Photo: Victoria Cheng/Instagram
Social media has changed the way we communicate and for women, it’s been a strong platform not for social movements, and has been a powerful marketing and branding tool. Apps like Instagram and Weibo make it easy to reach huge numbers of people and amass a social following that you can leverage on, translating that into real worth of dollars and value.
Armed with just a mobile phone, a data plan and sheer grit, these four Asian female influencers are at the top of their game, commanding the attention of a small nation’s worth of followers. While we can’t all be influencers, their messaging and how they operate can benefit you in the workplace. Here are a few handy tips.
1. Xiaozhujiejiezz (China)
With over 1.7 million followers on Weibo, this impish Chinese blogger has come to be known as the queen of make-up. A graduate of the China Academy of Art, she draws upon her education to change people’s expectations of what make-up can do. Check out her tutorials where she transforms herself into analogues of G Dragon, Yang Mi and the like.
The secret to her success: Xiaozhujiejiezz doesn’t do what she does on a whim. At the heart of her tutorials lies the message that make-up is an art form, and that practice makes perfect — a mindset that can be applied to almost any trade.
She combines her art background with her skills to address the anxieties of an entire generation of young Chinese women — how to use make-up not just to cover up flaws, but to accentuate their best features, and even transform themselves entirely.
The lesson for you: Xiaozhujiejiezz demonstrates the power of knowing what your audience wants, and giving it to them. When dealing with your own audience (such as your boss and your co-workers), making the effort to know what they want, and delivering it smartly, will help you rise to top.
2. Milky (China)
When it comes to lipstick, Milky is the authority. Blessed with a pair of luscious, perfect lips, widely considered to be ideal for lipstick, the Weibo Queen of Lipstick regularly gives her verdict on the many brands competing in the Chinese market, swaying the buying decisions of her 1 million fans. She has parlayed her massive popularity into deals with international brands such as MAC, NARS and Estee Lauder.
The secret to her success: Instead of competing with all the other beauty bloggers out there, Milky first focused on a niche area. Having established herself as the foremost authority on lipstick, she is now expanding her expertise into testing eyeliners and other products.
The lesson for you: Find your unique niche, and stick to it. If there’s a task that no one else can do as well as you, then that’s the way to go — Every. Single. Time. Or, you could get so good at a particular task that your boss won’t want anyone else to do it but you. But don’t be a one-trick pony. Always be ready to diversify and expand, so that people know your expertise is not limited to just one area.
3. FruityPoppin (Hong Kong)
This little dynamo has managed to rack up 1.2 million followers on Instagram, and about 600,000 YouTube subscribers. She selectively plugs indie fashion and accessory labels, offering discount codes for her fans to use.
FruityPoppin (real name, Karen) hails from Hong Kong but resides in Toronto, Canada with her family. Her hilarious videos mostly revolve around how Asians handle common, everyday scenarios.
The secret to her success: Every influencer tries to be relatable, but FruityPoppin isn’t afraid to put her heritage on display in off-the-cuff moments. Check out the video where she yells out to her mum in Cantonese halfway through filming. She’s not just milking her Asian background for funny videos, she’s giving you a glimpse of what life is like over in her corner of the yard.
The lesson for you: Authenticity means being comfortable with things being less than perfect. Yes, perhaps women have always had greater expectations to live up to in the workplace, but try letting a little bit of realness show when dealing with subordinates, bosses and clients. That human touch can go a long way.
4. Victoria Cheng (Singapore)
You may know her as the fresh new face of Samsung and Adidas, but Victoria Cheng, aka The Chubby Ninja is more than just another good-looking fitness buff..
Let’s see: Fitness guru, blogger and published writer, food journalist and presenter, producer – any of these would be accurate in describing the social media influencer, who’s racked up 43,500 followers on Instagram to date.
The secret to her success: The most appealing thing about Victoria is her go-getter attitude — she basically goes out and gets what she wants. This might come from the fact that she engaged in highly disciplined sports — she has practiced martial arts for over 20 years and holds a 2nd Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo, and has competed in ballroom dancesport events. It’s this unmitigated motivation that has allowed this young lady to achieve more than most of us. Oh, she’s also not afraid to showcase her love for food, and is as comfortable posing with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s as she is with a dumbell.
The lesson for you: If Victoria can high-kick her way to sponsorships with leading brands, then go home and kick back with a tub of ice cream or two, so can you. Far too many of us waste hours fretting over our conflicting desires, and how they make us look. Stop worrying about what the world wants from you, and go after what you want. You just might surprise yourself (and your peers) with how much you can accomplish. Basically, go out there and do your thang, like no one is looking.