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Life & Work with Donna Faaborg

Today we’d like to introduce you to Donna Faaborg.

Hi Donna, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Back in 2014 when I was a junior at the University of San Diego, I started my small apparel shop and a short year later, that shop had become a full-time job for me. Through the years of that work, I loved putting together fun outfits to match my products and to give some inspiration to my followers.

By 2019, I realized that my true passion was more so showing my followers my life and my style than just showing them the new things that were hitting the shop. So I started slowly integrating more lifestyle photos into my Instagram feed and they just loved it! That was the true beginning of me becoming a lifestyle blogger and content creator. In these short couple of years of really pushing myself into this new path and changing my page up to reflect this new path, I have been able to work with some amazing brands like Disney, Her Universe, Box Lunch, Walgreens, Humm Kombucha, and so many more. I am extremely fortunate to live in San Diego because I am afforded the opportunities to explore new places constantly, get amazing backdrops for brand campaigns, and take my followers on my own staycations so that when they come to San Diego, they can truly feel like a local too. I am always finding out about new bars, restaurants, or activities to do here that it really feels like I will always be a tourist in my hometown.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
No road is ever truly smooth and this content creating job can be a wild ride sometimes! One of the biggest obstacles I have had to overcome (and many creators, I might add) is the fact that we are truly at the mercy of the social media algorithms. It is extremely difficult sometimes to get past the feeling that you aren’t good enough or that your content isn’t good enough because your numbers are low. This can be quite scary sometimes because for many people that’s their livelihood! I am fortunate enough to love the job that I have at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park that content creating is just a fun hobby and side hustle for me. I still get down on myself when it feels like I can’t figure out what I need to be doing to get my content out to more people, but I know I am not the only one. Since I have accepted the fact that I like my content and that at the end of the day that’s all that matters, I don’t sweat the small stuff and I rarely look at my “like” count because it doesn’t determine my worth. One of the biggest obstacles to overcome in this business is just not taking things too seriously or too personally. Putting out content that YOU love and YOU enjoy is what it’s all about after all!

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Even though I started making the shift from my page being a small shop page to a creator page in 2019, it wasn’t until 2020 that I started taking it seriously to start making it into a job for myself. As you can imagine, I had a lot of free time in 2020 so the only thing I could do was to get creative. Pre-COVID, much of my content was geared towards pictures around Disneyland, but once it shut down, I kind of had to learn to be better than “just Disney stuff”. In that time span, I learned to take more creative pictures and I started trying my hand at Photoshop. That was probably my biggest accomplishment thus far because since then, my content has gotten so much better! I truly feel like that the ability to offer my audience an immersive experience into my posts is what makes them so excited for what’s next. I always make time for my followers and I have even grown a great relationship with many of them.

Even though it was our love of Disney that originally brought us together, I love it even more than they were just so excited to see me blossom into more than a fanatic of the magical. When I started kicking my content into high gear in 2020, what I learned was my own ability to push myself constantly and be a go-getter when it comes to working with brands – it can be tough to get past rejection but sooner or later, the brands started noticing me and reaching out! It’s absolutely crazy to think that at the beginning of 2021, I made it a goal for myself to turn content creating into at least a part-time job for myself and I am happy to report that I met that goal by April! And I am even happier to report that I just got a fantastic email last week to work with Disney themselves! The insane changes that have happened in such a short amount of time truly is the accumulation of so much hard work and behind the scenes that my followers will never see but will still be there to help me celebrate the victories.

Can you share something surprising about yourself?
A lot of people who follow me think that content creation is my full-time job and it’s not, which is why I love showing them my job at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park as a tour guide for some of the safari experiences that they offer on my page sometimes! I would love to have content creation be a full-time job for me one day, but when you get to work at such an incredible place that is doing so much good for wildlife conservation, it’s a pretty fulfilling life! Because of my work there, it has inspired me to be more eco-friendly and sustainable, and in turn it has helped me pass on that vital information to my followers as well. It’s one of my favorites things to do to recommend brands or products that are doing the most for wildlife.

Pricing:

  • Instagram in-feed post: $200
  • Instagram 3-frame Story with swipe up link of your choosing: $65
  • Instagram Reel: $250
  • Blog about your product/company: $150

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