Sheffield toddler becomes Instagram influencer - landing more than £10,000 in freebies
A Sheffield toddler has taken the social media world by storm – and bagged his family more than £10,000 worth of goodies in the process.
Parker George is yet to turn two years old, but boasts 16,500 Instagram followers.
His mother, Natasha Maxwell, started an online profile for him a year ago to store his photos and share them with loved ones.
But he quickly drew plenty of admirers with his cute complexion.
And Natasha, 33, has been sent £10,000 worth of treats, including designer clothes, tickets to Disney on Ice and even a fridge freezer, in exchange for Instagram shout outs.
The stay-at-home mum said: “It has opened up so many opportunities for the whole family and this shows how parents can use social media in a good and positive way.
“It has hugely benefited our lives and we have had so much just given to us for free.
Natasha decided to start posting photos of Parker on a dedicated page when he was eight-months-old in December 2018.
“I didn’t start it as a way of using my children to gain anything,” she said.
“People just kept following us and it just grew from there. Now some posts can be seen by 20,000 people and it has just gone crazy.
"I put a lot of work in and it does take up a lot of my time. My average screen time on Instagram is nine hours a day so it is like a full time job for me.
"It's not all about Parker either, it includes the whole family and my feed is very family oriented.”
Her inspiration for the page came from her love of photography. She also wanted to have somewhere for friends and family to see photos of Parker as he grows up.
But Natasha, who also has an eight-year-old daughter, Lilly-Rae, said her followers steadily rose as she introduced hashtags and word about the page began to spread.
By July, Natasha, a former dog-groomer, said the page hit 10,000 followers and she was being inundated with hand outs from top brands.
Parker and Natasha have been sent prams, high chairs, designer clothes and even a fridge freezer in exchange for posting photos of the products on their page.
Top brands like River Island, hoping to capitalise on the trendy toddler’s popularity, have even given him clothes for free to wear in photos.
Natasha, meanwhile, has been handed a personalised diet and weight loss plan worth £2000 from MuscleFoods.
In September last year she sent them an email to enquire about collaborating because she wanted to slim down in time for her wedding this month.
MuscleFoods agreed and said if she posts regular progress updates and supplies them with her wedding photos, they will give her with three meals and snacks daily for the four months running up to the big day.
Natasha, who will marry 22-year-old steel worker Daniel Burt, said: “I see it as a bit of harmless fun and it has really surprised me at how it has taken off.
“I try to keep the posts as genuine as possible but we are getting so many opportunities now.
“I am proud of Parker for just being him.
“I’m not going to turn down these offers and it if benefits my children then that’s great.
“Some of the experiences we have had this year have been unforgettable. It’s crazy to think it has all come from just posting photos of Parker.”
The family of five, which includes Daniel’s two-year-old daughter Phoebe, have also been gifted free entry to local zoos and play parks, as well as hand-outs from the likes of AO.com and children’s pram and furniture specialists Stokke.
In return, Natasha posts a photo of Parker at the venue or with a product on her page and tags them in the post.
She added: “Parker is very cute and he is always really happy. He waves at everyone and is always smiling.
“He is still a toddler and I am very careful about the type of photos we take.
“I don’t see why this could be negative in any way. I love to share my life on social media and always have done.
“People do talk about the dangers of posting photos of your children online but I don’t see it like that at all.
“Lots of people post photos of their kids online and these are just really harmless and innocent.”
Natasha also uses the page to share advice, ask questions and get involved with the online parenting community to offer support to those in a similar position.
She hopes her feed can inspire other parents to get creative when sharing pictures of their little ones online.