Welcome back to Influencer Interviews! After talking last week with Mel Vandersluis about mindset, this week we are chatting with Christina Galbato, otherwise known as @christinagalbato on Instagram. Christina has been a part of our team for 2 years now.
As most of you know, she runs multiple successful businesses and is going to dive deep into her journey from influencer to CEO in this week’s blog. This can be a daunting task but Christina sheds light on how to conquer that venture. We are excited that she is here to share with everyone, so make sure you take advantage and soak up some of her insights.
Tell me a little bit about yourself, why you became an influencer, and how you found your own voice in the saturated influencer world?
Hi, Boost Society readers! Excited to be featured this week! I’m Christina Galbato, and I’m a social media influencer, online educator, and host of the top-rated Her Life By Design podcast.
I started my Instagram in 2016 as a pure passion project, not knowing at the time that it could make a penny, let alone become a full-fledged profitable business. My story is pretty similar to others’ – I was in a 9-to-5 job and feeling uninspired. I started posting travel and lifestyle content on Instagram. As my audience grew, I started getting approached by brands and realized, “Oh! This could be my career!” Fast-forward to February 2017, I left my Public Relations job and haven’t looked back since.
I now have an audience of half a million across my Instagram, podcast and email list, and have worked with brands like Pantene, Mazda, lululemon and Ritz-Carlton. I also run an online education business that has helped thousands of influencers grow businesses of their own.
Finding my unique voice took a while for me. When you start as an influencer, it’s easy to imitate others and do things that don’t feel like “you” for the simple reason that you’ve seen certain types of content work for others. I was certainly that way for the first year of working as an influencer full-time. I finally grew into my voice and started feeling aligned with my brand in 2018, and that was a result of putting blinders on, staying authentic to my story, and trusting my gut as to where I wanted to take my business.
What do you wish someone told you before becoming an influencer?
How important it is to remain true to yourself. It’s easy to look around, see what everyone else is doing and perhaps even imitate that. When you know your entire story – with all its valleys and peaks – while comparing it to someone else’s front cover, the comparison game can be very real.
It’s so important to take inspiration from those that empower you while also staying in your own lane and avoiding content that triggers negative feelings. My favorite way to do that is by sticking to my “70/30 Create/Consume” ratio, which has been really vital to my success and confidence in my business.
This means that 70% of my time, I’m focused on creation – creating content for my audience, building & improving revenue streams and growing my business. The remaining 30% of the time, I consume content consciously – listening to podcasts that add value and following Instagram accounts that truly inspire me.
It’s important to be really tuned into how certain content is making you feel and to give yourself permission to limit consumption of the things that make you feel uninspired or less-than.
What is your other business besides being an influencer?
Aside from working with brands in a sponsorship capacity, I also help other social media influencers grow engaged communities online, create purpose-driven content and build profitable online businesses.
I do this through my organic social media content and weekly episodes of Her Life By Design. I have two online courses – The Influencer Bootcamp (teaches influencers how to grow & monetize on Instagram) and The Blogger Bootcamp (teaches influencers how to grow their blog traffic and email list subscribers), as well as a 3-month coaching program for established influencers who want to grow their businesses called The Influence to Empire Mastermind. My students earned a collective close-to $1 million in brand collaborations last year and have had paid collaborations with brands like Burberry, Marriott, Essie, Kay Jewelers, AT&T and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Where did you get the inspiration to start that business?
That side of my business began very organically as a result of demand from my audience and my passion for helping other women rise. The Influencer Bootcamp was the first course I created. After just a few months of the course being out, it became clear to me that the course got people results and was unlike anything else on the market. I’ve been refining that course and coming out with new educational offers ever since!
I absolutely love this side of my business because it really fulfills me giving other women the tools they need to monetize their passions and carve their own paths in life. If you want to learn more about how I built my business and grew a team of 8, I dive into it in this episode of Her Life By Design!
What is your 5 year plan on being an influencer, running your business, and growing it to the next level?
To sum my entire plan up in one sentence… Five years from now, I will have a larger business with a larger team and will serve more people more deeply.
What advice can you give other influencers who are looking to expand their business?
Take the power back. Most of influencers’ income comes from brand collaborations which can be rewarding and lucrative. However, if you feel like you’re trading time for money, reaching a ceiling with the revenue you’re able to generate, and getting uncomfortable with the inconsistency of collaborations, it might be time to think about creating a new revenue stream for yourself.
The first step is to talk to your audience. If you don’t already know what your audience struggles with or most desires to learn from you, ask them! I like to do this through Story polls or even creating incentives to leave the app and complete a longer-form survey on Typeform. Once you know absolutely everything about the people who follow you on Instagram, you’re in a perfect position to serve them with a product of your own. Some examples might be through an online course, digital product, physical product, in-person event/retreat or coaching program.
I want to personally thank Christina for taking the time to share her story and her knowledge about building multiple successful businesses. Please go give her a follow at @christinagalbato and tune into her podcast Her Life By Design. You can hear my episode on the podcast here where Christina and I discussed navigating brand collaborations like a pro.
Hopefully you have learned a thing or two about what you can turn your platform into. Perhaps you are inspired to get that brainstorm rolling on your second or third or fourth new revenue stream. We here at Boost Society know you have got it in you to be another success story! Thanks for reading.
Comment below with what’s exciting you about taking on this next venture. How do you feel about starting another revenue stream?
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