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Influencer Sessions: Get To Know @pixiedustwanderlust

Mar 14, 2024

Influencer Sessions

Influencer Sessions: Get To Know @pixiedustwanderlust

We caught up with Sam, or as she’s better known on TikTok @pixiedustwanderlust, to talk all things community, content creation, and countless Disney trips! If you’re looking for the top tips and tricks for your next visit to the parks, or just want to go behind-the-scenes of a niche TikTok creator, then keep reading!

When did you discover you had a knack for discovering and learning all the tips and tricks for exploring Disneyland?

I’d been keen to visit Disneyland Paris since my eldest was born in 2014 but it wasn’t until I lost my Mum in 2021 that I finally booked–and became an annual passholder. I was in a lot of Disneyland Paris Facebook groups, picking up tips from others, and then as I began visiting the parks sharing my own tips too. It got to the point where I was repeating the same things over and over in the Facebook group comments, so after my 5th Trip in 2022, I started sharing things on TikTok. It wasn’t until January that my account really took off and my community formed.

@pixiedustwanderlust

Replying to @Samantha Christina ♑️ Disabled guest to Disneyland Paris can save 25% on day tickets for them and oje ohher person. But how much can you actually save, and is it woryh it? 👀#disneylandparis #disneylandparis30 #dlp #dlp30 #dlpplanning #dlptips #francedisneyland #dlp2023 #disneylandparisprioritypass #disneylandparisdisneyblogger

♬ Disney-style fanfare-style BGM – harryfaoki

What made you want to become a creator?

I’ve been in the creator and entrepreneur space since 2018, but had struggled to find my voice and a niche that made sense to me. I wanted the freedom that came from being a creator, and the community too. The longer I was around others in the industry, and while working full time at my previous job at an email marketing company, the more confident I became in my abilities as a content creator. Other perks that have come along with the start of success I’ve seen such as travel opportunities, partnerships and collaborations are a bonus too!
 

Who are your main inspirations for creating content?

I’m inspired by creators who are authentic to themselves and respectful of their audiences. In my niche, I follow other Disney-focused content creators, predominantly in the US, such as The Dapper Danielle, Dapper Manatee, and Megan the Magical Millennial. All three of those creators found a USP for their content that engages their audience while being educating, entertaining, and memorable. I strive to hold the same standard of respecting my audience, rather than taking advantage of them, which is why I’m careful of which partnerships I accept, which brands I promote, and which products I share with them. I’ve also learned that being yourself online, and creating content you’re passionate and excited about attracts a community of like minded people.
 

Which platforms do you predominantly use? Which do you prefer for posting, and for community building?

TikTok is my main platform, where I’ve seen the most success and find myself being the most consistent. The platform’s strong algorithm allows content to be delivered to my ideal audience, and connects me with other like minded creators in my niche. After 5 years in the marketing industry, using TikTok was a game-changer as I felt myself organically and authentically engaging with my audience and other creators for the first time. While I use Instagram as well, I’m nowhere near as active yet. Most of my content is posted to TikTok first and then cross-posted to Instagram. I also have a growing email list which is key to my success.

@pixiedustwanderlust

Unlock the secrets to a dream Disneyland Paris trip! 🗺️✨ Join me on a journey of trip planning wisdom – from must-see attractions to insider tips. Let’s turn your visit into a magical adventure! 🏰🚀 #disneylandparis #dlptips #dlptricks #dlpplanning #dlpchristmas2023 #annualpassholder #distok #dlp2023 #pixiedustadventure #DisneylandParisPlanning #MagicalJourneyAhead

♬ original sound – Beckyp79@

How does community engagement vary on your chosen platforms?

It’s hard to say right now if my Instagram will eventually become as active and as engaged as TikTok. I follow the same “post-posting rules” on both platforms currently and, while I’ll see comments and engagement quickly on TikTok that starts a conversation, Instagram is much quieter. However, as my audience is smaller on Instagram this isn’t surprising right now. It can be demotivating however, which is why I’ve not given my Instagram account the attention it deserves. I have big plans for Q1 of 2024 to improve my consistency over on Instagram and test different content strategies to see what works.

 

What is your favourite type of content to create, and which works best for your audience? Is there a juxtaposition?

I love creating educational content for my audience over on TikTok. It’s what they respond to the most in my niche. I’m in the privileged position that there are frequent changes to the parks–from schedules, to entertainment, seasonal offerings, and refurbishments. My audience are searching out answers before they book, before they travel, and after they return home. And there is always someone looking to book a trip for the first time. I work hard to ensure what I provide them is accurate, entertaining, and relatable. My entertainment content–where I use current trends to connect with my audience on a topic–also performs well. Conversely, over on Instagram beautiful static images, and Carousels with easily-digestible points perform better than my best performing TikTok videos that are repurposed into reels.

Sam's tips for the best castle pics
 

Which software/s do you use to create and edit your content?

I film all of my videos in TikTok, regardless of if I’m posting them natively or to another platform. The Save video feature in drafts is vital to how I produce content, as TikTok removes watermarks on drafts in the past few months. However, if I’m downloading to post to Instagram, I make sure any background audio is added after being uploaded to the platform. For graphic design work such as Reel covers and Instagram posts I use Canva Pro–it has everything I need in one place. But Photoshop also has a place when I need more advanced design tools. I’ve also recently started using Adobe Lightroom on photos I take in the parks and it has been a game changer to how my feed looks! For my podcast I’m using GarageBand on my Mac and my website is a WordPress self-hosted site so I have the greatest control over design, responsiveness and functionality.
 

In your own words and experience, how would you define “influencer marketing”?

Influencer marketing is when a brand pays a creator for access to their audience and community to advertise a product or service they have to offer. Word-of-mouth and referrals have always been strong marketing strategies, and influencers provide this on a larger scale. When an influencer has a strong,  trusted connection with their audience, that creates a loyal mentality where conversions happen like clockwork. While not solely an influencer, one example that springs to mind is the Skin Care Expert, Caroline Hirons, who is so trusted by her audience that a positive review of a product would see it sell out everywhere overnight. The #CarolineHironsMadeMeDoIt has over 42k posts on Instagram alone. Its access to this loyal buying mentality that drives brands to spend more of their marketing budget on influencer marketing.

Sam on the power of influencers

Why do you think influencer marketing is so powerful in today’s society?

With so much exposure to marketing, consumers have become overly aware of traditional marketing strategies and techniques to sell a product. Additionally,  conversion rates have changed since the explosion of social media–whereas previously the idea was that a consumer needs to be exposed to a product 7 times before buying or investing, this has now increased due to overexposure of marketing materials and shorter attention spans. Influencer marketing cuts through the noise of marketing, allowing a brand to get in front of an already-warm audience instead of greeting them with a product or service cold. Truly successful influencers have the effect on a community that we do on our best friends–if they say you need it, you trust them and go buy it!
 

Do you have experience working with brands? How do you decide which brands you would like to work with?

I’ve landed my first brand deals in the last two months, after I hit about 13k followers on TikTok. The first few were gifted collaborations with brands I use regularly, but my first paid partnership came in September with Disneyland Paris themselves! I was over the moon because obviously it aligns perfectly with my audience. Outside of the obvious, I choose brands who I have already built an organic, natural relationship with via social or through previous purchases I’ve made, that provide products that align with my audience. Predominantly this involves Loungefly products but I’ve also dabbled in Disney-focused clothing and accessories. When it comes to looking at expanding my portfolio to work with other brands, I talk to my audience, ask questions, and have conversations about what they’re using or would like to see as a starting point.

Sam X Disneyland Paris

 

How do you foresee the influencer marketing space changing or improving in the next 12 months?

I think influencer marketing will continue to grow steadily, as it has done over the previous 5 or so years. However, platforms like TikTok are becoming saturated with accounts engaging in native partnerships that don’t necessarily align with their audiences. We’ve seen an influx of new influencer marketers who seem to be “throwing a dart blind” while trying to hit the bullseye, but I think these types of creators may drop off over the next 12 months. Creators who are transparent, genuine, and aligned with their audience will continue to grow and see success.
 

Based on your experience, what is one thing you would advocate to change about the creator industry?

My goal is to create transparent, mutually-beneficial relationships with brands I love, and in some cases this has meant after an initial collaboration I’ve politely declined repeat offers that don’t compensate me as a creator, but would benefit the brand. Influencer marketing infamously has been wildly varied, with no structure to how creators are valued or compensated. While there’s definitely a place for gifted collaborations to build confidence both for creators and brands, it’s too easy for brands to take advantage of creators, especially those who aren’t confident, don’t have a frame of reference for valuing themselves, or are unclear on how to negotiate. I’ll be advocating for more transparency in the industry, mutual respect between brands and creators, and supporting other upcoming influencers by sharing my experiences too.
 

How do you balance your online and offline lives?

I’ve spent the past few years juggling 9-5 full time work with content creation on the side, and at times it has meant long days and not the most healthy balance. However, since leaving my 9-5 in August I now try to work only between 9-3 pm, while my kids are at school. While this isn’t always possible, I find an 80/20 balance and “allowance” to go outside this works best. Regularly assessing my content, performance and audience helps me plan what content to plan and produce. Creating a “schedule” for my working day also helps to avoid getting lost in busy work and instead direct my attention on the things that have the biggest impact. However, it’s not a perfect system as I’m still working hard to move into a sustainable position. Self awareness, accountability, and a strong, supportive network have made all the difference in the past few months–particularly the network. I have a small “insider group” of followers who have morphed into friends. They’re my sounding boards, my cheerleaders, and my best, most-trusted critics!

Sam on her routine as a creator

 

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

I have a lot of plans over the next 12 months including launching my podcast and ongoing partnerships with brands I’ve previously worked with. My Disneyland Paris account is just one branch of my entrepreneurial plan, and in 5 years I see myself having experienced life-changing success that allows me to further support and advocate for other influencers industry wide. I want to inspire, guide, and celebrate the success of other creators. Of course, I’ll be doing that from one of the Disney Parks because #DisneyAdult4Life.

 

What is a piece of advice you would give to your younger self when first starting out in the creator industry?

Don’t overthink it. Start doing today, then perfect it tomorrow. The moment you let go of what you “should” be doing and just started doing, you will see a path from in front of you. And find your people. The ones who get the struggles, the work, the pressure and appreciate the thirst to succeed, but are excited and encouraging too. Make sure they can give you constructive criticism, and learn how to take it without feeling rejection or taking offence too. That’s an invaluable strength in the industry. Finally, start that email list before you’re ready, even if you think you don’t need it. Your most loyal, most engaged followers will be there through thick and thin. 

@pixiedustwanderlust

8 trips in 18 months to Disneyland Paris, and the 30th anniversary has been spectacular! Im so sad it has to end but I am so grateful to EVERY cast member who helod us all dream and shine brighter after the prior 2 years. Thank you for all the magic ❤️🤩#castmemberappreciation #disneylandparis #francedisneyland #dlp30 #disneylandparis30 #disneylandparis30thanniversary #dreamandshinebrighter #dasb

♬ son original – Soundtrack of dlp – Soundtrack of dlp

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Ella Proctor

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