Cake with: @marthevdh
In the “Cake with” series, we chat over some cake, with influencers and creators about life and the influencer industry.
This time, we chat with Marthe about her life as an influencer and running her own jewelry brand Subtile.
Let’s start the interview with the most important question: what’s your favorite cake?
Marthe: Cheesecake! But I also like chocolate cake.
What would you answer to the question: what is your job?
Marthe: I’m a very busy person; I’m a person that likes to do many things. I have my webshop, I’m an Influencer, and on Sundays, I walk with stray dogs.
But when someone asks me what my profession is, I would say that I’m a little bit a businesswoman since I have my webshop.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
Marthe: After I wake up, I check my emails to see if there are new collaboration proposals. Then I do a lot of things for my webshop because it takes a lot of time. I check all the orders, and then I see if I need to order some new stuff.
Then, I make content for social media, both my own and my brand’s. I focus on my creative process. I think about how I can take a picture for a brand, how do I want to look, how I want the image to look like, etc.
A businesswoman in the making
Is it hard to combine your work with your studies?
Marthe: Well, sometimes it’s difficult, because like I said before I’m someone who likes to do a lot of things at the same time. But, yeah, I manage to do it.
During the weekend, it’s about making content; the creative process. During the week it’s school. And in the evening, I focus on posting content or sharing content on social media. Planning is key for me.
How much time do you spend on social media every day?
Marthe: I think a lot. I’m someone who likes to see everything from other people. So, I’m often on Instagram checking out my friend’s profiles and profiles I follow that inspire me. Posting content and staying engaged also take a lot of time.
When I’m with my boyfriend, he always says: “Put your phone away!” (laughs)
How did you start with social media, and how did your business get started?
Marthe: I always took a lot of pictures when I was younger. I did some modeling work, which is why I had a good number of followers on my Instagram from the beginning. I think I had 2.000 followers in 2016.
And then, Triangle commented on a picture of me and proposed a collaboration. They sent me a bikini, and I took a flat lay of it. I didn’t even put it on. (laughs)
They reposted it on their story, and since their account has more than 3 million followers, I gained a lot of followers myself. At that moment, I realized, “Oh, I like doing this!”
When did you start your webshop, and why?
Marthe: It was not so long ago. I always wanted to have my brand. 2 years ago, a brand asked me to design sweaters for them, and then put my label in it and sell it on the market.
But, last minute, they canceled the project. I was disappointed since this was a long-time dream of mine. So last year I decided to do it on my own.
I decided to work with jewelry since it’s easy to start with. I tried it out, and it worked well.
Do you use your social media for webshop promotion, or do you keep accounts separate?
Marthe: In the beginning, I’ve posted a lot on my own Instagram about my webshop. But I learned that my audience is not interested in that, so I’ve decided to do less of that and split the accounts.
I work with influencers, who organize giveaways, to grow my brand account. And it works!
Do you meet up with your community? Do you have contact with them on a personal level?
Marthe: Sometimes! But I always answer all their messages. I try to stay in touch with them, but I don’t organize to meet & greets. But some of my followers grew to be my friends, which is lovely.
Do you work with a lot of brands, nationally, or internationally?
Marthe: Well, I work with a lot of PR agencies, and they always contact me when they have a new campaign. But with Influo, I also have a chance to approach the brand myself.
What do you think about Influo? How does it help you professionally?
Marthe: I like it! It was the first platform I ever joined, back in 2016. I remember as well that my first significant collaboration, with Swatch, was set up via Influo.
I like that on the platform, you have the brands and the influencers, so it’s both worlds together. Most of all, you can search which campaigns you like and want to participate in.
Do you have a Media Kit? And do brands ask for it when you collaborate?
Marthe: Yes, I have a media kit, but I have to update it often because many things change. More and more brands ask to see my media kit compared to before.
I think they ask for it because they want to see how professional I am, and having a media kit shows that I am professional. They also want to see my demographics and other data. This way, all the info is in one file. I think it’s easier for them as well.
They can see in one blink of an eye, who you are.
How do you create content?
Marthe: I always get a briefing form a brand. I prefer more open briefings that give me creative freedom. I often look at Pinterest and Instagram for some ideas.
One of my best friends is a photographer, so I usually shoot with him. I love nature, so most of the time, we use outdoors as a location. We edit the pictures together, and then they go to the client for approval.
I think something that makes my account unique is that I’m a nature person. On social media, you see a lot of street style and content shot in the city. I prefer the outdoors. I think that’s something my followers like also. I also try to show them beautiful locations in Belgium that are not that well known. I think that’s what keeps them interested.
Be creative, and don’t stress.
Do you have some tips on how to become an Influencer? How to grow your following or have to have your first brand collaboration?
Marthe: I think it’s important to be yourself and try to do something different from others.
Be creative, and even try to do something crazy. If something doesn’t’ work, try something else.
Be active online. Like other’s content, comment on it, try to create a small community: this will help you grow.
Something you can do is organize a giveaway. A lot of people say, ‘You lose followers once it’s over.’ That’s true, but a certain amount of them stay, and you need to try to build a connection with them then.
Do you have any tips on getting your first collaboration?
Marthe: My first collab came spontaneously when the brand contacted me directly via Instagram. But after that, I just sent emails myself. You need to try it, or it will not happen.
Just send an email to a brand, put your media kit in it, and maybe even include a mood board. Ask if they are interested in collaborating with you and what you can offer to them. Pitch your idea and see what comes out of it.
What are your favorite content creation apps?
Marthe: Lightroom, for sure. I made my own preset. And then, UNUM is something I like, but it’s not to edit my pictures but to see if my photos will match. It’s like a planning tool.
And VSCO is something I like as well, and I use Unfold for my stories. The Photoshop app on your phone itself, it’s super easy to use. If a person is standing on your picture, and you want to erase them, it’s easy to do so.
What are the biggest struggles you have as an Influencer?
Marthe: Stress. (laughs) Because sometimes I want to do so much.
I don’t like the stress of counting likes, if the client will be happy with the content, and will my followers leave positive comments. You just need to be happy with what you post. Be proud of what you do and don’t think: “I only have 500 likes; it’s not enough.”
Timing is also an issue sometimes. Brands often give me a very short amount of time to create content, and that’s something they need to change. That’s a tip for brands, give influencers enough time to make their content.
I think brands need to give Influencers more space to be creative, more freedom, and not dictate too much what we say and how we say it.
Where can we see Marthe in 5 years?
Marthe: I’d love to open a pop-up with my jewelry and accessories. That’s something I want to do because I think it will be a great experience. It’s also a great way to meet new potential clients.
I want to keep doing my Influencer work. The wood pictures with my animals as well (laughs). And I think within five years, that I will work on my own. That’s something I want to do.