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Inside Influence: One On One With Vernica Serjilus

I spoke to social media influencer Vernica Serjilus a.k.a Verphoria about her best advice

Maury Philips/ Getty Images

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?

Vernica: Something about me that many people who follow me do not know is that I am a little shy at first, however, if I feel positive energy from an individual, that is when you get to know my mind, beliefs, and spirit. I open up like a delicate flower and invite you into my world.

Adam: How did you become an “influencer”? What is the inside story?

Vernica: How I became an “influencer” started back in 2013 when I was a senior in high school. Instagram started gaining popularity among the 13-17 year old demographic. My friends were begging me to download and get on Instagram. I was resisting their plea, however, I gave in and I knew this was the platform to get my music out there. It was a direct way for my followers to understand who I was as a brand.

Adam: What advice do you have for those interested in working with influencers? How do you do decide who to work with?

Vernica: The advice I have for those interested in working with influencers is to understand your targeted audience. Once you understand your target audience, then you move on to your market niche. Your market niche can be music, travel, fashion, model, food, or memes. Once you develop your market niche, you will have a controlled demographic. How I decide who to work with is based on if their Instagram brand matches mine and if our network of active users matches. For example, I am currently collaborating with Chris Applebaum on music video work because we have similar networks and our brand matches. It all happened organically.

Adam: What advice do you have for those interested in becoming influencers?

Vernica: The advice I have for those interested in becoming influencers is to understand that it does not happen over night. It took me 6 years to build my fan base from scratch. I often get questions from people to get them 100,000 followers or a million followers. However, it is not that easy, one needs to understand everything is about the content. One video or one photograph can go viral and gains thousands of followers off of one post.

Adam: What is the biggest misconception about the influencer world and life as an influencer?

Vernica: The biggest misconception about the influencer world and life as an influencer is that I just take selfies all day and not do nothing. I just sit pretty and take photographs. I actually have to understand statistics and the way the traffic flows in the internet in order for a post to go viral. That is how I maximize my reach with my targeted demographics in my market niches.

Adam What has being an influencer taught you about branding and marketing?

Vernica: What being an influencer taught me about branding and marketing is that one must understand that content is everything. I had to understand where I fit in the Instagram algorithm and where I fit in the music niche or model niche that my personal brand focuses on. It taught me the value of a photo or video to help my audience understand who I am.

Adam: What are your hobbies and how have they shaped you?

My hobbies has always been in the arts. I always knew how to sing, however, composing music is a different animal. I taught myself how to play the piano, then I taught myself how to compose and produce music on Ableton live (the most advance music DAW in the world), and I always knew how to paint and create graphic design. I am very tech savvy and I used technology as an extension of my brain to create art to form brand Verphoria.

Adam: Who have been the biggest influences in your life and how do you pay it forward?

Vernica: The biggest influences in my life are my mother, Wolfgang Mozart, and Beyoncé. My mother is because she is such a hard worker that she taught me proper work ethics. Wolfgang Mozart is because he used to play his music for the royals and upper aristocrats and help him gain hometown notoriety. Finally Beyoncé because she is the modern Michael Jackson in a female form. Those special individuals shaped me to the person I am today. 

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