Mike Heslin Satirizes Pursuit of Social Media Stardom in New Mockumentary, “The Influencers.” Photo Credit: Courtesy of Mike Heslin.
This interview with actress Dominique Druckman, explores her experience getting discovered filming her new show and what’s she is up to now. Dominique plays one of three influencers in the HBO documentary, Fake Famous, which premiered February 2nd on HBO. First-time director Nick Bilton explores the industry of social media influencers through an innovative experiment, taking an actress, fashion designer, and real estate agent, and demonstrates how easily an online personality can launch to Instagram fame. Dominique studies with the Groundlings in Los Angeles and is originally from Miami, Florida. She graduated from Florida State with a BA in Theater. Thanks to Fake Famous, Dominique now has over 300,000 followers on Instagram.
– “Somebody actually DM’d me asking if I would be interested in sending in a self-tape! This never happens to me, so after sussing it out and it felt legitimate, I sent in my tape. Turns out she is an intern for the production company, I’m so glad she found me!”
– “Nick is amazing, he is just so intelligent, which is really inspiring when it’s not intimidating. He was always very understanding of our lives outside the social experiment and I couldn’t be luckier that my first big project was with him as our captain!”
– “I’d say my favorite part of being on Fake Famous would have to be all the free gifts, coming home every day felt like Christmas! Being around the crew, calling out sick from work to go film definitely wasn’t bad either. My least favorite part would have to be online bullies and trolls.”
– “I look at influencers a little differently, and feel like Fake Famous reveals what is behind the curtain for a lot of them. I admire influencers who hustle every day to make this their full-time job. It’s a lot of work to keep up with!”
– “I still have my day job of working in retail, I’m currently waiting on Steven Spielberg to cast me in his next project so I can quit! I never found my niche that felt believable to an audience, which made it difficult to fully portray an influencer.”
7. What acting genre do you aspire to be a part of? Are you more interested in TV roles or movies?
– “I love comedy, making people laugh just warms my heart. I’d love the consistency of working on a TV show but at the end of the day I just want to act full-time so will take either TV or Film.”
– “I was a little worried being perceived as an influencer for Fake Famous would keep me pegged as an influencer. No disrespect to the hard-working people in that industry. However it’s not for me and never want to lose sight of acting as my main priority.”
– “Life has been fun and interesting. Now that the show and my secret is out, I have real engagement on my Instagram. It is weird to wrap my head around. I also have some trolls and internet bullies whose words can be harsh. I wish that if they didn’t have anything nice to say they just wouldn’t say it at all.”
– My plans are to be able to get out of having a survival job. I want enough time to work full-time towards becoming an actress this year. I’m manifesting that for the year 2021.”
Today we want to talk to you about the power of social proof. Social proof has always been an important factor in advertising, but with the adventure of digital media and online culture new forms of it have emerged and older practices have been adapted to the new environment. Social proof has different forms, but in each, the power of group thinking and collective mentalities influence individuals like the force of gravity.
Expert social proof is the seal of quality given to a brand by an expert in that industry or field. It tells customers and users that a product satisfies their lofty standards and fits in with the other products they offer. It’s a powerful association.
This Expert social proof is not difficult to achieve if you have the right know-how. First your product will have to be of a certain quality and standard. After that it’s simply a case of contacting the right people and sending them samples.
In the past celebrity social proof meant the biggest stars on the planets and getting their endorsements was far from easy, or cheap. This market has now diversified significantly with the rise of influencer marketing. A celebrity now means someone with a YouTube channel and few thousand followers.
Fashion brands looking to take advantage of this effective social proof strategy will have to identify suitable celebrities in their niche and start following them. Depending on the budgets involved a brand can gain endorsements from different levels of influences.
The online marketplace has really opened up in recent years and people want to know selective details about a product before they hit the buy button. They want to know the product’s quality, its delivery details, and what the fit is like. This is why reviews and ratings make all the difference.
It is now commonplace for fashion brands online to contact you following a purchase and ask for some feedback. This feedback is vital social proof for the website and brand, but it also helps out fellow shoppers interested in the same fashion lines.
It’s a well known social phenomenon that people follow crowds. If there’s a large queue outside a restaurant people assume it’s high quality, if you don’t know the speed limit on a highway you follow the other traffic. This phenomenon also manifests online.
Fashion brands usually have a Most Popular section on their website, or a Trending Now section. This gives you the products and articles most people are interested in and it’s effective at directing attention. Similarly, a lot of social media activity indicates better quality.
One global consumer survey suggests that 77% of people say they are more likely to buy a new product if it’s recommended to them by a friend or family member. This review management is a strong indicator of effective social proof.
Fashion brands can benefit from. This powerful form of social proof by expanding their reach on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. The more friends are connected to a brand and share the updates, the more the brand will grow its appeal.
Today we want to discuss why you need to embrace influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that involves using influencers to endorse products using social media. The brand and the influencer work together to convey the communication and marketing messages. These are the reasons you need to embrace this marketing style.
Engaging an influencer to help with your marketing saves you time. You do not have to create social media content alone. This person understands the fans better and so they will make posts that resonate and align with the followers.
Furthermore, your potential customers will contact the influence before entering your sales funnel. This means they are likely to get your product compared to clients you attract through other channels.
Many businesses are making significant returns from influencer marketing such as cosmetics influencers. Besides, this marketing strategy is the fastest growing. According to research, this method converts more clients who ultimately stay with the brand for a long time. That is, you get to attract much longer high- quality customers when you use influencer marketing.
The strategy enables you to build meaningful and long-lasting relations. You get loyal and high-value customers since social media users are likely to recommend a product or service to their buddies and family once, they test and prove its worth.
When you use influencers or hire a brand ambassador agency, you expand your audience and positioning online. The fans of the influencer or tradeshow models who may not be your clients will begin to know about your brand, who you are, and the solution you are providing. The fans of the influencer who may not be your clients will begin to know about your brand, who you are, and the solution you are providing.
But for you to maximize influencer strategy, you need to provide valuable content. That is your product or service should add to the influencer’s and the follower’s social media presence.
Influencers have taken their time to interact with their fans, build trust, and credibility. People are constantly looking for genuine and authentic content and when an influencer endorses your product, it builds trust and transparency. The followers respect their recommendations and content. Therefore, you can share this influencer’s content and they may ultimately begin sharing yours. When they do this, their significant flowing begins to learn your message.
When you partner with an influencer, it may be the beginning of an important relationship. When you connect and you intend for it to be in the long run, the connection may amount to real Opportunities in the future
When you decide to try influencer marketing, it’s best to partner with relevant individuals. That is the influencer niche should align well with your brand. By partnering with a relevant influencer, they share your content with social media users interested in your niche. The audience already understands your niche and so you don’t have to spend additional funds on testing them.
The traditional advert can be pushy. These ads do not resemble a paid commercial. Also, they target a given audience and so they will not come out as pushy which may repel the potential customers.
Influencer marketing such as cosmetic influencers saves you time, helps build trust, creates a return for the business, improves brand awareness, and help you create essential partnerships.
It’s one thing to know that you need to embrace influencer marketing. It can be quite another to properly use it. You’ll want things to go as smoothly and successfully as possible, after all. There could be more involved in this than you’d think. That’s why many people hire reputation management companies and similar firms to manage this.
If you’re doing it yourself, however, there are a few things that you’ll need to keep in mind. Perhaps the most notable of these is finding the right influencers for your company. With the wealth of options to choose from, that could be quite difficult. Most of this can be gotten around with research, although you may need to be extensive with this.
Once you’ve identified who you want to work with, you’ll need to approach them. When you contact them, you’ll need to establish a connection. That can be done by showing how you’re a fan of their work, alongside providing some examples of how their posts relate to your business.
You’ll also need to highlight how the partnership can benefit them. While compensation will be a large part here, you can also offer shares on your company’s channels, among other things. Being respectful will be a core part of this.
Finally, you’ll need to set them up for success. If you’ve got brand guidelines, videos, and even images that an influencer can use, give them. That’s provided they’ve agreed to the partnership. Once you do, you’ll find things will go quite smoothly.
Cliché: When did you first become interested in modeling?
Cas Jerome: I became seriously interested in modeling when I was a sophomore in high school. I grew up feeling very unpretty but decided that I wanted to try to build a following online because I never saw myself gaining mainstream success. I didn’t think I would be able to break into the modeling industry ever so this was just the next best thing. Fast forward 5 years and I found myself plastered in the front of every Hot Topic in the nation along with so many other mind blowing achievements. The last 2 years have been huge for my career. I’ve modeled for brands such as Dr. Martens, Vans and Abercrombie to name a few. More importantly I no longer feel unpretty and I’m so ready to take the world by storm. I finally believe that mainstream success for someone that looks like me is possible, and also extremely necessary.
Why did you choose to be a freelance model as opposed to being represented by an agency?
When I started modeling I was completely inexperienced. The first shoot I ever did was with a local photographer and I remember spending days feeling worried about it. I never took photos other than selfies growing up, I felt so uncomfortable in front of a camera that wasn’t in my own hands. There was no way I could confidently walk into a modeling agency and give them anything to work with. Now that I’ve had 3 years of experience it is definitely second nature to me. I feel so comfortable in front of the camera, it’s actually where I feel the happiest. I was made to do this. I recently decided that I’m ready to sign with an agency, I have learned so much from working for myself and it will affect the way I handle any situation I am in whether I’m signed or not. Not only have my skills improved, but I think the world is finally ready to accept different beauty standards.
Were you surprised that brands have gravitated to you so quickly?
Of course! My first paid partnership was with Doc Martens which felt completely unreal to me. It’s not very common that people get to work with such a huge brand for their first collaboration so I felt very lucky. Growing up I had always wanted a pair, but they were so expensive I always decided to settle for off brand ones. I couldn’t fathom that the company I had coveted so much, wanted to not only send me shoes, but also wanted to pay me to promote them. I’ve worked with numerous brands over the years and am so grateful for every single campaign I’ve secured. I pride myself on the growth of my content, the creativity that goes into all my shoots is what keeps me happy as an influencer and model. I do tend to make things rather complicated for myself sometimes, but I know that brands value the unique content I decide to create with them.
How have you approached brands yourself?
I get this question countless times from followers and also from my friends but truthfully I have never reached out to a company myself, I’ve always trusted that the work I needed to do would find me, and so far for the past 2 years that I’ve been putting out sponsored content I’ve been kept busy! That is usually the fear of freelance workers, a lot of the work is finding potential clients but I think I’ve just been lucky. It’s all thanks to my amazing audience who shares my work and keeps me motivated to create.
Have you ever had a low point or felt a sense of failure? How did you overcome this moment?
Plenty of times, it actually something I struggle with a lot. I love putting out content that I am 100% happy with, I guess I just hold myself to a very high standard, which is never a bad thing. I know I’m not a failure but I am also not one to compare myself to anyone. I compete only with myself, so if I make something that I don’t feel fits my vision completely I tend to be a little hard on myself. I think in a way it’s not a bad thing because it keeps me thinking of ways to improve. I know that anyone that works in a creative field feels similarly. You’re putting your heart and soul into your projects, if it doesn’t mean that much to you, then what’s the point?
What advice do you have for other aspiring influencers, makeup artists, and models?
Not everyone has the drive to succeed but everyone wants to be famous. In order for you to have drive, you need to love what you’re doing. It’ll be so simple to give up if you can’t really put your heart into your work. There has to be a bigger reason for wanting fame. Personally, a huge driving factor of mine is I know that I represent the Indian community through my work. I want to be able to give a face of representation for my people in the beauty and model space. That has always been my dream, and it’s what keeps me going even when I feel like a failure.
Is there a lesson that you’ve learned so far in your career that you wish you had known in the beginning when you started?
I am really proud of my journey so far, and I know that I have so many more lessons to learn. One thing I wish I could have known in the beginning is quality always wins over quantity. I felt like somewhere along the way, I would just post something to post something. I can’t imagine myself doing that now because every post I do share is important to me.
It’s an unfortunate fact of the industry that racism and colorism often permeates the beauty community, which has a tendency to glorify whiteness and fairer skin tones. How can we better uplift and support the careers of BIPOC beauty influencers?
There are a million things that need to be changed for BIPOC beauty influencers. We are not represented nearly as much as we should. Racism is so deeply rooted within the community, there are still luxury brands who don’t cater to my skin tone at all. My peers who are white generally have been paid more than me on campaigns and also are selected for higher and more influential jobs. There have been times where I’ve felt like I’ve been hired because a brand wants to seem progressive, I would love to see that attitude change in the beauty community. Make us a norm, not a statement.
What are you most excited about in the near future, both personally and professionally?
I am so excited to solidify myself in the beauty and modeling world. For the first time in my life I feel hopeful that maybe I will reach the level of success my younger self dreamed of. I feel so humbled by the support of so many amazing followers who have transformed my life. I look forward to continue making a connection with everyone that feels like they see a little of themselves in me.
There are literally thousands of people running fashion blogs from every corner of the globe. The great thing about fashion, though, is that unlike business or sport, or investing, there is no “right or wrong” way to do it but learning how to monetize your fashion blog is important for success. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all, and we all have our own take on fashion, meaning there is plenty of room in cyberspace for everyone.
In fact, the more unique your style, the better chances of your blog are in attracting followers. Create interesting content, start to generate good traffic and follow basic SEO best principles, and your blog could turn into more than a hobby and start generating you some useful income in the following ways.
Sell your creations
If you practice what you preach and enjoy designing clothes or accessories of your own, the best way to make money is to start selling them via your site. If, like most of the world, your site is built on WordPress, there are e-commerce add-ons that you can incorporate with relative simplicity. You can migrate your existing blog to Shopify, which is tailor-made for e-commerce. There is a whole range of Shopify tools you can use to help you with marketing, lead generation, payments, order management and more.
Become an affiliate
Of course, not every fashion blogger is also a designer, but there are other ways to make money from selling the products you love. As an affiliate marketer, you sign up to promote certain brands on your blog by writing about them and providing a link for your readers to buy them. Every sale generated results in a commission. The important thing here is to be selective, and only promote those brands that genuinely excite you. Don’t be tempted to overdo it and make every post overtly salesy, though, or your blog will start to lose the credibility that made it so successful in the first place.
Share your expertise
Many of the most successful fashion writers and journalists started out as bloggers. If your dream is to write for the big fashion magazines, your blog is the perfect platform to showcase your talents. The more successful your blog, the better the chance of getting noticed, but also, don’t be shy about putting yourself out there and offering to contribute content. Treat your blog as your portfolio and you never know where it might take you.
Become a promoter / influencer
The big names in fashion are just beginning to see the power of social influencers as a marketing tool. If your blog has a strong following on platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, you could be exactly what these companies are looking for. Social recommendations carry more weight than traditional advertising, and some bloggers are earning five-figure sums for single Instagram posts. The whole influencer market is still in its infancy but it is set to grow exponentially over the coming years. Those who were there at the beginning will reap the rewards, so there is no better time to learn how to monetize your fashion blog.
Read more fashion blogging articles at Cliché Magazine
Images provided by Pixabay CC License
At one point in your life, you’ve probably said, “Growing up, I didn’t see girls like me in the pages of a magazine.” Like many women of color, I too came upon this realization as both a child and now as an adult. My eyes have seen numberless women with blonde hair, blue eyes, and a fair skin tone gracing magazine covers plenty of times, but the whole time I was thinking, “Where am I? What about us?” With the growth of social media, the discovery of YouTube, and the evolution of blogging, I was blessed to find women like me who I could relate to and resonate with—women of color. These are women who have and are continuously making such powerful moves in the beauty industry that I hear myself saying, “Yasss, girl!” whenever I see them break through society’s attempt at making everyone appear the same. These strong gals triumph over society’s stereotypes, “norms,” and obstacles by presenting themselves with inspirational talent that continuously makes me proud to not only be a woman, but a woman of color.
As these beauty bloggers and vloggers create content that moves through glass ceilings and paves new ways for upcoming content creators, young women and girls turn to them as role models, the type I turn to and wish I had more of each passing birthday. Today, they are the Jennifer Lopez, Halle Berry, Selena Gutierrez, and Salma Hayek I loved listening to and watching on TV on any given day. Now, in my 20’s, I have them and more to cheer on, support, and be the ever-growing fan of. Flip through our pages for women you, your friend, or daughter of your own may see yourself in.
Kathleen Fuentes, better known as Kathleenlights on YouTube, is a proud Cuban-American whose word I always trust (you can catch me laughing at every video she uploads). Having caught the hearts of three million+ subscribers on YouTube, she stays true to her authentic self no matter the amount of numbers that follow her internet name. Kathleen has collaborated with OFRA Cosmetics, ColourPop Cosmetics, and Makeup Geek, to name a few beauty brands that have represented this vivacious Latina who is always close to her roots.
For a girl who is as real as it gets, Weylie Hoang is there for you whenever you need someone to advise you on the next cruelty-free product to grab. A Chinese-American who goes by ilikeweylie on YouTube, Weylie had me loving her in no time with her carefree, humorous, and down-to-earth attitude that reminds you of a best friend you’ve known since childhood. I genuinely get excited for every YouTube video she posts, especially since she has been my cruelty-free inspiration. She’s worked with cruelty-free brands as well, including e.l.f Cosmetics, to promote content that she believes in, showing just how down to her word she is.
Zendaya is a biracial young woman who is creating a mogul empire right before our very eyes. From her days on Shake It Up! on Disney Channel and Dancing With The Stars to songs on the top music charts and turning heads like no tomorrow on red carpets, Zendaya takes the triple threat title to a whole new level. An actor, dancer, singer, and more, there is no limit to what she can make happen—it’s like magic. I’m incredibly eager to see her performance back on the big screen this Christmas in The Greatest Showman; as a sort of showwoman herself, I am sure her fans, me included, will be just as astonished as usual.
When the subject of curly hair presented itself to me when I began to embrace my natural curls, I was at a loss of women to look up to who had similar tendrils. Eventually, I was able to learn and understand my own locks, but now I am glad to have niathelight to look towards whenever I need curly fro inspo or advice and new products. A 20-year-old woman with Zimbabwean and English roots, she has created a world-shaking movement that has received the support from women of all curls globally. Co-creator of #GoWithTheFro, a movement created with @Laurenlewiss_ to empower naturally curly hair through adventurous events around the world, she is the type of woman I would love my own (future speaking) curly babes to look up to one day.
There are not enough words that can be strung together to represent the strength and empowerment that Grace Victory represents throughout the world of social media. She is a neverending force in standing up against society’s stereotypes, gender roles, ideals, and limiting perspectives. She’s an advocate for so many important topics, including body positivity. However, I like to think of her as an advocate for the truth, a representation of staying woke and showing others how to as well. She’s a biracial woman who perseveres through anything that presents itself. If you are ever in need of an inspirational word, Grace is right there to uplift you with a blog post, Twitter chat, and even her raw, honest book, No Filter.
Read more Beauty news on ClicheMag.com
Women Of Color Making Beauty Moves: Featured image courtesy of Zendaya/Instagram