Meet the Micro Influencer, Kirsty Mead!
Following on from my previous blog ‘The Ultimate Guide To Influencer Marketing’, I wanted to introduce you to one of our Micro Influencers, Kirsty Mead!
I virtually sat down with Kirsty (@kirstmdx) and discussed her thoughts on brand partnerships, the importance of trust and working within ASA guidelines!
Our 5 key take outs from the interview are:
Good Influencer partners are those genuinely interested in the brand they are being asked to endorse.
Influencers will turn down a campaign if it isn’t relevant to their audience. This ensures authentic and trustworthy collaboration!
Influencers MUST have creative input on their content, so collaborations don’t feel robotic and scripted...otherwise we may as just run a traditional advert.
Quality, creativity and effect are what makes successful influencer content stand out on Instagram. This helps brands connect with a wider audience.
ASA guidelines allow followers to clearly see the difference between what influencer’s are promoting and their own content. It helps provide complete transparency to viewers.
Now, let’s get started! [Phoebe Carter, Media Performance] Tell me about yourself and how you managed to break into the Influencer scene?
[Kirsty Mead] I have always loved fashion, whether that be high end/celebrity and catwalk fashion or ready to wear fashion. I studied Fashion Design at university which taught me about how much goes into designing and creating garments. I now have full appreciation for the creative side of fashion design!
However, from that I realised that my heart was actually in the styling as I love to piece outfits together. It all started just by posting photos of my styled outfits for a good 3 or 4 years, mainly just for my own fun.
During the first lockdown, I decided to take Instagram more seriously and from that I began to be contacted for collaborations. I spent a lot of time exploring different styles and creating my own ‘look’ for my Instagram feed.
I found that being true to myself and just posting what I love and not overthinking helped me build engaged followers. Hopefully this will help me continue to grow on my platform and showcase my style and love for creative content.
[PC] What is important to you when pursuing brand partnerships?
[KM] For me, it is so important to pursue brand partnerships that I am genuinely interested in, genuinely love and genuinely has potential. I don’t personally feel like a brand has to be extremely well known to collaborate with them. I find it is more about how a brand approaches you and their genuine desire to work and collaborate on content.
There have been campaigns that I’ve turned down both due to their products not being relevant for me or my audience; but also due to a brands lack of desire or genuine interest in my content and making me feel like I’m not actually ‘needed’ for them to succeed.
It’s important to know your worth in the content creation industry. For a collaboration to work there needs to be mutual respect and understanding between the creator and the brand. The brand needs to appreciate the time and effort influencers like myself put into creating content and the creator needs to take the time to show a brand off in their best light.
I love having creative input over my content as I feel like it’s less robotic and more genuine for my audience, rather than seeing a perfectly scripted caption or even an overly posed image.
I would never promote something that I wouldn’t buy or use myself, so being able to show products or a service that I would use/buy is something that I always commit too.
[PC] Which key metric do you think brands should focus on when sourcing influencers for campaigns?
[KM] I personally feel that in most cases engagement of any sort completely outweighs the number of followers of an influencer. An influencer could have 1 million followers but only have 1k engaged followers or an influencer could have 10k followers, but all are active, real and engaged. It all depends on how engaged an influencer’s audience is!
When brands reach out to creators to inevitably target the followers of the creators so for me all forms of engagement seem very important. I have heard that ‘saves’ on photos are more precious than ‘likes’ recently for Instagram to show your content to a wider audience.
I would say that making sure quality, creativity and effort are what makes content stand out on Instagram. This helps connect content creators with a wider audience.
[PC] Why do you believe trust is important between you and your followers?
[KM] I think the trust between myself and my followers is so important because as a creator you are there to advise, help and guide your audience. They are the ones that have followed me and enabled me to build my online community.
I try as much as possible to keep my followers in the loop, by asking them for their help and advice. I often do Q&A stories for my followers so they can get to know me; it’s like building a friendship but with thousands of people online.
I also use the question feature on my Instagram stories, to ask for purchase advice and opinions. This helps me build up trust, conversations and interactions with my followers.
I always take the time to reply to Direct Messages and questions that I get sent and always reply to the comments on my Instagram posts. I think it’s so important to appreciate the people that help me grow and do such fun and amazing thing as a content creator.
[PC] What is your understanding of the ASA influencer guidelines?
[KM] I would say that using #AD and GIFTED is extremely important when collaborating with a brand. This allows followers to clearly see the difference in what influencers are promoting and what is their own content, giving complete transparency to viewers.
When I collaborate with brands, they always specify how they would like me to indicate that it is a collaboration, which is really helpful, so that I know I’m not putting the wrong tag.
However, I don’t think the brand tags that indicate it’s a paid promotion are needed as much. I think if your audience can see that it is paid, then they are more inclined to think you may be promoting it without actually caring what it is your promoting… For me I can honestly say I would never do that.
However, I have made purchases from paid promotions myself that end up being nothing like what the influencer has specified. Influencers need to give out honest and helpful advice to help give influencer marketing a trustworthy reputation. Personally though, I think that’s the only grey area within Influencer Marketing.
[PC] What can we expect from you next?
[KM] I plan to increase my posting across other platforms, especially through YouTube!
This is where my followers can really get to know me. I have a few exciting collaborations and campaigns in the pipeline which is really exciting! I plan to just keep going and growing my platform as much as I can by sharing my style, both for others but also still for myself.
If you’re interested in fashion, beauty and lifestyle please give her a follow!