At the young age of 16, Eunice Annabel Lim first started modelling for local online fashion stores. Little did she know, that would be the beginning of her career in working with brands.
A familiar face in the beauty industry, Lim was given the opportunity to become a brand ambassador for beauty brands such as Maybelline and Sunsilk. Today, she has added more lifestyle brands to her portfolio. This includes Samsung, Sony, Reebonz, Dyson, L'Oreal, Topshop, M.A.C. cosmetics, Models Own Cosmetics, Garnier, USS and The Body Shop, to name a few.
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Transitioning from the mobile screen to the big screen, being an influencer also allowed Lim to accomplish her lifelong dream of becoming an actress. She starred in a local film called "The Lion Men" in 2014, a local TV drama series called "2025" and a local telemovie called "The Circle House" in 2015.
In this edition of “Now following”, Lim sits down with Marketing to share her journey as an influencer with a young following. She also weighs in on what brands should (and should not) be doing when working with influencers.
Marketing: When and how did you start out as an influencer?
I first started out as a model for local online fashion stores, or blog shops. Through my experience as a model, I garnered an audience interested in knowing more about my life, specifically, my diet, make up and skincare routine. To answer their questions, I started a blog around 2010 to 2011 just when social media was picking up. This made my entrance to this new world a lucky one!
Marketing: How did you carve a niche for yourself?
When I was still a blogshop model, I had a skill of posing and changing outfits really quickly. This saved blogshops owners a lot of time and money spent on the studio shoot; hence I was a preferred model to hire.
This allowed me to become more recognisable as a face that audiences saw on almost every blogshop. It is likely that this was how I became "popular". I really didn’t try to carve a niche for myself, I would simply write on my blog about everything I was going through then. My readers or followers are about the same age as I am, so they would find my content relatable.
In recent years however, I have been known to touch on topics that most people would shy away from. My goal is to encourage people, especially Singaporeans, to be more open-minded and not feel shy or afraid to speak to one another about topics which may seem controversial. Personally, I'd like to be in a more liberal and accepting country.
Marketing: Which platform gives you the highest engagement with your readers?
I get most of my views and likes on Instagram, the platform where I'm the strongest at, but it doesn't feel personal enough for me.
Instagram has become a very curated platform, everyone just wants their Instagram feed to look good aesthetically.
Even though I don't have as many subscribers on YouTube, I am contented with the engagement I get because more viewers comment and engage with me on my videos compared to my Instagram pictures. This works well for me because I get constructive feedback, which improves the type of content I create.
Marketing: What are some of the challenges of being an influencer in Singapore?
The mature generation doesn't see the value in what we do and they think we are just wasting our time putting posts out on social media. People also have a tendency to think that we get things easily, which to some extent, we do.
But beneath the fancy lifestyle and gifts, people need to know that influencers comprise of mostly teenagers and young adults. We put our entire life on social media for the world to see and are subject to scrutiny, whether intentional or not. That puts a lot of stress on our emotional being.
Being young, we are bound to make mistakes as we are all still growing and learning. However, because everything is so visible online, people hate us even more for our mistakes. We strive to be role models, but in reality, we can't. We can only be inspirations.
Marketing: What were some of the mistakes you have made in your career so far?
There were two. Everyone already knows what happened between Gushcloud and Xiaxue, but that's in the past, we're cool now. I saw Xiaxue at an event recently and we both smiled at each other, so everything's at peace.
(Read also: Now following: Xiaxue)
The other happened last year when my mental state was falling apart. I turned to clubbing and drinking for comfort. Which is okay because almost every teenager goes through that some point in their life? Not all, but most.
The mistake was putting everything out on social media for the world to see. I should have known better because I have some pretty young followers and putting such negative posts on social media isn't good for anyone.
Marketing: What kind of client personalities do you avoid working with?
Clients who send their brief late but expect a draft the next day, or clients who can't decide what they want from our draft, but when they get it, they make a lot of changes. There was this one time where a client changed my entire blog draft.
What's the point in engaging me to write for your brand if you're going to write it yourself in the end anyway?! It wastes my time and effort.
Marketing: What about the client personalities you love working with?
The awesome clients usually come from beauty companies! (Laughs) Maybe because that's what I'm most interested in and hence I don't even feel like its work.
They're a lot more open to new ideas and allow you to do whatever you want with a product. I am also able to create content my way which won't seem too ad-like.
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Marketing: What are some things you feel clients should take note of when it comes to working with influencers?
Ensure you're engaging us because you think we fit the brand and because you like the way we edit our content.
Every influencer edits their photos a certain way with a certain filter etc. A client should not come in and expect us to edit the content their way if it doesn't fit our feed. Also, please understand that we're going to speak about your product in our way, if that bothers you, then perhaps we're not the right choice for your company or brand.
In summary, we're not like traditional media, where you can post your ad however you like, it will be tweaked to fit our personality, our brand.
Marketing: Who is an influencer you look up to?
Mae Tan, Roseanne Tang and Joshua Simon, they all have a great passion in what they do and are true to themselves. They produce quality work too!
Marketing: What’s next for you?
I'm just working on my own YouTube content at the moment. I have been nominated as one of the Top 4 in Influence Asia 2017 for the category - YouTube Personality. That came as a shock to me because I wasn't consistent on my own channel for a while.
I got nominated due to my constant appearances on fellow YouTube friends' channels, such as Cheokboardstudios, JUOproductions, TreePotatoes and on UnzippedTV's After Hours, to name a few. This explains why I want to build my own channel and live up to the nomination, or else tongues may start wagging.
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