Hailing from small-town Texas, Kourtney Kellar is now a full-time fashion model and influencer who's amassed nearly 500,000 Instagram followers. She's also among the scores of social media influencers who have joined the Maxim Creator Network. Check out her top tips on how to expand your social media brand below:
What's the best way for influencers to increase their number of followers and become more relevant?
I noticed the greatest increase in my following after working with major brands. Reposts from large accounts are a foolproof way to grow your following. Reach out to brands you already use or would love to collab with. Post with their product and tag them. And because you already love this brand, putting them in your feed will feel genuine and organic. Micro-influencers are important to companies as well, so do not be discouraged if your following is low.
Which dream brand would you love to collaborate with?
Guess has always been an iconic brand that delivers that classic, sexy look year after year and I would love to work with them. Alo Yoga and Beach Bunny Swimwear have also caught my eye. Fitness wear and bikinis are always on-brand for me.
What are your absolute best tips for taking a great Instagram photo?
Lighting! The sweet spot is standing in an open doorway facing outside using natural light. All of my photos with the highest engagement have been taken with this lighting technique.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I've always admired the classic beauty of Grace Kelly. I was told I resembled her when I was younger so I love to recreate vintage vibes and pull inspiration from old Grace Kelly images. I love a good bikini photo (and so do many of my followers), but incorporating the poise and elegance of a princess like Grace Kelly into my feed is what inspires me.
What’s the funniest/most interesting comment you’ve ever received from one of your followers?
It's the endless marriage proposals in the comments for me. Never gets old.
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned from becoming an influencer?
There are so many opportunities for free product, free trips and paid posts. It is easy to become greedy and accept everything that comes your way. The most important thing is to stay true to your brand because the trust and respect of your followers is key.
What excites you most about being an influencer?
As an advocate for ending human trafficking, I am given the opportunity to educate half a million people about the tragedies of the subject and offer solutions on how we can help stop modern slavery just from my phone. Having that kind of platform feels so empowering and I love to use it to help and uplift others.
What’s your best piece of advice for growing a personal brand?
Know who you are, your strengths and how to project that through social media. Brands want to work with individuals who clearly communicate a unique identity. Stay true to yourself and don't overthink too much. Remember that we are our worst critiques, so be confident in who you are and embrace what makes you different.
Maxim has worked with top brands and talent for decades, and now we've added the Maxim Creator Network to our diverse platform to help brands connect with our audience in the digital world.
The Maxim Creator Network is the ultimate in-house tool for brands that want to work with creators and run successful influencer marketing campaigns and rising influencers that want the ability to partner with the brands they love to tell passionate, authentic stories, together.