Interview: Crystal Coons of Sometimes Glam on Being a Community Influencer in Fashion
Crystal Coons, the founder of Sometimes Glam (SID: 3194961) knows her audience. She understands what her audience looks for, what they value, and why they trust her with her fashion and lifestyle opinions.
Her advertisers trust her too. Crystal knows how to promote their brands and create content that highlights why she likes a brand or product. The most important thing that Crystal knows how to do, however, is bridge the gap between her audience and her partnered brands. Her audience gets products they can trust from brands they'll like, and her partners get new business and dedicated customers.
Crystal is, by definition, an influencer. And we decided to catch up with her to find out what she does, how she does it, and how brands or new publishers can get involved. Read this interview to hear about Crystal's strategy behind being an influencer, how she finds her partnerships, the content she creates, and more.
Rakuten Marketing: Tell me a little bit about who you are as an influencer – what do you do, who is your audience?
Sometimes Glam: I’m a plus size fashion-focused digital influencer. What that means is that I’m not just limited to blogging – I maintain audiences on Instagram, Snapchat and a myriad of social networks. In the past year, I’ve shifted a lot of my focus to creating video-based content, specifically for YouTube. I really love the connection I have with my audience in the YouTube space. They’re so open and engaged and excited about everything.
My audience is primarily female, aged 18-35, based here in the USA. They love fashion and aren’t afraid to splurge on the occasional designer treat!
RM: What is your content strategy as an influencer?
SG: Do more and do it the best I can. From the second I started blogging; I treated it as a business. That meant investing in the proper equipment (cameras, lights, software, etc.) and creating every single day. It also means watching trends: from a fashion perspective, but also an industry perspective – where are the eyeballs going, what are they watching, what are they reading and furthermore… what they aren’t getting, and creating content to fill that space.
RM: How do you use your content to meet the needs of your community?
SG: The conversation is paramount. Paying attention to what they want and what they’re sick of largely determines my editorial calendar. Once I can identify what the needs of the community are, I can then create what they need. At the end of the day, I have two clients in this business: the brands I work with, and my audience – and both deserve to be listened to and served with the same respect.
RM: How do you form partnerships with brands? What things are most important?
SG: There’s a bit of a mix. Often, I receive solicitations from brands for collaborations. But, I also love reaching out to brands to introduce myself, share my audience, and get to know them and what their marketing goals are and how I can fit into their overall vision. I believe as an influencer, we fit extremely naturally in the sales and marketing flow of a brand. We create the content that helps support their overall campaign vision.
The most important thing is that there’s a good fit between brand and influencer. Meaning, if there’s not an organic way to create content that is genuine and authentic, we’ve all wasted our time. The brand won’t see the return and as an influencer, my brand becomes tarnished. Finding a way to work together, having those conversations about goals and audience needs, should be the first item of discussion.
RM: What does your community value, and how do you and your brand partnerships provide that?
SG: They want honest and authentic reviews, first and foremost. The world of plus size fashion is an intimidating one – and one that is largely online – so reviews and recommendations from influencers really assist in their buying process. They also want to know about where to shop, new lines, new offerings, etc., so I often act as a curator for them, showing them the best of the best. Brand partnerships are so important because we have the ability to introduce new offerings (or reintroduce them to brands that they may have forgotten about) while offering styling tips they may not have thought of before – which gets them excited.