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5 Top Influencer Tips from Something Navy

June 27, 2018
Blogger, Brand, Agency
  
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Earlier this month New-York based mother, influencer and fashionista Arielle Charnas of Something Navy took to social media to give her followers a behind-the-scenes look into not only the lifestyle but the ‘job’ of a high-profile influencer. Fielding questions from her followers in a live Instagram video, Charnas and her assistants Jane and Nikki talked candidly about Charnas’ journey setting up a self-sustaining business, juggling work and motherhood, and organically growing an audience of over 1 million followers. Here are some of the key takeaways from the Q&A, in case you missed it:


1. Accept Gifting If You’re Working on a Budget 


Q: When you first started how did you stay motivated, on-budget and creative? Now, when you’re busy with work and family, how do you stay motivated?  


“When I first started I didn’t have a big budget – I didn’t have any money to be honest. I was working in retail and making a pretty low salary but I knew that I wanted to maintain the blog, so I’d put some of my salary aside to shop at stores like Forever 21, Zara and Steve Madden.

I made sure to put aside money so I could afford to splurge on some items and take pictures with them. I also accepted tonnes of gifting all the time – any time a brand wanted to get their name out there I was really happy to accept gifted items because I really needed the clothing for content.

During that time it was so easy to stay motivated because it was such an exciting new thing – it wasn’t an industry yet, and being able to speak with my followers was the best feeling in the world. When I first started people made fun of me, and it was hard to continue when I had so many haters: people didn’t understand it, and I didn’t have as big of a following.They didn’t really get me down, however, because I was really happy doing it so I didn’t care.

Nowadays, staying motivated is difficult with Ruby and pregnancy – it’s hard to get dressed and feel good with your body changing. It’s good to have two women that push me to get dressed, make me feel better about myself, and my husband is also really supportive and attentive.”

MARKS & SPENCER recently discovered the value of Product Seeding with a large-scale gifting initiative over the holidays, sending personalised M&S gifts to 20 bloggers in the US and 20 more in Australia. For Arielle Charnas of Something Navy, the brand sent Pepper Pig pajamas, along with a Paddington Bear doll and a handwritten note. The thoughtfulness earned MARKS & SPENCER an organic Instagram Story with a swipe up to shop the PJs



Want to collaborate with leading brands? Apply now to be a blogger on our network.  


 

2. Your Twenties Are For Learning and Experimenting

 

Q: What was the biggest lesson you learned in your twenties about yourself, love and your career? 

 

“My twenties was for learning - I learned all about business, about money, about budgeting and saving – stuff they don’t teach you in college.

“I learned about living on your own, supporting yourself learning about guys and dating and taking something from each guy that you dated and figuring out what you want and need in a partner in the long term: the 20s for me were my learning journey.”

 

3. Always Read the Fine Print 

 

Q: Can you speak on any of the legal issues you deal with: how do you go through contracts with new brands, how limiting are they, how much do you think about intellectual property and trademarks? 

 

Jane: “You have to be able to work through agreements and have someone to help you: with your name out there and copyrighted images you have to protect yourself.”

Arielle: “When you work with a brand and contracts are sent through, read through these contracts and make sure everything looks ok from both ends: make sure there’s no sneaky little things that could be taken out of context if things were to go wrong.

Jane: “One important thing right now is that companies are putting dollars towards influencers and feel they can have total control over content.  That defeats the purpose, and it’s important for us to have the creative freedom.”

Arielle: “I think it’s tough because a lot of brands are putting their money towards influencers and they want to get what they’re paying: at the same time, it’s important for brands to keep in mind we [influencers] know what our followers like to see and what will perform best. It’s important for it to be a collaborative partnership. We do have to send previews for a lot of sponsored collaborations to make sure they’re ok, but we make sure the contract clearly states we have freedom over concept and how we merchandise the photo.”


Read More: Product Seeding 101: The ‘How to’ and Benefits of Gifting at Scale


4. Don’t be Afraid to Forge Your Own Path 

 

Q: Was being an influencer something that was a thing in college? 


“This was not a thing in college – I had no clue what i wanted to do, I knew I loved fashion but didn't know what part would be good for me, I didn’t know if i’d be qualified for any roles. Starting a website where i posted outfits was very foreign – people didn’t understand it at all, it was a hobby. I got a job at Theory working in retail and had the blog on the side just for fun.

I was getting so many different followers and interacting with them was so fun: a few months into doing that someone approached me and said they could help me make money – after 1.5 years I was able to go off on my own.

Using affiliate networks and [Instagram Story] swipe-ups are beneficial for bloggers, we make commission off swipe ups. For example, we tagged this pregnancy dress and put a swipe up to the link – if someone buys it with this link, you make commission: it’s a great source of income for a blogger. 

At the same time, I don’t want to push product on people all the time – if it’s something people are requesting and asking about we do it, but I don’t like to make it about trying to sell everything I’m posting. If you want direct links a lot of girls will DM me and ask me to do a swipe up. Usually I tag the brand, and we also have the ‘Shop my Instagram’ on the blog which has links to the clothing and similar items for less – those are done through affiliate networks.

In two months we are revamping our entire website – it’s going to be about stories, recommendations, places, restaurants and different services. We are also hoping to feature people who we like and find inspiring, and we are working on a whole new page dedicated to a whole new shopping experience.


5. Network and Constantly Create Content 


Q: How did Something Navy obtain a large following? What tips do you have for other influencers?


“I think the way that I obtained a large following was just by starting nine years ago. I kept growing and growing through word of mouth and collaborations, but I think nowadays people can start Instagrams and gain a large following very quickly. We were organically growing over time.

If you’re just starting and want a large following, there are many ways to get to that. Be part of an influencer community by making friends with other influencers who have other audiences that you can be introduced to. Use hashtags, feature a lot of brands, and they may repost you. It’s especially important to post as much as you can: getting your pictures and account out there ASAP is important. If you’re not constantly posting you’re not really relevant on anyone’s feeds. Going to events, meeting people and branching out is always helpful.”


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