Becoming a micro influencer
Creative Designer Danielle reveals how she built a community of 10k followers on Instagram.
Interview with: Danielle Wetton
You’ve seen a lot of success with your Instagram account Skin Sundae, what inspired you to start? Where did the name come from?
Skin Sundae was originally created as a platform where I could simply share my love of skincare and beauty with like minded people. Skincare is super important to me as I suffered with acne during my teenage years which really knocked my confidence, so the fact that I now have almost 10k followers is something I never expected.
I landed on the name Skin Sundae because I wanted my page to be a mashup of content - like an icecream sundae. It’s also a twist on Sunday being the typical day of the week for self care.
How does being a designer help you as a content creator and micro-influencer?
I saw a lot of content on my feed that was getting tons of engagement and knew that I had the interest, knowledge and skills to create content that was just as good if not better. Brands also value newness and I knew that I could offer a unique perspective that showed their products from different angles because of my experience in design. The concept of texture in skincare is increasingly popular and I have created some really cool storytelling around this. Much like I do in my work at CK, I apply boundless thinking to the content that I’m creating to generate original and creative results.
What’s your studio set up?
My studio is in my home so I have limited space but I’ve optimised it by investing in simple equipment that makes a big difference. I used to rely on natural lighting and Amazon purchased backgrounds. Now, I’ve developed my style from flatlay to lifestyle and often shoot around my house. I purchased an external flash for my camera and video content is shot on my phone using a tripod.
Have you experienced challenges as your account has grown?
I definitely feel pressure to create more and more content as my account grows and sometimes it can feel like a full time job. I have to remind myself that I started this as a creative outlet and I’m now learning to set boundaries for myself. For example, knowing that it’s ok to take a break and not engaging every single night without feeling guilty. Sometimes after working all day in my job as a designer I want a break from my phone in the evening.
How does a typical collaboration work?
There’s been a huge shift in influencer marketing and a lot of brands value highly engaged audiences of micro-influencers. Some brands gift products in exchange for content and others are prepared to pay. While it’s exciting that brands want to collaborate, it’s really important to know your worth and value. It takes time to create good quality content and time is money. As my account has grown I’ve started working with an agent that helps me to navigate these nuances.
You’ve worked with an impressive selection of brands, what are your favourite collaborations?
My favourite collaborations so far have to be the work I’ve done with Dior and Glossier as they are both brands that I love. I found it interesting that a well-established luxury brand like Dior reached out to a micro-influencer like me but it reinforces the importance and effectiveness of quality content. With Glossier, I am a member of its affiliate programme and receive commission on sales driven from my content.
There is a lot of chatter around influencer culture being detrimental to mental health. Do you feel a responsibility as an influencer to make social media a healthier place for people?
In short, yes I do. Natural beauty is a big topic right now which has boosted the popularity of skincare and selfcare content and many influencers are trying to tackle unrealistic expectations of beauty by being as transparent as possible. My tip to anyone feeling insecure or triggered by content on social media is to make sure you are following people that are relatable to you and that aren’t going to perpetuate unattainable standards.
How do you keep your audience engaged?
Part of the reason I started Skin Sundae was to meet like minded people that I could share my interests with. I have created some really strong friendships on the platform and, as I would be in real life, it’s important for me to be authentic. I do this by only working with brands I love and giving honest reviews. I post two - three times a week, which isn’t a lot compared to influencers that do this full time but when I do post content my followers engage because they know that I only post about things I believe in. It’s about quality over quantity.
The influencer world is pretty enigmatic, can you let us into any secrets?
The secret is that there aren’t really any secrets. A lot of people think that you can magically become successful overnight but what they don’t see is the work that happens behind the scenes - planning, styling and editing content, becoming an expert in community engagement, building business knowledge, keeping up to date with social algorithms.
It’s about being entrepreneurial, using and developing your skills to create something out of nothing, and above all, enjoying it. I love the creativity and the moments I get to sit with my camera. My heart is in the design of it, not the followers or likes.
What are the most exciting things happening in the beauty industry right now?
- Skintech: The skintech space is a particularly exciting one, with the development of new devices and innovations that are tapping into the luxury market.
- Gen Z targeted brands: It’s interesting to see how skincare brands are developing fun products and identities with more playful uses of fonts, colours and brand language to engage younger audiences.
- Education: a lot of brands are using content to educate their audiences around the importance of sunscreen and spf to combat anti-aging and boost skin health. It’s interesting to see the changing perceptions and product innovation in the spf category as it becomes a staple in skincare routines.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to build a social media community/ build a business in social?
- Make sure you find your niche. Something that you’re really passionate about and not just going into for the likes, money and followers. If you do this your content is far more likely to resonate with people.
- Set expectations around time management. If you throw yourself into this full time, use it to your advantage. If you can’t make sure that you protect your time. Have a diary, make a schedule. Just make sure that you are consistent and your audience grows to know what to expect from you.
- Be willing and open to engage with other people. Give back by engaging with your community. Social media is a two way conversation and treating it as such will make it a much more rewarding experience.
Want to work together and unleash your brand’s potential? Email Sam at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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