Ever wondered how Instagram influencers started their blogging career or how they connect with the right brands to produce great collaborations?
With this post, we are starting off a new series called #InfluencerInsiders. In this series we will interview top Instagram influencers and learn, from their perspective, what Influencer Marketing is all about and what it's like to work with exciting brands. Stay tuned as we reveal the stories on our blog!
Instagram Influencers: The Norwegian Fashionista
Today, the spotlight is on Norwegian Instagram influencer and blogger, Annabel Rosendahl. Before she decided to put her entire focus on fashion, Annabel completed her Bachelor's in Business Administration and Management at the BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo. With over 7 years of experience in the fashion industry and having worked with top brands, Annabel is the true embodiment of a fashionista with impeccable style.
How did you get started in the fashion industry?
While I was studying business I was working at one of the Høyer shops (the Norwegian fashion retailer). I've always been into fashion, so when they offered me a position as Head Buyer after I finished my studies, I couldn’t say no. From then on, my days were filled with travels and meetings with brands; I was always on the hunt for the newest trends. Besides that, I also started using social media to share photos of the one thing my life is filled with everyday: fashion. While my account grew, I got many collaboration requests that I had to turn down as my main job was still as Head Buyer for Høyer. It was only last August that I decided to concentrate fully on my blog and quit my normal job, and I don’t regret it at all!
What's your secret to growing your account?
I don’t actually care so much about the amount of followers I have. When I began full-time blogging, it wasn't because I thought I had enough followers. I started because I got enough collaboration requests from brands. However, my secret to gaining more followers is content. Without qualitative content I think you can't gain real followers.
What's the fashion influencer industry like in Norway?
We don’t have such a big population, but more and more people are becoming full-time Instagram influencers. In fashion however, I think there are only six or seven of us that are doing it for a living. I am actually sharing my office with two other girls, who are also fashion bloggers. The nice thing about that is that we not only help each other out, but we've become close friends as well.
How do you reach out to brands that you want to connect with?
Since I've only been doing this for half a year, I haven’t really started to reach out to brands yet. When it comes to Scandinavian brands I was able to build a big network while I was working for Høyer, but internationally speaking, I definitely still need to make more connections. With the amount of emails I'm receiving, it's hard to find time, which is why I now have an agent to help me reach out to brands.
What makes you decline collaboration requests?
If I think I wouldn’t be able to create any good content with the brand, then I will not collaborate with it. It’s so easy [for followers] to spot when you're getting paid for something when the brand doesn’t fit your style and is totally not you. I want to stay authentic and personally, I follow other people because they inspire me and not because of the brands they work with. On the other hand, you also have to make a living out of it. So if there is a brand that might not fit well with your style because their clothes are too girly for instance, you could combine their pieces differently, so that they suit you and make them your own.
With all these bloggers nowadays, how do you stay authentic?
I am actually not thinking much about how I can be different or looking at what others are doing. For me it’s important that I only post things I like and when I am certain that it suits me. Of course there are trends that I follow, but if I can’t picture myself in them, I won’t wear them. For example, streetwear is super trendy right now, but it’s just not for me. The key to staying authentic is more about following your gut and staying true to yourself.
What is your goal for 2018?
I don’t have one specific goal written out, but I am really excited about what the year will bring. It will be my first whole year of being a full-time blogger and so much is changing, not only for me but also in the industry. I see even more brands and people from the industry focus on social channels and 2018 might be the biggest year for that. So a goal for me is to get the most out of these opportunities.
Last but not least, we have some quick questions for you...
Instagram or blog? Instagram!
Favorite fashion brand? Céline and Isabel Marant (couldn’t pick just one).
Favorite beauty product? Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer.
Favorite city? New York.
Best moment of 2018 so far? Dinner with my Norwegian blogger friends during Copenhagen Fashion Week.
iPhone or camera? Camera.
Best brand collaboration you ever worked on? Designing my own coat for Oh! By Kopenhagen Fur.