From Modelling to Influencer Marketing

Our Ask the Creator series continues with an interview to Lisa Starchak, model, blogger and social influencer. She talks with us about how she started as career as Creator and her view on the ones who try to cook the books. Discover her story and get inspired by her journey.

How did you become an influencer and how has that changed your life?

When I started, almost eight years ago, I didn’t aim to become an influencer. Probably the industry didn’t even exist back then, no influencer agencies nor platforms. There were only bloggers and people who loved reading other’s people stories, like mine. Initially I wrote a lot about relationships, fashion and cooking. Actually, very similar to what I’m doing now 🙂 

Being an influencer hasn’t really changed my life that much, my lifestyle has been affected from time to time, but not my values. I guess that’s key. The people who follow me know that and they will always respect my that. 

Where do you take your inspiration from?

From love. Love for the city I live in – I think that London is one of the most inspiring places in the world– from people that I meet, from books and movies. Sometimes it may be just a memory or just a dream that I try to reproduce through the lens of my camera. When I can’t find anything inspiring, I simply try to find a quiet place where to isolate. It frees up some space in my mind and something will follow that almost immediately. Sometimes it’s just about preparing this space.

How long did it take you to settle on your particular online style?

It is an ongoing process and I learn something new every day. I know, that is much more easier to write just about one topic, to have very strict plan, etc. But this would not be me. I love beauty and fashion and traveling, but at the same time I love sharing some family stories and love to talk about love. I just try to be myself as much as I can.

What was the toughest stage in building your follower base?

The most difficult stage is always made of two period: the start and the regress. I guess everybody had their own fears and prejudices when they started. Those moments when everything looks already great and you think that you deserve to rest. This is a trap. You relax, put less effort and time on what you do, and this will inevitably have a very logical result: regress. Then you have to put yourself back on track and get to work again, sometimes even harder than before. Every long term project has these two phases, you just need to manage them.

How do you choose which campaigns to take and not take?

If the product is not relevant for me or I can’t be honest in my review, I don’t take that campaign.

If the product is not relevant for me or I can’t be honest in my review, I don’t take that campaign.

How do you prefer to work with brands?

I like when I know the brand, when they show me what inspires them and what they stand for, or when they take you to their factories and offices, creating an inspirational tour. That’s amazing! Of course, I prefer to work with a good budget as because all creative ideas cost money. I love it when they want something really special, which requires time and imagination. I have been modelling for 9 years and I know that working with bloggers is more cost-efficient than doing a full production, but it does not mean that we are cheap.  

What’s the best/worst experience you’ve had working with a brand?

The best one was probably a Glion press tour in Switzerland in 2016 and Brick & Portal in NYC in 2017. Both of them were about luxury lifestyle and we had an opportunity to visit Patek Phillippe and Verragio‘s factory. We could see how the university prepares future top-management.

What’s the best festive season campaign you have seen on Instagram so far?

John Lewis – Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s a classic, I know… They have a very personal touch in their Christmas advertising and I love it!

Do you feel brands understand you as a Creator when they engage with you?

They usually do. When brands choose me is because they had already seen how I work. I am always happy to show previews of the content I plan to create for them as well as my media kit.

What strategies, formats, platforms and creative solutions do you believe influencers should be using to drive success? 

Actually I don’t know the answer. If I knew it, I would be already millionaire and have millions of followers. I don’t believe in magic anymore, being in the right place at right time surely helps. It’s hard work and to work hard for a long time you need to love what you do. 

What are some of your top tips on how you can use more recently available tools such as tagging, Instagram Stories and clickable links?

I guess Stories are perfect tool to create a more authentic and lively content. People love seeing how Creators look “behind the scenes” and I show that a lot.

People love seeing how Creators look “behind the scenes” and I show that a lot.

What are your thoughts on the ongoing debate around fake followers?

The ongoing conversation on fake followers force us to look beyond the number of likes, comments and followers. I receive lots of letters from my followers, would that count as engagement? Nothing is more motivating than knowing that they support you, in particular when you share the difficult situations your experiencing in real life.

If we look at fake followers from a business perspective, it’s similar to the doping scandal at the Olympic Games. Everyone seems to be against that, but it’s still happening and it’s a billion dollar industry. This is Digital Olympia, everyone want to finish first.

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