Farah Merhi is a design expert and stylist. She runs the world’s largest Interior Design, “Inspire Me! Home Decor“, account on Instagram. Her account has 3.6 million followers who all share an interest in Interior Design. Through her Instagram account, she reaches more people than any other Interior Design magazine in the world.
You have 3.6 million Instagram followers. How did it all start?
Yes I am still in disbelief myself! I have always had a passion for interior design but never really pursued it as I focused on attending law school. As I was gearing up for a remodel in my home and although I already knew what I wanted in terms of design esthetic, I turned to instagram for added inspiration but couldn’t find an interior design page that spoke to my design style. I also felt like there was something missing, and that is a platform that took the time to listen and learn what it’s followers needed, which is good ole interior design inspiration, advice and answers to their daily questions.Where to buy furniture and home decor as well as showcasing unique items that people wouldn’t otherwise know about. So I decided to launch my own page and use Inspire Me! Home Decor as the platform to do that.
What factors do you think matters the most in becoming a million + influencer?
Authenticity, honesty, staying true to who you are, credibility, having an idea of how you want your platform to represent you and your passion and sticking to it. Don’t oversell yourself and don’t push things on your followers if you don’t see yourself following your own advice and suggestions. Yes this is social media we are talking about, but you and your brand shine through every post and people will see your creativity, dedication and hard work through every post. As an influencer, the moment you try pushing something on your followers that is not authentic to you and your brand, they will see it, you will lose your credibility and some followers to. That is why we have a strict screening process. I make sure that any partnerships created is beneficial to my subscribers and followers and it’s a partnership that I think they would love to learn about or hear about. It’s an organic collaboration.
How do you decide which brands to work with?
First and foremost, the brand/product has to be in the home decor/interior design/lifestyle category before I even move forward with any discussions. I am not here to waste anyone’s time. I would not want to mislead a brand if I think their product won’t be of interest to me or my followers. Once we have established that there could be a successful partnership, I like to get creative in ways we can present the brand and share them with my followers who would love to learn about the products they offer.
Why do you think certain brands want to co-operate with you?
I pride myself in staying authentic and true to my own brand, they also see the relationship I have developed with my followers.
Being in this industry and watching first hand, day in and day out, the interaction that happens on my platforms, I believe I have come to learn what people respond to and what they are eager to learn about. What they want, and what they need. What would be the best way to present certain products and what to avoid when presenting a brand. That is priceless.
Is there any brand that you dream of working with?
There are a lot of amazing brands out there and there is not one specific brand that I focus on. But I can tell you what has always been my dream client and I have had the pleasure to work with some brands that fit the exact descriptions I will share with you. My dream clients are those who value a partnership with Inspire Me! Home Decor. They see the value in working with me. They choose to commit to long term partnerships that will benefit everyone involved. My dream clients are those that have good hearted employees and and kind presidents and CEOs because it makes any sort of collaboration, short or long term pleasant and fun. You can then create magic together!
What’s the greatest thing about being an influencer?
You are someone people look up to, turn to and respond to because of what you have done with yourself thus far and all the hard work you have put in gaining their trust. It’s an amazing feeling that I do not take lightly and value and work hard to nurture.
Who takes your photos?
Its a mix of everyone! Me, professional photographers, videographers, brands, their employees etc.
When I take them myself, I edit them myself. Its very crucial that any image I feature and post has to have a standard in quality. I don’t like to work with blurry pictures, pictures that are not clear. I can’t even edit them because they are a lost cause that point.
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?
Social Media marketing and working with influencers has become very crucial especially in the last year. Unfortunately not a lot of companies and brands are seeing it that way yet. When there is a brand that could potentially do amazingly well working with you because you know your followers will fall head over heels but the brand does not see that yet, that’s frustrating but something you have to accept. We still work with old school mentality as big as the brand is.
Millennials especially, have turned to social media and will spend more time on their apps or preferred sites than in front of their TV. I have had people say to me that they don’t even own a TV? We have technology where people are capable of recording their shows which then gives them the choice to fast forward through ads and sponsored videos on TV. But when you are on social media, you will see featured posts. If people are following an influencer they trust, then they will in turn respond to product suggestions and brand awareness. They order/follow or check out the brand mentioned.
Have you found your dream-job?
Absolutely yes. Or else I would not be doing what I am doing. Don’t waste time doing what you have to do because at some point, you will not be giving 100 percent of yourself anymore. Follow your passion and see how you will soar!Follow Inspire Me! Home Decor at Instagram Follow Tailify on Linkedin, Facebook and Instagram for more interesting insights into the world of Influencer Marketing.