Giorgina Clavarino is an Italian born fashion influencer who now lives in London. She is the founder of the popular blog “In My Little Mind“. Her Instagram account has over 50,000 followers from all over the world. This post tells the story of how it all started and gives advice on how to manage and grow your following. It gives real insight into the relationship between brands and influencers.
1. You have gathered a large and loyal following. How did it all start?
I started blogging three years ago out of curiosity and interest in learning something new. I was aware of the power of consumer content creation and social media, and I felt it would have been stupid not to grasp this opportunity and give a voice to my passions online too.
I started because I wanted to have a site where I could gather and share everything that I liked in one single place. Ever since I was a young girl, I found inspiration in so many things like magazines, newspapers, art books and photography that I would rip off, print and compile in notebooks. When I came to learn about blogs, I thought why not create a virtual notebook where I could share the things that I loved, with like-minded people.
When the blog started to slowly grow, I decided to take pictures of my outfits too, sharing my style tips with my followers. This was I started realizing that sharing my outfits, especially on Instagram, was what my followers wanted to see, and my following started quickly growing and growing, arriving to where I am now.
2. What factors do you think matters the most in becoming an Instagram influencer?
Be authentic. Be true to yourself and do not pretend to be someone you are not. As much as you can filter your life on Instagram, people that follow you will eventually realize if you are not real.
The best ingredient for social media, and in life, is to be genuine. If you are transparent and show who you truly are, you will find people that will love you for it. Everyone is different, have different interests, passions, styles and personalities and this is what people will love about you. Nowadays, everything looks so similar on social media, so the key is to be yourself, hence different from anyone else. Do not try to imitate what has already been done, curate your content so that it represents you.
Lastly, think intensively and extensively about what kind of story you want to tell to your followers. If you have a clear idea of what you want to showcase and what you want to portray, than it will be easier to narrate your story. Never lose track of what you want to tell, how you want to tell it and why you’re telling it.
3. Brands obviously flock around you to co-operate. How do you pick the brands?
I only work with brands that I like and that represent my style. This goes back to what I was saying before about being authentic. If I partner with a brand that has nothing to do with my taste and style, it would immediately transpire to my followers. This will result in not being true to myself and losing the whole point of having a blog.
4. Why do you think brands pick you?
I believe that brands pick me because they see that my content is different from what lots of influencers do. They see that I love working with niche and interesting brands and designers and try to tell the story behind them. I believe that I am able to style something giving it my own touch and not by just looking like an ad campaign, which is what followers hate. Social media influencer should not try to sell a brand, but their style. You want to show to your followers the brands you love and give them tips on how to wear different clothing and accessorise, with your taste.
5. Do you have any advice to brands that want to work with influencers?
Take extra care when picking who you are going to work with because they will represent you, so they should help you narrate the story of your brand. I would recommend to choose influencers that create interesting content that is both authentic and that embodies themselves and your brand.
Go for influencers that do not necessarily have high numbers of followers, but that have high engagement and where you can see that their fans are actually interested in what they post about. Many brands make the mistake to think that large digital influencers, with millions of followers are the best option to achieve the greatest reach, but this might not always be the case.
Large social media influencer post about so many different things, brands and products that often their messages and stories get cluttered and followers do not really engage as much with what they are saying or trying to say about a brand. Going for more niche influencers, that have high engagement and a true identity, will have a much bigger impact and results than the latter.
6. Who would be your dream client? (favorite brand to work with)
This is a very tough one. I don’t really know! I would love to work with John Galliano, just because he is my favourite fashion designer of all times and I am absolutely obsessed with his designs. He is the most creative genius alive.
I would love to work with so many different brands that do not necessarily need to be related to fashion. I wish to work with brands and people that would offer me interesting partnership where there is content co-creation and maybe also joint product creation. I want to work with brands who are trying to reinvent themselves and propose cool and interesting briefs that I could help them with, to reach what they want. This applies to established brands, as for new and niche brands.
7. What’s the greatest thing about being an influencer?
Having people that admire you for what you do and listen to what you have to say. Ever since I started blogging I have met so many interesting people from all backgrounds and fields, which made me grow so much as a person. I’ve met a new world of like-minded people and creatives that inspire me to always do more, helping me rediscover and redefine myself and by objectives every day.
I love that I can share what inspires me with others and having people appreciating what I do. It’s actually really reassuring and motivating, pushing you to always improve and do better. And of course, another perk is free clothes!
8. Who takes your photos?
My best friend takes the pictures for me, and no, he is not a professional photographer. We started this together, I gave him my camera and he started snapping my outfits. The whole blog has always been very amateur, nothing professional. I have so much fun taking pictures with him that we see it as a good way of spending time together whilst doing something that we both love in the meantime.
I never wanted to take blogging and myself too seriously, so I have never thought about having someone professional taking the pictures for me. I think that this is also what brands like about In My Little Mind – the content is fun, real and unfiltered.
9. Do you edit them yourself?
Yes, I do and I am not that great at it! Thank god my photographer has a really good eye and not much editing has to go into the images. The only thing I do is twist a bit the lights.
10. Influencer Marketing is the fastest growing advertising segment. Is there anything, from your point of view, that you would like to change about how it’s done at the moment?
I think that brands should educate themselves more on the topic, in order to understand the potential that exists behind influencer marketing. Only a few brands have started to realize the potential of social media and capitalizing on it. Millions of pounds are invested in media every year, and I believe that not all brands have a holistic media strategy that is designed to compete in the new digital world we live in.
With the introduction of digital advertising, the increasing connectivity, the intensive use of mobile, old communication models do not work anymore, they have become obsolete. Thus, brands need to adapt to this new world, before it becomes too late.
We live in a much cluttered space, full of advertisement that people do not even read any more, especially Millennials. Brands need to sit back and rethink how to approach the new generation of millennials and how to best approach them. I speak as one of them, and I can say that we have completely reshaped our buying behaviour; from how we buy, to what we are inspired to and what we search for in a brand. We want brands to talk to us differently, to educate and inspire us; to tell us a story that grabs our attention and not sell us a product we do not see benefits in. We have become very sceptic about brand advertising, but we pay lots of attention to what other consumers have to say to us. This is why influencer marketing works, because we listen to them and trust what they say.
Brands should not underestimate the power of digital influencers and they should start realizing the power behind it. This is why I believe it’s great that agencies like Tailify, help brands to connect with influencers and educate both on the mutual benefits they can have by working together.
11. Do you have any advice to people that want to become an Instagram influencer?
As I previously said, be true, authentic and relevant. It’s hard to stand out if you are not genuine! I would, however, recommend to not use Instagram as the only tool to become ‘influential’, but to create also a blog as a base. If you follow these 3 gold rules, people will see it, like you and eventually follow you.