Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to go behind the brand. First things first, though, what is something about you that the many people who follow you don’t know?
Nicole: Hmm, I feel like this is something so many people have been through so people could assume but I experienced bullying for as long as I can remember. I got made fun of when I created an Instagram in the first place because when I did, it “wasn’t cool” yet to post pictures for strangers to see and connect with people on the internet through like-minded interests. I was a weird kid for sure but I always stayed true to myself and preach that now on my account, to be authentically you.. and now look, everyone wants to be a “public figure” on Instagram and have a bunch of followers now that it’s a “cool” thing to do.
Adam: How did you become an “influencer”? What is the inside story?
Nicole: When I was in high school, super model Tyra Banks posted a side by side picture of me as a baby and me as a model, to her Instagram account saying “niicoleamber had/has what It takes” and tagged my account in the post. This drove a lot of traffic to my account and sparked media attention, a news crew actually showed up at my high school to interview me about It. From there I kept posting what I normally had been posting pictures of me modeling, pictures of me hanging out with my friends being a normal teenager etc. and from there It just kinda took off and kept growing as people followed along with my journey.
Adam: What advice do you have for those interested in working with influencers? How do you do decide who to work with?
Nicole: My advice for those interested in working with influencers is to recognize the worth of the influencer whom you’re trying to start a working relationship with. Offering free product is great and all, if the influencer doesn’t have bills that need to be paid or doesn’t care about making a living. I decide who I want to work with based on whether or not the brand aligns with my values AND if I actually would be a consumer of this brand organically, 9 times out of 10 when I work with a brand on a collaboration it’s a brand I have already purchased from in the past myself.
Adam: What advice do you have for those interested in becoming influencers?
Nicole: My advice for people aspiring to become influencer’s is to do It for the right reasons.. It’s not a glamorous job and It puts you in the spotlight making you extremely vulnerable to public opinion. You need to truly be passionate about reviewing products, having a voice to speak about brands and wanting to connect with an audience is the biggest thing for me.
Adam: What is the biggest misconception about the influencer world and life as an influencer?
Nicole: Like I said before, it’s not some glamorous job where its all rainbows and butterflies, It requires a lot of hard work countless planning and hours put into organizing a brand’s vision to align with your own and seamlessly flow with the rest of your account, all while trying to seem relatable and not “salesly” when you are in fact, selling something. People do not like being sold to, being an influencer you will learn that quickly. The most organic posts and pitches, get the best responses
Adam What has being an influencer taught you about branding and marketing?
Nicole: Branding and marketing go hand in hand, when you are an influencer you have your own brand to uphold and when you work with another brand you literally are pitching and marketing yourself to the brand as an asset that they need to help grow their company.
Adam: What are your hobbies and how have they shaped you?
Nicole: I grew up spending my summers at my family’s lake house in Maine, we would spend hours out on the water, then take an ATV ride at sunset through the mud until we got into an open clearing and could take It all in. I loved being outside and getting dirty whenever I could. Definitely a bit of a tom boy with a need for speed, although that has not changed I feel that I get to do less of what I love and have less time for hobby’s the older I grow and the more I focus on social media, technology and working from my phone.
Adam: Who have been the biggest influences in your life and how do you pay it forward?
Nicole: My biggest influences in my life are definitely my parents. My father is a business owner and has always worked so hard to ensure my sister, my mother and I can have everything we want in life and I am endlessly grateful for that. My mother has been my biggest supporter of me following my dreams and always is there to be my cheerleader. She would take me to New York City when I was very young for castings and accompany me to photoshoots taking days off from work, literally anything she could do to help me and show support she did. I pay It forward through showing my appreciation verbally everyday when I tell them I love them and physically, I do little things for them whenever I can to make their lives easier and I also love to write so I write them letters and poems for special occasions expressing my gratitude and love for them.