HSC Influencer Series - Anna Grace Newell
You’re from Memphis! Why did you make the move to Nashville and what was it like to transition to a new city?
Honestly, my move to Nashville was sudden! I had been commuting for a few style shoots and I very quickly realized this was where I needed to be. I loved all of my styling jobs in Memphis, but there were times where I was a little “out there” or “too funky” for certain gigs. When I came to Nashville, the funkiness seemed to be what people loved the most about my style! I was immediately sold on making the move - a few months later I was a Nashville resident.
The transition has been a whirlwind, but truly fantastic. I had a few friends here, but I have made so many more in a short amount of time. Everyone is so encouraging and welcoming! Plus, I love working alongside so many other creatives in this industry. It has been a constant source of creativity and positivity and I think it has really reflected across my social platforms!
How did you go about networking and making new contacts when you moved here?
I have a pretty simple philosophy about meeting new people and networking. Whenever anyone invites me somewhere, even if it has nothing to do with styling or fashion, I will always say yes (if I'm available of course!). This concept alone has already brought so many amazing people into my life. I try to stay dialed in to most Nashville accounts on social media to keep up with events. Almost everything I've done since I moved here has been through word of mouth or instagram DMs believe it or not!
What’s your best Nashville pastime?
I love exploring new parts of town, vintage stores, and cute coffee shops to work at. I'm always going to concerts and shows - any and all shows! I am in love with the whole music community and what it has brought to nashville. I really respect how much passion and soul everyone pours into their craft.
You work as a personal stylist by day. Did you start your blog as a way to promote your business or did you find yourself in styling because of the success of your blog?
I always wanted to be a stylist! I used to want to be a designer. Even back when I was super young I would hand-make clothing for all my beanie babies (LOL). I realized though I was more passionate about styling.
I definitely started my blog as more of a digital portfolio to promote my styling business. Initially, I was shooting more flatlays and product shots, however people preferred to see what it would actually look like on a person.
Did you find that your following on instagram grew naturally or did it require a lot of attention?
It really required a ton of work and definitely lots of trial and error in the beginning. I would work for HOURS alongside of working 40 hrs/week. It was a grind for sure. I was constantly trying to create a theme or pick a particular color scheme for my page. I was always tweaking something. Instagram is a tricky business.
What would you say is the best advice or tip to build your following on instagram?
Honestly, I quit trying too hard and I feel like everything sort of fell into place. I try to be as 100% authentic as I can. Most days I am just snapping pics on the fly of whatever I am doing. I try not to stage a shot or force it too much.
Is there another social media platform besides instagram that you use to promote your business?
I do promote my business on my blog (NEWLYAG.com) as well. For now, Instagram is about all I can keep up with. I am currently expanding my presence on both Youtube and Pinterest!
When it comes to working with brands for paid promotions, how do you go about reaching out for potential collaborations?
Most of my collaborations have happened pretty organically. I have either tagged that brand in enough of my posts where they will reach out to collaborate OR ill keep emailing their collaboration email accounts until they contact me!
What advice would you give to someone looking to work with brands for paid promotions?
If they think they would be a good fit for the brand or company, then don’t hesitate to reach out or make the first move!
Have the changes to instagram’s algorithm and advertising rules had an impact on your work at all? For better or worse?
I have noticed some dips after major algorithm changes, but overall I have been really fortunate to maintain an engaged audience. I try not to get too upset over changes with Instagram because there is not much you can do - you just gotta keep grinding!
In your opinion, what are the vital skills needed to be a successful blogger?
I would say you need to be creative and have an eye for photography, but most importantly you need to be able to pivot/create content on the fly. The social media world is constantly changing so you have to roll with the punches and keep trying new things. They key is to stay creating fresh content.
What advice would you give to aspiring bloggers?
Don’t focus on what you “think” an audience will like or what someone else is doing. Do and wear whatever YOU love and you will attract the best kind of followers :)