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Lucy and Lentils - "I love the Instagram community - you meet, so many like-minded people"

Today, we caught up with Influencer and blogger, Lucy and Lentils. Lucy's background and how she started, was all down to the food she was eating and not being excited by what she saw on the plate. She felt unhealthy, sluggish and lathargic, she knew she had to make a change. We explored her background in detail and found out her ambitions for the future!

Tell us about you, your background and how you came to start on social media?

I started my Instagram channel @lucy_and_lentils whilst studying Interior Architecture at university. I initially started it, in the hope to become more inspired in the kitchen and eat a better-rounded diet.

Tell us about what you do on your social channels? 

My social channels and blog are all recipe creations that I have concocted in my kitchen after work or at weekends. I try to inspire people to be more confident in the kitchen and show that delicious meals don’t always require excellent culinary skills.

I have a degree in Interior Architecture, however, have focused my work on creating content for an interior design company.

Sum up your what you do in 5 words?

Create tasty, plant-based food!

What social channel are you most passionate about and why?

I love the Instagram community because you ‘meet’ so many like-minded people with a love for good food. From starting my channel I frequently meet with other foodies across the country which is always fun – picture man vs. food kind of vibe with Instagram too.

How often do you post and update your audience? What content works best for you?

I try to post each day on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to show different recipe ideas. I find my lunch box posts always get a great reaction as people love inspiration to spice up your lunch box.

When did you first start seeing you were building a following? How quickly have you grown your following?

It has been a fairly steady process. Between studying at university, having a full-time job as an interior designer and then a content creator, I have always used my social media channels as a hobby and a creative outlet.

I remember when the Instagram algorithm worked in our favour and jumped 10,000 followers in one week!

How do you stand out on social media? What makes you different?

It’s so hard to stand out on social media due to trends being followed by so many other people. Something I aim to do, is have a very real and honest approach to cooking. Instead of preaching about superfoods and getting a little carried away with certain diet types, I try to keep a very real and honest review about my day / food. I think social media can make certain people feel alienated or alone, whereas I try to show the very normal side to my life as well as the cool projects I get to work on.

What does your typical day look like?

I usually bike to work to start at 7.30am so I can get home, run to the gym then spend the evening creating new recipes, sharing content or carrying out freelance work for companies. It’s a very hectic schedule but it’s fun!

Are you friends with other influencers?

Yes, I have met up with foodies frequently in London which is always lovely, such as @rebelrecipes, @shisodelicious @bettinas_kitchen @HoneyandRoots, and @foodbymaria.

I have also got a lovely group of blogger and influencer friends based around Nottingham (my current home) which is always fun to have a catch-up and see what everyone is producing from all walks of life.

Which influencers do you admire? Why? 

There are many influencers that I admire for many different reasons, whether that is because of their charitable work, raising awareness for plastic free options, or creating absolutely amazing content. People like Gaz Oakley from @avantgardevegan are always inspiring to see such a business-driven approach to their social media channels.

What are your ambitions with social media? Where do you want to take it?

I would love to have my own café somewhere, potentially a cookbook and eventually work somewhere like Waitrose Magazine, recipe creating and photographing. It was looking at the Waitrose food magazines that inspired me to try and better my photography skills so it would be a beautiful circle to eventually find my career there.

What do you enjoy most about social media?

Engaging with people and seeing people recreate my recipes. It is the most humbling experience to receive a photo of someone trying one of my creations and to hear how easy it was to make.

What do you think of using social media for good-cause? 

I think it’s really important to use the tool to promote local business and charities. I always try and take at least one post a week to discuss an issue that matters to me – such as reducing plastic waste and leaving tips on how to do so.

How do you think brands are working with influencers at the moment?

I have been very lucky in the projects I have worked on, mainly due to the ability to be creative and in style with my ethos and message I try to shout about.  If I am promoting a specific product, I try to incorporate it into a recipe that people would want to recreate, making sure I’m not simply placing a random product throughout my feed.

If I’m working with a brand, it is really important that the content has relevance to my audience and doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb as a rather obvious product placement, which let’s face it, never has the desired effect.

I for one am a little fed up of seeing very beautiful people standing with some kind of diet tablet and demanding you go out and buy a lifetime supply to help you look like them, (I say with tongue and cheek of course) but the main message is people are tired of seeing shameless ads that have no real relevance to your usual content.

What brands have you worked with? 

I have been lucky to work with a range of fantastic companies and brands. I have been lucky to work with a range of fantastic companies and brands. The most exciting one was definitely Waitrose #ChristmasTogether campaign, as I used to flick through their magazines and recipe cards looking for inspiration, so to be asked to create something for them was so humbling.

I have worked with Tesco, MonBento, Organic UK, Heinz, Nuttvia, The Last Straw Campaign, Flora, Mornflake, and Love Raw to name a few – all lovely projects.

 

Tesco Projects: http://lucyandlentils.co.uk/tag/tesco/

 

Nuttvia Chocolate Banana Bread http://lucyandlentils.co.uk/banana-and-chocolate-marble-bread/

 

Heinz Lazy Weekday Recipe Video: http://bit.ly/2m0MHno

 

Waitrose Project: http://www.waitrose.com/content/waitrose/en/home/recipes/recipe_directory/l/lucy-and-lentilswinterspicedbutternutsquashtart.html

 

MonBento Project: https://www.instagram.com/p/BeTl5KZD5Kr/?taken-by=lucy_and_lentils
 

Do you use any tools to help you with your content? 

I have recently found apps that help you see what your page will look like before posting. You can also draft what you want to say – which is always helpful when you’ve realised you haven’t posted any content for the day and are desperately trying to think of something profound to say!

There are loads of free apps for this such as UNUM which is great.

As for editing, I am a very lazy Instagrammer, as I use the app to edit most of my content. A favourite with food bloggers is definitely LightRoom due to the vast array of presets you can create to help your page feel established and from the same palette of tones.

What’s the piece of content you’ve created you’re most proud of? Why? 

The most exciting one was definitely Waitrose #ChristmasTogether campaign, as I used to flick through their magazines and recipe cards looking for inspiration, so to be asked to create something for them was so humbling. I created a spiced butternut tart topped with pomegranate jewels, brussels sprouts leaves and pistachios.

Where can people follow you? 

Instagram: @lucy_and_lentils

Twitter: @LucyandLentils

Facebook: @LucyandLentils

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgFYGFtHW9alyzItE0Qa3mQ

Website: www.lucyandlentils.co.uk