How to be an Influencer by Alexandra Hughes

blogger Influencer

I stumbled across Filli London last summer when I had just left China. It was before I moved out to Thailand and like all key points of transition in my life I needed a distraction. I needed an outlet to place all of my focus to balance out the discomfort of the unknown. I had this idea that I would become an influencer, or blogger, or fashionista, or whatever these other people were doing. It was escapism, something just for me, and it made sense - I love taking photos, I love to write, I love to play with fashion! (Why didn’t I do this years ago?) So, I got myself a new iPhone, found the password to my old Insta account, changed my handle and the rest is history.

My first message to Trudi went like this: “I am looking specifically for companies who sell beachy products to work with because I am about to move to Thailand.” Trudi straightaway praised my feed: “I like your feed, very natural and engaging,” she said and offered to send me a pair of her St Tropez flip flops. Gifting a quality product would have been a risk for her. I was a totally unknown, tiny blogger with a tiny audience, but she saw the potential in my feed.



The collaboration between Trudi and I has served us both throughout the last year. Well, I’ve received three beautiful pairs of flip flops with no cost to me and I'd never consider wearing another brand again!  I’ve had countless shares on her profile and that has impacted my audience growth to some degree and in return I have supplied her with more sandy flip-flip shots than she knows what to do with! I quite literally live in Fillis and if that's not testament to the quality I don't know what is! 

But that’s not the magic. What you don’t see is the rapport we’ve developed - the chats about house renovations and children's birthdays and whether a margarita is superior to a mojito and how annoying coronavirus is when this was meant to be your year. It’s within those messages where the real personal investment happens.




The flip side of this success story is the bad reputation that influencers have been labelled with - I read an article recently along this theme and within the comments were things like: “scroungers”, “parasites” and “get a real job” Wow, very emotive language. Mainly from small business owners who haven’t quite realized yet what a good creator can do for them. As someone with a strong work ethic and a full-time job it fills me with horror that I could be labelled as a ‘freeloader’ or similar. Also, a lot of creators have forged their own career in this space and the ones that have become successful no doubt have done so through hard work, originality, creativity and commitment like anything else in life, so this is hard to hear. Let’s face it, the item isn’t free at all is it – it’s an exchange of services instead of cash. And that’s what it all comes down to –loyalty, integrity and the right pairing. If the chemistry is right then the sky’s the limit.




I am frequently approaching brands. I will have a little reach out session every couple of weeks. All of the brands I work with so far are brands that I have reached out to myself - and I see that as a positive - I have only ever approached brands that I love, and who have a product I would genuinely want to use. The very last thing I need in my chaotic family life is more things that I don’t need amongst the dog toys, Nerf guns, school bags and skateboards clogging up my already full-to-the-brim wardrobes and cupboards!

Where next? Well there’s always the hope for that bigger audience, that recognition from brands and of course to make money. For me, it’s nice to think that once my reputation has grown my time and efforts will pay off - literally!      For Trudi, well she has a great product and the passion to match and who's to say it won’t one day become the world’s number one flip flop brand? There’s always the hope that one of us will “make it big” and remember the other.

Trudi made me giggle in one of her recent messages when she said, “now don’t get all famous and aloof when you’re hanging around with the blue tick gang!” – well we can all dream, can’t we? And why on earth not?

By Alexandra Hughes

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  • Jenna on

    this was a great read absolutely love it xx

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