Fashion influencer Kefilwe Mabote releases book
South African fashion influencer Kefilwe Mabote has decided to own her story, after years of hearing stories paddled about her, by writing her own book Influencer de Luxe by Kefilwe Mabote and Lebo Grand, to give her own voice to her own story.
The book, which is a cross between a memoir and business guide, details her personal journey from her humble beginnings in Soweto, up to the world’s fashion capital, Milan, her ups and downs encountered while also sharing business tips and tools to help those who aspire to be Instagram influencers
The Sunday Independent caught up with the fashionista to get insight on her book.
TSI: How did you establish your career as an influencer?
KM: Back in 2012, I heard friends raving about this new and exciting app called Instagram. They urged me to check it out, and I did. Needless to say I was instantly hooked. So I started to gradually post photos of my own looks and saw the number of followers rapidly increasing as well as more and more likes and engagement on my posts. This is what led me to realise that I could turn my page into a business, and so I did.
TSI: What then is an influencer?
KM: An influencer is someone who works mostly with brands. He/she has the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of his or her authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with his or her audience. It requires a lot of dedication and consistency to be a successful influencer.
TSI: What topics do you cover in the book?
KM: Plenty, such as how to build your brand, how to monetize your feed, how to curate the lifestyle and business you love just to name a few. I also let my readers into my personal life and reveal certain things they didn't know about my life outside social media.
TSI: What was your most favorite and most daunting part about writing this book?
KM: My most favourite part was collaborating with Lebo Grand. I had a lot of fun writing this book with him as he understood my journey at a very deep level and was able to take fragments of my life and piece them together to create a wonderful story.
He brought depth and passion to my voice and a bit of sensuality too.There weren’t a lot of daunting parts except for those few moments back and forth moments of editing, wanting to know how much to reveal and establishing boundaries
TSI: What is the book's take away?
KM: It's simple: aim high, know that dreams do come true, and not even the sky's the limit.
TSI: What are you most proud of about your career?
KM: Building a brand that a lot of people can resonate with. Truth is, building a brand is not an easy task at all, so I'm very proud of how mine turned out.
TSI: Is being an influencer a friendly career to anyone?
KM: Most certainly. If you feel passionate about taking this path, I say go ahead. Most people worry about the haters, but I think there are haters in every industry, so don't let that stop you.
TSI: To those who misunderstand this career path, what would you say to them?
KM: The global influencer market is expected to reach $15 billion by 2022, up from $8 billion in 2019", according to Business Insider Intelligence. Brands all across the world are refreshing their strategies to resonate with audiences and drive sales. Influencers now dominate social media, advertising and pop-culture, in some instances they have larger followings than "average" celebrities. If those don't seem like valid facts for one to see how serious this career is, then I arrest my case.
TSI: What is Kefilwe's career and life motto?
KM: Come hail OR high waters.
The Sunday Independent