The following are excerpts taken from the second edition of theINSIDER KOL Marketing Magazine. theINSIDER KOL Marketing Magazine contains featured articles from some of the top KOLs in China and includes more than 250 China influencer profiles across fashion, beauty, luxury, fitness, travel, child & parent, f&b, and foreigners. The Foreigner KOL Catalog contains articles from China’s top influencers and provides access to 10+ influencer media kits.
Sam崔: Becoming a Foriegner KOL in China
Originally from San Francisco, I double-majored in International Business and Chinese while in university, which led me to take two study abroad trips, one in Taipei, and one in Nanjing and Shanghai. I then proceeded to work as a stylist assistant in Taipei for a few months, before transitioning into a fashion buyer at an e-commerce brand in Shanghai. Shortly after arriving in Shanghai, I became a frequent user of Chinese social media apps like KuaiShou, Weibo, and Xiaohongshu to share my style and sometimes my cooking.
Q: Why do you choose to live in China? Tell me about your impression of the city you live in.
A: I like the fast pace of many of the first-tier cities in China. I always found San Francisco to be very slow-paced. I’ve been living in Chengdu going on two years now, and although for the most part, it is also a pretty slow-paced city, you can find the rush when you need it.
Q: What influenced you to become a foreigner KOL?
A: Initially, I didn’t really have an interest in “becoming a KOL”, I was just sharing the content that I found interesting, and some people also found it interesting, so they started following me, and now we’re here.
Q: How do you think the KOL industry in China is different from that in foreign countries?
A: I feel like the environment is a lot more developed in China than in many other countries, and a lot more accessible. It seems like there are agencies for all levels and types of KOLs in China, whereas it seems like many agencies in the US are pretty much relegated only to those influencers with 1m+ followers.
Q: What distinguishes you from other KOLs in this field?
A: Although there are many foreign KOLs in China, the majority are all more comedy-focused, while the main successful fashion KOLs are all Chinese.
Q: What are your main social media platforms? How do you usually attract followers?
A: Xiaohongshu, KuaiShou, Douyin, and Weibo. I usually try to be very timely with sending out content, the best-case scenario is to have new content every day, but that’s become difficult as more content has gone from photos to video.
Q: What are your followers like? How do you interact with them on a daily basis?
A: The majority of my followers are younger, university age. I’ll typically have interactions pertaining to how to adapt to specific new trends.
Q: What are your hobbies and interests outside work?
A: After beginning my transition into more video-based content, I’ve developed a real passion for video editing and SFX work. I’d love to get more into the digital media and marketing side of that kind of work.