A small jump for joy!
I wanted to share with you a recent small victory in my career, but also talk you through my thoughts on social media influencing and where I sit with it.
As you know, for 15 years I have been working with individuals to help them to know how to choose clothes that will flatter them, make them feel confident and great for any occasion they are going to. My advice comes from training- not my opinion. My advice comes from experience rather than “just a love of fashion”. My advice comes from knowing what questions to ask them so that I can tailor my service to their needs.
For the past few years, it has become more and more obvious to me that my knowledge, experience and expertise would be really useful to fashion brands in order for them to help their customers to chose the best items for them, from the brand’s collection. Through social media or blogs, I could talk about the brand’s collection and give targeted advice to the brand’s customers, about certain items. This would sit on the brand’s website and social media channels for all their customers to see. Advice and guidance would be along the lines of: “This top would work really well for you if you have a full bust as the fabric has the right qualities to bend around your curves and the neckline is really flattering” or “This jacket is a great colour for those of you with red hair and I would wear this coloured top underneath to bring out your warm tones” or “These trousers are fabulous but I would advise you to avoid them if you are less then 5ft 7″ as they will make your legs look shorter”.
To me- this makes total sense (of course it would- it’s my idea!) …but there is a problem. I don’t have a huge social media following. And that is all brands seem to care about. They are obsessed with “the numbers” and will only work with “influencers” with huge followings, therefore enabling the brand to reach a large audience. The influencers are very talented at making the brand’s products look beautiful; they have great personal style and fulfil a role that is effectively a walking, talking magazine advert. This service offers the readers or viewers inspiration, but does little else and therefore ultimately, the brand and the consumer loose out.
Let me set the scene to illustrate this point: You are browsing on Instagram and watching various influencers talk about fashion items. You see a top that one of them was wearing and you really like it. You might decide to buy it. It arrives in the post and you try it on, but you are gutted to find that it just doesn’t look like it did on them- on you. It clings too much in the wrong places, or it’s too short or you realise it’s just washing you out. Despondently you pack it up and send it back and make a mental note that you won’t try that brand again as “It doesn’t work for me”.
I can recount this situation because my clients and followers tell me this happens to them…..EVERY DAY.
I want to work with brands to help them to stop this happening. Whilst I can’t guarantee that every customer who follows my advice on a virtual level (ie I haven’ met them) will get 100% success…I can promise it will make their customers feel more supported when choosing clothes from their brand as the advice is built on logic, training and experience rather than my opinion. A customer who feels a brand actually cares about them and wants them to look great in their clothes is a customer who will come back again and again and tell their friends about them.
I want to clarify I do not have a problem with influencers- there is a place for everyone in the advertising world and each approach has its own merit in driving sales. What I do have a problem with is that brands are ONLY using these people ie. ex-fashion journalists, stylists, bloggers and fashion-lovers who as far as I can see, the vast majority do not offer the CUSTOMER, (who, quite frankly, is surely the most important person here?) actually helpful advice- only the inspiration. (NB. I must add that there are of course some influencers who do offer advice and are brilliantly engaging with their audience.)
However, one national brand is listening and that brand is Baukjen. I have been telling my clients and followers about them for a few years and they have now asked me to write a series of blogs where I pick out items from their range that I think have mass appeal amongst my audience, and give clear guidance as to who the items would suit and things to watch out for such as length / scale / colour/ proportions. All content will be my own- they are giving me free rein!
For me this is a huge deal as it means I am finally being used for my skills rather than being penalised because I don’t have thousands and thousands of social media followers and this feels incredibly refreshing!
Tomorrow night I will be sending out my first blog for them- with a discount code for you to use, should you want to follow my advice!
If you have got this far- thank you sincerely for taking the time to read this…I appreciate its a long one!
I would love to hear your thoughts on this, if you have one- so do drop me an email if it struck a chord!