Getting to know renowned influencer Anja Ellam
In today’s world, it feels like every other person is posting on social media, trying to make it as an influencer in some way. Very few actually make it, as it takes hard work, commitment, and an incredible knowledge of sales and marketing. Canadian Anja Ellam knows this well. With tens of thousands of followers on her Instagram, this renowned influencer is also a writer, best known for her work on Awesomeness TV’s Malibu Surf and spin off show City Girls, where she is a story creator. She has also written branded episodes for Spotify, Schick, Hollister Co., Victoria Secret PINK, and TARTE Sugar Rush. Needless to say, whether writing or influencing, she knows what it takes to captivate her audience.
We caught up with Anja to ask what it takes to become an influencer, and why she loves what she does. Check out our exclusive interview below.
STT: How did you go from posting on social media like everyone does to becoming an influencer?
AE: I think my account really took off back when I was in college, I had a friend who took really cool photos and he helped me get my account going in a direction that was more creative and unique. From there I just really fell in love with being creative with photos and captions and met friends who were also into creating content and it really all snowballed from there.
STT: What do you like about being an influencer?
AE: I like that I can interact with my followers and introduce them to brands I like and use. It’s also great for staying in touch with friends in Canada as well as being an easy way to meet new people in other cities. I love that I can go to New York for a weekend, meet other influencers and collaborate with them. Without Instagram there are so many people I would have never met.
STT: What are the challenges to influencing? How do you overcome them?
AE: This might seem like a small challenge to other people but it can be hard to actually get the photos you need to post. I try not to post just selfies but actually interesting and engaging content which often means needing a photographer, luckily I have a roommate and best friend Rio (@riosage) who’s amazing at taking pictures, but if she’s not home and I don’t have anyone else, you have to use the self timer, which can be a challenge sometimes.
STT: What would you consider the highlight of your career?
AE: I don’t know if I have a highlight honestly, I’m always trying to outdo my last photo and push myself to get new and interesting content. I was really happy I could work with the company Stop Smoking Start Living because I really wanted to help my followers, who are mainly younger, stop smoking or vaping. I was really proud that I was able to offer them a program that was free with my code because it could actually really benefit them.
STT: What is the average work day like for you?
AE: I get asked this question a lot! Every day is completely different! Sometimes I have to shoot all day in several different outfits to get all the content I need for the next week or two. And sometimes a company, like Sunny Bunny Swim for example, will reach out and ask me to promote for a sale/charity promotion they’re having, so I’ll have to get to work on memorizing the script for a story post!
STT:What are some of the brands you are working with now?
AE: I’m currently with KO Watches on a long-term basis. I also do regular collaborations with Sunny Bunny Swim. I work with many other brands on a short term basis, and you can go to my Instagram @anjaellam to check them out.
I was also really happy I was able to work with Stop Smoking Start Living to promote for their Juul campaign because Juuling with teens has become a major problem. Because I have a younger audience on Instagram, I was grateful for the opportunity to promote a cause focused on battling addiction and promoting better health.
STT: What are your plans for the future?
AE: The plan for the future is to always keep growing my following and my brand. With 2020 just getting started I’m just looking forward to what this year will bring.
STT: What advice would you give to those looking to pursue a career in influencing?
AE: To become an influencer and grow your following you just have to follow the three C’s! Consistency, collaboration, content quality. In longer terms; post regularly, try to appear on other people’s accounts whether it’s friends or Instagram photographers, and try to keep the content you post at a high quality and have a cohesive feed that follows a specific direction. And just try and always be true to yourself and don’t worry about what other people are posting. Just have fun with it!