A familiar face on social media, Lynn Quanjel, also known as
@whoisthatblonde has worked with L’Oréal and launched a swimwear collection
in 2018 with Dutch lingerie brand, Hunkemöller. Taking her fashion
entrepreneurship even further by founding Social Nomads, a social media
consultancy powered by influencers, Quanjel tells FashionUnited how to make
a lasting impression through personal branding as well as what the next
trends will be in influencer marketing.
“I’d like to see Social Nomads as a bridge which closes the gap. We consult companies on how to apply influencer marketing correctly and we teach influencers how to work on a more professional level so that both sides meet each other halfway. This way influencer marketing doesn’t only become more efficient, but also more pleasant for both parties.”
Tell us a bit about your background, how did you break into the fashion
It all started with modeling to pay for my college tuition. This went so
well that after completing my master’s degree, I decided to work as a
full-time model while freelancing as a fashion editor for multiple
magazines. As a model and editor, you meet so many people on a daily basis,
so your network grows really fast. When you combine quality photography
with engaging writing it’s a logical step to become an influencer.
As an influencer, what have been some highlights in your career and is
there anything you’ve learned that you can share with us?
There are so many amazing highlights, I consider myself very lucky. One
of my favorite experiences was designing my own swimwear collection for
Hunkemöller, which we shot in the Seychelles. Another really fun
collaboration was being the face of the L’Oréal Colorista Festival
campaign. These brands really understand influencers and know how to work
with them in order to get the best possible marketing results. The reason
is that they understand influencers are creative individuals who have a
very specific target group which they know how to serve better than anyone
else. Many brands still make the mistake of thinking influencers as an
advertisement space that they can completely curate.
The real key to successful influencer marketing is finding influencers
who truly match with your brand and trusting the content creator to do
their work. As a consultant I always recommend my clients to create a
briefing which is broad on concept level, and specific on practical level:
create an overall concept (usually connected to a campaign) which the
influencer can fill-in with his or her own personal twist and get very
specific on practical details such as deadlines, hashtags, UTM links and
Tell us about your social media consultancy, Social Nomads. What made
you decide to start your own business?
Social Nomads was founded when Chichi (my business partner) and I saw a
business opportunity because we noticed that the marketing world was
missing a deeper understanding of influencer marketing. Many companies use
influencer marketing nowadays; however, most of them apply it wrong and
then claim that it doesn’t work.
Before starting Social Nomads I was working for Sanoma – one of the
biggest publishers in the Netherlands- to create their own influencer
platform. While talking to their advertisers I noticed that most of them
had no clue how to use influencers in their marketing strategies. On the
other hand, I also had to work with a lot of influencers who had no idea
what reports or benchmarks were and didn’t even know how much money they
were worth. From both sides, there was a lack of knowledge and I realized
that there wasn’t any company out there that focused on education in order
to fill that knowledge gap.
What does a workday look like for you?
As a consultant I focus on education and product development. On a daily
basis, I create social media strategies, workshops, inspiration sessions,
seminars & influencer campaigns for clients. I also constantly write
articles, e-books and social media content for Social Nomads. We are
currently working on two additional projects: a video course for SME’s and
Besides working from our office in Amsterdam, Chichi and I are also
traveling regularly to create content and to work with our international
clients. Last month, Chichi was in Hong Kong to research opportunities with
Chinese social media companies and not that long ago I was in Los Angeles
for a secret project.
What can you tell us about the next trends in influencer marketing?
Due to the increasing importance of voice-driven devices we expect
podcasts to become more relevant. You can already see an impressive
interest in the US and Scandinavia and it’s continuously growing worldwide.
Companies could start their own podcasts to build their authority and
increase brand awareness, but they can also use influential podcasts to
advertise branded content.
Is it true that nano- and micro-influencers are on the rise?
Nano- and micro-influencer marketing will continue to grow: not only are
they cheaper than mega-influencers, but they also have a highly engaged
audience. They feel very ‘real’ and therefore trustworthy. More and more
nano- and micro-influencer marketplaces will pop up to provide services for
these type of campaigns.
However, the nano- and micro-influencer campaigns will still be combined
with bigger influencers. The macro- or mega-influencers will be the face of
the campaign – connecting their personal image to the brand and creating
quality content. Then, the nano- and micro-influencers will boost this
campaign by creating a ‘buzz around the brand.’ The perfect combination, if
you ask me.
How do you stand out in a saturated market?
I think it’s essential that you choose a specific niche, that way it’s
much easier to make an impression with potential clients – that’s why we
decided to focus on consultancy rather than all-round influencer marketing.
There are numerous marketing agencies that started to offer influencer
marketing as a service because it was a hype without really understanding
what it means and how to utilize it properly.
Chichi and I both have a following on Instagram and still work as
influencers in our free time. Besides that we have created a pool of very
capable influencers with each their own expertise in order to serve our
clients the best way possible: we have experts in Youtube,
Micro-influencers, ‘Realness on social media,’ photography, and so on.
Every single person working for Social Nomads has already proven themselves
in the field of social media, which guarantees qualitative results for our
What is your must-have fashion item?
A colourful suit! It’s a full outfit so you never have to waste time
thinking about how to style your look. It’s powerful, ready for any
business-related meetings and still has a fun twist to make people remember
you by while looking stylish and bold.
Any words or advice you’d like to share with us?
“It’s okay to be out of your comfort zone.” These words help me deal
with stress when I feel like things are moving too fast. The truth is: if
you’re not ahead of the curve, you won’t stand out as an entrepreneur so
it’s okay to dream big and take ambitious steps to reach your goals. There
are only two possibilities when you step out of your comfort zone: You
succeed and you get one step closer to your goal. You hit a wall and you
learn how to be better next time. If you look at it this way, there is no
way you can lose!
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Photos: courtesy of Social Nomads, courtesy of Lynn Quanjel