Wendy Roach wears multiple hats. She is a regional director at a top 10 healthcare organization in the US where she oversees associates at 17 different sites. Wendy is currently doing her PhD in organizational leadership. She does public speaking globally and is a published author. More recently, she was crowned Miss Plus Intercontinental 2021 which is how she found herself in the world of influencer marketing.
Miss Plus Intercontinental 2021
Wendy explains Miss Plus World has two categories. The 18-24 age range which is the Miss Plus World title and the 35 and up which is the Miss Plus Intercontinental title.
“I’m Miss Plus Intercontinental 2021. Globally, I represent women over a size 12 with Miss Plus World. Representatives from around the world come to compete for these titles. The competition is national costume, denim couture, evening gown, interview and onstage questions. I won this pageant this year and my title is good through March of 2022 when I crown my successor in Houston, Texas.”
The Miss Plus Intercontinental title has become a platform for Wendy to launch a career as an influencer. The role has compelled her to be more active on social media.
“I wasn’t into social media before this year and now having to do this as part of Miss Plus World and just trying to make those connections with more people around the world. To spread the message of encouragement, empowerment and being your best self.”
Wendy has accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. She has a website too – www.wendymroach.com.
While her Facebook followers comprise largely people who’ve done pageantry, her followers on Instagram are more diverse.
“My Instagram has been more of very organic growth. I’ve got a mix. It’s a combination of people in pageantry, fashion, make-up and people with regular everyday lives looking for somebody to look up to. I’m really hoping to get more followers as well, just like everybody else.”
She is learning how to leverage Instagram hashtags.
“What is the hashtag that is going to get me more followers and the hashtag that people are going to see to know that ‘I’m here’? I’m looking to grow more followers at this point as well because of being new to Instagram.”
The Sophisticated Curves Campaign
Wendy is working with a couple of sponsors through Miss Plus World. Sophisticated Curves is the biggest so far.
“Sophisticated Curves is actually a wonderful company with such a sweet story. The husband started the company for his wife. She wanted items that were hip and trendy and cute in her size. There was a lot of difficulty sometimes finding some items. So he developed a platform to make it easier to find those items. It’s been a wonderful and pleasurable experience to hear their story and to know he continues this to help other women around the world to get what they need.”
She has enjoyed being the company’s brand ambassador.
“It is clothing for women over a size 12. The nice thing about being a brand ambassador is that they’ll send you clothing. And I went ahead and wore that clothing and posted pictures of me wearing the clothing. I posted how someone who liked it could find it.”
The brand wasn’t involved in creating content on Wendy’s pages.
“Everything was done by myself. Sophisticated Curves sent me a box and then I went ahead and posted content based on that. So I did opening of the box and what was in the box. And then later on, I did events where I was wearing it, where I highlighted the event and the clothing that I was wearing and which item it was. So then that way, people get it if they liked it.”
She is convinced people are more likely to buy into a brand that they have an emotional connection to.
“People want to know the heart of a story. They want to be touched in some way, emotionally. And so that’s why whenever I post content, I will be thoughtful about sharing about the company. In this instance, with this company, how he started it for his wife.”
If she was working with a big brand, she would take a different approach to the story.
“Maybe on how the product changed my life. Like if it’s a skincare product, I could for example say ‘This product gave me more confidence to go without make-up on a daily basis’. Something like that. You want to attach whatever it is you post to some kind of a feeling or an emotion. So then that way you’re getting that engagement from those people. It’s not just, ‘Hey, go buy this’.”
Wendy saw this campaign as an opportunity to support local businesses and people trying to make their dreams come true, something that’s close to her heart.
“Sophisticated Curves is a small local company that is trying to make themselves known and knowing that I could contribute to that in some capacity is just so rewarding to me as a person. And I feel that having a little bit of a hand in that even though it is not a huge help. It’s just a little bit along the way and their entire big journey that they are going to have. It’s just nice to know that I made a difference in somebody’s life.”
She is in the process of negotiating with other brands to come on board.
Influencer Marketing Campaign Tips
Wendy shares a number of tips she has learnt on influencer marketing.
First, post content regularly but do not go overboard.
“I don’t want people that currently follow me to be kind of overflowed. Like ‘Oh my God, 50 times a day!’ So I’ll post a couple of times a week. But mostly at least once a week to keep that awareness that ‘Hey I’m here’ and maybe get more followers every week. Sometimes it will take me an hour to do a post that goes to my Facebook page. It takes me that long because I want to make sure that I’m giving thoughtful content that makes some kind of an impact because my life has become my legacy. It’s about how I’d want to be remembered.”
Second, research the brand before crafting and posting content.
“You have to do your research. Any brand or sponsor that I’m looking to work with, I’m going to take a look at their website, mission and vision. Do the research before you commit. Because when you do the research before you commit, you know exactly what you’re promoting and what content the brand is looking for. You know how they want you to promote it. You know exactly what the company stands for. And you believe in the product that you are promoting. Skincare, fashion, makeup and anything involved in these areas are the top ones for me.”
Third, incorporate any hashtags the business already uses.
“If there’s a specific brand I’m investigating, that has approached me and that wants me to be an influencer, I go and see which hashtags they use, then I see the content that’s involved with that. If I start promoting that product, I then take those hashtags and add them to mine. You want to make sure you are doing everything that that brand does and adding another layer on top of it.”
Fifth, believe in the brand you promote.
“I want to make sure whatever I’m promoting is something I believe in or would use. That’s where some influencers get into trouble. They commit to something they may not necessarily believe in and then it starts to fall off. If it’s a product I’m never going to use, I’m not going to be a brand ambassador for them. I just don’t ethically believe that is right.”
Sixth, interaction is a key factor in determining influencer marketing campaign success.
“When you look at the interaction that you receive, are you getting any traction at all? I think that’s how you know whether or not something is successful. How many likes did you get? How many new followers did you get? It’s really about getting that engaging content. I think that’s when you know that you have done a successful campaign.”
Keeping Content Positive
Wendy emphasizes the need to use social media positively.
“I actually have spoken to some girl groups and some are teenagers. They talk about the prevalence of bullying on their social platforms. So they no longer do certain things on Facebook. And I think it’s horrible. There is an opportunity for us to use this for positivity. And that’s what I’m doing. Whether it’s sharing a little message for the day or just showing people that I interacted with. Think positive. We need more people to do more of those positive things because you never know what difference it can make to somebody’s life.”
She sees influencers as bearing a heavy responsibility on what they post to social media.
“Regardless if I have one, two or 100,000 followers, what is it I’m hoping the receiver gets from my message from that day. And I think that’s important. As influencers, we need to check our morals, our ethical beliefs, our moral standard and make sure we are making conscious effort. You could say one little thing and depending on what you say and how you say it, it could be very impactful to somebody.”
Wendy’s wish is to work with Christian Siriano next.
“I have a couple of items from his collection and I absolutely Love them. I love the message that he conveys. About everyone should feel beautiful. And he is helping to create that. No matter what size you are, you should have these amazing outfits that look spectacular. I had an opportunity to go to his store in New York when I went there. I had a wonderful time. Christian Siriano has such fabulous designs.”
That said, she is not limiting herself to working with particular brands.
“I’m actually open to all brands that come along. It’s Important to not limit yourself.”
Wendy Roach is Miss Plus Intercontinental 2021, a role that has by default made her a new and upcoming influencer. She is an author and public speaker in addition to being a regional director at a top 10 healthcare organization in the United States. Wendy has a background in ultrasound technology and is currently working on her PhD in organizational leadership. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.