Like many others interviewed before her, Saffron Sharpe's road to becoming a local influencer stemmed from a hobby of posting fashion and fitness content online. First coming into attention after winning The New Paper's New Face competition in 2013, Sharpe is now familiar face in the beauty and fitness scene.You might also recognise Sharpe from a controversial fashion police promo she had shot for Mediacorp Toggle. Last year, Sharpe filmed a tongue-in-cheek promotional video for Toggle's Double Trouble series starring local comediens Mark Lee and Kumar.Although Sharpe does not share much about her thoughts from the incident, in today's edition of "Now following" she talks about her journey as an influencer. She also gets candid on the constant scrutiny influencers now face in the public eye and how her experience with brands has been.Some clients Sharpe has worked with include L’Oreal, Grab, Uniqlo, Dove, Biore, adidas, Cheaptickets, Zalora and AirAsia, to name a few.[gallery link="file" ids="181967,181969,181968"]Marketing: When and how did you start out as an influencer?It started out mostly as a hobby. I would upload photos of my friends as well as casual outfit shots! I never expected myself to be an “influencer”. It was more of a progression as I turned older and my account got increasingly popular.My popularity grew among those within my age group when I entered Junior College. I was known for promoting a healthy lifestyle with my healthy meals and making an effort to exercise despite my busy schedule!Marketing: How did you carve a niche for yourself?Initially, my fitness post would serve as a motivation for my followers and that slowly grew to be my niche in the industry. As I matured, I am now more open to my followers. I try my best to create a genuine relationship with them! This allows my followers to grow alongside with me, and also keeping my account fresh.Marketing: How would you describe your followers and how do you connect with them?Followers range mostly from the ages of 18 to 25, where most would either be in Junior College or University. They share the same interest as me, be it style, food or fitness habits. To strike a connection, I constantly make an effort to reply their comments or direct messages, and be as authentic as possible on my Instagram Story. Being true to myself allows me to create a genuine connection with my followers.Marketing: Which platform gives you the highest engagement with your readers?Instagram for sure as I started on it first. But I do love using Snapchat from time to time, the filters are insane!Marketing: What are some of the challenges of being an influencer in Singapore?The most challenging thing I face as an influencer is being constantly judged for my actions, everything I do or say is under a microscope.This was initially very tough for me to overcome, where I would take hurtful comments to heart and allow it to dwell for a long time.But at this point of my career, I've learnt to laugh at myself and not take what others say too seriously. So I tend to reply to negative comments with comical replies as if I'm replying to my friends, it helps me to brush it off and be okay with it.Marketing: What is the silliest mistake you have made?Once I turned up at the wrong event. It was super embarrassing because I wasn’t on the list, so it was a tremendously awkward situation having to explain myself to the PR girls at the door.Marketing: What are some of the outrageous demands you have gotten from clients?I never really had a terrible experience with my clients! Most of the demands set are straightforward but from time to time, some demands don’t really fit the aesthetic of my profile which can be hard.Marketing: What kind of client personalities do you avoid working with? I don't avoid working with any client, since a job is a job. But I do prefer when the client is open to ideas. This allows the content produced to be more authentic, it also resonates better with followers.Marketing: How about those who are good to work with?Producing content on Instagram or other digital platforms to a certain extent does count as creative work. When clients understand that, it makes working with them feel less like “work” but more like collaboration!Marketing: What are some things you feel clients should take note of when it comes to working with influencers? Always be open to what the influencer has to offer! It’s good to come to a compromise on certain occasions, since the influencer is most aware of what their followers like and want.Marketing: Who is an influencer you look up to? I really love Savina Chai’s profile, even though we produce different content I love her style and aesthetic!Marketing: What are some of your views on the influencer landscape locally and globally? Singapore’s a great place to be an influencer with many international brands having their regional offices here. However, the industry is getting more competitive with many influencers on the rise. As the industry grows locally, it’s important for content creators to strike a niche for themselves.Marketing: What’s next for you?I’m working on growing my YouTube channel, where I post vlogs, beauty videos, look books and fitness videos!Read also: Now following: XiaxueNow following: Youtiao666Now following: Andrea ChongNow following: Jemma WeiNow following: CheekiemonkiesNow following: The Chill MomNow following: Eunice Annabel
Follow us on our Telegram channel for the latest updates in the marketing and advertising scene.
Get the daily lowdown on Asia's top marketing stories.
We break down the big and messy topics of the day so you're updated on the most important developments in Asia's marketing development – for free.subscribe now open in new window