At the beginning of the summer I was drowning in work and emails. The thought of trying to sift through resumes and schedule phone calls to interview someone seemed like a daunting task. Lucky for me I was put in contact with Claudia who ended up interning for me for most of the summer. Claudia came in and effortlessly helped me conquer, organize and regain my sanity. While I’m not sure if blogging is – the job a million girls would die for – it does seem very glamorous on the outside. Well that’s our job right? The Chic Series has always been about creating a pretty picture to help inspire other women to take the time to make themselves look and feel good. So how does this happen? What goes on behind the scenes? What’s it really like to work for me?
By chance Claudia was in NYC at the same time as me during NYFW! Finally we had the chance to meet in person and she had the opportunity to join me on the “job”. Claudia typically works remotely from her home in DC, answering multiple emails and texts at all hours of the day. Yes that is an accurate statement. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t sleep and she handled all of my early morning and late night texts with grace and might I add gratitude.
Must be all of those Soul Cycle classes – might I add that we both have an exercise addiction.
I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with her this summer. Claudia set the bar high and after being exhausted from working so much she breathed fresh new life back into The Chic Series. She is a hard worker, never complained not once, and was always super enthusiastic, even about the mundane tasks and always always went above and beyond. As Miranda from the Devil Wears Prada so eloquently said, “anyone who doesn’t hire her is an idiot.” Well Claudia I don’t think I will send that exact note to your future employer but I will write you a rave review. I only hope you can do the same for me!
After finally connecting face to face in NYC we discussed her final project for The Chic Series. Before she heads off to London to study abroad (help!) I interviewed her about – what’s it really like to work for an influencer and for me. So here it is: the job day to day, what skills you should have, hours you can expect to put in, what you’ll learn, and most importantly tips on how to succeed.
Everything you need to know about working for a blogger
So you can get to know Claudia and understand why I love her so much. I asked her to provide a brief bio on herself.
The Job Itself
What’s your day to day like?
On most days, the first thing I do when I wake up is check Instagram (as I’m sure most of you do too!) I scroll through The Chic Series’ feed and look for brands and other influencers that share a similar perspective and demographic. Then, I like and comment on their photos to try to start building new relationships and potential partnerships. I then check my email and see if you have any tasks for me! There is actually a huge range of responsibilities which made the job really engaging and dynamic. Sometimes that’s reaching out to brands about collaborating, adding images and links to posts before they are published, posting Instastories, or creating graphics on Photoshop. I was also able to do some of my own writing which was an amazing opportunity.
Is the work as glamorous as it looks on social media?
No way! I follow a ton of different bloggers and am always amazed by the glamour and ease of their jobs. I had absolutely no idea how complicated things are behind the scene. Each post not only takes hours to write, but hours to research, photograph, edit and link. You check your analytics constantly to know what your audience responds well to which helps when brainstorming new ideas and stories. Despite how effortless your feed and blog appear, you put careful thought and consideration into every detail to best connect with readers.
What was the best & hardest things about your job?
The best part of my job was the variety. Even though I had the same responsibilities throughout the Summer, it was always something new. Yes, I linked items to shop in each post, but it ranged from the best sports bras to unique floral accessories. You also let me contribute to the content and that ranged from my favorite health food spots in NYC to my go to Fall outfits. The hardest part of the job actually became my favorite! At first it was quite a challenge to channel your voice. Although we have a ton in common, it was tough to write in the perspective of a young, chic mom. As I grew more comfortable, I had a blast and learned a ton from writing from someone else’s perspective.
There is a negative connotation attached to the millennial work ethic. Some say they prefer instant gratification – a want it all want it now mentality. Whether that be social media’s fault or whatever the cause I never once felt this from you. It always felt as if you were grateful and never entitled. Where did this work ethic and mentality come from and how can you pass it on to your peers?
Well thank you! I think that comes from my enthusiasm. I am very passionate about pursuing a job in fashion and am so grateful for any opportunity I get to expand my knowledge and understanding of the different components of the industry. Influencers are so so important and I really didn’t know much about their role. I do believe that you get out what you put in, so when finding these opportunities I think it’s important to give it your all.
What skills do you need to have in order to work with a blogger?
All things tech! While working with you this Summer, I took my laptop literally everywhere I went. Being familiar with Photoshop was huge. It’s not very complicated but can be so time consuming so I was glad I could take that off your plate. Although they’re quite user friendly, the different online platforms that host the blog and email campaigns use lingo that I usually had to Google! The more familiar you are with web design and processing the better. I personally didn’t have that much background in it so I think the ability to take initiative was the most important skill I brought to the job. You are so busy and I hated pestering you with my millions of questions. It was really important for me to learn to take the initiative to research my questions and then feel comfortable with trial and error.
What new skills did you learn while working with me?
As I just mentioned, understanding the web platforms and applications you (and a ton of other influencers use) is invaluable. Leaving the Summer with this new knowledge will be so helpful next year studying fashion journalism media and in future internships and jobs.
How do you suggest reaching out to influencers to work for?
As I quickly learned from your insane schedule, influencers are so busy. They get a million emails a day and I’m not kidding when I say you work 24-7. Although they need help managing all of their many responsibilities, they don’t really have time to manage you as well. When reaching out, I would suggest demonstrating your ability to take initiative and work independently as well as your knowledge of the blog and your responsibilities. The more independently you can work, the more helpful you are.
Tips for Working with an Influencer
What tips would you give to people hoping to work with an influencer?
As I learned from you this summer, It’s important to show people you’ve done your research. When reaching out to an influencer, not only is it important for them to see your enthusiasm about their brand but also that you are knowledgable about their perspective and demographic. If you prove that you understand their vision, they will be more likely to trust you in helping them achieve it.
If someone wanted to start their own blog what advice would you give them?
I would tell them to start networking ASAP. Until working for you, I had no idea that there was such a large, active blogging community. When working with you (finally in person!) during NYFW I was shocked how over the years these bloggers had become your friends. Everyone was so eager to take photos together and feature one another on their own social media. I think building these relationships is so important and other influencers can truly provide the best tips as well as exposure.
What’s It Really Like to Work for Kate…
Okay BE HONEST … what’s it really like working with me?
Amazing! I promise I’m not just saying that. During many of my other internships, it was clear that I was only there to do the most simple, tedious, and mundane jobs. Even when my boss would praise my work, they didn’t have much trust in me. You gave me so much responsibility that I was sometimes shocked! You also made it clear that you wanted me to benefit from this experience and constantly asked if there was anything else I wanted to learn. That is something really unique in an internship and I am so appreciative!
We both share a passion/obsession with working out. Do you think this contributes to our ability to gel so easily?
I do! I don’t think all shared interests help people connect but working out is different. Our fitness obsession gives us a shared work ethic, sense of determination and even some values. I think those are so important when working together and our passion for working out solidified that.
Did you ever think this girl is cray-cray?
No! If you’re crazy I’m right there with you.
Were you ever surprised by me?
I know this sounds cliche but I was honestly surprised how you manage to do it all. I would wake up to emails from you sent at 4 in the morning and respond when you had already been to the gym, made breakfast and were on your way to a photoshoot with the girls (dressed adorably of course). You work literally 24-7 but manage to still prioritize your family and health which is pretty impressive. There were actually days this Summer when I would convince myself I didn’t have time for a workout but if Kate could fit it in so could I so I dragged myself to another Soul Cycle class.
#1 thing you learned from me?
To put myself out there. To help build your blog, you have to constantly reach out to other bloggers and brands. You also have to have the confidence to sell your self and your vision. I’m actually pretty shy and don’t always have enough confidence in my abilities and you taught me how crucial that is for success in the industry.