This Week’s Hero: Lizzy Hadfield, Shot From the Street
Age: 25 Instagram: 172k, You Tube: 103k Hometown: Leeds
Lizzy Hadfield is an Instagram and YouTube influencer known for her bi-monthly Testing Basics series and her street style prowess. Here she explains what it takes to make it as a blogger.
I grew up in the middle of nowhere between Halifax and Leeds in the north of England. My parents raised me to always try my best at everything and that as long as I worked hard I could do anything. I definitely internalised that message and developed a really strong work ethic which I think has been central to my career.
As a teenager, I went through lots of style phases from looking a bit ’emo’ with a massive side fringe, to very northern glam in five-inch heels. But it was when I got to Leeds University where I studied History of Art that I really started to hone my taste. Most of the other girls on my course were really laidback in the way they dressed, wearing Reebok Classics, huge, baggy jumpers and workman’s jackets. I was always much more polished, but that low-key vibe did rub off and I’d say the foundations of my style are all in the mix of something tailored with something casual.
I started my blog while I was at University. I’d been pouring over the big blogs like The Blonde Salad and Fashion Toast and realised that these girls had built businesses around all of my interests from lifestyle to fashion to travel. So, I just went for it and decided to launch my own blog, then set up YouTube about two and half years ago. I got my vlogging camera for my 23rd birthday and since then I’ve religiously uploaded two videos every week.
No Pain, No Gain
For me, finding success as an influencer has always been about putting the long hours in. I start work at about 7.30am most days of the week and weekends and I usually work until about 11pm. But I do stop in the middle-it’s not like an office job where you’re sat there without a break. I don’t take weekends off, but that’s not a, ‘woe is me’ thing-I just love what I do and find it more stressful not working than when I’m creating content.
I definitely put a lot of pressure on myself, and when I started out I always tried to imagine that I had a boss to help me feel like there were proper deadlines… it’s very easy to let things slide when you’ve only got yourself to answer to. Over the years, I’ve built a system which helps me create a lot of content in a limited amount of time and I’m really disciplined-but it can get tricky when I travel.
When it comes to sharing so much of my life, it’s not always been an easy ride. Of course, speculation is only natural and you have to accept that if you’re putting yourself out there, people are going to make assumptions. For me the pros of this job definitely outweigh the cons, but it’s not an option for anyone who a) doesn’t have thick skin and b) isn’t seriously motivated. There’s a perception that blogging is an ‘easy option,’ but I can definitely say that is not the case.
Secret to Success
Overall, I think that brands like working with me because of the quality of the content I produce. I invest a lot in terms of photography and in the products (I generally purchase all the Testing Basics pieces myself) I showcase and I also produce a lot of content across all my different platforms every week, which has helped me grow my audience and engagement. You can never underestimate the power of professionalism and being polite and I also think it’s so important to always remember that it’s your audience that have put you where you are. I try and engage with mine regularly to see what they do and don’t like and always listen to constructive feedback. While working with brands is exciting and amazing, your audience always has to come first.
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