Claire Fabb is not your average blogger, phew. Her curated styling and interior design services on her blog, Yellow Button, create a much needed point of difference in a cluttered blogosphere and showcases Claire's business savvy nature. Claire's corporate career came to a halt when she started styling a couple of her friends on a whim and then took a chance to start a blog. Yellow Button provides content from designer interviews to how-to style guides, appealing to stylish mummies and those interested in carving away from the latest trends to instead really build their own style. Read below about Claire's insight into the power of social media and tips on how to create your own brand as organically as possible.
When did you start your business, what inspired you and who influenced you to begin a career in the digital sphere?
I started my personal styling business, Yellow Button,
in 2009 and when looking at options for a website someone suggested a blog, which was something I loved the idea of. Somewhere to post my inspirations, being able to write and having something that was ever changing, like fashion. Each day is completely different to the next.
What was your understanding of blogging at that time?
To be honest it was very limited. It was only then I started researching what blogs were.
How did you get started?
I've always loved fashion and worked in retail throughout high school and running a boutique whilst at university. Then I moved into the corporate world. It wasn't until I had my daughters that I started styling a few people. The business grew organically from there. The blog side? It was something I loved. It was such a great outlet and was something initially I did just for me.
When you first began, what was your projection, desired outcome and have you surpassed your level of foreseeable success?
When I started it really was a great outlet and I really enjoyed both the styling and blogging. Most importantly, it allowed me to be flexible which was important as my girls were both really young. Then I looked at it as a business and became more serious about creating a brand. That's when I became strategic about both sides of the business- styling and blogging. From the outset it's been about collaborating with brands that both excite and challenge me. It's a great form of learning. The next phase is a new phase also. It hasn't all been peaches and cream however, being in a 'new' digital space has resulted in plenty of trial and error. Some things have worked and some things haven't.
Have you gone in the direction you wanted to go in? What has kept you on the same path?
Yes, most definitely. Part of my brand strategy was positioning, and saying no to the wrong opportunities was far more important than saying yes just to get the job. I've said "no" far more than "yes", over the years.
If you had to begin again, what would you do differently?
Switching off. I used to blog into the early hours of the morning sometimes. Plus on the weekend. I would have my phone on me at all times. Now it's more about balance. Weekends are family time and now I try not to work at night.
Do you believe that part of your success was to begin as early as you did when there weren't as many bloggers as there are now?
I think timing was really important for me. I was aware of blogging trending internationally and was keen to adopt it here in Australia before it became too popular. Had I started now, it would be far more difficult to create a niche. It's really very competitive out there.
What is your point of difference?
My age, my lifestyle, I'm a working stylist and I have daughters. I have a unique voice, as do each and every one of us. Blogging is about being authentic. And like in everyday life you either like someone and are drawn to them, or you are not.
What is your title? What do you say your profession is?
It's a difficult one. At the end of the day I'm a businesswoman. Yellow Button is a business that offers styling nationally. I consult on creative brand strategies for companies, I present and host events so it is a mixed bag.
How do you feel about what you do in terms of your age and your competitors, old and young?
Ha, yes you're right. I'm really comfortable with my age and the life experience. I'm pretty comfortable with what I'm doing even though most of my peers are younger in this field.
Who do you consider to be your competitors?
I don't consider anyone as a competitor. We all get along really well and we are all different. The 'voices' you see coming through the instagram feeds and blogs are authentic and I don't think any of us replicate the other. We have different skill sets and different perspectives and brands that engage us to work with them see this.
What does the future hold for blogging? Is it a 'profession' and will it have the same career aspiration for young people?
Blogging is definitely a great platform to build a business no matter what you do. Blogging as a business? There are very successful bloggers who do it as a full time job, but it is a very competitive field these days and who knows if blogging will still be popular in 5 years. If my daughters said they wanted to be a professional blogger I would encourage them to do it, with an added skill. It's key in today's society in creating a personal brand.
Is there a natural progression for bloggers or digital influencers in terms of career path?
It really depends what kind of blogger you are. What your skill set is. A model? A photographer? A chef? An interior designer? It gives you a great platform to highlight what your skills are.
How important is Instagram?
Very. Instagram is still, in my opinion the strongest social channel where it's easily accessible for everyone. Until the next thing comes out…
Do you think one is more important than the other?
They work hand in hand with one another. You feature different things and it gives a different platform of people to choose from therefore reaching more.
And what about other social media platforms? Are they all relevant and necessary?
I would say so. For me I create content specifically for Facebook, while Pinterest
is also still important. When I have spare time I love Pinterest. I don't spend that much time on twitter so that's my channel that is not the strongest. It’s hard to be across everything. I should mention that blogging is VERY time consuming.
What do you think the future holds for social media?
Social media is still trending, and will be for a long time to come. It's become the norm in terms of communicating and social behaviours have changed because of it.
Do you recommend this profession for young people finishing school deciding their career path?
I love what I do. If there is something you want to do, definitely follow that path. My advice to young people finishing school would be intern, prepare to work really really hard and see if you still love it. If you do, go for it.
What would be your best advice to offer point of difference?
What is your strength? Let that be your point of difference. And be authentic. Don't copy or try and be someone you're not.
Where do you hope to be in 10 years from now?
We've just launched our Yellow Button styling services nationally so growing that in other states is my immediate goal. Then 10 years from now being in a beautiful beach house in a tropical location surrounded by family and friends and laughing from dawn until dusk while the wheels of the business keep on turning… a few instagram snaps of palm trees and white beaches on the way perhaps…
You can follow Claire Fabb on Instagram at @stylebyyellowbutton
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