The Granary, Stanley Street saw a day of multi-talented entrepreneurs, community builders and notable Nelson Mandela Bay movers + shakers as they connected and engaged with each other over fashion, beauty and lifestyle at the Honeycomb Lifestyle Event on Freedom Day.
I, Amanda Klaas, was honoured to be 1 of 3 guest speakers getting the opportunity to not only personally connect with those I only “see” on social media, but share my heart on an industry I have grown to love even more than when I started.
I thought it immensely important to share what I had to say here on the blog, because often times in this industry a lot gets left unsaid.
Here is my opinion on the importance of Authenticity Within The Social Media & Influencer Marketing Sphere:
27/04/2017 | The Granary, Stanley Street | =+/- 11:30am
Firstly thank you to Honey for having me here
It’s so special and incredibly essential when we’re able to create and build a community of not just like minded individuals, but of people you can learn from, grow with and most importantly appreciate by supporting their skills, businesses or ventures.
My name is Amanda Klaas
I run a life and style blog and social media platforms known as Yellow Orchid Child.
I am many things and blessed to be gifted in many different ways, but my official description would be Creative Communicator & Content Creator.
I do not like the term influencer, because I believe the depth of its meaning has become watered down and commercialized.
I do possess a level of influence, I would be a fool not to recognize that fact as someone who communicates with, motivates and advises people both personally and online on a daily basis BUT my influence does not define who I am, who I am makes me influential.
When trying to figure out what I was going to speak about today, I struggled a little because I grappled with the idea of doing natural hair tips, style hacks or general blogger 101 topics but knew I needed to speak about something more impactful.
I thought it would make more sense to speak about the authenticity within the blogging, social media, and influencer marketing sphere.
We have entrepreneurs, naturalistas, bloggers/influencers, consumers in this venue right now who value credibility, trust and of course authenticity when it comes to brands, products and services.
For example, as a content creator or blogger your credibility is often questioned when you switch up your skincare routine every single week. Don’t get me wrong, changing products is a good idea, because of the natural changes that your skin inevitably go through BUT you need to understand that you have to give your skin the chance to settle into the products and the routine in order to get the best possible results and be effective.
Always remember that you should never compromise the health of your skin for press drops, a few likes or even a pay cheque.
As a brand, business or entrepreneur never disregard or discredit the honest opinions of your consumers or bloggers/influencers – that’s their authentic experience with your product or service and serves as a means for you to improve your product or service quality for the betterment and growth of your business.
Authenticity is a quality that often times doesn’t just fall into your lap, but a conscious decision made daily to maintain in your everyday life as well as the work you put out to the world.
I read a quote that read, “Nobody likes to be lied to. While many expect businesses to have a set agenda throughout their marketing, they look up to the prominent figures in their community and generally trust their words. At the end of the day, authenticity is what makes influencers influential to the public. Therefore, authenticity needs to be a top priority on both sides of the coin.”
So in other words, as a brand you cannot put out a half-baked product and expect a consumer or even blogger to speak your praises and vice versa, as a consumer or blogger you cannot not use the product or use it incorrectly and speak ill of it because in both those scenarios the overarching issue is being inauthentic.
One thing that I’ve found, is that being completely transparent with my audience across all social media platforms, has given me the opportunity to build a deeper and longer lasting connection with individuals who engage with me, brands I work with and surprisingly myself when I look back at the content and the different stages of my life and career to where I am now.
I’ve been able to able to work with incredible brands and easily incorporated them into my everyday life and have that translate on social media because they were brands I already loved or really needed in my life at that time therefore didn’t have to force them into my life or down my audience’s throat.
I have learnt that it’s okay to say no to things that do not serve you or reflect who you are and the person you are working towards and are called to be.
Being authentic involves knowing what is for you and what may be an open door for someone else.
Now speaking about opportunities for others, the last thing I wanted to touch on is supporting local.
The city of Port Elizabeth and our country at large, is filled with gifted individuals in different spheres who produce incredibly innovative products or services.
Supporting local businesses, not only helps them generate revenue but helps stimulate the local economy which creates a better future for business in the community.
Now I understand that people have different tastes and often times certain local business do not fit into your monthly budget, but there are many different ways to support local if you feel the brand is financially out of reach for you.
For instance, bloggers do not be afraid to collaborate with local brands by sharing their pages, having a photoshoot with their product or recommending them to your audience. Their next client may actually be on your socials.
Why not grab a business card or flyer,
leave it at a coffee shop or hand it to a friend who you think may be interested.
It’s so important to note that as much as I’d like you to read my posts, engage with them and share them, I have to understand that others would appreciate the same with their brands and businesses.
If we cannot create or sustain our own community, who do we expect to do so?
All images taken by Buluta Images
Stay beautiful, stay blessed
-Amanda Klaas xx