Having three autistic children put Alicia Trautwein and her family in a predicament, to say the least. She knew that she couldn’t work full-time due the level of care and time needed to take care of her children. And, oddly enough, she had trouble finding online support for parents with autistic children. There wasn’t anything, for example, from a parent’s perspective.
So, she decided to take matters into her own hands and share her story, in the hope that other parents with autistic children could get the support and help they needed. The tagline in her blog gets right at the heart of how she contributes to the autism community: “Autism Parenting Made a Little Easier”. She is now a leader in growing autism awareness and teaching neurodiversity.
Suffice it to say, the need for her type of blog was substantial, and Alicia’s story has resonated: she has 30K+ followers on Facebook, 14.8K followers on Instagram, approximately 10K followers on Twitter, and a highly respected, and award-winning blog at TheMomKind.com.
The Perlu team recently sat down with Alicia and picked her brain on all things influencer collaboration. We hope that it helps your journey of strengthening your personal brand, engaging your audience, and expanding your reach.
Finding the Right Brand Partnership
“The most effective step that I’ve taken to grow my influencer brand and monetize my blog,” Alicia explains, “is to team up with brands that I believe in and my audience respects, because I can partner with them long-term, as opposed to any one-off posts.”
Alicia has partnered with AngelSense, a GPS tracker and voice-monitoring solution for children with special needs, and Mightier, a bioresponsive video game that builds calming skills for young children. They’re both brands that help The Mom Kind become a helpful resource for their audience.
Alicia has created sponsored posts and reviewed products (both written and video reviews) for both AngelSense and Mightier. How did she partner with these, and other, companies?
Some found her through her influencer network. For example, AngelSense. And some she approached on her own, looking for the perfect fit for her and her audience.
Mightier is one that actually approached Alicia, looking to do a sponsored post. Alicia realized that a single post would be unnecessarily narrow in scope. She felt that what would make more sense for everyone long term – her audience, the brand, herself – was an affiliate program, and so they established one just for her!
Creating Affiliate Marketing Programs
Alicia has utilized affiliate marketing—the majority through Amazon—to great success. But she does caution influencers about being very selective with these programs.
“Doing affiliate marketing is a balancing act,” Alicia says. “You need to take care of your audience and team up with the right brands at the right time. One great takeaway from affiliate marketing is that you can see what your audience does and does not order, so it helps you adjust what you’re promoting. If your audience doesn’t love it, don’t promote it.”
Collaborations & Connections: The Good & Bad of Facebook Groups
“One of the biggest areas for bloggers to really connect has obviously been through Facebook and Facebook groups,” Alicia explains. “I’ve used Facebook to connect with both autism parenting groups as well as blogger groups.”
Alicia has solicited feedback from both these groups—with particular collaborative help from a smaller “mastermind” group—to improve her blogs and social media posts. For example, on posts that weren’t converting to her expected levels, the feedback she received helped improve her numbers.
However, Facebook isn’t perfect. Alicia puts it more bluntly: “Facebook has become a mess.”
This unfortunate dichotomy of Facebook Groups—collaborative possibilities with unpredictable algorithms—is one that influencers are all too familiar with. Facebook is both a connector and a big headache.
Between the new, unpredictable algorithms and the random rules set by group administrators, Facebook is unpredictable and difficult to maneuver.
“I’ve even shared a very helpful link which Facebook simply deleted because they thought I shared the link too many times,” Alicia says. “They assumed it was spam. And you can comment on a year-old post and it pops up to the top of the feed. No matter how you set your group settings, it’s really out of your control. Concept-wise, Facebook is amazing, but things just get lost now without explanation.”
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Turbocharging Collaboration with Perlu.com
Alicia is not only engaging with other influencers on Perlu.com, she started her own Perlu Packs such as Mommy Bloggers and Autism Parenting to connect with other experts. Perlu is especially set up to facilitate influencer-to-influencer collaboration (and soon influencer-brands collaboration, as well), and eliminates the headaches that Facebook Groups introduce to the process.
“Not only have I started a few Perlu Packs,” she says, “I’m seeking collaboration to support my new initiative, which is to create a course. It’s one of those things that you have to expand outside of your core audience to grow, and I’m looking for affiliates to help me promote my upcoming course. I’ve already had a number of gals sign up, saying, yeah, I wanna be part of it when you launch it.”
“The key to success to collaboration—within Perlu or anywhere—is engagement. My goal is to reach 20,000 Instagram followers and one of the keys to pursuing that is to be more active and engaged within my Perlu Packs. You get out what you put in.”
Find Your Niche, Work Hard & Share
Similar to many other successful endeavors, The Mom Kind has succeeded out of necessity. Where there was once a severe lack of online content and support for parents of autistic children, Alicia Trautwein has answered the call.
Through hard work, countless hours, and sheer determination to help others, Alicia and The Mom Kind brand has grown into a key influencer in her space.
Find her on Perlu.com, and see if a collaboration makes sense for both of you. Just remember: you get out what you put in.