Natalia, you are a popular fashion and lifestyle blogger in the United States, tell us what is the most interesting and difficult in your work? After all, each of your posts is meticulously considered. Of course, it is fascinating that every other day isn’t like the previous one – I mean new collaborations, brands and people. Often people see a beautiful picture and do not understand the amount of work done to make just one photo: these include email communication with the brand, planning properly your image, makeup, hair styling, location search, photo shoot (sometimes I take pictures of myself with a tripod), photo editing and text writing. And I’m not talking about the sponsorship projects, when each brand has its own requirements of even what time of day to take photos and what color clothes should be to match the product. But every new project is a challenge, because every time you want to do your work better and come up with something new and creative.
How do you think what attracts people to your blog the most? I think my subscribers appreciate the sincerity I run my blog with and they feel like my virtual friends – these are the truly valuable things. Plus, I always share current trends and images, share what and how to combine, while trying to provide useful information.
Tell us about the peculiarities of working with brands in the United States you engage in work with as an influencer. What are the most interesting projects you participated in?
In fact, each project is special. And I really like that this industry can be characterized as highly developed in the United States while each brand has a clear brief, a contract is drawn up with clear rules for both parties to follow – all those greatly simplify the work. I really like projects where brands care about the environment. So once I was working with a brand of vitamins and I and other bloggers were planting fruit trees in a neighborhood garden as part of a campaign. For each sale, the brand planted one tree. Such projects really help to understand that everything we do is for a good reason. And I would especially like to mention the collaboration with the Ralph Lauren brand, which was one of the first at the very beginning of my journey and appeared to be a huge pleasant surprise that gave me the impetus to continue the blog.
The work of a whole team is behind a successful blogger. Tell us about your team, what helps you to create a compelling content? I used to say and will always consider that a blogger is a jack-of-all-trades. I collaborate with only one photographer, and I do all the rest myself: I communicate with brands, edit photos and videos, set up targeted advertising, keep accounts, and so on. I learned everything while developing my blog and I am deliriously happy that I can be independent, but also teach beginner bloggers. I also enjoy conducting coaching sessions, where I answer all the questions and help novice bloggers not to make the mistakes I made.
What inspires you for new useful content for subscribers? My subscribers are the driving force I want to create content for. After all, when you get feedback and realize that you are helping someone, motivating or just lifting their spirits, you want to do it with even more energy. Plus, I really love what I do. My friends joke that I can take photos in the winter in the snow wearing a light dress and not feel cold. Luckily, my career is my greatest passion and every day is fun.
A special place in your work as an influencer is the selection of a well-matched outfit. How do you choose clothing? Since I have been blogging and Instagramming for over 5 years, I have a huge database of brands whose things I adore, and a fairly large wardrobe as well. But I try to develop conscious approach to consumption and often repeat things in my outfits, as I stand for quality instead of quantity as well as for conscious consumption. There are a lot of basic clothing items in my wardrobe that are always relevant and all match well with one another. But let’s be honest, if you got back 2-3 years earlier, you would find a number of my “fashion failures”. I always create outfits a couple of days before the scheduled photo session, shoot a video in the mirror and then watch it with a fresh eye thinking whether something needs to be changed or added.
You have recently launched a talent agency, tell us about it? Yes, my friend and I launched the talent agency SBRKC – sit back relax and create. We have a personal experience of what a laborious and difficult process it is to negotiate with brands and for many bloggers this is the most complicated part. In addition to 5 years of experience in running my blog, I also have a master’s degree in “Advertising and PR”. So we decided to establish an agency that will deal with that activity, and the blogger will have to do what she loves most – to create a high-quality content. And of course you can imagine what a base of contacts we have accumulated in 5 years, it would be just silly not to try to use that somehow.
Who can benefit from cooperation with your talent agency? Absolutely any blogger who wants more collaborations with brands, but does not know how to present himself/herself to the brand, how to negotiate properly or simply does not have enough time for that. And also any brand that is looking for a suitable blogger to participate in a project, because each blogger has a completely different audience, outlook and values, and it is crucial to ensure that all these points coincide. So we are trying to find the perfect combination.
What interesting projects do you collaborate with within the talent agency? The most recent project we had was with a brand of smart scales, which received a great response from subscribers, because the brand is trying to convey to potential consumers that what matters is not the number itself on the scales, but many other indicators of health, such as percentage of water inside the body. And the bloggers who participated in this project received a rather positive feedback from their audience.
In your blog, you wrote about plans to open a cafe and a flower shop. How do you see that? Yes, we are entering the homestretch. In general, the coffee shop was my wild dream, as far as I remember I always wanted to have my own cafe. We searched for a suitable place for a long time and finally found it. We want to create a cozy and very different project, where our guests can go and relax for a cup of coffee or Matcha, buy a beautiful bouquet for himself/herself or as a gift and want to come back again. I also plan to share the process of creation of this project on my Instagram so that my subscribers can see everything from scratch and be part of the process. I think it would be interesting for everyone.
What are your other plans for this year? I really want to go back to travel and add travel content to my blog, as in the last year it was almost impossible.
Model: Natalia Levsina @natalialevsina
Make up: @makeup_darianyc