Love Not Likes: Micro-Influencers and Bloggers Take on Jamaica

I’ve been working in advertising for over 15 years, and as someone who used “influencers” (there wasn’t a name for it at the time) to sell t-shirts online for 2 years, I understand the value of an influencer.

The community is small is in Jamaica, totaling about 20-30 major influencers made up of mostly comedians, lifestyle, beauty and public figure categories.

I was nominated as a People to Watch in 2019, by Kadia Francis, aka the Digital Jamaican who scoured the internet to find micro-influencers and bloggers who write mostly for the love of it and not necessarily the recognition. A micro-influencer tends to have less than 10,000 followers but usually has an intimate community. ( I listed using micro-influencers as one of the 2019 trends in social media. Read here)

We wanted to bring everyone together to bond and network. Most of the people had the same wish–to create content (whether that be in the form of writing, taking photos or making videos, etc), and being able to travel the world while doing so.

list of Jamaican bloggers. love not likes
Love Not Likes Bloggers/Content Creators in the middle of the road at Castleton Gardens

We received sponsorship from Ion Communications and LuxuryJa.

While CPJ, our official refreshment sponsor provided us with Life Span Water and Glinter sparkling water

Photo Credit: Peter Clarke, Rocket Visions JA

Rum Cream, Rumbar rum and vodka came from Worthy Park.

Snacks for the 2.5 drive from National Bakery

Sun Factory provided us with flip-flops for the beach.

Each blogger received customized mugs with their ig handle from The Label Snob , Sharmac Graphics printed the fans for each guest, Just nuff social plan (which includes data and social media) were granted by Digicel Jamaica and TCP offered the bags to carry everything in.

Watch the video of the recap.

The bloggers paid for their transportation and lunch but received reposts and comments from the sponsors, edited photos from established photographers including Machel Witter, Peter Clarke and Darren George (contracted by our partners Ion Communications), to gather content on their behalf. We were even featured on CVM Sunrise. See the full interview below.

So the most burning questions from this experience have been, why call it Love Not Likes? In April 2019, Instagram put out that they were working on changing the platform to eliminate likes, you can read the Forbes article here.

Also, as I said earlier, many of these bloggers do it because they love what they do—sharing their go-to spots in Jamaica, or their beauty secrets, etc. However, they’ve never received corporate sponsorship or even gifted merchandise.

The list of the bloggers/micro-influencers/YouTubers who attended were:

Jhunelle Jureidini: a full-time travel blogger who finds most of the unknown places in Jamaica and highlights them.

Sue-Tanya McHorgh: a website developer and lifestyle blogger who also has an online clothing store.

Diedre McLeod: A travel blogger who teaches travelers how to travel the world on a budget.

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Anybody ever ask you why you always have ONE BAG AH TINGS in your bag? 🤣 Bae is usually guilty amirite!? * You ever checked out the things you are carrying in your bag? Like really looked at what's in your bag? What do you have languishing in there? Old receipts, snack wrappers (cuz you do your part for the environment), broken makeup, random stuff that you not sure why they're ever there in the first place? LoL I may have stopped talking about a bag and now having full-on philosophical ramblings on life 🙊. But honestly, I try to be intentional about what I put in my bag. I don't want to be literally carrying around useless baggage. And this beach bag from @thosecreativepeople can really hold ONE BAG AH TINGS! Fyi it's great for trips not just to the beach. On my last trip to the beach it really shined. It's Spacious. Great for holding towels, water shoes, food, sunscreen and more. Check my blog about "How to do One Bag Ah Tings on your next trip to Portland" to see how handy the bag is (LinkInBio or bit.ly/oneBagAhTings) And tell me if you love it! * * * * * * * 📸@rockstaar_ 👜@thosecreativepeople #gifted #sponsoredpost #iamwandering #wanderoften #tcptings #thosecreativepeople #beachbagswag #beachlovers🌴 #JamaicaJamaica #proud876 #wanderlustcollection #frenchmanscove #jamaicabeach #portlandjamaica #weekendgetaways #blackgirlstraveltoo #fabuplus #blacktraveljourney #weekendmood #whatsinyourbag #cluttered #baggage #beachlifeisthebestlife #onthebeach

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Lucienne Antonio: A blogger who also can secure your next budget vacation.

Kemar Royal: a content creator/droner who lives for adventure

Ronnia Cherry, a creative with multiple interests, all surrounding creating a platform for Jamaican creatives. Learn more about her

Tashi Grant: A media maven who started her lifestyle/travel blog called The Hopper

Rachael Campbell: a travel vlogger who likes to party.

Jehmeil Shrouder: a YouTuber on a mission to be successful.

Ornella Green: A lifestyle/beauty blogger who aspires to travel the world.

So I wanted to make them feel special, i.e. find a way to show them and the world, that micro-influencers have value. Many influencers only big up a brand because they are getting paid, which sometimes loses its authenticity.

So let’s even get more pedantic, people think influencer is a dirty/bad word. What is an influencer, really?

An influencer is an individual who’s capable of affecting (i.e., influencing) people’s purchase decisions because of his/her knowledge or authority. What’s more, this individual has a following – usually on social media – in a specific niche, such as fashion, food, fitness, photography, and so on. YouTube marketing is also quite common.

Tech Jury ( see article here)

According to influencer marketing research, many companies will hire brand ambassadors to promote their products. While the most visible brand ambassadors are celebrity influencers, micro-bloggers can often get in on the action, too – they increase a brand’s visibility more locally. Another sponsored content format consists of paid for articles and blogs, which appear as editorials in an online publication.

So now we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the alignment with the government’s growth strategy. Chris Dehring spoke at the Jamaica Diaspora Conference a couple of months ago and he talked about the importance of creating alternative job opportunities for young people.

The insights that came out of the trip was that most of them want to live a digital nomad lifestyle. It seems pretty simple, but when you live on an island, you tend to only think about Jamaica and even some think smaller–only Kingston and St. Andrew.

Our aim is to create a network and community with bloggers/micro-influencers who want to monetize. We’ve invited Lauren Dunn, otherwise known as Lauren O Lauren to give a masterclass at CoWork on Thursday, July 18th. Lauren has been working in Silicon Valley and has been able to grow her following and monetize for the last few years. Please call 876 881-7830 to purchase tickets.

We’re also building a community of bloggers, content creators, photographers who want to collaborate. Please follow @lovenotlikesja on Instagram or email us at lovenotlikes@gmail.com for more information.

Love Not Likes visits Kingston Creative’s Artwalk

Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of being invited to Kingston Creative’s Artwalk. We decided to partner with them for a Love Not Likes excursion. For those who don’t know, Love Not Likes is an experiential marketing agency that creates curated experiences for photographers, bloggers and creatives who want to network and collaborate.

The bloggers and creatives were @SueTanyaMcorgh @Simplylocal.life, @youtravellucie, @just.lexi.simple, @haute_people, @astoldbynella and photographers Machel Witter of @mdwmediaja and Peter Clarke from @rocketvisionsja.

Andrea Dempster-Chung, the co-founder of the Kingston Creative movement gave us a tour and spoke about the importance to gaining support from all areas of society, including creatives.

When Andrea posed the question about how do we engage corporate, we decided that the best way was to show in a real way, not through PR or posed photographs but invite bloggers and content creators to come and enjoy the experience.

It was a lovely day, particularly because we were especially invited for lunch by FNB’s Downtown, a Jamaican fusion restaurant that houses Swiss Stores and is a gallery for resident-artist Craig Phang-Sang. They are known for their famous oxtail. This is a must-have when visiting Downtown Kingston. It was also a refuge for us during the summer heat as we were treated with freshly squeezed lemonade..

We also experienced a pop-up version of The Edna Manley Final Year exhibition, curated by National Gallery’s former director, Veerle Poupeye.

Resonances features six young artists: Trishaunna Henry (BFA Sculpture), Joni P. Gordon (BFA Photography), Leanne Mair (BFA Painting), Yulanah Mullings (BFA Painting), Mark Robinson (BFA Painting), and Keisha Walters (BFA Painting). They work in media ranging from ceramic and aluminium to wood, paper and cardboard constructions, to paper and textile collage, and ranges from miniature scale to very large. Each of the six artists makes use of the resonant potential of the object and the image to speak about more than itself and to invoke stories about social, cultural and historical subjects as diverse as the experience of the Jamaican urban environment and the car culture; the personal traumas of racism, migrant work and childhood sexual abuse; the dilemmas of genetic engineering; and the historical and contemporary cultural significance of shoes.

Veerle Poupeye

The exhibition is curated by Veerle Poupeye, an art historian specialized in Caribbean art and an independent curator and writer. Dr. Poupeye is also a lecturer at the Edna Manley College.

Best part of the day, was actually getting to hang out with Charl B. The artist behind the mural, “The Tree of Life,” located behind FNB’s Downtown, off Harbour Street. There are several on the street and we took time to take them all in.

Kingston Creative has a seven year plan to create an arts district where creatives can share workspace, network and collaborate. The long term plan is create a place similar to Wynwood in Miami but they need funding to make it happen. It seems like creating an eco-system where creatives can thrive and companies can get visibility in a heavy foot traffic area seems a good fit.

The brands that have already come on board include Red Stripe, Jamaica Observer, Jamaica Gleaner, Facey Foundation, Paperboy Jamaica and others. If you would like a mural, it can be arranged, I’m here trying to figure out how I can get one myself.

73 Vogue-Inspired Questions Answered.

I’m honoured to announce that I’m a Brand ambassador for Poppy Apparel. You can use my code “KESI” and get a 10% discount here.

So in honor of this I thought I’d do a 73 questions inspired by the popular Vogue video series, so here goes:

1. What are you most excited about these days?

Truly living my best life.

2. What’s your favorite holiday?

I want to say Christmas but it’s really Easter because that’s when Marbana is and that’s the best party of the year.

3. Favorite season?

We don’t really have seasons here but I like when its really hot and you have to turn the big fan on. If you know me well, you know I hate cold and snow.

4. Where does one go on a perfect road trip?

I hardly go anywhere tbh, I’m always working but I do love a good trip to the mountains on a Sunday.

5. What is the best activity when home on a rainy day?

I love to curl up in my bed and watch YouTube videos. I only watch the news.

6. If you could switch lives with someone for a day who would it be?

Honestly, I’d love to switch lives with one of the richest female billionaires in the world and I don’t mean Kylie Jenner.

7. What is the best thing that happened this year?

Being nominated as Digital Influencer by Digital Jamaican was the best thing that happened to me so far but the year isn’t over year. See the post about it here.

8. What’s your New Year’s resolution?

I promised myself I’d go harder than ever this year, so there are a lot of sleepless nights.

9. What’s your favorite exercise?

Exercise? Honestly, don’t have the time but if i had to choose, it would be swimming. I was on the swim team in high school.

10. Best way to decompress?

Honestly, write.

11. What’s your favorite country to visit?

Omg, that’s hard. I love New York but then I practically grew up there. It does give me all the feels.

Wish you were in New York? Get a mug here

12. Last country you visited?

Miami. I lived there for two months.

13. Country you wish to visit?

I’ve always wanted to go to Santorini. I believe I will live out my last days looking at that blue ocean.

Wanna feel like you’re in Santorini? Purchase a Pura Vida bracelet, here

14. What’s your favorite ice-cream?

Coffee. I’m obsessed with anything coffee.

Speaking of coffee, here are my faves:

Starbucks Blonde Roast

Dunkin’ Donuts Hazelnut Flavored

15. What makes you smile the most?

Money. Lol. SEND ME SOME

16. What’s the coolest thing in the world?

Getting DMs from people saying that you’re awesome and they love your content.

17. What is the cutest thing in the world?

Babies?

18. How do you know if you’re in love?

Don’t know her. Don’t want to be her.

19. If you could go to any concert past or present, what would it be?

I would absolutely die to see Prince in concert. Hands down. I mourned for three days when he died.

20. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

A Tiffany’s bracelet. All the Jersey girls were wearing them when I was in college.

Get one like it here

21. Favorite fashion trend of all time?

I would not call myself the most fashion forward although I used to be but I did love 90’s supermodel fashion back in the day.

22. What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Eat Pray Love. I read the book first and then saw the movie. I could watch it over and over.

23. What was the movie that made you cry?

Omg. 101 Dalmations?

24. If you could make a documentary, what would it be about?

I would love to talk about the amazing content creators in Jamaica doing some amazing things. And when I say content I mean film, movies and music videos too. Not just photography.

25. If you could have one superpower what would it be?

I would love to be able to read people’s mind.

26. What is the skill still unmastered?

I still don’t know how to ride a bicycle. Long story.

27. What is the best thing that happened to you today?

The check cleared.

28. Do you like surprises?

Yes, actually my former boss gave me a birthday party in December (my birthday is in August) Wanna buy me a birthday gift? Here’s my wishlist.

29. If you could do a flash mob where would it be?

Coronation Market.

30. Do you like cupcakes?

31. Do you usually bake cupcakes?

I baked cupcakes for my daughter’s class for Valentine’s Day one year.

But, I prefer cheesecake. Buy my fave here

32. What’s your favorite desert?

Cheesecake.

More cheesecake here

33. Is there a desert you don’t like?

Vanilla cake. It’s so vanilla.

34. What’s your favorite bakery?

Anywhere that sells croissaints. There’s actually French pâtisserie downstairs from where I used to live in Park Slope in Brooklyn

35. What’s your favorite food?

It’s a toss up between Italian and sushi.

Get an Italian gift basket here

36. It’s brunch, what do you eat?

Is there mackerel rundown? Not really a fan of ackee and saltfish.

37. You are stuck on an island, you can pick one food to eat forever without getting tired of it, what would you eat?

Otaheite apples.

38. Favorite color?

Cobalt blue.

Buy a cobalt blue Corkcicle tumbler here

Buy a cobalt blue ring here

Buy a rare cobalt blue Chanel bag here

39. Favorite superhero?

Storm

40. What do you usually order in your coffee?

I used to drink only lattes but, sometimes you just need that caffeine so regular coffee with condensed milk.

But if I’m feeling fancy, I buy

41. Who is the last person you texted?

My former student Tashi

42. What’s your favorite activity to do in Kingston?

I love going to the National Gallery, I used to volunteer there on Saturdays.

43. What’s the next book you plan on reading?


44. What do you love in your pizza?

I’m one of those pineapple goes on pizza kinda gals.

Buy a pineapple towel here

45. Favorite drink?

Veuve Clicquot Champs

46. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

Hershey’s

47. What’s your favorite band?

I’m all about Maroon 5.

48. Favorite solo artist?

Post Malone for sure. Sunflower is on repeat.

49. Favorite lyrics?

Woman’s worth

I know you’ve got a little life in you left
I know you’ve got a lot of strength left
I know you’ve got a little life in you yet
I know you’ve got a lot of strength left

50. If your life was a song what would the title be?

Luxurious

51. If you could master one instrument what would it be?

The camera.

52. Do you have a tattoo ?

A swallow on my left ankle.

53. To be or not to be?

That is the question.

54. Dolphins or koalas?

Koalas.

55. How do you like your coffee?

With condensed milk.

56. What’s your favorite curse word?

I don’t curse. lol.

57. What color of dress did you wear to prom?

Red velvet.

58. Diamonds or pearls?

Definitely diamonds.

Buy me some.

59. Cheap shampoo or expensive?

Herbal Essence Black Charcoal Shampoo

60. Blow dry or air dry?

Air dry. No heat on these curls.

61. Heels or flats?

Omg. Flats most definitely.

My fave flats are ballet

62. Pilates or yoga?

Yoga.

63. Jogging or swimming?

Swimming. Hate to sweat.

64. One thing you can’t live without?

My laptop.

65. What’s one cause that’s dear to your heart?

Women’s Rights.

66. Who would you want to shoot a love scene with?

Brad Pitt.

67. What’s your favorite sport?

Football.

68. Do you have a morning beauty ritual?

I use a face mask once a week. That’s it.

69. What’s your favorite thing to wear?

The colour black.

70. What’s the priciest thing you’ve ever splurged on?

I bought a pair of Prada sunglasses once. Purely overrated.

Now I wear these

71. Do you play any musical instruments?

No.

72. What is your favorite book of all time?

The Alchemist by Paulo Cuehlo. Changed my life.

73. What is something you always travel with?

Coffee Travel Mug

Kate Spade Travel Mug

Ember Travel Mug

Best Instagram Posts of International Women’s Day: The Jamaican Edition

The buzz was alive this year for International Women’s Day as people were eager to share their thoughts on this year’s theme #BalanceForBetter. Some people acknowledged the true meaning of gender balance but others had their own agenda. Here are my top picks for IG posts for International Women’s Day:

Influencer Lauren O Lauren penned a special letter to women everywhere.
Beauty queen Yendi Phillips posed topless for this year’s International Women’s Day
Daryl Vaz couldn’t wait to share his support for his wife Ann-Marie Vaz for International Women’s Day by wearing a shirt that said “I am the proud husband of Ann-Marie Vaz”
Flow Jamaica did this cool drone shot of the staff in the shape of the female symbol.
Natalie Chin, head of advertising, Marketing and Communications of The Jamaica Observer shared this sentiment.
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🌺🔥💪🏽 Everyday is women’s day. ⁣ ⁣ When I was in high school I thought love songs were too girly… like why girls have to sing love songs all the time… now I realize how important it is that women sing what’s in their hearts… because the world needs more love. ⁣ ⁣ You are just as strong in a skirt, heels and with nails did as you are with sneaks and no makeup. ⁣ ⁣ You are just as powerful when you sing about love as you are when you sing about power,pain, promise, hustle and politricks ⁣ ⁣ Greatness is ageless.⁣ ⁣ Empowered women empower women ⁣ ⁣ You can be spiritual, strong, emotionally intelligent and compassionate and still focus on your craft and get that money. ⁣ ⁣ Nuh mek nuh man tun yuh inna clown…any gift you accept make sure you can buy that for yourself and him fi know dat. #DoitDontWait⠀#independentgyal ⁣ @nts_radio live settings soon come 💥💫 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⁣ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⁣ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⁣ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⁣ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⁣ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⁣ #bossgirl #weinspirewomen #fashionnova #girlssupportgirls #girlpower #jamaica #jamaicangirls #reggaemusic #876 #876life #womeninspiringwomen #amyjade #kaliuchis #reggaeartist #sade #rihannanavy #loversrock #soul #womensmonth #wildandfree #womenempowerment #reggae #soundsystemculture #sia #rockers #rootsrockreggae #reggaerevival

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Musician Zia Benjamin shared a video of her singing her latest song in a sarong which looked like it was on the set of her latest music video.
Banyan Books took the opportunity to reveal Carlette DeLeon’s first book called Joy of Parenting. Quite fitting for the theme of #BalanceForBetter
Naomi Cowan shared a tryptic post in celebration of winning her first award for Breakthrough Artist from The Jamaica Reggae Industry Association
General Accident Insurance company used their platform to share their thoughts on gender balance.
LuxuryJa named some #BossBabes in Jamaica from entrepreneurs to artists like Koffee, women were celebrated today.

Were there any International Women’s Day posts that you thought were really creative and fitting? Send me the link.

Most Popular Jamaican Instagram Captions of 2018

Your favourite IG captions of 2018

1.Gratitude is a Must

I want to make a better world for the generation that’s coming up, to promote love and peace, and even though I’m young, I feel that the Creator has blessed me with talent and wisdom to get the job done.”

Koffee

These are the words of Mikayla Simpson, an 18-year-old artist known to many as “Koffee”. Through her music, Koffee has an unwavering mission to empower the youths of her generation as well as to preserve the roots and culture of Jamaica.

“The thing about the song ‘Toast’ is that the meaning is actually included in the lyrics so it’s basically what I was feeling. I said exactly what I felt at the time. What I said was what was on my mind. That was the inspiration, just feel blessed ya know.” -Kofeee, Grammy Award winning Reggae Artist

One thing that made everyone want to know Koffee was her hit single ‘Toast’. It blew up at the end of 2018 as it was as everyone’s Instagram caption, playing all over the radio and “breaking the internet.”

2.Full of Sauce Like Bake Bean

[Chorus]

Fresh, breezy, a so me stay, clean

Gyal dem love mi foot inna mi straight jeans

Me full of sauce like baked beans

No underage, over 18

Cologne make your gyal a daydream

Govana
GOVANA Aka Deablo, Born Romeo Nelson is the prodigy of dancehall artist Aidonia had women all over Jamaica using that line making it the 2nd most popular IG caption of 2018.

3.No Gyal Can See Mi and Cause Problem

In 2018, this was the third most popular IG caption in Jamaica. The line is from Shenseea’s song called Shenyeng anthem. A song dedicated to her 2 million followers and fans around the world.

4.Steam Fish and Okra Body

And IG caption made popular by none other than ZJ Sparks, aka Sparkiebaby.

5.Dem Dead

The Age of the Selfie is Over: Here’s What to Do Instead

 

The age of the selfie is over. The selfie queen herself, with a coffee book about selfies, Kim Kardashian, has been banned from taking them.

After she injured her wrist, Kardashian was given doctor’s orders to lay off of it — and, with that, stop taking selfies. “My hand hurts. I forgot my brace,” Kim tells Khloé Kardashian and Kris Jenner in a new clip of Keeping Up With the Kardashians posted to E! News.  – W Magazine

 

The truth is, the age of the selfie has been dying out for years now and even though Kim posts a selfie from time to time, she now reverts to posting photos from magazine shoots or pictures taken by her assistant or daughter North.

You can also notice a trend on Instagram in general, people are preferring more posed photos of themselves, taken by someone else.

So here’s some photo ideas of what’s been trending.

Photos with Epic Backdrops

It really doesn’t matter how you pose, it’s all about the background. So make sure it’s an gorgeous landscape, typically a remote one that no one has any idea where to find. First them!

#Belfie Replaces the #Selfie

Turn your back to the camera and twist your upper body around and smile. This is another pose that Kim made famous, the #belfie. It’s really about emphasizing the butt. So be cheeky!

Take the Travel Photos to the Next Level

The trend this summer was all about those travel photos. This is a little bit more than the first photo, this is about posing in front of iconic places like the Eiffel Tower or Times Square for maximum effect. Here’s former Miss Jamaica in Tuscany, pretty iconic. #UnderTheTuscanSun

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Sangiovese 🍇 #ChiantiClassico

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Make IG Your Runway

We’re not talking about the impromptu photoshoot of you posing with your phone. This is you thinking about a concept, getting wardrobe, makeup and hair organized and going to a location to shoot.

Slay in Your Carnival Costume

Many people don’t know Carnival is a year round thing. There’s Trinidad, Cayman, Barbados, Miami, etc. You could be feting all year! However, if you don’t post any other photo for the rest of the year, post your Carnival costume.

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Came through drippin’

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Squad Goals Up

Serving looks with your besties is also something to consider…

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#StBarth

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Take That Overhead Shot

These may require a drone, but will make for a truly interesting photo op…

HiJi Cam it Out

The filter app responsible for making your photos look like they were taken on a disposable camera has built a huge following this year.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bh2jVqrB9QO/?taken-by=chantelkdavis

Barbie Feet

Another silly, but definitely cute pose to try. ‘Barbie feet’ is exactly what is says on the tin—when taking a full-length shot, rise up on your tippy-toes as if you’re wearing an invisible heel. Among other things, it helps your legs look longer and your feet more dainty. – Vogue Australia

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl8Ds-xjwUX/?taken-by=callmesevana

Tryptich Posts

Beyonce has been grid obsessed and posting three times in a row lately. Be like Beyonce or Sevana.

 

Tripytch Post with Singer Sevana
Tripytch Post with Singer Sevana @callmesevana

5 Most Instagrammable Places in Jamaica

If you’re traveling to Jamaica or consider yourself a dryland tourist, here are the top 5 places you must take for Instagram. These locations will have you using the #ILiveWhereYouVacay hashtag in no time. You can vote here.

The Grande is rafting on the Rio Grande

There are many variations to this, but any pose you choose will definitely be monumental. Go early morning and float gently through the waters on your long bamboo raft. The ride itself is about 3 hours but make sure you bring your own photographer because it’s difficult to keep your balance and take a selfie at the same time.

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so far so good 💕 #themacmillans

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Frenchman’s Cove is a Classic

Taking a picture at the famous swing at Frenchman’s Cove is a must when visiting Portland. Other major cool spots include the river flowing into the beach, Blue Lagoon and the Trident Castle. Almost every spot in Port Antonio is grand.

Sandals Suite Life is the Living Your Best Life Hashtag IRL

If you want to say you’re truly living your best life, you have to photograph the over water bungalows. Jamaican Influencers such as Corey Hamilton, Natasha Leeds and Yendi Phillips have taken epic shots there. The drone shots of the heart shaped bungalow formation shot!

Take the Plunge at The Old Spanish Bridge

Another money shot is the Old Spanish Bridge, a hidden gem is just 45 minutes from Ocho Rios. The road may only be for the 4 wheel drive but it’s definitely worth the effort. With its rope swing, you can get a pretty cool capture like Kaci Fennel’s. If you’re into landscape shots the bridge in the background is also quite beautiful. If you’re brave enough,  get some video swinging on the rope!

Strawberry Hill Hotel is the Mostest

Just imagine an image that looks like you’re staring over a cliff overlooking Kingston but it’s really just an Infiniti pool? This optical illusion is a must for anyone visiting Jamaica. Not to mention the view itself!

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Reflecting…. • • "Death is only the end if you assume the story is about you" • • There are moments in life where I get lost in my head; lost in my feelings…just yearning for clarity. The past couple years have just been filled with so much loss it has left me doing a lot of questioning. Some persons who I truly loved, cared for, respected and held in high regard have left this realm. Some through agonizing illness, tragic accidents and some violenly ripped away. I ponder on each of them. I ask repeatedly "Why would God let bad things happen to good people?" Why would God allow His children who are serving His kingdom to experience such suffering? I remember struggling with this very concept with my mother's death and I was so hurt and felt so betrayed by God as a young girl that I turned away from Him. 16 years later, I am now asking again…this time from the perspective of someone who has rekindled her relationship and who is serving His kingdom. And while it still carries weight and pain, I acknowledge the promise of free will of man. I understand that as mankind we have choice. And with that comes so much of the turmoil we now encounter in existence. But I also more than anything understand that what we do here is not about us, but living in His truth and promise, in accordance to His word, to fulfill the purpose He whispers in our soul, and when the day of reckoning comes, to go home to Him knowing it is well and it is done. #MyHeartWasHeavy #SometimesYouHaveToBareYourSoul #But #IPlaceItAtHisFeet #ThePowerOfSurrender #Peace #Understanding #Clarity #ForMyFriends #ForMyLovedOnes #ForThoseFeelingHurt #ForThoseGoingThroughLoss • • Thank you @_jayenigma for this capture. • • PS. @keneealintonboutique I LOVE this dress!

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Honorable mentions include:

Waterfall at Serendipity Holistic Resort

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#serendipityresort #bluemountain #jamaica my #paradise

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Fleet Street

Victoria Pier Waterfront/DownTown Kingston 

So all these places are up for debate! Do you agree with picks? Which places do you think are the most instagrammable places in Jamaica? Vote here

7 Must-Haves for Instagram going into 2019

So many brands and influencers are still struggling to master all the features on IG.

But with Instagram reaching a milestone of 1 billion monthly users in June, it is a platform that can’t be ignored. – Adweek

Some brands are losing out on valuable real estate by not creating something as simple as highlights but there are a few other things you should be doing on IG before the year is out.

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Vertical Videos: How-to

We never thought vertical videos would become a thing but they are here and here to stay! For now. Vertical videos aren’t just for IGTV however, they are now creeping onto other platforms like YouTube and Facebook.

Probably the hardest thing to get right when shooting vertical video for IGTV is aspect ratio, which is the ratio of width to height of your video.

The reason it can be hard to get right is because unless your video is shot on a smartphone (which will usually record in 9:16 if shot vertically), you may need to edit or crop your video in post-production to get the right aspect ratio for IGTV.

So I would recommend shooting vertically, if you’re using a phone or shoot widescreen with the camera so you can always adjust post-production.

Why vertical videos? Instagram wants to encourage people to create video content but, at the same time, to do it exclusively for mobile. We already know that people are more likely to use their mobile devices in a vertical position, hence the type of video.

Advertising agencies will need to bear this in mind when creating their ads to include vertical formats for IGTV.

IGTV is predicted to become the new Youtube in 3-5 years.

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IG Stories Still Relevant

IG stories is a way to extend the conversation. So for example, you post a picture of yourself in an outfit, the stories can be used to tell the back story of the photograph. Where you got the outfit and maybe behind-the-scenes, etc. This will continue to be vital to engagement strategies.

Shoppable Posts an Added Plus

I see so many small businesses missing out on a simple app they can add to their posts that directly links them to the webpage. It’s called Later’s (Linkin.bio). It’s like $US4.99 a month, but the value, is a direct clickable link where shoppers can purchase the item. Instagram also has a shoppable feature that’s pretty simple to use. Not available in Jamaica just yet however, we’ll have to wait our turn.

IG Highlights for FAQs a Necessity

Personally, I get a lot of DMs from people asking  questions about what I do out of curiosity. I haven’t reached the level that I would want to have a FAQs section but if you’re a company or a big brand, I would definitely recommend you having an FAQ highlight so people can learn more about you without having to send a DM every time. Saves a lot of time!

Stories Ads will be a Must

The time of organic reach is over. Brands will have to invest in an ad budget in order to reach their target audience, but not just that, the content will have to be richer and more clickable. Also in terms of the variation in ads, I haven’t seen the numbers yet, but the animated, IG story ads seem to have more traction.

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AR Filters Bring That Cool Factor

So you’ve seen the diamond headband filter by Rihanna and the lip color filter by Kylie Jenner and other popular ones on IG lately right? Influencers will now be able to create their own filters using Facebook AR Studio.

 IG Worthy Branded Wall Backdrop: A Staple for Jamaican Parties

Every event we go to in Jamaica, now has a branded, customized wall. This is no coincidence. This is usually brightly colored wall that is easily identifiable in photos when people post to IG.

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Lil Duval lyrics

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Influencer Patronage will Kick up a Notch

The exclusivity of giving an influencer a special branded invitation to your event or token gift before a party creates a buzz that makes the viewer want to know more.

Frenchmen did it for their parties this year and Moda Market has been handing out special Moda Boxes with goodies inside.

Brands like Benefit of Bohoo in the US, have been able to take carefully selected influencers on a vacation. The idea is to create this cool girl lifestyle, where their followers can go with them on an adventure, wear their products and take IG worthy pictures.

We’ve seen these experiences happening right here with influencers Garfene and Terri-Karelle going on road trips to Skylark Negril and Irie Diva going on a #staycation.

Instagram Worthy Curated Rooms or Walls

Creating an offline, Instagram-worthy experience for your customers can not only help you get more followers, but also generate more sales or visitors.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bla4xnnHy45/?taken-by=natashaleeds

Think about it like word of mouth, but on Instagram: when a customer is at your place of business and you have created an Instagram-worthy moment, they’ll be happy and excited to snap a photo and share it to their Instagram feeds.

They can then tag your brand in the photo, caption, and location, and inspire their followers to visit your business!

This can be as simple as adding a chic, neon sign or wall decal.

What are some other cool IG Trends you see going into 2019?

Jamaican YouTubers to Follow in 2018

I haven’t written a blog post like this in awhile and the last article I did about this topic got picked up by Buzzebly. You can read it here if you’re interested. This got the highest views to date so I’ve decided to an updated version.

Now a lot has happened in the YouTube atmosphere. A lot of the old YouTubers I mentioned before, no longer post on YouTube. I think some of the mainstays just know how to stay dedicated and keep at it. It takes awhile to build a following and with YouTube becoming the most popular network, there is a market for it.

Now I won’t list them by any relevance. These are the ones I think have the best content, regardless of subscribers.

    Dutty Berry. Dutty Berry has been doing this thing for a couple of years now and I haven’t caught up with him in awhile but I’m pretty sure he’s making a decent living off this YouTube thing along with making appearances and hosting. He has over 140,000 subs and  averages about 100,000 views per video. Dutty Berry has videos sponsored as well, which is a good move. What makes him stand out? His content. You can tell he does his research and makes sure the videos are jam-packed with jokes and up to date news and gossip.
    RushCam. Now if you haven’t seen his YouTube channel yet, you should definitely check him out. He has done a wide range of videos with very relatable Jamaican themes. Everything from Carnival to comparing Tastee and Juicy Beef. This dude has personality and the videos aren’t too long but they leave you laughing your head off and somehow wanting to know more about this character. He has the potential to really grow his following as long as he keeps paying attention to making great content.
    LaurenOLauren Lauren doesn’t live in Jamaica anymore so her videos are based on her life in California but she is still definitely worth a sub. Point blank, this media veteran is hilarious with her rants about trolls and people’s reactions to her hair. Her content has definitely improved and varied over the years and she has grown to 10,000 subs and 18,000 followers on Instagram.
    Lyric Rochester is blowing up YouTube with her makeup tutorials and has almost 200,000 subscribers. She does mostly makeup tutorials but has charisma and is interesting to watch. She’s partnered with Fontana Pharmacy in the past.
    Trabass TV is still going strong with his vlogs, music videos and comic skits. He basically just vlogs his life with his wife Deannae but he’s fun to watch and keeps his viewers entertained. He’s really trying to break into the music industry and he’s been doing it for awhile. He’s had some success with appearances and tours.
    Chantay Lainey has over 4,000 subscribers on YouTube. She does mostly makeup tutorials but has a bit of vlogs mixed in along the way. She’s a twenty-something just living her life with her friends and has brought us along for the ride!

Those are my picks if you know any YouTubers you think I should add to this list. Let me know!

Blogging for Dummies

 
So you don’t seem to be getting the traffic that you need to your website. It seems that all you have is static content that no one is interested in, right?
The best way to get people interested in your product is to highlight the benefits of having your product, by telling people about your product. Right?
But, the news sources don’t care about your product or service and Novia McDonald-Whyte, the Style Editor of The Jamaica Observer hung up on you because you couldn’t remember if she worked for the Gleaner or the Observer (true story by the way).
So what are you going to do?

 

START A BLOG

 

That’s right! Start a blog! It’s the easiest thing to do. Blogger and WordPress make it so easy to create your own pages, and post them on the Internet.
Now you’re probably thinking, if I have a website, why do I need a blog? Well here is the thing, a lot of time the website’s information is static, meaning it can’t be changed and shared as organically as you would like it to be.
The people who may be interested in your product or service are not interested in static information. People want knowledge, information that is engaging, kind of like this blog.  (Just checking if you are paying attention)
The good thing about writing a blog for your company is that it’s simple to do; you are not tied to the CEO or Managing Director’s messages to write the blog entry. The benefit of having a blog, is that anyone from your company can write something, as it is more informal than a website page.

BLOGGING HELPS TO TARGET DIFFERENT AUDIENCES

 

Another good thing about having a blog is that the content keeps changing, as you add more content, and more blog posts are for different target groups or different services your company has to offer, it will bring more traffic to your website and ultimately drive sales.
So what do people want to read? I think most of the time people are interested in reading about personal experiences, triumphs and the brand experience.