Influencers drive the influencer marketing industry. They have interesting stories about how they came to be influencers and why they choose to live their lives via social media.

Their first-hand experience working with brands and expertise in other areas is extremely valuable to other influencers. Our influencer AMA series is where top influencers share their stories, successes and learnings with their peers and aspiring influencers.


— Let’s start with something I think most influencers are curious about. How did you grow the following of Loki_the_wolfdog to over 1M?

The growth came from several outside articles across the web. In the fall of 2015, many different online sites like Buzzfeed, The Daily Mail, the Weather Channel, and others wrote articles about us, featuring our photos. That was totally out of our control, what was in our control was to keep things light and fun and to be free to think of silly fun photos like the hammock photos that we have taken. I try to focus on that and keep things internal rather than focusing on outward things like growth strategies.

— That is one of my favorite things about following you, the fun you have is apparent and it makes it fun to follow along. What was your first brand collaboration?

Hmm. I posted a shot for a T-shirt brand called Timber Threads in exchange for a T shirt years ago. I was stoked. It was fun. Maybe the first real partnership I had was with a small local dog food brand that we still represent today. The company is called IandLoveandYou. We just signed to be with them for another year.

— I love to hear about long term brand relationships, especially with brands that are such a natural fit. What are some of the biggest obstacles you face in creating sponsored content or in brand collaborations?

I would say trying to educate brands that see social media marketing through the same lens as traditional marketing. When people want something that looks like an ad with strong product imagery and copy in the caption. I’m not stoked to work with those folks and after a brief conversation I often move on.

— I couldn’t agree with you more and think that brands need to give more creative control to the influencers. Particularly when they are working with someone like you. Your photographs are stunning and one of the things that really sets you apart. How many hours per week do you spend on building photo content?

No idea. Including driving, hiking, editing, thinking of a copy, sometimes up to 90 hours a week.

— Wow, that’s a lot of hours and I think something many brands don’t realize when working with influencers. Getting the perfect shot takes time. Do you have any predictions for Influencer Marketing in 2017 and beyond?

I’m hopeful it will continue to grow as brands start to realize how blind the public has become to banner ads, billboards, commercials, print ads, etc. It’s fun to see folks who might not be active on social start to understand it. It’s up to the influencers to protect how commercial the collaborations get, I’m hopeful most will find the value in keeping it organic as possible.

— Thank you so much for taking the time to connect with us and share your insights! One last question, what is the most unique collaboration you’ve worked on?

I just finished up a weekend at the Long Beach Grand Prix. We partnered with a race sponsorship/scholarship program called Rising Star Racing. We brought light to the IndyCar team through social media. Loki was on the side of the the race car. Totally out of the norm for us, but I love getting outside the box. And thanks for the opportunity to chat!

Learn more about Kelly and Loki by visiting their profile.