Sierra Pierce’s three children, ages one, three, and eight, are frequently featured in her content, with her page initially dedicated to sharing her daughter in cute fashion. After connecting with other creators, particularly in the travel niche, she felt inspired to expand the content she shared online.
Sierra shares, “I’m already traveling with my family. I love taking photos and videos of it, so why don’t I put it on Instagram? That’s how I really started into the travel content portion.”
At the end of 2022, Sierra’s holiday and travel content took off, and she realized the potential of social media. She began pitching travel companies and was surprised that many said “yes” to her pitches, giving her access to trips, sponsorships, and other ways to grow her social media career.
These opportunities have also allowed her to delve deeper into photography, which she loves:
“I love capturing details. I love natural beauty.”
Sierra Pierce: Creating A Sustainable Living As A Travel And Family Content Creator By Staying Authentic
Defining Her Voice and Style
Family and travel are two popular niches online. As Sierra leaned into these categories, rather than posting solely about kids’ fashion, she began developing her voice online.
She explains, “Our life in general was kind of chaotic, so it was like, why not put us out there a little bit? Be authentic and real and videotape it.”
After a few family trips, Sierra leaned into her voice, which she discovered was all about inspiring other people to build memories with their own families. This connection helped her create more purposeful content.
Maintaining Privacy as a Family Content Creator
Sierra’s content is deeply personal, making it more difficult than some niches to separate herself from.
From the start of her Instagram, Sierra prioritized maintaining her children’s privacy as much as possible. While you see pictures of them and know their names, she doesn’t share much about who her kids really are.
She says, “I’m not sure if people following me realize, but when we are at a certain place – because a lot of brands want stories – I’ll post when we get there and the accommodations and things like that, and then I’ll let it lag a little bit and pick it back up the next day. It’s never truly real-time. That’s for the safety of my family.”
Being purposeful with geotags, especially with specific locations like hotels, helps Sierra protect herself and her family from anyone with bad intentions.
Transforming Gifted Products into Paid Sponsorships
When creators are starting, receiving products from companies in exchange for collaborations feels amazing. However, as a creator grows, these offers can be frustrating.
Sierra shares, “After a certain point, when you start diving in, [you realize] I’m putting in a lot of work. I’m putting in a lot of effort and taking a lot of time, and the gifted facial cream is not paying the bills.”
While she was initially nervous to do so, Sierra began asking companies for payment for her collaborations. Knowing your worth as a creator can help you overcome this fear and turn content creation into a more sustainable career.
Without advocating for payment, she shares that it’s easy to become overwhelmed, frustrated, and overworked. Creators can also be burned – which happened to her after a travel stay went wrong, and her family lost money on things that weren’t included, such as food and gas, resulting in a financial loss.
After this, she realized that not every collaboration is worth it and it’s better to ask for payment and decide on clear deliverables from the brand and creator upfront.
Sierra’s first significant collaboration was with Gaylord Opryland Resorts, a company offering upscale water attractions. This collab was a transformative experience for Sierra, who shared that she wasn’t well-known online then.
She says, “When I worked with them, it was really just be yourself. Be your family. Enjoy what we have to offer, and that was key for me because I don’t have to pretend to be anybody. I don’t have to set the stage for anything.”
This family-centric approach helped Sierra create more engaging content and led to fantastic family memories, which she’ll continue to cherish.
Staying Authentic in the Creator Economy
When it comes to sponsorships, Sierra sticks to her rule that if she wouldn’t use something or visit a place with her family outside of the sponsorship, then she doesn’t accept it.
For her, finding sponsorships that resonate with her and her audience is a top priority. This rule of thumb also benefits the brand because her audience can feel her genuine excitement through the content.
Emerging Opportunities for Creators
Sierra predicts that YouTube will continue to provide creators with unique opportunities.
She views family content on YouTube, like a sitcom on TV.
“It’s a great platform for telling stories… You can feel it a little bit more, get a little bit more personal on the YouTube platforms. For me, stories are better told when they’re in long-form.”
She adds that brands favor YouTube because there is a much larger window for ads, and creators can show off the brand’s product or service much more.
Creators also receive payment from YouTube after hitting certain milestones, which is a nice income stream for creators that many social media platforms either don’t offer or have a viable, consistent structure for.
Sierra’s Advice to Aspiring Creators
Time management is critical, especially when working a full-time job and building a social media platform on the side.
When she was working full-time outside of the home, Sierra shared that she never set aside specific time for her Instagram, which led to a lot of overlap where she was constantly thinking about content creation. Even as a full-time creator, Sierra still needs to plan time for content creation, especially as a busy mother to three.
She shares, “You have to manage your time, or you’ll get burnt out super quick… If you’re working with multiple brands, have a calendar and write out those due dates because if you’re approaching it and you’re late, it looks bad, and you may ruin that relationship.”
She also stresses the importance of knowing your worth and charging for it. This step helps you to earn better rates as a creator, reducing the number of projects you need to take on to make the same amount of money.
It also reinforces a lesson SIerra recently learned in the last year, which is “learn when to say yes and when to say no and when to negotiate and reschedule.”
Learning when to say yes and no will help you avoid burnout with your work, which can be difficult to balance when it’s closely connected to your personal life.
Lastly, take time to follow people in your niche. For example, Sierra follows many vloggers in the Atlanta area. Their content inspires her, and by commenting on their content, she exposes herself to their audience, which is aligned with her target audience.