We caught up today with Luke Williams a fashion and lifestyle influencer from the U.K. Luke had some awesome things to say about Influencer Marketing and where he sees the industry going in the coming years.
Could you tell us a little bit about your background and how you started to build a following?
I always wanted to focus on my health, nearly two years ago I set about aiming for a six pack and posting my progress along the way, motivating myself and helping my followers achieve their gym goals too, that’s what kick-started my following! Originally, I used Instagram for my photography and selfies really didn’t come into it- then that changed, selfies became a daily occurrence & I posted more about my life (fashion/gym/adventures) & then people seemed more interested in my profile!
Is this something you do full-time?
I own a business and I work for another company full time, 5 days a week, influencing is something I do in my spare time- the dream would be to do it full time, I love working with brands and creating fun, interesting content that creates interest, I’d class it as a hobby at the moment!
What sort of content do you create and what content works best with your audience?
I focus on health & beauty more often, taking pictures of the results & the products I use. My audience prefers to see me using the products rather than flat lays, so I try and incorporate a carousel image that encompasses both types of photography that appeal to my followers & a wider audience.
What would you define Influencer Marketing as?
Influencer Marketing is a way for people to interact with the people they follow, they can see what they do day to day, in their posts and stories, if those people admire and enjoy the content they follow, they will more than likely want to eat, drink, wear and do the same things as the person they follow, so it’s the perfect way for brands to interact with audiences at a granular level, you are the influence & as long as you are true to yourself and remain honest to your followers then your winning!
What brands have you worked with so far? How was it?
I’ve worked with Slendertone, San Miguel, Harry’s, Next Gen U, Absolute Collagen, Active Iron, Tincture London, Maille, Goodwin Smith & Harvey James watches to name a few, its been really exciting & I’ve been lucky that the brands really like me to use my own ‘tone of voice’, instead of telling me what to do every step of the way, this approach has allowed me to be more creative & it makes the whole process so much fun!
How do you think Influencer Marketing will evolve over the next 12 months?
Its just going to get bigger and bigger- we no longer look up to billboards and adverts on massive boards in the cities, we scroll through facebook and look at social media for influence- we’re looking at our phones more than ever, so whilst we enjoy social media and being one click away from the people we admire, influencer marketing will just keep on thriving!
How has the Influencer world evolved since you began?
Its changed a lot, I didn’t really know it existed or noticed influencers promote through social media, its been a steady growth, but businesses have obviously seen the power in its success, which is why it seems to have catapulted to the current important marketing platform is currently is!
How do you feel brands are working with Influencers?
I feel brands understand the importance of choosing good influencers, they will understand the influencers they choose by looking at their social feeds initially, so they are already happy with the content & content style prior to working, I think it’s a more hands-on creative approach, allowing the brands to get exactly what they want & in turn allowing the influencers to translate that to their followers in an interesting & eye-catching way!
Have you seen any brands that you feel are doing great work with Influencers?
I think @gentlemenschuckaboo do very well, they give out beautiful products and choose really relevant influencers to talk about their brand- they create a great relationship with their influencers, which makes you want to create great content for them! @absolutecollagen are amazing and will really look after you, it’s a lovely way of working to achieve the same end goal which is success, whether it more sales or whether you become a more sought-after influencer, its beneficial to both the brand and the influencer to reap the success of a good partnership.
Do you use any software to help create content?
I’ve always used Snapseed, a photo editing app, it’s the easiest app to crop, centre, adjust and filter your photo’s, I couldn’t be without it!
How do you balance your online life with offline?
I don’t want to be on my phone constantly, so I do try to come offline as much as possible, but part of the role is to keep everyone updated with an insight of your day to day, taking a quick picture or updating a story is so second nature, it doesn’t even feel intrusive anymore, online life and offline life have merged somehow over the years.
Which influencers inspire you and look up to?
I think the @blogger_boyfriend has a beautiful feed, his pictures are stunning- I’d love to travel to some of the beautiful places he gets to experience
If you could work with any brand, who would that be?
I love fashion, so a dream would be to work with a luxury fashion brand, even if was to model Louis Vuitton socks, I’d do it!
Tell us something about you that people might not know?
That my actual name is Luke, Stanley Dru was created from my childhood, a mixture of a town I lived in, in the Falkland Islands (Port Stanley) and the street I grew up on (Drury Street)
What’s your favourite social platform and why?
My favourite has to be Instagram, it's so easy to use and simple to connect. Saying hello to someone thousands of miles away has never been easier and its allowed to connect to some wonderful brands and people who I wouldn’t normally get the chance to meet- Instagram has helped me work in Influencer Marketing, so for that, I’m forever grateful!
Where do you want to take your career as an Influencer?
I would love to work with huge brands and even work more in travel if I was paid to travel and enjoy some of the most gorgeous hotels out there in the most fascinating countries, I’d be on cloud nine!