In a society consumed with social media it's become near impossible to stumble upon authentic Insta-stars who aren't quick to push fit-tea down our throats and into our Instagram feeds.
Instagrammers Sally O’Neil and Sally Spratt in Bondi.Credit:Brook Mitchell
Influencers and social media stars have fast become some of the most sought-after names in fitness, lifestyle, fashion, travel and creative industries, and the biggest platform for influencer marketing is undoubtedly Instagram, with brands lining up to be associated with popular social media personas.
From Kayla Itsines' fitness empire, to Tash Oakley's bikini-a-day, Aussies are gaining hundreds of thousands of followers, making them the biggest and most influential social media stars.
Lesser known Sydney influencers have quietly been making a name for themselves online and their content is well worth double tapping.
Sally Spratt is a graphic designer and illustrator from Rose Bay. She combines her love of fashion and beauty with her illustrations, which result in jaw-dropping content which she posts to her Instagram account The Lust List. "I think people resonate with my motto, 'If I can’t have it, I’ll draw it'. We can’t all afford luxury pieces, but we can still appreciate it in all its forms, one being as an illustration," she explains. "I think people are drawn to beauty in all its forms. Creating whimsical watercolour artworks full of luxury pieces seemed to be a good mix." After launching in 2013 Sally now attracts 131,000 followers and uses her Instagram platform to attract potential clients. "I use my Instagram account like a portfolio. I create lots of new content in my down time so that potential clients will hopefully be inspired to try something similar."
Hairdresser Anthony Nader gives followers a behind-the-scenes look at photo shoots and events.
Surry Hills hairdresser Anthony Nader created his account 10 years ago and soon achieved a large following with his behind-the-scenes look at events and photo shoots he was working on while living in New York. A decade on, he boasts 19,100 followers on his Instagram account but remains firm that social media is not his top priority.
“Firstly – I am definitely not Instagram famous, I believe that I reach certain audiences that look at my account, and if I can inspire or empower individuals over one post, then that’s a great thing,” he said. “It’s a creative outlet always, it’s only a job far second. I’m very fortunate to have had my salon for 23 years and still going strong, which is the absolute core of what I do.”
Fellow online creative Sally O'Neil from Rushcutters Bay created her social media page and blog The Fit Foodie as a destination to showcase beautiful food that nourishes, inspires for an all round, balanced approach to living your best life.
"I am influential in the sense that I have the ability to promote products I love to people who trust my judgment, and in that way I take my work very seriously. I would never work with a brand I wouldn’t genuinely support myself," she says.
With her online success Sally has managed to launch three businesses in food photography and styling (@sallyoneilstylist), a protein ball mix company Fit Mixes (@fit_mixes) along with social "influencing" on her main account @thefitfoodieblog, plus cookbooks that have come as a result of success there.
Mon is the face of True Earth after finding her on Instagram.Credit:True Earth Australia
Building a following of 26,000, model Mon Bowie is a social media darling sharing her fitness and nutrition behind her all-Australian, girl-next-door beauty. Over the past five years, she has grown an Instagram fanbase and influx of commercial interest.
"One of my biggest ventures through social media would be my ambassador role with True Earth – a natural Australian skincare brand launching in a few months in Australian pharmacy," Mon explains, adding that staying relatable is the key to her online success.
“I think people like my content because I’m relatable – I’m a down to earth natural beach girl,” she says. “I first saw Instagram as a creative outlet but as I continue to get more and more paid opportunities I find this as more of a career, I suppose influencing is a combination of both for me, however, I try to keep it all as real as possible."
Winemaker Richie Harkham uses his platfor to motivate others.
Winemaker Richie Harkham is a speaker, entrepreneur and influencer based in Sydney and the Hunter Valley region with a social media unlike any other and uses his platform to motivate others.
“I think my content is very different from the norm. I own and operate Harkham wines in the Hunter Valley, I have a charity called Hark Angel where I am building 100 schools in the poorest places in the world and I am a motivational speaker where I am on about helping people become the best version of themselves,” he explains. “I travel to these places and I show through social media photos and videos the communities, the countries, and most importantly the amazing children. I show how other people live to give us perspective in Australia on how great our lives are and how fortunate we are.”
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