They are watching you. Following you. Dying to get a glimpse of your every move. . .
These are not delusions of paranoia, but something many strive for. These days it seems like everyone wants to be an influencer, but how can you attain that status? We’re chatting with creative entrepreneur, lawyer, author, and speaker, Eric Abramian, who works as a consultant to retail corporations and startups, advising on business and legal affairs. Recently serving as interim Vice President of Development at Zadig & Voltaire, Eric has garnered a devoted social media audience (@ericabramian on Instagram) with his style and industry knowledge, making him an ideal candidate for various brand partnerships. Eric is sharing his top tips for entrepreneurs and digital talent looking to build genuine, long-term relationships with fashion and lifestyle brands.
“I think everybody should use social media in a way that enhances and complements the work they do offline, like building authentic relationships and demonstrating credibility and knowledge within their respective industries,” Eric reveals.
- Know precisely what kind of value you can bring to a brand and communicate that to the right people. Paid partnerships and free merchandise should not be the main objective.
In the hierarchy of fashion and lifestyle influencers, some accounts are well-known and respected businesses, and some may not have a lot to offer brands but still demand excessive rates per post and free merchandise (I am neither). Although it may seem sustainable, we don’t know how long Instagram will be around or what the next great platform, besides TikTok, may be. I believe the main focus should be on building genuine relationships in your field of work – whether that is fashion, art, lifestyle, luxury retail, and in my case, the laws that pertain to all of these sectors. Relationships are built in real-time, and Los Angeles is an ideal hub for them. For me, partnerships and collaborative content are only a small part of real in-person relationships with the people behind a brand. The posts I share with my followers serve as a bonus, which usually shows insight into the people, brands, and values that I actually believe in.
- Maintain a consistent style and image on your page that is unique to who you are and what you do.
In an industry like fashion that changes its aesthetic so frequently, it may be hard to figure out who you are if you don’t have a consistent style. While I’ve remained obsessed with the business side of fashion and the key players behind successful companies since childhood, I realize my style is more anti-fashion. I like simplicity and pieces that I know can work with the majority of my wardrobe. I also like buying quality clothes and keeping them for as long as possible. A Prada bucket hat may not make it in the long run, but an Eleventy blazer or Zadig & Voltaire leather jacket is something I know will always be cool. Preferring classic style over trends, I started committing to this style in the last couple of years and visibly saw a difference it made in the consistency of my page. Additionally, people I know and those whom I meet tell me more frequently that they appreciate my style. Ultimately, we feel a sense of confidence in our everyday lives knowing how we want to portray ourselves to the world.
- Focus on catering to a small but strong audience of noteworthy people in your field rather than a larger audience with no interest in the content you share.
I don’t think quality brands usually seek to partner with somebody solely based on the number of followers they have. What matters more is who is following you, and what kind of information and creative content you are sharing. Equally important as identifying your style is knowing who your community is. For example, my community consists of aspiring and established creative entrepreneurs with an interest in fashion, primarily focused in Los Angeles, alongside a solid number of colleagues, industry professionals, and students based in New York, Paris, and Milan – the three other fashion capitals of the world. You can gain a lot of insight into who is paying attention to your page by checking your inbox and interacting with your followers who may have questions about your latest projects or want to voice their support. Q&As can also be useful in understanding what people want to know about you that you may not already be sharing.
- Produce quality content with professional photos and videos while showing your true personality to gain your audience’s trust.
For the longest time, I tried not to post too much because I thought people would get tired of my page. I don’t have the “let them unfollow me if they don’t like it” mentality, because I admit that I’m a bit of a people pleaser. I shifted my thinking and realized that if I gave my followers something of quality, kept them entertained, and did not drain them with too much content in one category, I can post at least a few times per week and expand my level of influence. By taking inspiration from some of your favorite accounts, you can mix professional photos with more candid shots from your smartphone, while posting videos speaking about your latest projects. If you had asked me a year and a half ago whether I would post a video of me speaking in French to announce my children’s book about Paris, I wouldn’t be up for the task – but I went for it and received positive feedback and ultimately reached my audience in a new, more welcoming way.
- Always show your audience you are a leader in your field while staying relevant among comparable accounts.
This goes hand-in-hand with knowing your personal style and the lifestyle that you are portraying, but beyond that, it’s about showing your community that you know what’s going on in your industry and that your knowledge runs deeper than pop culture. For example, I like showing my appreciation of the craftsmanship that goes into a garment and sharing quality brands that I truly love. Don’t shy away from bringing your original, creative, and fun ideas to life! I’m currently doing a summer blazer series, in which I break down my favorite cool and casual blazers that elevate my personal style. Finally, I’m a huge fan of classic cars. I love sharing some that are iconic and inspire me – including any races, events, or scenic weekend drives.