The New Influencers: Carly Maddox

Followers: 8,500 on Instagram

Has worked with: Crest, Keds, Madden Girl, Essence Cosmetics

Channel: https://www.instagram.com/carlymaddox/

Where are you seeing the most traffic or interaction?
I see the most interaction on Instagram, definitely. I try to promote my Instagram on all my channels, even my blog. There was a point where I didn’t even want a blog – I just wanted to post on Instagram because it was getting so much more attention and comments than my blog. Most companies will see me through Instagram rather than my own blog.

When did you start to see your online outreach take off?
My blog first took off when Seventeen reached out to me in 2012. I only had about 200 followers and they somehow found my blog – I still don’t know how – and it sent an email asking me to be part of the 2013 Style Council in the magazine. In that, it showcased a bunch of girls with style – all bloggers – it was a fun experience. I got a few full pages in the magazine, which was a lot of fun, and that really got a lot of views to my blog. It was also on the title’s website and after that everybody started to notice it.

How did that catapult you to where you are now?
Before then, I was posting a lot of vintage outfits – I was into vintage style, and I thought that was what I wanted to do. After Seventeen, stores with a younger audience, like Aeropostale, wanted to do collaborations.

I’m not dressing for the people reading my blog – this is just because I want to – but I have a more modern, younger style now. I’m a style chameleon. I like to dress edgy one day, vintage the next, and minimalist the next.

What brands are you working with and what are you doing with them?
Right now, my biggest collaboration is with Essence Cosmetics – I’m a stylist for the brand. It has about 15 stylists across the US because Essence just brought its brand to North America from Europe. That’s been the most different for me because I’m usually [focused on] fashion and that’s really opened me up to the makeup side [of blogging]. I also worked with Madden Girl recently. Aeropostale is usually year-round [and] I did a campaign for Keds once.

Who makes up your audience?
Mostly females from about 15 to 23 years old.

What works when brands reach out to you, or what makes for a good partnership?
If you have a style that already looks like something they’re trying to promote, then that’s helpful. People with different styles, that’s actually better, because then you have a better reach.

A brand would want to work with someone who it can see from their social media accounts can communicate well with the company’s consumers.

Has there been a time where you haven’t been able to work with a brand?
Yes – usually I tell myself to stay true to my style. If there’s something that won’t work out for me I’ll politely decline. I have opportunities sent to me that are for completely different things such as food and DIY projects, and I always have to decline because I don’t know how to cook, one, and don’t think that would help my readership because I don’t think anyone on my blog is looking for that.

What sort of trends are you seeing among Generation Z?
I definitely think Snapchat is going to get more and more popular. I don’t see anything happening to Instagram anytime soon, either. There’s been a few times where people have thought Instagram [would fade], but Instagram is [important] for brands.

Snapchat is going to have a better reach for bloggers to promote their content because it’s fun and fast. People would rather do that than sit and stare at a long video.

What are you currently working on with agency Acorn Influence?
Paid opportunities with big-name brands. The most recent one was with Goody, the hair accessory company, and I did something with Crest White Strips for the holidays.

A sparkling dress to match my sparkling #Crest #HolidaySmile ?

A photo posted by Carly M. | A Walk in the Park (@carlymaddox) on

These seem like random things that wouldn’t be on a fashion blog, but it’s all about finding how you can incorporate that into your blog and make it work.

What’s one piece of advice you have for Generation Z-ers who want to do something similar?
Anyone trying to start a blog needs to realize that it’s a lot of time and effort – you will be up at 4am working on your blog, and it’s going to suck – but it’ll be worth it in the end. So long as someone has the patience and the drive to make it all happen, I don’t see why it’s not possible.

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