Women warriors – leaving your 9-5 job to become a top digital influencer

patricia-2
Meet our members: MEDx
23rd June 2016
nicole
Entrepreneurial cows
30th June 2016
amra-&-elma

Amra Beganovich and Elma Beganovich are digital influencers with over 2 million followers on social media, and currently reside in New York City. The girls are the founders of Club Fashionista, an invite-only platform dedicated to high-quality content focused on fashion and lifestyle, and of their own brand Amra & Elma, under which they serve as brand ambassadors, digital media consultants, and creative directors to world’s leading lifestyle brands. Also, Amra and Elma are philanthropists, who continuously work with amazing non-profits like Rescue Dogs Rock NYC, KIDS – Fashion Delivers, World of Children, and recently joined forces with Elizabeth Hurley and Elton John in their efforts to help raise funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Lastly, the girls serve as guest contributors with several media powerhouses such as Marie Claire, the Entrepreneur, and ELLE. Currently, the sisters are writing their first book, in which they will discuss in detail the business of blogging in the age of social media influencers.

It all started on our living room couch in Washington D.C., while I was a student at Georgetown Law and Amra was working on World Bank projects as an economist. The idea sparked during a dinner conversation in which we were discussing how to make a facemask from your kitchen ingredients. One of our guests suggested that others would want to know these do-it-yourself (DIY) tips. Hence, we decided to design a simple blog. Within 3 short months our blog had reached 150,000 monthly unique visitors. When we first started, social media was beginning to take shape. There was huge movement of turning to digital influencers in order to attract a regional and even global audience.  In the beginning, we had no intention of turning that into a business. However, different brands began approaching us, and our business started growing. Within a year, we left our jobs to work full time as bloggers, developers and founders of a 15-person company. Our popularity was growing, so we decided to move to New York.

We had no idea what would happen; but our passion to share our lifestyle and inspire others led us here. Sharing tips and tricks in beauty, fashion, travel and other lifestyle trends ignited our will to start this journey. So, we kept taking photos of what we thought was beautiful to inspire others and ourselves. Our website began to take shape and shortly afterwards, our content attracted an enormous amount of traffic. It’s amazing how you can turn your content creation into a career – we focused on producing high quality images, learning photography, and understanding what moved our audience. We also started exchanging audiences with other digital influencers by doing interviews on our blog.

It was important to understand what the market wants. We made important connections within the lifestyle industry and all of this spiraled into a whirlwind, created a large network, and brought us an influx of viewers. When the digital phenomenon hit, we realized we could capitalize on these opportunities.

At the beginning we were ridiculed by our friends and strangers for pursuing our dream. At one point we were almost embarrassed to tell others about our plans, we didn’t want to explain how our newly created “company” was just two of us working from our living room couch. We worked hard (and still do), not knowing where this path would take us; but we kept experimenting and trying to push our vision further and understand what works the best for us. Going back to 9-5 was not an option, so we kept pushing to see our vision through.

We build strong and visually pleasing content in order to attract a large amount of followers. Working with the digital influencers is one of the most valuable forms of marketing today, because it is the one that consumers can relate to; also, it is very cost effective and attractive for companies trying to raise brand awareness or doing product launches. The brands need influencers to endorse their products. The brands see a value in this authentic content coming from an everyday girl to which the audience can easily relate. The digital world is changing marketing. The largest brands are reaching out to us because they know that we have deep connection with our audience. Now, it’s more about personal recommendations from digital personalities with whom the followers have a relationship with.

 

The key to our success

First step was to find our focus and our target audience. Many digital influencers build their social following from a singular interest and later they expand to other categories.

To become one of the top digital influencer you need to engage with your followers actively; this is critical to effective digital marketing. Top quality advice, products and services go a long way with your consumers.

Authenticity is also the key. A successful marketer and a digital influencer will seek out quality before quantity. We always tend to be genuine, because this is how you build trust with your audience. It’s also essential in gaining credibility and, therefore, improving your brand. Sharing your ideas in an authentic way with your audience will allow your brand to become a trusted source for them, and your followers will be eager to engage with your thoughts and ideas.

It was hard at the beginning – but it all ultimately starts with you, and you have to believe in yourself. It was the right timing for us, and we just followed our instincts. Our motto was always to have fun while staying dedicated and working tremendously hard. Fast forward countless of sleepless nights, we are brand ambassadors, developers and founders of a 10-person company.

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