In our #InfluencerInsiders series we're interviewing top Instagram influencers to learn about their perspective on influencer marketing and what it's like to work with different brands. Next up is Julia Fodor, or Jay Rox as she's known on Instagram, an Austrian influencer whose following is now amounts to 50,000 and who has collaborated with brands such as Nike, Under Armour and YSL beauty.
Instagram Influencers: The Austrian fitness and fashion blogger
Julia Fodor, the Austrian fitness and fashion lover, has seen both sides of influencer marketing. While being a full-time blogger and Instagram influencer, she also fulfilled her dream of having her own PR agency, sososocial. She quickly discovered that being able to express her creativity is essential for her to have a happy professional life. Below, Julia tells us where she sees herself in the influencer landscape and what it's like to work with this digital marketing practice in Austria.
How did you end up in the fashion industry?
I don’t see myself as a person that really works in fashion but I have always loved it, even as a child. After I finished high school I went to London to do an internship at a fashion company and at the same time was taking short courses at the university there. That's where I realized that I might enjoy marketing, so when I came back to Vienna, I started studying advertising. After graduating, I moved to Munich to work for a fashion & jewelry PR company and made some friends that were already blogging at the time. That's when I started my own blog and Instagram account, which went from being my main hobby to becoming my full-time job. However, one of my ultimate dreams was to have my own young and creative PR agency, so that's what I did.
How did you manage the transition to becoming a full-time job?
It just somehow came along when in the same year, three other Austrian bloggers quit their office jobs to fully focus on being influencers. I first transitioned from working full-time to part-time at my old job and in 2014 or 2015, I don’t even remember exactly, I quit completely. When you are an influencer, you are mostly by yourself and work from home. I started feeling quite lonely and missed being creative while being with others. That’s why I went back to working in marketing while continuing on my blog and eventually co-founded our PR agency with two other blogger friends.
What is it like to be an influencer and run an agency at the same time?
Actually, I left my agency in November for health reasons. I discovered that the concept of an agency is not 100% my thing. I love marketing but prefer coming up with my own ideas rather than just realizing the client’s idea. However, when I still had both roles I could often collaborate with brands that were clients of the agency.
How do companies contact you if they want to collaborate with you?
Usually I get contacted via personal emails or through the agency. It also often happens that companies want me to sign up on these Instagram influencer platforms where I get connected with the company and then have to accept the job. I think I'm signed up on more than five already, but I never actively make use of these platforms.
How developed is the influencer industry in Austria?
I think it all started around five years ago when bloggers first started to appear in Austria. There really weren't a lot and compared to Germany or the UK, Austria was almost not worth mentioning in the blogger sphere. Over the years, the amount of bloggers gradually grew, and I am quite sure that Austria as an influencer economy is as promising as Germany.
In your opinion, what’s going to change in the influencer industry in 2018?
I definitely think the industry’s main business is going to continue being with bloggers. Companies will strive for long-term partnerships with bloggers and brand ambassadors to create authentic content. Moreover, I think qualitative content is becoming even more important and companies will start looking at a blogger’s analytics instead of their number of followers. This will also give more opportunities to micro-influencers who might not have the biggest amount of followers, but have a high engagement – real conversations among their followers.
What is your goal for this year?
This year I want to focus more on myself and take things slowly. Over the past few years I was living for my work and said ‘yes’ to everything, working from day to night. Now is the time to take a step back and have a healthy work-flow. My professional goal for this year is to have more authentic collaborations that fit with the brand, but also suit me.
Lastly, some quick questions for you to answer...
Instagram or blogging? Instagram is for now, blogging is forever!
Favorite fashion piece? Black boots.
Favorite beauty product? Million Dollar Moisturizer by Lush (which is unfortunately discontinued).
Best brand collaboration? A trip with Nike to Paris: We had a private dinner & tour in Louvre after-hours. It was so magical, I will never forget that.
To gain more insights on influencer marketing, from fashion, luxury and cosmetic industry experts and influencers, check out our State of Influencer Marketing 2018 report here: