Episode 145 | Dealing with Overwhelm with Francesca Murray

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Dealing with Overwhelm While Growing Your Brand

If you've ever felt overwhelmed and like there is just too much to do... this is the episode for you! Tune in as Bree chats with Francesca Murray, a travel blogger, about how to deal with managing all the things while you're growing your business. They talk about Francesca's favorite business tools, staying organized, and how to keep grounded when you're dealing with overwhelm and are overworked!

Dealing with Overwhelm - Francesca Murray

"Every other video is someone telling me that to be successful on Tik-Tok, I have to post three to five videos a day, and be testing all these methods. And then Instagram wants Reels, Stories, et cetera, et cetera. And then Pinterest wants stories. Now, it's a lot of demand! And I don't think enough people are stopping to ask, what is this actually doing to people? At what point is it still worth it?"

Discussed in this episode...

When Francesca first started in 2014, blogging really was the thing. Writing articles and putting multiple photos into a post was the main form of content she was sharing. There were no influencers then, and somewhere along the way, Instagram became a huge thing. As a blogger with a degree in journalism, Francesca resisted the shift for a long time. She didn't want to be posting pictures but eventually realized that was where the brands were at. The audience was moving in that direction, and she is now glad that she went with it and pivoted.

The blogger and influencer space have evolved so much and Francesca has come from being a blogger who occasionally shared photos of herself, to being in front of the camera every single day in some way. It has been a growth opportunity for her and forced her to break out of her comfort zone. That evolution has taught her to be comfortable showing up fully as herself, as opposed to hiding behind the blog.

A major perspective shift for her was when she found purpose in showing herself and increasing representation. People love seeing people they can relate to. Not many black women with natural hair were creating travel content at the time, and the response when Francesca began sharing more of herself was overwhelmingly positive. If you're a small business owner, it's exciting to see another small business! Or maybe woman owned business or a first-generation-owned business.

How was the transition into video content?

Because of where Francesca was in her journey at the time, the transition was not a difficult one. She was ready to pivot a little bit from hardcore travel content into talking about more beauty, and video helped push her into it. It helped to expand the type of content she created! Because reels is less curated than photos it gave her the courage to try something new; even when it wasn't perfect. She has found it really fun to see what people from other niches are doing and glean inspiration for her own videos in her own niche. It's a new, and fun way to challenge her creativity!

How do we stay grounded and prevent becoming overwhelmed by it all?

To be honest, it does become increasingly overwhelming. With all the platforms that want video, and even just keeping up with cross-posting, it's a lot of work! It can easily take a toll on your mental health. Francesca has begun to implement weekends - just like a traditional nine to five job. She has a hard stop time on Friday and gives herself the weekend off! It's so easy to let our boundaries slip and run ourselves completely ragged.

A story we may tell ourselves is that in order to do our best at all times, we have to be available at all times. We think we have to be always working, always hustling. Until we burn ourselves out. That email will still be there on Monday. And the person you're in contact with at an agency is probably not working on the weekend.

Another thing Francesca does is to take real vacations. A travel influencer, as exciting as it looks, is still real work. It's a lot of hard work and effort to be paid to travel, so it's important for her to go on trips where nothing is required of her. This has become a quarterly thing and really helps her to refocus and remember why she started and why she loves to travel.

What advice does Francesca have for someone working on their brand, with the goal of being a full-time blogger?

If you want to become full-time and have a sustainable income, then you really do have to look at this as a job. You have to consider it a business from the start, and not be afraid to invest in it. Don't be afraid to invest in IT resources, courses, or books.

Something that really changed things for Francesca at the beginning was investing in training from people who were further along the journey. If there was another blogger who was killing it, Francesca was absolutely going to pay for the knowledge and the shortcut. She would encourage any blogger to invest in the resources that pertain to what you're actually struggling with.

Another piece of advice; it may be scary at first, but start practicing negotiating! The sooner they start to learn how to do this in a professional way, the better. Even when it comes to trade partnerships, get comfortable asking if there is a budget. Or get comfortable reducing deliverables if they don't match with what you're willing to do. It's really good to get practice early on because down the road you'll be negotiating four and five figures. At that point, you want to already have the confidence and previous experience.

Additional Topics Discussed:

  • Why Francesca chose to blog over working as a Hollywood publicist!
  • How blogging has evolved over the years
  • The value of pivoting even when it's uncomfortable
  • Some of Francesca's favorite things about how social media has changed since 2014
  • Favorite tools for running her business
  • How Francesca stays organized while on the go
  • Ways to earn money as a new blogger; who may not be ready for brand deals yet

Resources Mentioned

More about Francesca Murray:

Francesca Murray is a California-based travel influencer who shares beauty, natural hair, and lifestyle tips for women on the go. She has a solid audience across platforms, with the majority being millennial women from the United States. Francesca is fluent in French and conversational in Spanish. Known for her curly natural hair, she is passionate about encouraging self-love, and believes that life is a journey – so why not travel in style? She is a proud Afro-Latina with Honduran Garifuna roots. Francesca is also a professional journalist and on-camera host.


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