In the Limelight with Clarissa Burt interviews Emilia Taneva: Social Media Influencer
Clarissa Burt here In the Limelight today with, not only a superstar in her own right when it comes to her being a board-certified orthodontist, but a Super-Influencer in travel and lifestyle. As if she didn’t have enough to do, she decided she was going to have two full time jobs, if not maybe three. I’m really excited to speak with Emily Taneva because I want to know where she gets all of her energy and if she has 48 hours in her day.
Emilia Taneva: Thank you so much for having me today. t
Clarissa: I’ve taken a look at your website and I love the name that you chose. Tell everybody the name that you’ve chosen for your handle.
Emilia Taneva: The name of my website, of my blog, is Bubbly Moments. I feel it’s a happy and lovely place where I can share all my adventures.
Clarissa: Exactly. You’re absolutely drop dead beautiful and not only are you beautiful, but the pictures that you are taking as you’re traveling around the world as an Influencer – and I’m assuming a lot of the work that you’re doing is also going on Instagram – are also really drop dead beautiful. Kudos to the photographer. Were you doing that by yourself or did you have someone with you?
Emilia Taneva: Oh, thank you so much. I used to travel with my husband or with my family, and they are the ones that take the photos.
Clarissa: Do you decide what it is you’re going to wear that day and take the creative direction behind the picture? Is that all you?
Emilia Taneva: Usually, for each trip, we have all the outfits planned and then we have a full schedule planned day by day depending on the destination we go to. My husband also has a lot of ideas. I like listening to him and taking into consideration what angle or what setting he wants to do.
Clarissa: So he’s very creative as well, which has to be a great help to you. Let’s step back a second before we continue on the influencer track. You’re a superstar orthodontist. I understand that you’ve also been the President of the European Dental Students Association. Where are you from originally?
Emilia Taneva: I am originally from Veliko Tarnovo, a small city in the middle of Bulgaria. It used to be a capital back in the 12th century. It is very historic; it has a lot of history, fortresses, churches.
Clarissa: It must be a beautiful place to visit, I’d love to see that. How did you start? You’re an orthodontist and I’m assuming you work 9 to 5 in an office somewhere in a regular dental practice life, then you turn around and decide that wasn’t keeping you busy enough, you were going to be a Super-Influencer. Walk me through that process. How did that come about and why?
Emilia Taneva: I really love traveling and we traveled a lot after I finished my residency. After two years into that, I started sharing my photos with my family and friends. It started in a gradual process, so I decided to develop the website. I usually work in private practice three or four days a week and my schedule is flexible so some months we can take a whole week off and be somewhere outside Chicago.
Clarissa: Oh, you live in Chicago now? How long has the website been on? How long since you decided, “I’m going to start a travel-influencer website.” ?
Emilia Taneva: It’s been about two and a half years now.
Clarissa: Walk us through the process of anyone that is thinking about becoming an influencer on Instagram or on social media. Truly, how much work is involved?
Emilia Taneva: It’s honestly a lot more work than seeing patients. It’s more stressful. You have to have so many different skill sets like knowing web design, knowing different platforms, software, photo editing, knowing how to work with a camera or if you use your iPhone. I think the most important thing is to find your own niche. Make sure that you’re consistent with your content, whether it’s fashion, travel, cooking, etc.
Clarissa: Obviously there are travel bloggers, there are influencers, there are lifestyle influencers, there are many. When you talk about your niche from an entrepreneurial standpoint, how is it that you distinguished yourself within the travel/influencer/blogger world to find a niche or even a sub-niche?
Emilia Taneva: At the very beginning, I started only with travel and suddenly I transferred to lifestyle as well. Right now I also like to share more information about dentistry and orthodontics. It changes depending on my audience. When you get asked questions about your lifestyle, then you decide what is something your audience will be interested in. That’s why I decided to expand more.
Clarissa: Right, so you follow the suggestions or questions of your audience, let’s talk about that. How did you grow your numbers on social to the point where you are now considered a Super-Influencer? How much work did that take? What kind of platforms did you use? How much did you post?
Emilia Taneva: I try to post every day on social media like Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram. On my website I try to post at least once or twice a week or three times a month depending on how much time I have. It’s very important to have a very organized schedule to follow and plan your content in advance. Once you are consistent, then your audience is expecting your post and that’s how you go at it pretty much.
Clarissa: Which post got you the most views?
Emilia Taneva: After you do it for several years it’s hard to tell. I had a lot of Christmas content. A lot of posts from the Bahamas with sharks. A lot in different destinations.
Clarissa: When you started, you did as a travel blogger. Now it looks as though you moved into doing some reviews of products as well. I see a beautiful bathing suit here. Some cosmetics that you suggest. There’s a fabulous leather purse I see. Did you start from the beginning with the products or was it first the platform and then the suggestion and reviews of products?
Emilia Taneva: Yes, it was first the platform. First the website, then the social media and after that, it was all the brand endorsements I got. I like to share different types of products that they have or fashion quoting. It depends what I’m excited about at the moment. I usually am very familiar with the product or have used it for several weeks or months before I endorse it.
Clarissa: Absolutely. Of course you have to do that in order to keep the honesty and integrity of your brand, that’s a disclaimer. I think that all influencers should have on their site and on their posts: “Hey, I’ve tried this and it’s not just because I’m getting paid for this,” or, “I am getting paid for this, but I only work with the brands that I truly believe in.” That’s a part of living in integrity with yourself, with the brand and with your followers, right?
Emilia Taneva: Absolutely. Yes.
Clarissa: Have you ever had any difficulty with your followers? Any stalkers, any craziness, any bad things happen?
Emilia Taneva: No, not yet.
Clarissa: Oh, that’s good. I’ve heard of those stories happening, so I’m really glad to hear it hasn’t happened to you. Are you being approached by brands now or how is that happening?
Emilia Taneva: There are different types of influence platforms you can register with. Usually the brand looks at your social media channels, your numbers and your website traffic, that’s how they decide whether or not to approach you.
Clarissa: Can you share that with our audience? What platforms there are in case they’re interested?
Emilia Taneva: There is TapInfluence, AspireIQ, Open Influence, for example, but there are more and more coming. Those platforms connect you; connect different brands to different influencers.
Clarissa: What is your favorite place to be while doing your influencer work?
Emilia Taneva: I absolutely love Hawaii. It is one of my favorite destinations. It has amazing beaches. The weather is excellent. You can go anytime of the year. It’s a little far, but the flight is totally worth it.
Clarissa: Yeah, I understand, it’s far. I’m in Phoenix, Arizona and I think it’s six and a half hours even from here. You’re saying it’s worth it when you get there, I have been traveling my whole life and I lived also 30 years in Italy. 30 years ago, I was traveling all over Europe and having the time of my life. Of course travel has changed so much since I was your age, but it used to be really fun. It’s not as fun now because of all the difficulties at airports and those sorts of things. But as you say, it’s always awesome when you get to the destination. Especially today with the Internet and preparation and word of mouth and now you get reviews. Back in the day, we just did what we did and went where we went. We always had a good time because I really think that when you travel, you do find yourself. Traveling alone is also something I suggest, especially for young women. Be careful of course, but it’s a great way of discovering other cultures as well as discovering yourself and who you truly are. I think it’s a great education and great formation for younger generations. I travel all the time. I never stop. I love it with all my heart. I always have a suitcase packed, it’s crazy, I come home, I’ll do the wash and then it just goes right back in the suitcase. If I need an extra jacket, I’ll take it. Where are you off to next, beautiful lady?
Emilia Taneva: For now, I’m staying in Chicago for the next two months because I’m expecting a baby.
Clarissa: Oh, I was thinking about that: “If she had babies, maybe she couldn’t travel so much,” but it would be cool to have your new baby as well. What are you planning then?
Emilia Taneva: We just came back from Connecticut last weekend so that was the last trip for the next six weeks. I am having the baby close to the end of August.
Clarissa: Congratulations! Is it a boy or a girl?
Emilia Taneva: Thank you. We don’t know the gender yet, we’ll wait.
Clarissa: Oh honey, I’m so thrilled for you. What happens after the baby? What are you thinking of for your platform, blog, and influencing?
Emilia Taneva: I’ll probably have to wait a few months, but there are a lot of wonderful destinations in the US that I would like to explore first before we start traveling internationally again.
Clarissa: Well, you’re going to have to dress the baby up now. Do you have a name?
Emilia Taneva: No names yet.
Clarissa: I am so happy for you and your husband. That’s extraordinary news. You are already one busy lady. Now? I can’t even imagine, but you’re living a fabulous life. I wish you all the best. Please keep in touch with us. We’d love to know if you had a boy or a girl and what name you chose.
Emilia Taneva: I will.
Clarissa: Let’s tell everybody how and where they can find you before you sign off.
Emilia Taneva: My website is Bubblymoments.com. Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook @BubblyMoments. Instagram @bubbly.moments. I’m pretty much on all social media platforms.
Clarissa: We’re looking forward to the news and pictures after the baby is here.
Emilia Taneva: Thank you, Clarissa. It was really nice talking to you today.
Clarissa: You are so welcome, love. Have a fabulous day. We’ll catch up again real soon. ✧