Charleston Lifestyle Influencers Doing It Right

Influencer marketing has become a $5-10 billion dollar industry and nearly two-thirds of marketers will increase their spending on influencer marketing in 2019. (BigCommerce) Even though Charleston is a relatively small town in comparison to New York or Los Angeles, it’s filled to the brim with stylish people who are fashion-forward and on-trend. It’s no surprise that the lifestyle influencers based in Charleston are among the top in the industry! Here are five that not only can we not get enough of, but we applaud their smart marketing efforts:

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Charleston Blonde
IG followers: 59.8K
Charleston Blonde is all about pure bubbly fun. She partners frequently with smaller local brands and her feed is filled with warm, family-friendly content that is simultaneously accessible and aspirational.

Some highlights:
-Her website design is awesome! It’s easy to navigate and chock-full of content. We especially love her introduction video that tells her story of meeting her husband on Survivor and why she started blogging.
-Her guides to Charleston restaurants, hotels and shops are personable, well-written and beautifully photographed.

Smart marketing takeaway:
Besides her on-point local brand partnerships, we think it’s great that she also helps other brands with their marketing efforts. With her marketing degree and years of experience growing her own brand from the ground up, we’d definitely consider her an expert!

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Charleston Shop Curator
IG followers: 20.3K
Charleston Shop Curator really shows off Charleston’s glamorous side! A former New York stylist, she looks at the Holy City through a fresh lens and trust us, it looks good!

Some highlights:
-We love watching her on Lowcountry Live! From mall makeovers to gift guides, there’s always a creative angle that’s fun to watch and inspirational!
-We love that her look, while still quintessentially Charleston, definitely has Los Angeles/New York influences. She puts an edgier spin on the classics!
-Did we mention that she’s also a DJ? Her cool points are through the roof!

Smart marketing takeaway:
Featuring brands and shops with clickable links on her website is a pro move! Plus all of her video content, thanks to her Lowcountry Live appearances, is sure to increase the time spent on her website. Smart!

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Charleston Weekender
IG followers: 30K
Charleston Weekender takes lifestyle influencing to another level. Not only does she have a professional, highly curated Instagram feed, her website and shop are on-brand, informative and very well done.

Some highlights:
-We love that her highlighted stories have illustrated thumbnails. Her branding is all about whimsy and celebration, and these custom illustrations stand out in the best way.
-We are obsessed with her business tips and city guides. It would be easy for a lifestyle influencer to blog only about the products they are currently or aspiring to feature, but Charleston Weekender has expanded her brand to run as a business (in addition to her brick-and-mortar) and thinks about the bigger picture to set herself apart.
-Cannonborough Collective is a result of Charleston Weekender’s online shop and partnership with The Tiny Tassel. This retail shop is located downtown and captures all the fantastic fun of both brands.

Smart marketing takeaway:
We love how intertwined all of her ventures are. Her Instagram account doesn’t solely exist to serve her retail shop or blog, but she promotes them an appropriate amount and makes it feel organic.

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IG followers: 19.3K
Hillheady is positively uplifting! She features brands within a larger price range and turns Charleston into her own personal catwalk.

Some highlights:
-We like that she captures a younger crowd! Her real talk and trendy choices are tailor-made for the young professional.
-Her website design is much more simple than the others on this list, but we love that each page is well thought out and there’s an entire page dedicated to inspiration!

Smart marketing takeaway:
We love that she’s honed in on fashion as her True North. So many influencers want to do it all, capturing their breakfast choices, what they’re listening to and what they’re wearing, but that can dilute a brand if you’re not careful. Hillheady’s feed focuses primarily on her outfits, giving her brand a real focus.

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Julia Engel/Gal Meets Glam
IG followers: 1.2M
Gal Meets Glam began as a typical lifestyle blog and Instagram account and has exploded thanks to the success of Julia’s fashion brand. Julia still blogs on the Gal Meets Glam website and both her blog and social media feeds are filled with stunning images and outfits from her collection.

Some highlights:
-Gal Meets Glam is first class. There are European influences and the branding is elegant and timeless. Travel guides are well thought out and feature custom illustrations.
-We love to look at Charleston through the eyes of this cultured influencer! She provides a different perspective that’s wholly unique and we love it!

Smart marketing takeaway:
Scaling! Gal Meets Glam has become a huge brand that you can find at department stores like Nordstrom. Scaling a lifestyle blog to include brand strategy for a major fashion label would be tough, but Julia makes it look seamless and easy.

If you’re an aspiring influencer, read our tips for blogging and check out #TeamTRIO’s favorite influencers for more inspiration! If you need to chat about the right preset for that perfect shrimp-n-grits shot or need help making a content calendar for your brand strategy, give us a call today to talk about our digital services! And if you’re a business who’d like to work with an influencer, we can help with that too.