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Andrea Larson: “I’m a live-in-the-moment mom!”

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Andrea Larson has schooled herself on becoming a social media darling for thousands of her followers and empowering them through simply sharing her everyday life in Overland Park, Kansas. More than a decade ago, she began this journey, which has blossomed into a part-time job for the 42-year-old. Her number of followers is impressive: Pinterest: 3,900; Instagram: 13,900; Facebook: 1,100. Add to this her monthly page views: Pinterest, 1 million; and Blog 10,000; and Andrea has racked up solid credentials. She has built this massive number of impressions by sharing her real life in a relatable, down-to-earth manner because, as she says, that’s what people crave.

“I started a blog, Life Love Larson, over ten years ago to share life updates about our family, recipes and DIY projects. I’ve stayed home with my kids since they were born and always yearned for a creative outlet. Blogging was fairly new, and it was fun for me to be creative and write. There have been lag times with the blog, but I’ve never abandoned it. To date, I have over 400 blog posts. It’s my original form of content creation,” she noted. “Sharing things in a blog post allows people to return and get information quickly. Instagram and Facebook posts get lost and buried over time, but blog posts last and can be accessed all the time. I also own my blog and all content I share and blog about. This keeps it very personal and very much mine, which you can’t get with other social channels. I slowly started sharing more quick posts and daily life routines and what we were doing as a family and my following started to grow. It’s hard to grow in today’s world of social media, but I absolutely want to nurture the audience I do have, which is super important to me.”

Learning the Tools of the Trade
Andrea describes herself as a “self-taught blogger/instagrammer/social media influencer,” because, as she tells it, “a manual does not exist.” Her day-to-day activities are the subject of her work, focusing on recipes, travel, home decor, projects, shopping deals or finds, Kansas City living, ad campaigns and family. She also composes posts on her “green thumb” to help many followers get to the root of the problem to keep their indoor and outdoor plants happy and healthy.

Many times, Andrea is posting about her family: Steve, her husband of 19 years, and children, Drew, 14, and Kate, 13. Born and raised in Moline, Illinois, the Mississippi River side of the state, she graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in social work. Andrea spent some years working for nonprofits, but her husband’s fast-track career, which meant moving six times until they landed in Kansas City in 2012, opened the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom.

“The objective of Life Love Larson is to inspire readers to live fully in all areas of their lives. I’m an open book that lends itself to sharing my/our lifestyle on social media on a daily basis. I identify as a stay-at-home mom/family CEO/content creator and blogger,” she shared. “It’s fun for me to interact with readers. So much of my audience is in Kansas City, which lends itself to feeling like a community. My audience teaches me so much, too. I feel lucky to have the connection and the outlet to so many people. I’ve chosen not to niche down because I love too many things. I think my audience likes to see a little bit of everything as it keeps things interesting. I’m just a regular, everyday mom, who shares real life and relatable things. I think people crave relatability and real-life; I’m willing to share mine.”

Navigating the Negativity
Social media can be a vicious jungle to trek. Andrea strives to turn that around by empowering women with the positivity her lifestyle and writing brings. “I hope that through sharing my own life I can inspire someone to burst out of the suburbs, take their kids to a new place, be spontaneous, try a new restaurant, wear something they normally wouldn’t try, plan a trip somewhere, cook a new meal, purchase their first plant for their home and more. 

“Because I’m older than most influencers in this space (#thisis42), I feel I have a unique life perspective because I’ve been around the block. I’ve been married for a long time and am parenting two teenagers,” she commented. “I’ve had people in my audience message me saying they don’t dread their kids getting older because they see our lifestyle and it’s still fun. I want moms to know that every stage of the process is enjoyable and should be cherished. I always say I’m a live-in-the-moment mom. I don’t wish to go forward and I don’t ever want to go back. I’m in the moment and focused on loving those moments instead of wishing I was somewhere else on the journey. Life for me as a mother is all about balance. I can’t do it all, but I have clear priorities in place for my lifestyle. Using them guides me through my everyday life and my overall decisions.”

Bringing Home The Bacon
While writing about everyday activities may seem uninteresting, that’s not the case with Life Love Larson. Andrea has been able to use her skill set and her posts to bring home extra income, enough that she describes her output as a part-time job. The income derives from a variety of sources and to accomplish this she had to be willing to work hard at producing a consistent product that meets the needs of her followers.

“I monetize this business through blog ads, working with brands on paid social media posts, and earning commissions through Rewardstyle. I can link products and items; people can click on those links to purchase items. I make a small commission off what people purchase through my links. Items I link range from clothes to planters to beauty products to Amazon purchases,” she revealed. “I’ve been able to monetize this business because of consistency. This did not happen overnight. This was a slow evolution of figuring out that I enjoy connecting, writing, sharing, inspiring and creating. This is my dream job: getting to be home (my favorite place) and taking care of my kids full time (the best job in the world), while also being able to do something I enjoy. It fills me up, and that makes me feel like I’m contributing. I engage on social media to learn new things, to be inspired, to connect and to try and live my best life. I’m hoping when people come to Life Love Larson they feel the same way.”

While she currently enjoys the good wishes of thousands of followers, in the beginning, she was hesitant to branch out into this fairly new method of communication. Her ambition was tempered by the concern of trying something new and the fear of what others might think of her work. “I made the mistake of worrying too much about what others think and didn’t put myself out there as early as I would have liked,” she commented. “I’ve learned over time that being myself and putting myself out there was the best decision I made. Some may be doing similar things on social media but they’re not being me.”

Composing a Career
For those contemplating a career posting on social media, Andrea’s motivational message is reminiscent of a Nike ad. “Just start! You want to try something new? Start! Want to travel to a different country? Start planning,” she added. “Want to create and blog and share your talents? Start! Want to become a plant lady? Buy your first plant.”

The power of her words for others goes very far with her followers. She keys in on positivity and the impact it can have on the reader or viewer and, in turn, the secondary effect those who consume her posts can have on those around them.

“I’m my happiest self because I get to do what I love and have hobbies that fulfill me. Find something that inspires you and run with it. Life, for me, is all about priorities. I’m always striving to live life to the fullest, in big and small ways,” she said. “The older I get, the smallest things bring me great joy. Seasons of life with kids come and go. Hard phases pass and you will soon forget them. Some seasons are easier than others, but every season is a time to feel challenged, proud and grateful. I’m lucky to do life with my family; they bring all the fun. Also, let some things go. I worry less and let things go easier now that I’m older. Embrace getting older. Life gets better with age. I’m the happiest and at my best ever at 42 years old and hope to continue that trend.”

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