Interview with fashion blogger streetandgentle – Part 2

© Philipp Hehmann (streetandgentle)

zur deutschen Version - to part 1 of the interview

How much work do you put into a post at Instagram? Who helps you with your photos? It always looks so easy – how much effort is really behind it?

It depends on whether it is a normal post or a product placement and whether the post is paid for. So the effort varies. I am of course thinking about the content of the posts upfront: Sometimes I am wearing outfits for university which I can use for a shoot at Instagram. There are also evenings when I know I will shoot pictures the next day and have no idea at all. Then I wrack my brain on what could match and what could go down well on Instagram.

I live in a very small village and have to travel to Frankfurt for good pictures. The city of course provides much better settings. Outfits come across much better with the skyline in the background than on a meadow with cows behind me. It depends on what the message should be and who the post should reach. It is not enough to take a picture right outside of my front door, to just press the trigger. For a perfect picture I often need half a day.

Besides, I have to make sure to bring along different outfits, so that the trip to Frankfurt is worthwhile and I can then take several different pictures. It is time-intensive and I cannot do this every day. In addition, I have to make arrangements with “my” photographer: A good friend of mine who is very interested in photography usually shoots the pictures. Now and then, my brother helps out as well.

The proper setting and the proper timing are actually really important. I mostly post in the evenings because there are also a lot of Americans who follow me. This allows me to bridge the time difference a little. The texts I usually write spontaneously, unless the post is booked and the customer explicitly wants a very specific text.

How much time do you spend on your social media accounts (Instagram, Snapchat) every day? And how do you combine this with your studies?

On Instagram, I am usually not logged in all day but only at certain times. To be in the university and constantly receive messages – this obviously distracts me too much. Snapchat has replaced Instagram in my everyday life. I am on and off my account for two-thirds of my day. Snapchat takes a lot of time, but here I get immediate reactions. I think that Snapchat is also very attractive for many companies as you can communicate directly from everyday life.

I immediately share anything with my community that I come across during the day: interesting outfits, clothes or other things worth seeing. That would not be possible on Instagram and would probably disturb a lot of people. But with Snapchat I share much more with my followers. This is great!

Do you believe that Snapchat will be increasingly important for bloggers in the future?

I have been through the development myself. The transfer from Instagram to Snapchat is increasing. At Snapchat you can see how many people have viewed your pictures. For me, this has virtually exploded in the last months. Many have viewed Instagram Story as a killer for Snapchat. I see this rather as an opportunity, as I have noticed that it works really well for me to show what to expect on Snapchat in my Instagram Story!

For me, Snapchat is definitely a stunner with a lot of potential. I can show things on Snapchat that would not be so well perceived on Instagram but are interesting for my followers: What brand is this piece? Where can I buy this? ... It is no longer enough to post a picture on Instagram every two or three days. This is stressful but also fun.

What also makes Snapchat lucrative: You can place products much more spontaneously and perhaps more subtly. And they are then perceived accordingly. I think this is also very interesting for businesses.

What advice can you give to newcomers who want to be successful with Instagram themselves? How should they best market themselves so that their profiles generate a lot of traffic? And which mistakes should they avoid?

I often receive questions about this on Snapchat, for example: How can I be just as successful as you? – Sure, I like to give advice but there is no "master formula". It also somehow depends on the personality. In any case, it is important to have good quality pictures and to choose good settings and backgrounds. Clearly one must know current trends and be aware what the followers want to see. In a certain way you have to be able to awaken other people’s need for certain outfits and styles, so that they like to continue following you and are excited about new posts.

At the beginning I also uploaded some "food" pictures, but that did not really work. I do not know if it is healthy to focus on too many things. You can slip in some other content, e.g. occasional vacation pictures. But you should already have a certain core subject on which you focus.

It is also important to get reposts on large fashion platforms. Therefore, you should always tag those. This is how you generate traffic and can take advantage of the user transfer from those platforms to your own profile. In any case, my advice is: Go your own way!

Can you imagine to make a living long-term being a professional blogger? Can you already live on blogging, or is it just a hobby for you?

I can imagine it well, because there is a market for it. Compared to TV advertising, a blogger is a low-cost alternative. They reach the target group directly and thus, in my opinion, can achieve more sales for a product. For me, blogging is currently a supporting leg beside my studies. Of course, I do not know how long this wave will continue and whether I can make money in ten years from now. It is more of a hobby plus benefit.

It is certainly possible to work as a blogger on a full-time basis, and I am also working on other projects. For example, I am planning an additional blog "streetandgentle", which will go online next year. If I keep at it during the coming months and once my new blog is live, I can well imagine that I will increase my reach and consequently get more attractive offers from companies.

Let's see what the future will bring...! I am definitely grateful for everything because I am still living a dream that I have never expected to be possible.

Yours, Philipp alias streetandgentle

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