Chantsy - Chantal Sarkisian
What exactly is a “(social media) influencer”?
A social media influencer is a person who uses social media channels to build a following of like-minded individuals by sharing information, writing stories, developing creative content and inspiring others. Because they have built a loyal following, an influencer becomes a marketing tool for businesses and is able to promote brands, products or services, and build awareness with the hopes to drive sales.
How did you get started using social for more than just being, well..social?
I have always been an early adopter when it comes to technology and trends and I am known to be an “oversharer”. The concept of social media to me was the perfect place to share stories and keep my friends close. The more stories I shared (on my blog and social media channels), the more attention I received. I had heard of people creating business out of Instagram and monetizing their blogs. It was at that point where I realized that this could be a reality for me as well. So, I gave it all I had to make it a reality!
How many hours per week do you spend on social media?
It’s a bit embarrassing but over 3 hours a day, I would imagine.
As an influencer I would imagine you have to be on top of the latest trends and algorithms used – is that a challenge?
I am a Communications and Marketing professional, so just like any industry, it’s expected to keep on top of trends and tools. I use my personal channels to test, explore and become an expert in the field. That’s why I have been able to keep up with it all.
Do you ever go out in public and have someone approach you that follows you?
Yes, it’s so much fun to run into my followers. It validates the work that I am doing. I love hearing that I have inspired them with fashion or makeup tips. Sometimes, I get confessions in my DMs that they saw me and were too shy to approach me, that makes me sad. Don’t be shy guys, I won’t bite… hard!
It’s happening more and more now too. Because my following is very Ottawa based, it’s almost expected. Ottawa can feel like a small world, everyone is connected somehow.
What has been the biggest challenge in your business to date?
Monetizing this business to a point where it can be my full-time career. A lot of people and businesses don’t understand what we do and don’t respect the hard work that goes into it. We asked to do free work ALL THE TIME. It’s a fun job that looks easy, but it takes a lot of time, talent and creativity to make it work. It’s a new concept of advertising, that one day business owners will understand. For people who don’t get it, I tell them that we are the new magazine and newspaper ad!
Having part of yourself out there online must be challenging. How do you keep focused and collected through it all?
Because I love it, I don’t always see it as work. I don’t have to force myself, it happens organically. I love sharing stories and teaching people. I am also an opportunist, which helps me leverage my personal experiences and turn it into content that I can share online. I am also very organized and a fast worker… those skills are necessary!
When you aren’t online or working, what do you do for fun?
I like shopping… duh! I really love cooking too (but I’ll share that online! So is that considered work?) and of course pampering myself with yoga, or the spa. It’s how I stay sane and grounded. I need that down time.
How has Ottawa supported you as an Influencer?
I love my followers. They are the sweetest, most supportive people. They compliment me when I look my best, they share their personal stories with me when they can relate to mine, they cheer me up if I am feeling down. They are so attentive and wonderful. That’s why I love running into them in real life… I want to meet my digital bffs! haha
Is there something you haven’t done with your social enterprise that you would jump at the chance to do?
I am on the hunt for a full time job that would let me leverage my influence for their business. It would be the most synergistic employee-employer work relationship ever! That’s my ultimate goal as an influencer.
What/Who is your favourite Ottawa business/business owners?
I love small businesses that act like corporations. Great branding, high quality products and exceptional service… but with that family vibe. Some that come to mind are Vincent, Tallow, Trove, La Roma, MDRN Photobooth, Cellar 82, Merivale Vision Care and of course, my second home Hair Republic Beauty Lounge (also the answer to #8!).