Sheree Ho worked in corporate real estate and property management for more than a decade before quitting her job in February 2015 to become a full-time mom.
“I wanted to spend time with my kids. My son is nine and my daughter is seven. My daughter was pretty easy. She slept a lot. She was an easy baby. And there’s a lot of free time on my hands and I just wanted to be involved in the adult world while I’m a full time mom.”
Blog and Instagram
She started a blog as a pastime. It was initially meant to be a creative outlet where she talked about switching from the corporate environment into full time mom.
“It wasn’t something I thought I’d make a semi career out of. In the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing. It was about the food I was making or how I felt disconnected from the corporate world.”
Over time though, Sheree observed that people seemed to be interested in certain types of content.
“When I took photos of my daughter in cute little outfits, people responded well. So that kind of got me on Instagram because Instagram was just taking off then. I thought it might be interesting to have that going along with my blog. Because of the tremendous growth Instagram was experiencing back in 2014 and 2015, my platform took off very well. I was sharing fashion, my daughter’s stuff, everyday lifestyle but in a picturesque way. So that’s how everything got started and so now here we are.”
From Poshclassymom to Bysheree
At the beginning, her blog name and Instagram handle was ‘poshclassymom’ because her primary goal was portraying how a stay-at-home mom can be posh and classy. She changed the name to ‘bysheree’ in more recent years as her kids grew older and didn’t want to be photographed as much.
“The focus shifted to me more than kids and family lifestyle. Also, as my followers grew, I looked at what posts are doing well and what trends are trending. Fashion, skincare and lifestyle tended to do very well. The content was more adult-driven. I know mom bloggers are very much about their kids unlike fashion moms who incorporate everything all together. I’d say I’m the latter.”
Her content attracts female audiences that are into fashion, skincare and a certain type of lifestyle. Sheree points out that, contrary to widespread perception, the work of an influencer is not easy.
“I think the general perception of being an influencer is to take pictures and you are always on the Internet. It’s far from easy unless you have a team. I do everything myself. I photograph myself. I location scout myself. I do all the post editing work myself. So it’s a one-person job and you learn everything from scratch. There’s so much pre-work and post-work that the public don’t see. You have to keep engaging and following up with the audience. It’s constant nonstop work.”
How Sheree Ho Chooses Brands to Work With
About a year and a half after she started her blog, brands began to contact her with monetization proposals. In these early days, Sheree says she wasn’t picky.
“In the beginning, it was not so much about being selected as just accepting what you are offered. It was just whomever was interested. I wanted to get my name out there. So I worked with content that did not line up with what my specific style was. If you are a small micro-influencer with less than 10,000 followers, a lot of the content is just going to be products. They are going to give you free products. As your audience engagement grows, you can start monetizing your content.”
Today, Sheree does not work with every brand that comes along but rather those that are aligned with her personal aesthetic and lifestyle.
“I try to be mindful of clean, green beauty. If it’s skincare, the right education to relate to the audience is very important. Personally, I have sensitive skin. I don’t like fragrances in my products. So I would not work with brands that are heavily scented or have products I normally wouldn’t use. If I say, ‘Oh guys, here’s this product’, it’s not going to be authentic. I try to stick to what is closest to my own lifestyle.”
Crafting a Successful Campaign
When working on a brand content deal, Sheree’s first question is often on what type of content the brand is looking for.
“Are you looking to sell product? Are you looking to promote your brand? Are you looking for aesthetic content? Realizing that helps me formulate and craft my content. Figuring what they want is the most important thing for me then we can go from there. The most successful content is where the brand and the influencer are on the same page.”
Sheree has found brand campaigns that give her more creative freedom are often the most successful.
“A lot of brands give you freedom to let you express yourself. And I felt that I align with them more because they trust me with my vision, with how I wanted to present a certain product or something they wanted to showcase. Brands that are very free and open, that want to hear ideas from influencers and content creators, those are the ones I had the most success with.”
She looks at multiple parameters to determine whether a brand campaign was successful though it does depend on what was the set goal of the campaign.
“Engagement rate. Are people discussing the brand and talking about the product? Is there any feedback from people who tried the product on my recommendation? Brands have their engagement metrics too and may send you a customized link that drives traffic to their website so they can look at that statistic on their end.”
Focused on Instagram
Whereas Sheree started off with the blog then Instagram, she has dabbled in platforms such as YouTube and TikTok. She however remains primarily focused on Instagram due to time constraints.
“Growing on Instagram takes a lot of time. It’s a fulltime job. If you focus on TikTok growth, your Instagram is going to suffer because you’re not going to be spending as much time answering questions and replying to comments. And then TikTok is also a video platform and so it takes a lot more to create video content and edit it versus Instagram which used to be very photo-focused. But now with the Reels and IGTV, they are trying to do a lot more video content as well.”
She acknowledges that video has some marketing advantages over photos.
“A lot of the beauty brands like to use video content because photos can be heavily edited. Photos may not tell the full story. But video, you can talk about a product, how you feel, the results before and after. Videos are a lot more personalized and it’s hard to put a heavy filter on them. You see what you see. Your face. Your skin. There’s a minimal amount of editing you can do with that. So if the brand wants video and they feel like the video tells a story more, then we can work on video.”
On the down side, Sheree has noticed that engagement has been on the decline in recent years, something she believes is a trend affecting the wider industry.
“I’ve seen my engagement dip. It’s been dropping due to plateauing platform growth, changes in platform algorithms, shifting audience interests and the rise of competing platforms. You just have to constantly evolve and change your content and keep people interested.”
Still, she sees her existing audience as highly engaged.
“They’ll let me know which of multiple outfits they like better. They know they can always DM me and I will try to respond to them. If there’s a lot of the same questions, then I’ll just do my stories, ‘Hey, everyone is asking about this. So this is what it is’.”
Looking to the Future
Sheree would love to work with certain brands in the lifestyle and fashion space.
“I would say because I’m so lifestyle focused, I’d probably want to work with maybe Apple. They are one of the biggest lifestyle brands you can think of. For fashion, I would love to work with all of the large luxury brands, and to go to New York Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week.”
She sees influencer marketing as only getting bigger in the future.
“Whatever product that you’ve used in your everyday life, you’ve seen that somewhere. Someone has taken a photo of it or a video of it. You’ve seen it and you’re like, ‘I want to try that’. So it’s going to be part of our lives, a new category of job that is not going anywhere. It’s only going to get bigger.”
Sheree Ho is Founder and Creative Director at Posh Classy Mom, a digital platform for fashion, beauty, lifestyle and luxury content. Her Instagram page bysheree has about 120,000 followers. Before becoming a content creator, she worked in corporate real estate and property management. Sheree has a bachelor of arts degree in economics and international political science from the University of California, San Diego as well as a degree in economics from the University of Michigan. She lives in Los Angeles California.