogger, not the boho-chic style.

Rather than finding someone on the opposite end of the spectrum, focus on finding a brand influencer that has a similar style and aesthetic to you and your business.


Take an hour to hang around on Instagram and see who you would like to collaborate with. Make sure their style and personality would mesh well with your brand.

2. Yes, the number of followers you have matters.

I'm not one to really care that about how many followers I have. Yes of course, I like to grow my social media following, but I focus on my social media account's engagement as opposed to the number of followers I have. That said, when it comes to collaborating, your numbers do matter.

When looking for bloggers or brand influencers to work with, you need to make sure their style and personality will work with your brand and that you have a similar amount of followers. I've worked with bloggers who have had approximately 10,000 more followers than the shop's Instagram account I was managing — those seem to be the easiest collaborations to move forward with. There's no harm in seeing if a blogger with a much larger Instagram account (we're talking like thousands more) would be interested in collaborating with you, but it may be more difficult to work out a collaboration with them.


Back to that list of bloggers you would like to collaborate with — who has a closer following to you. Remember to keep it within the 10K range of your own Instagram account following.

3. Contact the blogger or brand influencer!

First, I want to make a public announcement. Please stop asking to collaborate with people through direct messaging! Not everybody checks their DMs consistently, so your message can go unread. You are trying to wrap up a business deal — and a business deal is rather professional, so a collaboration request should be coming through a professional e-mail address.

Go the extra mile and look for their e-mail address. Some post their e-mail address in their Instagram bio for easy collaboration access. Others host that information on their website. Head over there and check out that blogger's contact or work with me page to find the e-mail address. And if all else fails, ask what the best way is to reach them about a collaboration. Maybe it will turn out to be direct messaging and if that's what the brand influencer chooses, that is definitely ok. However, if you as a business are making the first contact or reach for a collaboration, it should come from a professional e-mail address.


Contact the blogger or brand influencer you would like to work with via e-mail. It looks way more professional!

4. Decide on the details of your collaboration and collaborate.

I can't even begin to explain how many types of collaborations you can host with a blogger or brand influencer. Yes, I can because I have a list below full of them. But hashing out the details of the collaboration with the brand influencer you are collaborating with is important. It all starts with the types of products the brand influencer will be receiving — are there set products in place that need to be promoted or does the blogger get to choose what they would like to feature?

Speaking of features, what kind of Instagram feature will the blogger be doing and how many? Usually, the more posts that will be featured, the more money or some form of compensation you will need to give to the blogger.

Everybody hates talking money, but it's the conversation that needs to happen. Is there payment required upfront or after the collaboration and how much or does the blogger just receive free products? Details like this vary the most when it comes to each different collaboration, but the set up is rather the same in that you need to straighten out all the details.


Square away all the details from the products to the Instagram posts to compensation. Your collaboration will run smoother if you get everything squared away first and foremost.

My four step process to collaborating with a blogger or brand influencer is rather simple. When we talked before about hashing out all the details of the collaboration, one of the most important parts of the collaboration is figuring out beforehand what kind you want to have! How and why do you want the brand influencer to promote your products on Instagram? I've got my three ideas for you.

My 3 Favorite Ways to Collaborate on Instagram

1. For lifestyle images and brand awareness

You need photos of your products, right? Who better than to model them than a blogger that works in your field! Collaborate with a brand influencer to get beautiful photos that you can share everywhere and get their followers to notice your brand in however the blogger decides to share your photos. This is a more lenient way of collaborating.

2. For a shoutout

Have an awesome sale or promotion coming out and want to get more exposure to it? Work out a deal with the blogger or brand influencer to shout out your sale or promotion at a specific time. Collaborations like these may be a little pricier; however, it can lead to more sales.

3. To host a giveaway

Get a blogger involved in your giveaway! Have he or she join you in sharing that giveaway and notifying the winner. It's a fun way to build up excitement if more people (especially a blogger) is buzzing about a giveaway and it's likely to lead to more entries too.

Need a few more Instagram tricks to keep your Instagram account growing and engaging? I've got some up my sleeve with my Instagram Survival Guide for Boutiques, Shops and Product Sellers.


Melissa Hebbe is a social media strategist for boutiques, shops and product sellers and blogs all about social media marketing over at Since Melissa likes to keep the social in social media, she believes all platforms are a great way for boutiques, shops and small businesses to stay connected with their customers and audience.

Connect with her on Social Media!

Instagram - Pinterest - Facebook - Twitter

Start & Grow your Youtube channel in 3 simple phases

Diana TrinhComment

As a creative entrepreneur, sometimes you can forget how the world perceives you. You can put up your ads asking people to check out your latest and greatest offering, have the coolest opt-in offer, or the most banging blog post ever. This may not be the best way to approach a cold audience.

We are being marketed to so much on the internet and a lot of the marketing sounds scammy or just like everybody else. Your audience wants to know that you’re a real person just like them. They want to be able to relate to you the old school way, in person. While this may not be the in-person experience they want, it gets close to it. The principal of KLT (know-like-trust) applies. Your audience has to know, like, and trust you before they can become your customer. 

You may be asking, “how do I get started with video?”

Easy peasy, YOUTUBE! YouTube has over a billion users. The network reaches more people in the 18 to 49 age bracket than any other cable network in the U.S. Learn more about YouTube's reach here:

YouTube generates hundreds of millions of views every single day. The world is obsessed with YouTube and that’s why you need to jump on the bandwagon. Position yourself as an authority and meet some amazing people while doing it. 

Like everything else, starting a YouTube channel is all about mindset. You can’t go in thinking you’ll fail. You have to go in with a winning attitude and be confident in your abilities. You can do it!

Here’s an action plan that will help you start and grow your YouTube channel in 3 simple phases.

>> Step One: Startup Phase <<

- Create a YouTube account. 

Your YouTube account must be linked to a Google account. You would create a Google account if you don’t already have one or use an existing Google account if you’d like. Pick a name that suits your personal brand and the audience you’ll deliver your content to.

- Personalize your channel.

Add a profile picture, viewers want to see who you are. Add a picture of yourself or if you’re a business or want to remain anonymous then add your logo here.

- Create your Youtube banner

This is similar to a Facebook cover photo for business pages. Use Canva to create this if you’re not design savvy. Try to make a banner that fits your brand. If you can, put your video upload schedule on the banner. For instance “New videos every Tuesday and Thursday.” This lets your audience know when to expect your videos. You can also put the focus of your channel on the banner. For a personal stylist, this might be “Styling advice, unboxings, and shopping trips."

- Change your about section

Let viewers know what your channel is about. This can be really brief, I don’t think your audience wants to read an essay. You could say “My name is Ashley, I’ve been a Personal Stylist for the past 15 years. I love helping women achieve success in life and in wardrobe. If you’re a fashion junkie, enjoy styling advice, and want to “throw it in the bag” with me at my local shopping mall then subscribe! Stay tuned for new videos every Tuesday and Thursday. Looking forward to our journey together. Xoxo, Ashley "

- Add your other social media links

YouTube allows you to link to all of your social media accounts. On the “about” tab of your channel, you can click on “edit” next to links and add all of your social media handles. This will help you cross-promote your other channels and build your following.

- Make yourself contactable

Put an email where people can get in contact with you. You can do this right above the section where you add your social media links. Make sure this email suits your brand.  Use a professional email address if you are serious about getting opportunities on YouTube. Emails like may not land you the opportunities you're looking for.

- Create a canned video description

Go to the creator studio, choose channel, then “upload defaults.” Click on that to customize the default settings. Each time you upload a video, these settings will apply. 

  • If you’re a Personal Stylist and you made a video about how to clean your closet for spring, list the steps you mentioned. Make sure any third party resources you mentioned in your video are listed in the description box.

    1. The description box is also an area where you would leave direct links to all of your social media profiles. It’s important to make sure this is in the description box for each of your videos. Viewers don’t want to search multiple videos to see where else they can find you. They also don’t want to go to the about page to get that information. Make it easy for them and make it visible everywhere.

Monetize your videos. 

In the creator studio, under channel, you can click on monetization to connect your Adsense account to your YouTube channel. You want to do this in the startup phase to take advantage of the views you’re getting. You can’t backtrack on your earnings.

Let’s say you just posted a video on YouTube with no Adsense account. The video happens to generate 100,000 views in 48 hours. When this happens, you immediately setup your Adsense account. There’s no button you can press that says “pay me for the 100,000 views I’ve already received.” You can only benefit from those views before the fact, not after the fact.

Of course, there are other ways to monetize your YouTube channel. You can monetize through sponsorships. This is when a company pays you to talk about a product or service. You could also make money by selling your own products and services. You could also use affiliate links in your description box to link to products you talked about in your video. If you want to monetize through Adsense, get your account set-up and linked to your YouTube channel immediately.

Just like in the blogging world, you can’t monetize an article that’s already gone viral. You have to be proactive and set everything up first.

If you’re going to use music in your videos, make sure they’re royalty free. Your videos can’t be monetized through Adsense if they contain any copyrighted content. You can learn more about Adsense here:

>> Step 2: Management Phase << 

Record an introductory video

It’s important to just get started with something. You don’t want to waste time with setup and never post a video. Once you get started, everything becomes easier.

This video can simply be you restating everything you mentioned in the “about” section. This would tell your viewers who you are, what you do, and what they can expect from you.

Include a call-to-action at the end of each video. You can ask your viewers to comment below, like the video, check out your website, etc. Asking your audience to take some action helps you get  comfortable asking them to take action and conditions them to engage. This also helps you achieve your personal or business goals.

You can ask viewers what videos they want to see next. This will take the guesswork out of figuring it out by yourself. At the end of your videos, you can even include a poll to poll your audience using the card feature in YouTube. Learn how to do this here:

Upload the video to your computer

 Your camera should have instructions attached with how to do this. You can use a USB to connect your camera to your computer and upload the raw video just like you would a thumbdrive. If you’re using your phone, you can email the video to yourself. You can also send it to your computer via bluetooth or text message if you’re on a MAC.

Edit the video in editing software

Don’t throw a raw video onto YouTube. The key to getting quality video is to edit your video to take out parts you don’t like. You can customize your video by adding transitions to make the video flow, add text, or add sound. You want to cut out parts of your videos that have long pauses or that would make your viewers click off the video.

Export the video

Once you’re all done editing the video, then you want to export the file. Each editing software is different. If you’re using iMovie, click on the “share” menu at the top of the screen and then click on “export.” The software generally lets you know which formats you can export your video in. If you have the option to export in 720 HD or 1080p HD, I would recommend that you do that. This gives you high-definition video which your viewers would appreciate. 

Upload the video to YouTube to make it live

Click on the “upload” button  at the top of the YouTube screen or on the left-hand side panel. Select your file and choose whether you want your video to be public, unlisted, private, or scheduled. If you select “public,” your video will automatically go live when it’s finished uploading. If you select unlisted, your video will go live after uploading but it won’t be visible on your channel page. Unlisted videos are viewable to those who have the link. Keep in mind that these videos aren’t private. If anyone gets ahold of that link then they will be able to view your video. Private videos are just that, private! No one can view a private video but yourself. Initially, I use this option for every upload. I want to make sure that I have time to customize the description box and add a custom thumbnail.

Customize your thumbnail. 

A thumbnail is the image you see on a video. Thumbnails are extremely important because they make people click. The idea here is to make your image attention grabbing to make a person who doesn’t know who you are click on the video. You can choose a stock photo or you can take your own images and edit those. I always take my own pictures and edit them. I would recommend Fotor or Canva to edit your YouTube thumbnails. Those are the only tools I’ve ever used to create my thumbnails. If you’re not a graphic designer, I recommend those tools.

Customize the video description. 

Make sure to include specific things you talked about in this section. If you mentioned a few links or products in your video, link directly to those in the description box. Your viewers don’t and won’t rewind to hear what you said. They want to look in the description box for that information. You can also talk about the general topics you presented in the video. If you go into the specifics, people won’t watch your video.

Add tags to the video.

 These are keywords. YouTube is powered by Google and is basically a search engine. Don’t get cutesy with your tags. Type in things that people are actually searching for. If you’re a graphic designer and just made a video on how to use photoshop to create YouTube thumbnails, you would use tags like “photoshop, how to use photoshop, how to create a thumbnail in photoshop.” Think of this as SEO for your YouTube channel. You should use a keyword planner tool to help you see what people are searching for and how many hits those keywords are generating. You can use the Google Keyword Planner, check it out here:

Promote the video. 

Now that the video is live, you want to promote the video. Just like that nice blog post you wrote or new offering you have in your business, it means nothing if no one knows about it. Share your video to different Facebook groups if the group allows it. Share a pretty picture on Pinterest that links back to your video. There are so many platforms you can share your YouTube video on. Stumbleupon is a great resource as well. 


A great way to promote the video is to follow other people in your niche. Watch their videos, like their videos, and comment on their videos.

Commenting on other’s videos makes you visible in your community and easier for others to find your channel. People will see your comments and want to check out your channel. Make sure to keep your comments positive and un-promotional.

Do not promote yourself under someone else’s video. This will possibly get you blocked from that person’s channel, it’s spammy and rude. Make your comments conversational and on-topic. If what you watched resonated with you, share that with the creator in the comments section. 

Track YouTube analytics. 

It’s important to see how your channel is doing. You have access to key metrics that can tell you a lot about the health of your channel. You can see metrics on things like: watch time, location of viewers, and more. In the creator studio, under analytics you can access this information. Get more insight into YouTube analytics here:

Respond to comments. 

Your viewers want their comments and questions responded to. You are more likely to turn these viewers into hardcore supporters if you engage with them. Make sure to use their names if it’s in their username to make it extremely personal. Thank them for watching your video. The truth is they could have been watching anybody else’s channel but they chose yours. 

>> Step 3: Growth Phase. <<

Choose a filming schedule.

 You want to choose a filming schedule to keep you consistent with your videos. You can create an editorial calendar or jot down video ideas on a notepad. You can use a free tool like Trello to create an editorial calendar. Stay up-to-date on current trends in your industry and be willing to go outside of your filming schedule to cover these topics. Doing this may get you viral traffic if you act immediately. News is here today and gone tomorrow. The people who act fast win! 

Collaborate with other YouTubers. 

You can reach out to other YouTubers in your niche and team up to do a collaboration video. A collaboration video is where two YouTubers come together physically to film a video for each of their channels. They cross-promote each other’s videos to their subscribers. This could also be a virtual collaboration where the YouTubers pick a video topic or two and create their own videos.

For example, two YouTubers that specialize in doing makeup videos may collaborate on Valentine’s Day looks. One YouTuber creates a certain Valentine’s Day look and the other YouTuber creates a different Valentine’s Day look. At the beginning of each video, each YouTuber tells their audience that the video is in collaboration with another YouTuber. They tell their audience to check out the other YouTuber’s video. They’ll even link to each other’s videos in the description box. 

Host giveaways. 

Hosting giveaways are great because it helps you grow your channel. You want what you’re giving away to be something your audience wants. Don’t make the giveaway local to you or your business. Chances are, most people that watch your videos won’t all be located near you. You don’t want to exclude your other subscribers. Make sure it’s a product or service that relates to your channel.

You want to set rules for the giveaway to make it fair for everyone participating. Maybe you’re a web designer and you’re giving away a custom website to a lucky subscriber. You may say, “to win, comment below and let me know what your perfect website would look like.” The best giveaways are ones that foster a lot of engagement and require the audience to do something.

Also, make sure to put the word “giveaway” somewhere in your video title and thumbnail. This can help drive a lot of traffic to your video and channel.

You also want to make sure to set an end date for the giveaway. If you don’t specify this in your video and description box, people won’t take action immediately. Also, they’ll continue to try and enter the giveaway long after it’s closed. Put “Giveaway closed” somewhere in your video title when the giveaway has ended. You can use tools such as to choose winners at random.

YouTube networks. 

Proceed with caution here. With the growth of YouTube, many networks have formed. They have been promising YouTubers channel growth and sponsorship opportunities. You’ll be approached by networks almost immediately. They’ll send you private messages, comment on your videos, and email the address you put in the “about” section.


The promise can sound amazing at first but a lot of YouTubers have gotten scammed by these companies. These types of things usually only tend to favor extremely large channels. It’s easier for these networks to leverage traction that a YouTuber created themselves. They can’t create this for you but they’ll promise it to you.

They will take a cut of your YouTube earnings and they lock you into a contract for at least one year. Most of the people that have signed with a network have been looking for ways to get out of their contracts. This will only benefit you if your channel is already large (500,000 subscribers plus). Even then, some of these companies are scams so check their reputation beforehand.


Upgrade your equipment.  

If your equipment isn’t helping you produce high quality videos, then it may be time to upgrade your equipment. This also applies if you’re filming on your phone. There are so many great tools out there. I would recommend that you invest in a camera that can shoot in 1080p HD. Also consider getting a good tripod to stabilize your camera, studio lighting, a mic, and advanced editing software.

The important thing is to be true to yourself, find what works for you and your brand and put that into practice. With consistency, time, and quality content your channel will grow and become a success. Keep in mind that success is different for everybody.

Popularity doesn’t equal success, it doesn’t always mean dollars.

If you have a YouTube channel, comment below and let me know your channel name. If you haven’t started a YouTube channel yet, let me know what’s stopping you.


I’m Glory! I’m a glampreneur, makeup artist, and blogger. I live in the Lone Star State and enjoy nights out with my girls. I adore Sunday brunch, six inch heels, and tall carafes of bottomless prickly-pear (sparkly and bubbly) mimosas.

I’m a girl’s girl who loves helping women transform every aspect of their lives from drab to fab. Great skin, a pinch of encouragement, and tons of sparkle is all you need to beat basic and live the glamorous life.

Website Link:

Instagram: @GlobyGlory

Facebook: Glo by Glory

Snapchat: Glorye

What to post on Instagram

Social MediaDiana TrinhComment

One of the biggest questions I get is, “What exactly do I post on Instagram if I’m not selling a physical product?” Entrepreneurs and other bloggers may have a harder time figuring out what to post on Instagram because unlike fashion bloggers, beauty bloggers or those who sell a physical product - we may not always have something to showcase.

Not knowing what to post on Instagram deterred me from using Instagram all-together. Last year, I focused on Twitter and Facebook, but this year I’m putting all my efforts into Instagram. Within 3 months I was able to build a following, find my tribe and best of all - get real engagement from target audience.

I know what you’re thinking, “My life isn’t exactly picture perfect all the time, what am I going to post? How am I going to post content everyday?”

I’ll let you in on this little secret - you can post basically anything as long as it meets these three standards:

1. It has to be a high quality image (don’t ever post, just to post - come on now).

2. Your target audience has to resonate with it.

3. Your captions have to stay consistent throughout your Instagram.


Number one is pretty self explanatory and I talk about it extensively in my Free 5 Day Instagram Audit Course. My 5 Day course talks about how to edit and curate photos so you don’t ever have to worry about uploading a photo that doesn’t match your feed or that doesn’t resonate with your target audience.


Not interested in signing up for the course? You can take a look at this in-depth blog post that goes into how to take high quality photos for your Instagram.

Number 2: Your target audience has to resonate with it. 

This gives you so much flexibility in the type of content you can post up. Think about your ideal client, what exactly are they struggling with? What is their typical day like? What do they like to do for fun? What exactly does your service offer them? Best of all, you can really connect to your audience by posting things that they’ll look at and go, “I totally get that!” or “That is so me.”

As someone who targets bloggers from all niches and entrepreneurs, I have more freedom because I can post different types of photos to capture their attention. 

Remember - use your photo to capture your follower’s attention and then use your caption to win them over!

For example: You could post up a photo of your desk with papers all over the place, your huge cup of coffee and your business books piled up in one corner. What do you think people think or feel when they see that photo? If they’re an entrepreneur they would totally go, “That’s what my desk looks like on a daily basis!”

OR: If your audience is a strong, independent woman who loves having a good time and appreciates a bottle of wine, heck - you could even post up a photo of a glass of wine and a cheese plate. Either way, your target audience is going to love it because they totally get where you’re coming from. But then again, who doesn’t love an awesome cheese plate and a glass of wine?!

Number Three: You can post anything you want, as long as your voice stays consistent and you don’t forget about your mission.

 How do you keep your voice and message consistent? You make sure that your captions are always talking about what you offer, how you can help, and what you’re going through. Remember, you are on Instagram to give people a chance to get to know you better, a chance to peek inside your life, and also you are there to provide them with awesome content.

Here’s what I mean. If you’re a web designer who has been posting up photos of their work and you go out, have a wonderful time with friends and want to post up a photo of your dinner with a seaside view (hey- a girl can dream, can’t they?) then you can post up that photo and go, “Treating myself out to a wonderful dinner. As someone who works from home, I spend most of my time in my house - huddled behind a computer, but today I realized that all my hard work and knew that I needed to treat myself.”

But imagine if all I posted was amazing food photos with the caption, “Ate this at ______ the other day, so delicious!” and then I suddenly began to post about my business and mentioning my services, people who have been following me for a while would go, “What the heck? Why is this showing up on my feed? I don’t remember following her.” Your audience has gotten so used to you posting up about food, and talking about food that when you mention your business, they can get uncomfortable.

No matter what I post, I always make sure that the message ties into my business /my audience can connect with what I’m saying OR I am giving them the real me - it helps them think of me as a person, and not a brand.

I posted a photo of a mug that says, “I’m not bossy, I’m the boss” and even though my caption has nothing to do with this mug, I got so many great responses and engagement from this post. As you can see from the caption, I talked about my MAY goals. I used the photo to capture the attention of my followers and used the caption to invite my followers to talk about their goals as well.

Here’s another great example from Louise from the solopreneursidekick. Her photo just shows a nicely styled flatlay that consists of flowers and a laptop, but her caption is filled with information that provides her followers with amazing ideas and high quality content.

Now, here are some ideas on what to post for those of you who are still struggling:

1. Behind the scenes photos:

If you’re working on an e-book or drafting up some amazing blog posts, then post a photo of your workstation or behind the scenes photos! You’re giving your followers a sneak peek at what’s to come and getting them excited.

2.  Challenges:

If you want to start building up your tribe on Instagram and get seen as an authority figure, start doing a challenge. The first thought that came to my mind was if you’re an organizer - you could have a 5 day spring cleaning challenge where you would encourage followers to post up photos of their before and after photos. You would then lead the challenge by taking a before and after photo of your cabinet, kitchen, bathroom, etc!

3. Mini Courses:

Host a free mini course where you talk about certain things for a certain amount of days. Make this content available on Instagram only and make sure that the tips are short and to the point (this isn’t a blog post!). You could set up a mini course on how to build your email list in 5 days and post up a tip every night on Instagram.

Join my party on Instagram! 

Click here to follow me.