We recently interviewed Meleah Campbell, an educator and Instagram influencer, who provides learning resources and creates unique classroom content for her audience of parents and fellow educators. We're thrilled to share her story here and her insights for others seeking to create a personal brand and see success extending their voice through social media. Read on to learn about her thoughts on building a personalized narrative, connecting with your audience similarities and what has helped her achieve success as an educator influencer. We love her thoughts about how important understanding your mission is to building your brand!
Name: Meleah Campbell
City: Currently based in Sacramento, CA
IG Handle: @ms.campbell.teach
What do you think was the most significant obstacle you encountered in the process of building your brand? How have your goals changed?
I am very passionate about education, and being able to share ideas on how to make learning fun and engaging for students has always been my goal. As a teacher, I use social media as a way to share the ideas used in my classroom and this has become what I am known for. An obstacle I have faced is finding a balance of being a place where teachers find inspiration and joy, while being able to share my ideas about current events (which may not be as joyous). When addressing issues such as racism or other difficult topics, I attempt to take an approach where I am offering solutions in addition to sharing the problems. My goal continues to be to inspire individuals to work together and to teach our children moral integrity, in order to create a more desirable and just world.
What aspects of your brand do you think are unique and particularly attractive to your audiences?
The activities and strategies that I share can be easily used by teachers and parents, which I believe is attractive to my audience. In addition to having an audience here in America, I also have an international following-- some materials that Americans have access to may not be accessible overseas. For this reason, I am very cognizant of trying to showcase learning activities that can be easily created with homemade materials.
Another unique quality of my brand is the philanthropic aspect. I love being able to provide students and teachers with free materials to support learning. In November 2019, I did my first international philanthropic project where I went to Saint Lucia and provided a teacher with free resources and training for her kindergarten class. My dream is to replicate this program, providing teachers and schools, in areas where resources are limited, with materials and skills to support education.
How early-on in your journey did you craft a narrative for your brand and how important do you think it is (for the success of the brand) to have a meaningful narrative that aligns with the brand?
Understanding your passion and mission is extremely important when crafting the narrative for your brand. When I began building my brand, I shared ideas that brought my students joy. I never thought I would have the influence I currently do, and I am extremely humbled and grateful for the opportunity-- I have the ability to inspire educators who want what’s best for children. I keep children and education at the forefront of my brand while being my authentic self, and that is what I will continue to do.
Many people are not aware of how influencers are almost synonymous with “brands” and “businesses”. What parallels can you draw between what it’s like being an influencer and what it’s like running a business? How important is your brand awareness?
As a social media influencer, whatever content I release to the public will be used as part of my identity; it is very important to be thoughtful in the content and ideas that I share. When people think of “Ms. Campbell”, I want them to associate it with joy first, followed by fun and engaging learning strategies. Being an influencer is very much like running a business, because if managed correctly, it can become a second stream of income and a way to support your personal and professional goals.
What do you think makes the social media industry so unique and appealing in current times? How do you think the current global health & social crises have affected the industry?
The social media industry is appealing in current times because it has allowed the world to stay connected. I love the opportunity social media has created for the teacher community to share ideas that allow us to better support our scholars. In my experience, I have learned tips on “remote learning”, had the ability to share and hear about other teachers' challenges, as well as have a community of people who understand exactly how I am feeling about not being able to be with my students physically.
With all of the positives of social media unfortunately come negative aspects. In regards to the health crises, I believe the negative aspect is misinformation. Because everyone can share information, it can be difficult to filter out what is the truth and what is not. I believe it is important to consider the source, while engaging in personal research, to ensure we are making the best decisions for our lives.
Social media has become an incredibly influential platform, fostering many users’ perspectives of the greater world. With this platform comes immense social responsibility-- social media influencers must create content and a brand image that reflects their true self while inspiring and connecting with followers. PressReady offers several tools to help along this journey. Check out our Create Your Media kit and Brand Calendar workbook for resources to help you build your portfolio, share who you are, better connect with your target audience and plan out content.