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Is Influencer Marketing Here to Stay? | Q&A with 4 Canadian Influencers on the Rise

“Influencers” are the topic of conversation for many at the moment. Social Media Influencer Marketing is becoming one of the most effective ways to attract customers and opens up a new door of advertising for brands to connect with consumers directly, amplify their message and increase hype and brand awareness.


Influencer marketing may be a trend right now, but it isn’t new at all. Brands have been using celebrities, athletes and leaders for years to showcase their products. Only the last couple years have brands started to accept the rise of social media and the beginning of a new generation of influencers. Brands realized that these influencers had the power to overshadow celebrities due to their increasing online fame and their credibility.


Today we've Interviewed 5 Canadian Influencers they're opinion on the industry, how they've managed to stand out from the crowd and what they'd suggest to a newcomer in the industry. But most importantly we've asked the source themselves "is influencer marketing here to stay?". Read below to find out!


Introducing influencers on the rise: Melanie Kazimierczyk, Tina Hu, Imaan Saboune and Olivia Di Pede.


Melanie Kazimierczyk

Location: Toronto

Instagram: @melo_and_co

Website: meloandco.com

Q: Mel we love your look! How would you describe your Instagram aesthetic? 

MEL: Definitely a casual minimal vibe. I really struggle to include colour because I always want to wear monochrome outfits, and I can never have too many joggers or leather...or coats! But I strive to create a feed and a style that feels effortless and easy. I'm not the fussy type, and I'm really easygoing and casual in real life, so I hope that it translates into my feed. 




Q: In an online world full of bloggers how do you differentiate yourself? 

MEL: Sometimes I wonder if I do! But I really just try to stay true to my own aesthetic without being too influenced by other peoples aesthetics. It's too easy in the curated world of instagram to think that you should have a feed that looks like someone else's feed...but in reality people follow you because you are YOU, not someone else. I often find that the looks I get the most likes and engagement on are the ones that are most authentic to me, so I try my best to follow my instincts and not my ego. And don't get me wrong, it's great to evolve and grow as a creative, pushing your own creative boundaries, but always stay true to yourself. That's really how you differentiate, in my opinion. 


Q: We believe the future of influencer marketing is here to stay! What are your thoughts? Do you have plans for the future as an influencer? 

MEL: It is definitely here to stay!! As a culture we have changed the way that we consume media and make purchase decisions. We don't see it in a magazine and then wait for it to hit the stores in the upcoming season, we click and we buy immediately, directly from the image. It's unimaginable to my 13 year old self who pored over trends in magazines back in the 90s. But I love influencer marketing because it really works. As influencers, we have found our niche market, and our followers buy based on our recommendations. It's like a friend tells you where they got a cute sweater and you go out and get it the same day, but it's just the digital form of that. It's genius! I love when I get comments or messages that people have purchased something because I've recommended it. 

As for my plans...I have lots! I already run a busy graphic design/branding and art print business, but I'm also planning to expand my blog at some point, maybe start a clothing line or an online store when I eventually find the time. I'm also in the middle of starting an influencer marketing platform with some partners, geared towards the mommy market, which is called momfluence.co, and you can find us on IG @momfluence.co :) It's going to be big I hope!


Q: What is your biggest piece of advice to someone who wants to become an influencer?

MEL: Be yourself. Learn your craft. Challenge yourself. It's not as easy as it seems create a curated feed, so just keep working at it. It has taken me years of refining, and countless awful photos (many of them I wish had never been posted!), but every creative goes through a process when finding their look, and their market, so just keep at it. Even if you feel like you're terrible. I still feel like I'm terrible at what I do often enough - I'm always learning too! And remember that it's not all about numbers. It's about your content. Get the right equipment, learn about photography, lighting, what works best for you and what doesn't. Even if you have a small following, there are brands that will pay you to create content for them...so don't get caught up in the followers, they will always come and go. Just do what you do! 


Q: As an influencer, what do you think has made the most impact in your career so far?

MEL: I think that being able to work with so many amazing brands has had a huge impact. It makes me so happy to get to create images for other business owners who create beautiful product, and to help promote that for them is awesome. It has not only helped me to grow as a creator, but has also introduced me to so many awesome companies that I may not have otherwise known about, and it turn sharing those with my following is the best. It doesn't hurt that when they share my images it also helps to grow my own following too, in addition to being a useful sales tool for them. What I do is a constant learning and growing process, and I always push myself to do better, or different, or new, and working with great brands only pushes me harder to do my best and challenge myself. 


Tina Hu

Location: Toronto

Instagram: @tinahu



Q: Tina we love your look! How would you describe your Instagram aesthetic? 

TINA: This is always a tough question for me! Tmeless and classic, with a touch of vintage and masculinity? And neutrals, lots of neutrals.


Q: In an online world full of bloggers how do you differentiate yourself? 

TINA: I wouldn't say I try to specifically differentiate myself, I just create what I like and sometimes inevitably that is taking inspiration from others - which I don't have a problem with at all as long as it stays as inspiration and not imitation. With Instagram, and particularly for fashion influencers I think your feed is ever-evolving and fluid as your style and aesthetic changes. If you scroll through my feed, it's obvious I've gone through a lot of phases. All that to say, I don't think differentiation should be something that is forced and it should happen naturally as a reflection of yourself.


Q: We believe the future of influencer marketing is here to stay! What are your thoughts? Do you have plans for the future as an influencer? 

TINA: I definitely think influencer marketing is here to stay. Particularly for smaller brands now I'm finding that often influencer marketing is the only marketing strategy they use. As for how influencer marketing is used that's up to debate. Who knows what Instagram will look like in the next 1 year even? It already feels like a different platform from when I started 2 years ago. I work full-time so being an influencer is not the endgame for me, but I do plan on staying an influencer as I stay relevant, or for as long as I enjoy doing it.




Q: What is your biggest piece of advice to someone who wants to become an influencer?

TINA: Focus your time on creating what you love and don't forget about why you started in the first place. I started posting on Instagram solely a passion project born from a love of styling outfits and curating photos, and that is how I recenter myself when I get frustrated (with the algorithm, for example). For me, if I'm no longer having fun, then I would think "what's the point in doing this anymore"? So I try to not forget about what started this all in the first place. Of course for someone who starts out with the end goal of it being a business, they may have different goals but that's just my own perspective on this digital world I've become part of.


Q: As an influencer, what do you think has made the most impact in your career so far?

TINA: Being able to meet and connect with people all over the world through the power of social media. Becoming an influencer has allowed me to meet other people in this space and make friends in the Toronto blogging scene, which I'm so grateful for. 









Imaan Saboune

Location: Vancouver

Instagram: @imaansaboune

Website: imaansaboune.com


Q: Imaan we love your look! How would you describe your Instagram aesthetic? 

IMAAN: If I we're to describe it I would say it's elevated downtown minimalist. 

Q: In an online world full of bloggers how do you differentiate yourself? 

IMAAN: I like to take what is current in the fashion and beauty industry and put my own twist on it. I try to stay as true to my personal style as possible. 


Q: We believe the future of influencer marketing is here to stay! What are your thoughts? Do you have plans for the future as an influencer? 

IMAAN: I totally agree! What I love most about Influencer Marketing is the fact that that you can use your platform to start businesses of your own. So many Influencers have grown million dollar businesses through their Instagram and I hope to do the same someday soon. 


Q: What is your biggest piece of advice to someone who wants to become an influencer?

IMAAN: My biggest piece of advice is so cliche but really to stay true to yourself and don't compromise your brand for something you don't feel confident putting your name behind. 


Q: As an influencer, what do you think has made the most impact in your career so far?

IMAAN: I think one of the most impactful moment of my career was attending my first NYFW last September. I had been dreaming of going for as long as I can remember and really felt like a proud impactful moment and definitely a stepping stone in my career. 




Olivia Di Pede

Location: Toronto

Instagram: @oliviadipede

Website: oliviadipede.com


Q: Olivia we love your look! How would you describe your Instagram aesthetic?

OLIVIA: Thanks so much! I’d say my Instagram aesthetic is very effortless, feminine and Paris-inspired. I love putting together outfits that are achievable to re-create!


Q: In an online world full of bloggers how do you differentiate yourself?

OLIVIA: I try to make myself as relatable as possible! I give behind the scenes glimpses of my life on stories to try to show the reality behind the pretty pictures. I also try to make my images very in-the-moment feeling with an iPhone rather than professional photography.









Q: We believe the future of influencer marketing is here to stay! What are your thoughts? Do you have plans for the future as an influencer?


OLIVIA: Influencer marketing is definitely here to stay and is only growing from here! I love that brands are starting to recognize that this is the direction marketing is going and how having real life people backing their products is so much more reliable and effective than traditional marketing.



Q: What is your biggest piece of advice to someone who wants to become an influencer?

OLIVIA: My biggest piece of advice for aspiring influencers would be to just START. If you don’t cringe at your first piece of content months down the line, you waited too long to start! Not everything is going to be perfect but as long as you’re consistent and passionate, people will recognize that and follow along.



Q: As an influencer, what do you think has made the most impact in your career so far?

OLIVIA: One of the best and most impactful experiences I’ve had as an influencer was going to Coachella and Revolve Fest! It really brought to life the whole influencer world and was a crazy experience being 5 steps away from some of my biggest role models. It inspired me to continue working hard to carve a place for myself in this crazy Instagram world!