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In our series ‘How to Be an Influencer’, we’ve spoken to three micro influencers (content creators who have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers on Instagram) to get their best tips for curating and posting Instagram content. In the final interview of the series, we chat to model and stylist Anesu Chogugudza.
Anesu says he uses his Instagram account as ‘a tool to market not only myself as a brand, but for aligning with like-minded brands and individuals’. Anesu’s Insta is all about fashion and lifestyle. His proudest moment so far is having being commissioned by Getty Images to document work life in modern Africa.
‘Influencer’ is a term that cannot be ignored in the digital space. What are your thoughts on influencer marketing and why do you think it is a helpful tool for brands?
I believe everyone is influential, essentially exuding influence in the respective fields and spaces one finds themselves in. When making use of influencer marketing, both parties should know what they stand for and what they are trying to achieve, and I think that’s where organic and successful campaigns or projects come from.
What would you say has successfully helped you to grow your following on Instagram?
I’ve personally never been bothered by my numbers online, having entered the industry very early, at the age of 16. I’ve always focused on improving the quality of my work through collaboration and sourcing new talent in photography/video. Picking a niche and pushing quality work and consistency in posting has grown my following tremendously.
What does the number of followers mean to you in the long run?
The number of followers is always great and the more the merrier! I bagged my first paid gig when I had barely 1,000 followers, and I’ve never looked back. Big numbers are a huge plus in getting paid work because your content reaches more people and, in turn, the brand gets more engagement. However, I’ve built my profile differently. Out of 100 likes, I’ll have at least 10 people buy the product – we’ve proven this over time. But the more the numbers, the bigger the money, in most cases, not forgetting experience and street cred as well.
What is your approach in creating content for your Instagram account? How important is it for you to go about it this way?
Most of my clients would tell you how nervously spontaneous my work is, but one thing that’s guaranteed is quality. The moment I pen down and plan, I box my possibilities, and it’s safe to say I’ve never pinned down a campaign. Instead, I’ve spoken it out loud and my photographers always bring it to life.
For me, this isn’t just social media or being ‘pretty’ – these are digital billboards, adverts and newsletters and I’m providing a service. Just as marketers would treat traditional media, that’s the same seriousness with which I approach all my work. I’m basically a moving billboard.
What’s your tip/hack to creating content that will get the desired engagement?
Never forget why people are following you and study your numbers/insights. Post more content that performs well – if you see your audience responds well to your meal posts, push that more often and find different ways of delivering the same content. Remember to invest in the quality of your work and book photographers if you can. If you don’t have the budget for photography, look into collaborating with upcoming shooters. Always be mindful of lighting and angles when using your phone because the quality of your work plays a great role in setting you apart.