Interview with an Influencer: Kate Kendall (@Activeyogi)

Genevieve Maslin

June 27, 2018

Genevieve Maslin

June 27, 2018

This week we chatted with yoga and mindfulness goddess, and founder of Active Yogi and Flow Athletic, Kate Kendall.

Through her modern and insightful take on eastern philosophy, combined with a dedicated training regime, jaw-dropping flexibility, and general positive outlook, she has amassed over 36,000 followers on her Instagram account alone.

Photo by @chen1ryan

Kate is a fantastic influencer in the fitness and lifestyle sphere, and continues to collaborate with a variety of infamous international brands, always while retaining the highest moral and ethical standards.

We got together for a chat about how she became an influencer in which she shares some useful tips for fellow aspiring insta-yogis and brands looking to partner with them.

How long have you been an influencer for?

I don't know if and when I officially became an influencer but I start broadcasting my messaging and philosophies a few years before opening Flow Athletic – so perhaps seven years ago would be a safe bet. I didn't strive to become an Influencer though. I just enjoyed doing what I was doing. And I think that's contagious.


What channels are you big on?

I love Instagram. Facebook is fun but Instagram feels more creative for me.


What topics are you influential in?

Yogic philosophy and Buddhism and how to apply it all to a contemporary lifestyle.

I'm actually writing a book at the moment that illustrates exactly how to do this.  The philosophies in it come from my online mindfulness e-course, The Space Between but are fleshed out to a greater capacity. Pretty excited for it to hit book shelves early 2018. 


Anything mindfulness related is really appealing and totally needed in our culture which also gains a lot of interest.


How did you initially start to grow your following?

It happened quite organically after I formed a relationship with Body & Soul magazine from the Daily Telegraph. Then when we opened Flow Athletic, we had Sweaty Betty PR do our publicity for a while which gave both myself and Flow Athletic a big push.

From there I formed plenty of alliances and partnerships with brands and I started going to events where I’d meet people which also helped. It just so happened that I ‘fell’ into a good group of friends - all of us really loving what we did and hungry to push the boundaries in our own fields. I feel like we’re really helped each other grow our audiences.


How many hours a week do you spend working as an Influencer and all that goes with it?

I don’t think of it as hours dedicated to being an ‘influencer’ as I think everything I do (from leading yoga classes and teacher trainings to writing blog posts of content for my online programs is worthy of social messaging.

But outside of that and more specifically, often I’ll lead yoga and/or meditation classes for brand launches and events which would be around two to three a month and then any blog posts, social posts and content creation I do for Active Yogi, outside of my role as Director of Yoga at Flow Athletic, would take up around 24 hours a week.


Do you take the photos on your own or do you have assistance from someone else?

It’s mostly me and whomever I’m with at the time but when I need to pay a professional for a job I’m getting paid for, I will most certainly reach out to someone else. For example this post was taken by Sydney based designer and photographer @chen1ryan.


What equipment do you use (Camera/software/editing apps)?

If it’s me…an iPhone :)


Do you have a manager to take care of the business side of things?

Yep. I have two girls I work with who look after all my bookings plus anything press related. Working with them really helped me realise my worth and that your time is valuable. I've learnt integrity from them and not to say yes to everything that comes along - especially when it isn't aligned with your values.


What are 2 of your favourite posts that you’ve ever done and why?

My favourite posts are always the more personal. One recent was a selfie of myself and my man on holidays in Kauai. It just captures the moment and environment so perfectly and it gained a lot of traction. We love authenticity, right? Anything authentic does well.

Anything that gets posted that is clearly ‘branded’ doesn’t get as much traction so you have to be clever and make sure it’s authentic to you if you’re partnering with a brand and have open and clear communication around what you will and won’t do.

I also love posts in which I'm sharing other people's stories. I do a podcast called, The Space Between and always have little video snippets from the conversation to post on socials.


Do you use any tools to help you manage your account?

I stay across what’s current and what other people are doing plus interact with other people's accounts. My friends, who are way more influential and clever with technology that I, try and keep me across things also.


Do you know the demographics of your following?

Yep.


How has your experience been working with brands?

I’ve had a lot of learnings. I make sure these days that I know the ethics of a business (as best I can) and, as mentioned above, that from the get go I’m transparent and what I will and won’t do.


What are some of your favourite collaborations and why?

I love working with all natural cosmetic companies who’s hearts are in the right place and who have good teams behind them.


In the past I’ve worked with Blackmores and got involved fairly heavily across all aspects of their business including the Runners Festival in Sydney. Reebok has also been a favourite. I started working with them a few years ago and just think they’re cool.

And naturally I love collaborating brands who promote and give, as a service, soul expanding experiences. Premium brands I've worked with have been Aro Ha Adventure Wellness retreat in NZ and Emirates The One&Only, Wolgan Valley.


What are some dream brands you would like to work with?

I’d love to work with a smhmick liquor brand. It probably doesn’t seem to make sense for me but I’d love to help change Australia’s relationship to drinking. I think it can be such a yogic experience to sip, savour and enjoy a glass of vino as opposed to the binge drinking culture we have.

I'd love to work with a leading record company in some way. To what capacity I don't know but it seems to fit with our Flow After Dark, Yoga Silent Disco brand...hmmm. Maybe someone can help me connect the dots.


What advice would you give to brands looking to work with influencers?

Do your research on their background, know what they stand for and be open to their ideas. They know their audience so some trust can go a long way.


How do brands generally contact you?

Email or Instagram. Or if they are returning clients they know to come to my managers.


What advice would you have for someone wanting to become an influencer?

Know your values as a person and make sure your posts and whatever you’re projecting reflects that and don’t deviate or be afraid to say ‘no’.

Hustle. Work won’t always come to you.

Make smart connections and help out the guy next to you. What we give we get back. Only always.

Be yourself. 

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