Susanna Tolo, also known as @Coastalhamptonstyle is an interiors influencer with a breezy, coastal style, inspired by the glorious houses of the Australian Hamptons.
With over 110k followers and counting, mostly through content curation rather than creation, plus a successful blog featuring an online shop, she's made a significant imprint in the Australian interiors scene.
We caught up with Susanna to hear about how to make it as a home and interiors influencer, so that she can share her tips for other aspiring homewares Instagrammers and the brands looking to collaborate with them.
How long have you been an influencer for?
I started my Instagram page in October 2016. I wanted to create a page that would inspire people with their home renovation dreams, in particular Coastal & Hampton style homes.
I wanted people that loved the same style homes as me to be able to find inspiration all under one page, and not have to search for hours on google, Pinterest and Instagram.
What other influencers do you look to for inspiration?
I am a big fan of @studiomcgee it was one of the first accounts I followed! everything that they do is just magic. Also @coastalinteriors is wonderful as Anneke shares the same passion as me, and that's to share amazing homes!
Coastal homes, classic American style homes and Australian Hamptons style homes.
How did you initially start to grow your following?
To be honest it just naturally took off!
I think everyone loves home inspiration, that's because we are always trying to better our own home and make it our dream sanctuary. I had a vision of what I wanted to share and I made sure I posted at least 2x images a day. I never gave up and always tried to post at the same time each day.
How many hours a week do you spend working as an Influencer and all that goes with it?
I usually post day and night so at least 2 hours goes in just finding the right image to post. This includes also finding out the original source such as Designer, Builder, Architect and Photographer.
All very time consuming but I always try to give credit! (The 2 hours doesn't include me replying to all the comments throughout the day!)
Do you take the photos on your own or do you have assistance from someone else?
Most of the Images that are not my own however I have been renovating my own home for the last year and this has been documented by mainly Insta Stories and also images that I have shares throughout my page.
If you would like to see Images of my home you can see them on #mycoastalhamptonstyle you can find this # under my Bio on my page.
What equipment do you use (Camera/software/editing apps)?
When I am photographing my home I often just use my iPhone 8+ or my Nikon D5300.
Do you have a manager to take care of the business side of things?
No, just me myself and I.
What are 2 of your favourite posts that you’ve ever done and why?
It would have to be of my home! Definitely my Kitchen renovation and my living room before and after!
You can find these photos on my page, just use the #mycoastalhamptonstyle. I received such an amazing response it was amazing.
Do you use any tools to help you manage your account?
Not really, just the Instagram Business account so I can see my Analytics.
Do you know the demographics of your following?
The majority of my followers are females
How has your experience been working with brands?
Great so far! every brand is different but so far I've only ever had positive experiences
What are some of your favourite collaborations and why?
It would have to be with Soktas, they do hand blown glass here on the Gold Coast.
I was lucky enough to take a video of Oliver doing the glass pendants and my followers loved seeing the process. In the end I have 3x pendants hanging in my dining room.
What are some dream brands you would like to work with?
I actually don't really have anyone in particular. I love discovering new home businesses and supporting them but also happy to work with well known brands. As long as they fit into my page, and what I'm about, I'm happy to collaborate.
What advice would you give to brands looking to work with influencers?
You need to really find an Influencer that suits your brand. Don't look at only how many followers they have, look at how your product would fit into their page.
Look at their engagement with their followers. Check if they take time to reply to each comment.
How do brands generally contact you?
They mainly contact me by DM but also email.
What advice would you have for someone wanting to become an influencer?
Be true to yourself and only post what you really love and want to see on your page. Make an effort to reply to every single comment left on you post, I know this might be hard but at least try!. If people go to the trouble to leave a comment than you should repay in kind and reply to them.
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