Top Fashion Influencers: How to Market Your Career in 2020
**Originally published March 12th, 2019. Updated February 13th, 2020**
Over the past few years, social media users – Instagram users in particular – from all over the globe have begun making a living from paid posts and collaborative marketing campaigns. The platform offers an ideal space for brand ambassadorship. It’s a place where influential users recommend products and services to their loyal audience in organic and authentic ways.
Influencer marketing has taken the social media world by storm, so much so that it is now an almost $2 billion industry. And with the influencer space estimated to grow to a $5-10 billion industry by the end of this year, it’s a marketing force that is clearly thriving and here to stay.
When it comes to influencer marketing, fashion and beauty are two of the fastest-growing niches. But starting a successful fashion/beauty blog or Instagram certainly isn’t easy. So much so that many people may even try to discourage you. They might tell you that the niche is too crowded and difficult to find success in.
But don’t feel like you can’t break through the noise and succeed in the industry. While it is true that the fashion space is incredibly crowded, there are a number of ways you can stand out. To make it in fashion and beauty, you really have to work diligently to set yourself apart. You must constantly create amazing and unique content.
So how is this done, you ask? Have no fear! We have a few tips that will help you succeed in the fashion influencing game.
Find Your Niche
During the infancy of fashion influencing, sharing your personal style with the world was all that the task entailed. Super high res, editorial photos weren’t a necessity. And it wasn’t necessarily industry standard to wear the latest designs. Basically, you just needed to consistently share.
But then, the game changed. The space became too crowded, and influencers began to step up their game tenfold and make fashion influencing much more editorial than it was at its inception. Influencers started honing in on certain looks. For example, there were ultra preppy blogs like Classy Girls Wear Pearls, edgy blogs like Fashion Toast, and iconically classic blogs like Atlantic Pacific. And then (surprise!) those categories became crowded as well.
So when you decide you want to become a fashion influencer, whether through Instagram or with a blog – or both like many influencers do – you need to decide what makes you different from everyone else and focus on that. Coming up with creative ways to stand out will help to set you apart from the competition, and give you an opportunity to offer something new to the space. If it has already been done, go back to the drawing board—or your closet. BlackMilk Clothing does a great job at this with their aesthetic and color palette.
For those looking to truly break through, formulating an ultra-specific niche is best practice. Whether that’s a reoccurring theme to your outfits or aesthetic, or a social experiment with your fashion that you document for your audience. Whatever you choose, try to find some sort of hook to your social presence to keep people coming back. This is crucial to developing a devout audience who follow your every move on social media.
Let Your Personality Shine
When creating your Instagram feed and/or blog, it’s vital to let your personality show through your content, imagery, and social media spaces as a whole. You are essentially creating your brand both in your copy and most importantly, through your specific look. It can be difficult for your audience to connect with you through the small screens of our handheld devices, so show off your personality in a way that both captures their attention and makes you relatable. The more they can relate to you, the more they’ll come back and grow a relationship with you and your brand.
Build Your Brand
Brand is one of those buzzwords that gets tossed around so far too often in today’s social media landscape. The actual meaning of what exactly ‘branding’ is can seem uncertain, and can be argued from many different standpoints. What we can all agree on, however, is that branding is something that we must do in order for our business to be successful. But what does that actually encompass?
Simply put, your brand is what your audience knows about you. You establish this through your image, your dialogue, and your reputation.
When getting started as a fashion influencer, as yourself questions like “What does my brand look like? What typefaces and design choices have I made? How do those things make people feel? What story am I telling?
Once you have found those answers, the question then becomes “Can your customers relate to that or see themselves as being somehow a part of that story?” If the answer to that question is a yes, you may be onto something.
Be Aesthetically Appealing
While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it doesn’t mean you should make your account visually appealing to yourself first and foremost. You have to think about the bigger picture in many facets. Develop an easy-to-follow strategy that specifies what types of content you’ll be posting and aim to keep it consistent. This can mean certain filters, colors, image sizes or styles. While remaining creative, you also want to build a brand-specific ‘template’ of sorts to engrain consistency into your looks. Aesthetic is so important, especially on Instagram, so find a balance between what you love, and what your audience loves. Then continue to strike that chord and build your following.
Post Frequently and stay consistent
If you want to be a fashion influencer, keep one key principle in mind. Less is NEVER more. The whole space is so crowded and competitive that you can’t take breaks. If you do, you run the risk of fading off into irrelevancy and watching the audience it took months (even years) to build, quickly divert their attention elsewhere.
For example, if you start a fashion Instagram you should be posting daily (if not more). You should also stay extremely active with your Stories as well, providing additional content to your followers, and even potentially connecting with them on a more personal level. You can do that with new functions in the app like Questions and Polls, for example.
Make sure you have the time (and the desire) to truly commit yourself to an always-on strategy before you start. As is life, it becomes difficult to ‘unring the bell’ and deter from your post frequency without expecting your audience and their attention spans to tail off in the process. Frequency is a habit that the top fashion influencers all deploy.
Hashtagging Is Key
Hashtagging is a great way to get more likes and followers on your social media platforms, and it’s also great for driving traffic to your page and increasing your exposure. A hashtag gives potential followers a way to search a specific hashtag and view images listed within that category. So using relevant hashtags, like brand names or industry-specific hashtags, for your images will make you visible to Instagram users who are also interested in similar trends, brands, and styles.
Tag All Brands
When you tag the brands in your Instagram photos, it boosts the chance of your image being re-grammed by the company to their followers, which can dramatically increase your exposure and introduce your brand to a bevy of new Instagram users. This, in turn, can lead to an increase in followers and viewership. For example, if you get re-grammed by an account that has 500k followers, your account will be exposed to 500k Instagram users who are interested in the content you are creating.
Build a Media Kit
Once you have begun to establish some momentum with your brand and have built the foundation of a strong audience, look to create a polished and professional media kit. In a nutshell, a media kit is kind of like a resume for your online brand or blog. A simple one-sheet or even a digital EPK or video are great ways to go about this. Your media kit should include a small paragraph about yourself, a small paragraph about your blog or website, your social media stats, blog stats, author rates, advertising rates, and how to get in contact with you via email and social media. This is a useful tool for influencers and a great way to build a relationship with an influencer talent agency.
If you use the tips above to focus your branding and build your following, your audience will know exactly who you are, what you offer, what you stand for, and what it has to do with them. And the beauty in that is (no pun intended), that’s exactly what branding is supposed to do. Establishing influence in your industry, particularly in fashion, is about showcasing your unique style and perspective through various channels and mediums. Most importantly, it’s about connecting — we mean truly connecting — with your audience. In a time when nearly every brand is incorporating content in its marketing strategy, and fashion influencers are abundant, you must think creatively.
Oscar Wilde once said, “You can never be overdressed or overeducated”. We hope that if you follow the tips of this article, we can all remain true to his words of wisdom.