We are so excited to interview Heidi Nazarudin, influencer and Founder of Marque Media, for this months MAKING WAVES. Every month we interview a top creator - who not only creates innovative and interesting content but also has influence - and gain insight into growing and maintaining a business and brand in the digital world. Influencers will share insider tips about the influencer marketing industry and how to collaborate with brands.
Heidi has become wildly popular for The Ambitionista and her Instagram channel with almost 500K fans she has worked with a variety of well-known brands - we recently worked with her on a campaign that was very successful. We love that Heidi is about more than her follower count, she believes success goes beyond the corner office and she inspires many women to progress in the workplace or start their own business.
So here we go.....
Can you tell the readers a little about yourself and Marque Media?
I'm a former investment banker who has built a following on social media and I run a digital marketing & PR company called Marque Media.
You’re area of influence is unique because you are a fashionista and an entrepreneur – tell us about your journey with each, and which came first?
Well it has definitely come full circle. I was a banker who was hired by my client to run his successful start-up and we took it public on Nasdaq - I got burned out and decided to become a fashion writer and also explore my creativity in fashion and got popular on IG. And then I got tired of that and decided to channel my creative energy into a marketing company.
How do you find balance prioritizing and juggling the work to be done for each area?
There is no balance. At least not for me. My primary focus is Marque Media - My team members and our clients. And because I love fashion and am fortunate enough to do/see amazing things, I get to 'gram about that experience too. The only difference now that I am not relying on IG as a source of income as an influencer, I don’t feel any pressure to do anything I don't want. So I only post about what I want to post - as opposed to a few years ago when I derive all my income from being a social media influencer - the pressure to grow followers and post only certain things - yet post constantly every single day - was getting too much for me.
Do you have any tips for influencers/entrepreneurs starting out?
I like to say - think big but start small. If you told me a year ago I would be CEO of a marketing company with 50 people, I would say you're crazy. But I started with no employee - just me. I then hired a part-time assistant after that and so on and so forth. It's about consistent baby steps.
What does a typical day in your week look like for you
I wake up around 7.30 am ... but tend to stay in bed until 8.30 or 9 - checking and replying to emails, making calls, and texting my staff while drinking coffee and a croissant in bed. I carry on talking to staff/clients while getting ready for the day. I am very lucky - my office is literally across my home across a small park and i get there by 10 am. I usually tend to stay at the office till 6-7 pm. And I take a break for dinner with my sweetie for a couple of hours. Then I work some more (I have staff in Manila too) until 11 or 12. Then I get ready for bed. If I need to have meetings/shoots I try to schedule them in blocks or on the same days
What was your most successful collaboration to work on and why?
There are so many where do I start?? I think it was with Four Season Lanai for my anniversary trip. it was a beautiful resort and we were going there anyway, so even though there were many campaign deliverables it was effortless because we truly loved everything there. And when we had a third party audit the metrics on both the hotel's channels and mine, the difference the content we created made was astounding. I think maybe once I am semi-retired I'd like to be a travel blogger.
What are some of the most important qualities you think are required to be successful in the industry?
I think having clear goals and then following up with just plain hard work. I've worked with influencers/entrepreneurs who just give up after a few months or won’t put in the hours, or have so many excuses about things. It really is just those two things that make most of the difference.
What are your favourite tools to use to streamline your social media activity?
PLANOLY! I can't live without it.
You’ve created lots of content for Instagram, tell us about why you decided to leverage this platform the most and why you think it’s been successful for you.
For me it starts with being authentic. The feed is really me. I post what I love, and I don't post what I don’t care about. I've had agents/publicists who want me to post more of certain things and less of something’s and of course, I do recommend posting what your followers want to see. But to do it where it's still you i.e. you’ll never see me rolling on a beach - I just don’t do that, or talk about how to achieve a runway look for $100 - because it’s not me. I'm about how to kick ass at work and buying/experiencing nice things because you worked hard for it. And once you have that following of people who resonate with you - you can do anything. Start a clothing line, sell courses, anything really.
What has changed the most in the influencer space and how has it affected the way you create content?
It has gotten really competitive and the bar is so high - all the great fashion influencers have editorial quality posts and have most amazing style. So for me, or when we work with an influencer/personal brand we always ask - what’s the story here? Why are you unique? Why would people care?
What do you think the future looks like for influencer marketing?
It’s definitely favouring influencers who are more versatile who can create great video/live content. So photos are great - but get comfortable being filmed and talking.
Tell us about your content creation process and how you adapt to the different social channels?
Every social media channel is different even when you're the same person.
Instagram - To me it is like a first date - I look my best, say very witty but harmless things. I am careful about what I say and don’t say. It's very 'me-centric’, my clothes, my travels, my work, motivational quotes.
Facebook is for friends - Sometimes I share stuff I share on IG, but I also am more diverse - talking about work productivity, current events, opinions/have dialogs and even cat videos. Because that’s what you do with friends.
Linkedin is like the office water cooler - more work related stuff and Twitter - is like the political cat-lady version of me - slightly unhinged and definitely very opinionated. So treat your social media channels differently -people behave differently on each one.
Founder & CEO • Marque.Media
Blogger-in-Chief • TheAmbitionista.com
firstname.lastname@example.org • +1 323 905 0106