This month we’re getting to know Emma Smyth from The Em Edit, who describes herself as “plus-size wearing, big-footed lover of vintage, gaudy prints and all things snazzy”…
When did you first set up your social channels, and what got you started?
I started Terrible Tumbles in 2013, which seems an unfeasible amount of time ago now… My earlier posts are standard nonsense with the attached poor-quality outfit pictures. This theme actually went on for a long time…! I started because I desperately needed a creative outlet. As someone who hadn’t had a hobby since leaving the Brownies, I felt like I had very little to do and even less to talk about. In fact, I don’t think I saw the benefit of writing for any other reason than this creative outlet until around 2016 when I actually recognised that I had followers and that they were following me for a reason. That’s when I started thinking more about the content I share across my social channels.
How has the digital landscape changed for you and how you share content since then?
When I first started, the thought of sharing anything (even just blog links) across social media pr horrified me. You are literally putting yourself and your thoughts out there for the world to appraise. As time went on, I started working with brands in ambassador roles, and recognised that I would need to embrace Twitter, Facebook and (most importantly) Instagram to not only keep myself in the game but to collaboratively support the companies investing time and finance in me. Seeing influencers like Danie Vanier and Georgina Horne amass huge followings whilst still maintaining their gorgeous personalities and, more importantly, integrity, was a real push to keep things moving.
What advice would you give a brand or PR representative looking to potentially work with you on creating content?
Take some time (even just five minutes) to get to know my general vibe. Approaching me with slimming tea is never going to go down well. Also, let me know what you want to get out of this collaboration. If you’re looking to increase your following I can support that. If you’re wanting to get a feel for the market via my audience, tell me. It’s my responsibility to asses what’s in it for me (so to speak). Outreach is an incredibly challenging job and can be a slog at times but we all remember the people who treat us like humans and who recognise that this is a two-way street and, I for one, will remain loyal to them to the death. Unless it involves waist-trainers…
What kind of projects do you enjoy doing most?
I really enjoy collaborations that include other influencers. I recently worked on Navabi’s Style Collective campaign which involved three influencers, a photoshoot, interviews and features. The buzz it created was incredible. As influencers, the output was fresh content, new working relationships and a much higher reach than I would have achieved on my own. For the brand, buzz = sales, brand loyalty and some really fabulous product images, if I do say so myself!
What advice would you give someone looking to build their social channels?
Firstly, don’t let comparison get to you. My Instagram was private until around 2016 (smart move Emma…) which contributes to my following being classed as “micro-influencer” now. I’ve seen new influencers seemingly go from 0-25k followers within months and the temptation is there to beat yourself up over it. I actually really like engaging with my followers, whether this be through DM or responding to comments and I’ve found that this gives me a loyal following who invest in the brands I choose to promote because they know that they can trust me. Plus, micro-influencers are currently receiving on average a 3-5 times higher engagement than larger influencers, so recognise that there is value in what you are doing and keep at it! My largest periods of growth have been when I’ve collaborated with other influencers and brands who appeal to my existing audience demographic. So if you know that your appeal is the highest to women aged 85-90 living in the outer-hebrides, roller blade reviews may not bring you the growth you’re after…
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