Made In Chelsea’s Rosi Mai On How To Build Your Online Brand
Even a decade ago, being an entrepreneur meant playing it safe and simply telling the customer what they wanted. But social media has made customers savvy – it’s no longer about pushing products, nor is it even necessarily about products at all. Influencers have taught us that personal brands can be just as powerful and that customers scrutinise everything, buying into people and online connections more than ever before.
Millennials are 247% more likely to be swayed by social media content than other groups, and those who understand how to be genuine online will succeed as entrepreneurs far more quickly. So whilst the definition of entrepreneurship is changing fast, how can startups learn from the Influencer Movement?
One such influencer is Rosi Mai Waldon, Instagrammer and wellness lover, known for being a star on E4’s reality show Made in Chelsea. Floww sat down to chat to Rosi about the realities of being an influencer, tips on how to build a social media following, and plans for her new digital wellness business.
From Made in Chelsea to Influencer
Rosi never thought she would be an Influencer.
Growing up she went to a very academic school, where it was “drilled into [her] from an early age” that “the only career options were being a lawyer or a banker, or maybe a doctor, and there wasn’t really anything else that was kind of offered or suggested”. After studying at Sotheby’s and working in the art world for a few years, Rosi knew she wanted to pursue something different. She had often been asked to join Made in Chelsea, and “had always been kind of a bit reluctant of the idea,” but it was during her law conversion that she realised that “if I’m ever going to do something like this now is going to be the opportunity”. So despite the fear of “letting a few people down”, she started filming the show and really enjoyed it.
“I had some great experiences and that was the point at which I realized I could actually build a brand”. Made In Chelsea might have raised a few eyebrows from those around her, but it was a springboard into building her own platform. “I by no means have hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram or anything like that,” Rosi smiles, “but it’s something that I’m working on and I can actually see a future in it”.
Building a Loyal Fanbase
Taking the opportunity was key to building a loyal fanbase for Rosi, but it’s not always as easy as it looks from the outside. How can startups, founders and content creators keep followers consistently interested?
“It’s not just social media, it’s everything,“ she says, “Now we’re constantly being pulled in many different directions, so as a content creator if you want to keep a loyal and engaged audience, you have to be posting every day, you have to be replying to every comment…you have to be engaging with other people’s posts and other people’s content. There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes”.
This is something that Grace Beverley, Rosi’s biggest inspiration, does so well. “I think there’s an argument to say that social media can be deceptive, but when it comes to businesses it can be very deceptive, because you can see a business that has this amazing social interaction, and you think it’s doing really well, but obviously you don’t always see behind the scenes.
“But what I would say is that (Beverley) has a tech business, she’s got the activewear business, and then obviously she has her own brand. And if you take any one of those individually, they are viable businesses, they could be profitable and she’s managed to kind of run them all together. So I think once you get to a million Instagram followers, that’s a very viable business”.
In this new age, being an entrepreneur is often built exclusively off of an online personal presence, and if successful, brand extensions such as Beverley’s female fitness brand Shreddy and label TALA can grow, accompanied by fiercely loyal customers.
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Authenticity is Key
But it isn’t simply about posting, replying to comments, getting brand deals or even how many followers you have. Personal branding matters and without aligning with the right companies that share your values, your brand dilutes in the eyes of your followers, and you lose their trust.
This is something Rosi firmly believes. “It’s really important to be selective of the partners and that you choose well. So you don’t just accept every brand that comes to you because it might not be a good fit. Otherwise, you can get easily lost and you become an advert, and people can see that you’re just taking any paid job in advertising, any old products, which you don’t necessarily believe in. And the reason that influencers are what they are and have the role that they do is that people really trust the influencers they follow and their endorsements”.
What makes a Successful Entrepreneur?
Rosi says it starts with an idea.
“It doesn’t have to be completely unique, but it has to be aligned with your beliefs, and it has to be authentic to you and you really have to believe in it. And then the idea is great, but you have to put in the work and its consistency. You have to work on it every single day, even if it’s just a little bit and then you can get there”.
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This is Rosi’s mantra when it comes to her Instagram account, her yoga instructing business and now to her upcoming wellness project, which she is founding and working on daily in preparation for launch. “I’m really excited about this. I can’t say too much but..it’s going to be a wellness platform and I’m very excited about that”.