An interview with Nicole Emily @col3yyy: The World of Influencing

From Lockdown and aspiring to get into the police Nicole shares her story of how lockdown started her journey to influencing and how now at 18 years old she is a rising influencer with 12k followers and is a social media manager too!

Here at Carbon, we would like to give you some insight into the lives of some influencers we have on our screens. Whether they have 800k or 10k, they all have stories to tell, and it can give you some interesting insights into the world of influencing and answer some questions such as; What is it like to start out? Does it ever get too much to handle with so many people following you? Is it really a dream job? In this interview, you can find some more about micro-influencer Nicole Emily. 

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your aims as an influencer? 

“So, I’m Nicole, I am 18 and I’m from the Lake District UK. I started influencing about just over a year ago, but I started doing it full time in November just gone. I currently also work as a social media manager for a skincare business too as social media / digital marketing and managing is what I want to do full time. In September I’m going to Edge Hill University to study marketing with advertising.”

Can you tell me more about being a social media manager?

“So, for my social media managing I manage two small business accounts for free – a lash one and a gift box one. I will start getting paid and that will be my full-time job as well as content creating. I also own a social media agency where I manage influencers and help and teach them how to grow and get collaborations with big brands.”

What were you doing before influencing and social media management, and what made you get into it?

“Before I start influencing and social media managing I was planning to go into the police and then it was Covid/lockdown so I wasn’t doing much. I was doing a lot of walks and photography, then I started to post that on my Instagram story a lot and it got some pretty good views. I got bored in lockdown, so I started posting more and using TikTok more which got me into the world of influencing. When I first started, I kept using filters as I didn’t feel confident but I lived in Greece for 2 months and during that time I was doing a lot of videos that didn’t have filters and I got more engagement and views etc which made me feel more confident not using any filters.”

Do you enjoy being part of the world of social media, are there any downsides? 

I absolutely love the world of influencing!

When I first started I was a bit nervous but I then started connecting with other influencers and content creators and they made me feel so welcome and beloved!  The only downside I would say is it can sometimes feel very stressful and overwhelming, but you just need to remember to have a few days a week off your phone and just have a day to yourself and relax without any stress because any messages or comments etc are still going to be there the next day.”

What do you think are the challenges when trying to get into influencing?

“I think the main challenge is self-belief. When I first started the only thing that really held me back was myself, there were a lot of times when I wanted to reach out to a brand but talked myself out of it by saying like “I have a small following so they won’t collab with me so there’s no point in messaging” and I lost out on so many collabs because of that because it’s not about following it’s about engagement.”

Can you name some brands you have done some ads for or been given gifted items? What was the process behind that?

“The top brands I have partnered with are Fabletics ( 5 times ), NAKD (twice), Bondi boost (3times)  and L’Oréal Paris. I got the collaborations with Fabletics and NAKD through an app called brand ambassador and Bondi boost reached out to me through email and the same with L’Oréal. 

Do you turn down many brands/offers? If so, for what reasons?

“I have sometimes turned down brands yes. Mainly if I’m not interested in the product I don’t want to say yes and just do a photo and then not use it and that one product as well as shipping etc as is costing that business money. I only do collaborations when I’m genuinely interested, and I love the business and company otherwise I just think it’s wrong.”

So, do you think it’s important to be authentic with your followers and only promote things you truly like?

“Yes, I completely agree with the importance of being authentic! It’s unfair on the brand if you’re just taking their products just to get free things and not believing or loving the brand and products.”

What type of content do you find gets the most engagement?

“The content for me that gets me the most engagement is when I show off my personality a little more or when I am showcasing a product in a different way than usual, rather than just holding it and taking a photo.

Where do you see yourself in the future, what are your aims as an influencer?

“I see myself as a full-time content creator and a social media manager for the skincare job I have now as well as growing my agency.”

If you were to give someone who wants to start out, what tips/advice would you give them?

“The tips I would give are to always have management! It really helps. And don’t be a sheep and follow everyone else! Be different and unique, show personality on your posts and be true to yourself.

Also never pay for shipping on a collab especially if it’s £20-£30 it’s a scam x. Also never buy followers or cheat on getting followers! Organic growth is key.”

One thing I learned from this interview is that you can never be sure where you are going to end up or what you are going to do, but feel free to let those plans change and see where it takes you. Be sure to follow Nicole on Instagram! If you have any questions yourself, I’m sure she will be open to helping!

By Emily Benison