Meet Hanan Tehaili, a full time mother, content creator, blogger, and federal government employee?!...yes, she truly does it all! We love working with creators who are currently balancing so much more on their plate than just content curation, and fashion creator Hanan is doing just that. With a following over 500K strong across both Instagram and Youtube, Hanan is here to share with us how she's been able to grow an authentic following online and her favorite time management tips.
Instasize: Tell us a little more about yourself! Are you a full time content creator? What were you doing beforehand?
Hanan Tehaili: I am a Canadian based content creator originally from Toronto ON but moved to Ottawa ON after I got married about 5 years ago. I work full time as a federal government employee and as a content creator. I am currently on maternity leave from my federal government position which gives me a little bit more freedom to explore and get creative as a content creator, though being a mama is a full time job in itself!
IS: What came first, your Instagram or YouTube? How do you manage creating content for various platforms consistently?
HT: I started on Instagram before YouTube. Creating content for both platforms has been a huge challenge for me, especially since I had baby Liam. My husband works full time and and we don’t have family in the city so we are mostly doing it alone. He has been so supportive watching Liam after work and on weekends so that I can get some work done but we have definitely come to terms that we need the extra help. For now, it’s all about time management and planning to make the most out of our time. I always plan my photoshoots with my photographer about a week in advance and shoot up to 3 outfits or projects in the same day. Preparing for the photoshoot takes time, so I do this in the evenings after dinner when Liam is sleeping. Filming videos is more challenging for several reasons. Most of the time I film in my own house which means making sure the room is clean for the video background and that Liam is not my background noise for the video either. Also, filming requires lots of energy! I have to get myself in the mood and energized to begin! It can take up to 6 hours to film and edit a video. I use my daily planner to plan out my week ahead. One of the things that has helped me the most is being able to leave Liam in the playroom at my gym and sit outside in the café for about an hour before I actually go in to work out. Total mom hack!
As challenging as the role of a content creator can be for me, I absolutely love every minute of it. I enjoy creating content for both platforms as it gives my viewers a little more insight into my life in different ways.
IS: How did you get your started within the fashion industry - can you please share your top growth hacks for Instagram and how you've been able to build such an authentic following?
HT: I have always loved putting outfits together but I never thought I would have a platform to share them! I started sharing my outfits on Instagram about 4 years ago and on my blog about a year ago. It took some time to grow my platform but I was very dedicated and consistent because of how much I enjoyed it. I would post on Instagram up to 3 times a day while using a bunch of hashtags that were relevant and tagging the brands that I would wear. Posting that many times a day now is definitely not necessary, however, being consistent will allow you to capture an audience that wants to follow your story. I don’t actively reach out to brands, mostly because I don’t have the time for it, but if you really want to work with a brand that you love, you definitely should! When reaching out to them make sure you are professional and definitely be yourself. Create a piece of content using one of their products and share it with them so they know what kind of work you are capable of and how you will benefit them.
I am pretty diverse in my fashion sense however I am mostly drawn towards comfort chic. I love a comfortable sweater with leggings and either knee high boots or block heel booties.
IS: How do you feel about the term “influencer”, do you consider yourself an influencer? If not, what is the best way to describe your work online?
HT: There is a lot of stigma around the word influencer and I personally don't think it is wrong to use if you are actually influencing people for good. Influence is powerful and if it is used to help people around you to share positivity and love, then I am not against it. Currently on Instagram, my title is “Blogger” though I think it's a little bit more than that. I don’t think I have coined the right term for what I do yet!
IS: What do you think is the biggest misconception about work as an influencer or content creator?
HT: I think there are two really big misconceptions that I have come across. One is that “It’s not actually hard work.” It actually is. Creating content takes time, planning and production. Also, if you enjoy what you do and love the people following you, like I do, then it takes time and effort to consistently engage with them to maintain an online relationship! The other misconception is that influencers promote products they don’t try out or don’t like, just for the money. For me, this is FAR from the truth. I would never promote a product on my platform if I genuinely don’t like and use it. That would just go beyond my own morals. If I am getting paid to create content for a certain brand, it’s because I have accepted to work with this brand because I believe it has value to me and my following. Being compensated for my time and resources behind creating content allows me to be able to share the products and services I love so that those who follow me can enjoy them too.
IS: What are some of your go to apps for content creation, staying organized, etc.
HT: My top favourite apps that I consistenly use are the following:
• Planoly to plan out my feed (I don’t have a certain theme going on because I find it gets a little boring and I prefer real photos but I like to see how a photo will look on my feed before posting)
• For editing: Snapseed, Facetune, Instasize
• For insta-stories: Unfold
IS: What message do you want to convey to your Instagram followers?
HT: The message I always try to convey is self-love! We can get so caught up in life and forget to take of ourselves, our goals, and self-growth in general so it’s something I constantly remind my following about. The more you care for yourself as an individual, the better you can help the people around you and society as a whole.
IS: What is one piece of advice you would tell your younger self?
HT: Stop focusing on what other people are thinking! Focus on what you think about yourself, that is all that matters.
IS: Last but not least, what is one of your favorite quotes?
HT: I have many but one of the ones that I am currently inspired by is:
In the end, it is important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are. - Max De Pree