Sara Koonar Knows the Power of Social Media Influencers

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Toronto-based Sarah Coonar started her own magazine, sold it to an American company, and became editor-in-chief at age 26. Working in the editorial world, she saw the potential of influencers and using social media to promote brands. more products. Kunar started his own influencer-management and content-creation company, platform mediawhen she was just 30 years old and has since worked with clients such as H&M, Amazon and Sephora.

grew up in Whitby, Ont. My two main interests were fashion and the Internet. i watched the show fashion televisionOr feet, Persistent, and host Jean Baker were my role models. Meanwhile, my family was really into computers. My oldest brother taught me coding in HTML, which became an engaging hobby as I built websites on GeoCities and created custom MySpace pages. I’ve always been on the lookout for what’s new on the Internet—that hasn’t changed.

My first career dream was to become a fashion journalist. I studied journalism at the University of Ottawa, and in my second year, was lucky enough to meet a feet producer at an after-party for the MuchMusic Video Awards (where a friend worked). I fan-girled out, explaining to the producer I had watched the show my whole life. They mentioned they were holding internship interviews that week, so I sent in my resume the next day, and ended up getting the internship. I took advantage of the opportunity to work in Toronto and transferred to the city’s Centennial College to complete my degree. I’m so glad I did, because the contacts and friends I made there set the stage for the rest of my career.

In 2009, I completed my Diploma and started freelance writing. In my family, working for yourself is the norm. My father and brother are self-employed physiotherapists with over a dozen clinics between them, and my oldest brother (the one who taught me to code) runs his own web firm. I started writing about fashion and beauty for publications like Greetings! And canadian livingBut the economy was going down the drain and freelancing wasn’t paying the bills.

Taking inspiration from my entrepreneurial family, I founded a digital fashion magazine called decorated In 2007 and started learning SEO and Google Ads. twilight Just growing up, and I drove traffic to the website by writing articles about the red carpet fashion of the main actors. I also paid close attention to how Facebook and Pinterest serve as traffic-drivers.

is old decorated In 2012 a company in the United States, and thanks to my social media savvy, was hired as Editor-in-Chief at Toronto-based Maple Media for a variety of magazines under their umbrella, such as 29 secrets And beauty desk, I was 26, and most EICs at the time were at least 10 years older than me and focused on print.

“I spent my first few months convincing brands that paying influencers was fair”

I stood at media events as the youngest person in the room, but I was good at what I did – even though not everyone considered my digital-focused skill set valuable. At the time, many of my peers thought social media was a fleeting thing driven by vanity, but I saw its potential in my industry. I came to Instagram in 2011 and started sharing my life as an editor. People responded to that: Putting a face to a name, and letting people know who was behind the content, attracted readers to our magazines.

Meanwhile, there was a growing number of fashion bloggers in the US, which caught my attention. I helped come up with relevant content ideas we could sell to advertisers, such as a beauty panel for which we sent mascara samples to bloggers and compiled their reviews into an article. The mascara sold out fast, and suddenly I was busy hiring bloggers—people who would call influencers now,

I noticed that these creators were not always properly compensated. For example, once, I learned that an influencer had assigned the rights of one of his videos to a brand Forever – for a very small rate. I hated to see this happen. I thought, “Someone should be thinking of these deals and advocating for influencers. Why not me?”

I started my influencer-marketing and content-creation company, Platform Media & Management, in 2016. He said yes to everything I asked. His confidence boosted my confidence.

This is how the business works: We negotiate and manage partnerships between influencers and brands hire influencers To promote products to your visitors. if you ever Bought a product after scrolling through Instagram, This was probably the result of influencer marketing. When I started, I didn’t even know how big influencer marketing would get.

“Being able to pivot quickly has been a theme throughout my career”

I spent my first few months convincing brands that paying influencers was fair. Within two years, anyone stopped persuading me. We’ve added about 10 influencers to our roster every year and now we have over 60 in total. Early on, I was fortunate to have pre-existing relationships with some major brands thanks to my time as an editor. As a result, some of our first customers were household names such as Jergens and Procter & Gamble. These days, we run around 300 campaigns per month; Recent clients include Amex and Indigo.

My generation has to be smart and agile. Most of us didn’t go to school when there were specific courses for industry digital transformation. My journalism course, for example, only introduced InDesign in my final year; In the first year, we were using a ruler and paper to take out the newspaper. We had to teach ourselves a lot of the skills that are now needed in our industry. Being able to pivot quickly has been a theme throughout my career. With algorithms and platforms constantly changing, I work to stay ahead of the social media curve.

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