Top influencer Sharon Garofalow of Cupcakes and Cutlery aims to help other moms “be the best with less stress.” We love that philosophy, especially because we know many parents these days feel pressure to live picture-perfect lives, ready for social media. Take a look at our interview with Sharon, our May Spotlight Blogger, to learn more about her thoughts on social media, working with brands and more!

What is the #1 trend in influencer marketing? 

I think video is going to keep getting bigger. Whether it’s live or edited, I think brands are going to start requesting this more and more.

What content do your readers find most valuable?

My readers love things that make their lives a little easier. My quick recipes tend to go over well. With my recipes, they know they are getting something delicious that won’t keep them in the kitchen all day.

What are your thoughts on working with a brand on multiple occasions (vs. one-off programs)? 

I love to work with brands over a few posts or a long term rather than one-off program. I think it helps to build a relationship, we find each other’s strengths, we can create really unique content and make magic. One-off campaigns can sometimes be harder to really showcase what the brand is all about because we aren’t given enough time to really dive in.

What are your thoughts on programs measured by initial click-through rates? 

Of course brands want clicks, but they aren’t always going to be the consumer they really want to target. Over the last few years, engagement with online content has really changed, and it takes a great deal of energy to get people to react to something. That doesn’t mean they aren’t seeing it, I just don’t think click-through rates are a great way to gauge actual interest and reach.

Influencer marketing is…

Important. We are demanding consumers just like everyone else. We just have a unique way to spread word of mouth for the things we love.

Where do you find inspiration for new blog posts?

I find inspiration in my everyday life. As a busy, working mom to two little boys, I am my target market. When I figure out a shortcut, I know I need to share it. I also listen to my mom friends to see what they are struggling with.

Tell us why you blog.

My blog started out as a creative outlet when I was working in a job that I didn’t love. Over the years it has changed focus a few times, and basically grown up with myself and my kids. I blog, now, because I think that I can really help other moms be the best with less stress. I also think that in our culture of “busy,” moms really do need to take time to focus on themselves. I blog to try to encourage moms that they can be an equal partner in their family and even invest a little time into the things they enjoy.

What’s your greatest challenge when working with brands?

I think, sometimes, it can be frustrating getting the brand to understand why you should be paid what you are worth. I think they think you just shoot a few pictures and write a little something and it’s done. For me, I really put thought into my posts and try to make sure that they share my personal experience and really show my readers why the product is of value. Plus, I style photo shoots and edit those images. It’s time-consuming. We really are like one-person ad agencies, and I don’t think they look at it that way.

Favorite program you’ve done with The Motherhood

I really enjoyed the Protein Challenge campaign with The Beef Checkoff. It allowed me to be creative in sharing why moms need more protein in their diets and was a multiple-post commitment. I also really loved how easy it was to use The Mometer platform to record social, and you had everything you needed to create a successful campaign right at your fingertips.

Where do you see the most engagement with your content?

Most of my engagement is on Instagram right now. It’s super visual, which I love, and can really show a little more of your personality and behind the scenes than your actual blog. It’s not always on content that is directly tied to a blog post, but I think it’s really creating a place where my readers can let me know when something resonates with them which, in turn, can sometimes influence what I am writing about on the blog.

What’s the #1 question you’re asked by brands, and what’s your answer?

Brands are really interested in age right now, it seems. I’ve seen so many blog opportunities ask specifically for a certain age range, which I don’t fall into. I get the appeal of millennials who can’t NOT share things online, but my age group has the money to buy things. I think age restrictions really miss the mark when trying to find bloggers for campaigns. Just because I am a certain age doesn’t mean that my reader demographic isn’t what they are looking for.

What are brands doing right when working with bloggers?

When the brand gives the blogger the freedom to create content that they know their reader will love and is authentic to them, that is right! When they try to put too many restrictions on it, no one is going to be happy. I’ve had a brand request that my images include their brand colors. I wish they would trust that I will do an amazing job for them, and it will fit in with my usual content, instead of sticking out and having my readers say, “What is going on?!”

What should brands start doing (better) when working with bloggers?

I would love to see more relationships being built between brands and bloggers and multi-post campaigns. I would love to be loyal to a brand rather than take posts for competitors (months later) because I’ve got bills to pay. And these don’t have to be monetary exchanges, either. Maybe they have a great social media department and can share some tips with the bloggers. Or maybe they leverage a cool experience they get through their company to treat a blogger. I got to do the most amazing experience yesterday with a brand that has made me a fan of their product for life. I got to spend time with their president, learn about the product and now I want to tell everyone about it! And the day before I had never heard of them before

More about The Motherhood’s Spotlight Blogger Series

Each month, our internal team convenes and discusses our latest programs, stellar partnerships and top influencers. It’s not about numbers, but rather, the quality, authentic content they’re delivering consistently. It’s about reliability, professionalism and partnership. We discuss our nominations for the month and ultimately decide on just one blogger to feature.

Take a look at our other featured influencers here, and stop by in June for the next Spotlight Blogger!