June 2020 marks five years since Vamp’s first ever campaign.
To celebrate #FiveYearsofVamp we spoke to @alicehoney, who has been part of our community from the start. We wanted to know how being an influencer has changed over the years, how her side hustle had impacted the rest of her life, and what had kept her loyal to Vamp.
How did you become an influencer and part of Vamp’s creator community?
My first Instagram posts were ‘outfits of the day’. They were taken by my housemate in terrible lighting, but I just wanted to share what I was wearing! Then I started doing creative flat lays which was so fun and that’s how I broke into the influencer world.
Vamp inviting me to join their community was a big milestone. It was my first paid work and it was really cool to finally be recognised for the quality of my content. It made me realise there was a way I could turn this into a business and monetise what I was doing. I felt like I was creating great content, but it was an emerging platform and difficult to navigate. Being rewarded for it was a real confidence booster.
What have been some of your favourite campaigns over the years?
Vamp has opened up so many opportunities. They’ve connected me with brands and people I wouldn’t normally have had access to. I really enjoyed working with Nude by Nature and have completed quite a few campaigns with them now. I love their product and their briefs are always really fun.
I also did a Christmas campaign with Estée Lauder and that was awesome. I got this amazing box of all these different goodies from their umbrella brands and it was honestly like Christmas came early! I also loved working with Gordon’s Pink Gin and Soda, I like a good G&T. I would never want to endorse something that I genuinely didn’t love but thankfully there is always so much choice on the app.
How have you noticed the industry evolve over the past five years, do you think brand expectations have changed?
Scoring brand collaborations is a lot more competitive these days. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it keeps you on your A-game, but it’s definitely a lot harder now and more fast paced.
Expectations from clients have matured, they know what they can get from content creators, but I think that it adds value to what you do. It also means that when you do win a campaign it’s a great feeling and you really care about what you putting out there.
How has your content changed over time, do you struggle to stay inspired?
No! I still feel excited about it, but my content has definitely shifted. I started my Instagram account in 2012, so you grow up in that amount of time and your priorities change. Collaborations teach you a lot too. You learn how to work with a client, what they want, what they don’t want, how to meet tight deadliness. It’s all good experience and helped me pave my way in the industry.
It’s changed the work I do too. I was originally a Marketing Assistant, then my boss saw my Instagram profile and the content I was creating. So I started shooting flat lays and learned everything I could about the technical side of things so I was able to become a full time Studio Photographer. It’s just the perfect marriage of all of my interests and I feel so lucky how it all fell into place. It has really helped me see things from a brand’s perspective when collaborating too.
When you joined Vamp’s community, Instagram Stories had’t even launched yet. How has that impacted the space?
I think I think Stories have been amazing. It’s a really cool way to give followers an insight into your life and I like I love watching other people’s and seeing what they’re doing day to day. I think it really is creates a deep connection with your audience.
I also remember wanting to post things on my feed and thinking ‘that’s not going to align with my feed’, but that’s what’s so great about Stories, it gives you another way to share that is instant but temporary.
Another big change was the hiding of Instagram likes, how did you feel when that came in?
I can understand why they brought that in and I think it’s positive step when it comes to safeguarding mental health.
It has definitely changed the way people create content too. I think people are posting what they want the post, rather than just what’s going to get likes. Comments have sort of become the new likes and by moving comments into the spotlight, I think it’s creating a more authentic interaction between the audience and creator.
Anyway, it’s just a like, it doesn’t really reflect the quality of your work and it is nice to not feel like you’re going to be judged on a number straightaway.
You mentioned the industry being more competitive now. What advice would you give to a creator who is just starting out in this industry?
I can understand starting out now would be so overwhelming, but I would just really think about why you want to join the platform and why you want to be creating. The most successful people I know just started with an interest or a passion. I know for me it was all about doing something I loved purely for the sake of doing it. It wasn’t about money. I think that has been a great motivator for me.
I would say do it because you want to create beautiful imagery or video or because you have an important message to spread and you’re passionate about it. The rest will come.
That’s great advice, Alice. Thank you and we hope you’re with us for the next five!
Thank you! It’s been really cool to see the way that the platform itself has grown so much. You guys have so many opportunities and a really cool variety of clients and briefs for things I genuinely want to be using!