Chinae Alexander is a marketing coordinator turned social entrepreneur. In episode #11 of the Content Callout podcast, she shares her journey to becoming an influencer. One thing she’s learned along the way is that you have to set boundaries—but it’s not an easy task.
Boundaries are HARD to set. As an influencer, you have access to information all the time because all you need is your phone. But setting boundaries for yourself is huge. Saying “No, not now” helps maintain balance. You can’t allow the work to consume you. So how does Chinae find balance?
Let go of the 24/7 mentality
When Chinae is spending time with her partner, she doesn’t feel the need to chronicle every second. But many influencers believe the lie that people won’t like them if they aren’t doing their job 24/7.
Chinae shares that “The hard reality that we all have to learn is whether you’re marketing for a brand or yourself, you don’t matter that much.” You’re significant, but you’re not special, and people don’t care. If you don’t post for a day, people won’t notice. The world keeps spinning.
If Chinae needs to get some work done, she’ll let her partner know she needs to be on her phone. What she does next is important: She puts a time constraint on it. She will do what she needs to do for a specified amount of time, and then she puts the work away.
She points out that you can still take photos or videos of things that you’re doing. But she emphasizes that you can delay posting content to stay present in the moment with the people that you love.
Why it’s okay to set boundaries with your community
Chinae isn’t afraid to set and maintain boundaries with her community. She has no problem saying “that’s not okay.” It’s a public forum that’s moderated by her and she can moderate her space however she wants to. She doesn’t tolerate demeaning language, racism, body shaming, or anything meant to be hurtful.
If you don’t agree, that’s fine. She has thick skin, but she doesn’t allow a negative space within her community. So she is swift to delete comments and to block people if they’re harming the safe community that she’s built for her followers.
Create boundaries with brands
Chinae also imposes boundaries with her brands. She lays out her values and her vision and it’s never impeded on, ever. She’s turned down $100,000 worth of projects that don’t fit. If it isn’t a product she likes or a brand whose values don’t align, she’ll pass. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to take everything that comes your way.
Chinae doesn’t work with anyone weight-loss related or that carries “skinny” products that relate thinness to a personality trait. ThinkThin bars were her favorite protein bars, but she hated the branding. They reached out to her and let her know that changed their branding and dropped “thin” from their messaging. She appreciates their progress.
She also won’t work with brands that don’t promote diversity in their company culture. The way she combats that is to speak to brands she might work with and say “I know a diverse group of people you should work with.” She will connect them to influencers who need to be in the industry.
Chinae has a set list of brands she won’t work with. If the brand doesn’t value what she values, there’s no point. Unless they ask for help to tell a better story. If they’re striving for growth or looking for diversity, she’ll be on board.
To hear how Chinae became an influencer, what the job actually entails, how she chooses what brands to work with, and why gifts aren’t always a great motivator for an influencer, listen to episode #11 of the Content Callout podcast!