INTERVIEW WITH AN INFLUENCER: ELLA WILLS
Hi Ella, could you please tell us a little about yourself and how you became an influencer?
My name is Ella and I’m 21 years old. Besides being an Instagram influencer, I am a Business student at the University of Edinburgh. People think I am crazy to commute between London and Edinburgh but I just love being in London. I also love turtles, I think they are some of the most amazing gracious animals in the world.
I never planned on being an influencer. It was something I fell into after being on the TV show Made in Chelsea. The show allowed me to build an incredible following.
How do you balance your studies with being an influencer?
Well it was a lot harder when I was filming for MIC. Now I have a bit more free time. I would be lying if I said it was all easy, but I try and make it happen and it is definitely worth it. Luckily at Edinburgh I have two short terms so am blessed with nice long summers. I try and do lots of collaborations around then.
Being at university can be really hard, particularly around exam time, but I believe that if you want something to work you make it happen. I try and stay motivated at university by setting goals, staying organised and surrounding myself with great people.
What do you like & dislike about being an influencer?
I love having a voice and being noticed. I love being creative and interacting with people. I also love the paid opportunities that come with it, it has been a great way for me to earn some money on the side of uni. It’s a great feeling being paid for promoting a brand you genuinely love and use all the time.
What I dislike? Being on my phone too much. I feel constant pressure to be active on social media and produce high-quality content. I often suffer from anxiety due to social media, I can feel really self-conscious, but this is something I am working on.
Do you have a dream brand to work with as an influencer?
This is a really hard question! There are SO many amazing brands I wish to work with. If I am thinking strategically, then I would probably go for something like AMEX, an airline or travel agency. Otherwise I would love to collaborate with Net-a-porter or Revolve.
What advice would you give someone who is aspiring to be an influencer?
Work with brands whose products and message you genuinely like and believe in. It’s so easy to become greedy with all these paid opportunities; they can be addictive. I think it’s important to turn down opportunities with brands you don’t believe in; be selective and you will be more highly regarded. If you are seen as always promoting products, you don’t look authentic, your followers don’t trust you, and brands won’t want to work with you.
Ultimately, stay humble, stay original and stay real (remember to communicate with your influencers). If you are an advocate for something interesting, let that shine through in your content. Take pride in being original and be fearlessly authentic.
What does the future of influencer marketing look like in your eyes?
Influencer marketing has become HUGE and I believe it will continue to grow, particularly as technology improves and marketing evolves.
I think the future of influencer marketing will see brands spending way more time and money on the industry. As it stands, I think a lot of brands are still cautious about investing in influencers but this is changing with more success stories and influencer marketing is touching more marketing budgets.
I think influencers will find it harder to promote products and convince their followers to buy items they are pushing. Therefore, I think there will be greater demand for authenticity and those authentic influencers will be paid a lot more.
I think influencer marketing will become more subtle and real relationships between influencers and brands will become much more valuable. I think that in the near future nearly all brands will be using influencer marketing in some kind of way, and those that don’t will fall behind.
Thanks for joining us for Interview with an Influencer!