The age of the influencer is here, and our bet is, it’s not going anywhere. But while your feed is likely saturated with highly stylised images, the truth is, becoming an influencer in 2018 (whether it's a personal pursuit or in the context of a brand) comes down to strategic thinking, hard work and lots of imagination in order to stay ahead of the pack.
One wellness and fitness influencer who has done that is Bianca Cheah. Founding her website, Sporteluxe, in 2012, Cheah has since grown an Instagram following of 280,000 combined for both her personal and professional profiles. In celebration of her latest brainchild, Sporteclub, a premium membership that gives subscribers access to exclusive content, we sat with Cheah to chat about how she built such a successful digital business in a really competitive industry. Read on.
What lead you to launch Sporteluxe?
I started Sporteluxe back in 2012 as a passion project. I'd always loved fashion blogs and have always been into wellness. I was sick of never being able to find a blog that fused the both of these together. Which is where I saw the gap in the market, that lead me to create Sporteluxe.
At the very start, I had no idea what I was doing. I was just feeling my way through it all—hustling PR’s to invite me to events, send me press releases of what’s new and loan me clothes to shoot. I also worked with a couple of photographers early on to help me create content. Once traffic grew I thought, maybe this little passion project of mine had legs. Which is where I took it to the next level—building out a team and growing the business into a digital media company.
We’ve been in the space now for about four solid years, and while we’ve had many wins and many setbacks, I suppose that’s the nature of business, which I've learnt to embrace and learn from. The landscape is constantly changing which is why we’ve now launched the Sporteclub. We see Sporteluxe as more of a community for our wellness enthusiasts rather than a digital media platform. We’re inspired by real life and that’s what we share on the hub, hoping to keep all our readers abreast of everything new in the world of wellness.
The wellness sphere has come a long way since you launched, how do you get Sporteluxe to cut through all the noise?
Yes it has, but I guess when you work, and live and breathe wellness, you kind of get to know what’s noise and what isn’t. We’re always watching and listening then sharing—that’s the beauty of Sporteluxe!
What does health and wellness mean to you?
Means being happy, healthy and stress free and living my best life.
How has Sporteluxe evolved since you first launched?
We are a relatively small team. The beauty of this is that we can adapt with a new strategy as we see fit. The reality is that the digital sphere changes so quickly so being able to strategise, adapt and evolve quickly and effectively is critical, and if you don’t, then sadly you may be left behind. It’s can be scary, but that’s the digital era at the moment. Which is why we launched Sporteclub.
There’s so much content out there in the world today, nobody knows what to read anymore. It’s being forced onto our phones, computers and TVs every single day. We have a loyal community of followers on Sporteluxe, and we wanted to offer them something different, and something useful that they could personally use in their everyday life. The Sporteclub offers discounts and benefits to premium brands, access to VIP events and limited release products, we also create video content with experts and influencers and lastly, the Kit, which is a subscription offering that delivers road-tested and recommended premium intentional lifestyle products to everyone's doorstep every season.
How can our readers attain a balanced, healthy life that works for them?
Everyone is different, and what works for me may not work for them. Which is why I always say, find something that you truly love, that you feel good doing and that you get excited about. If you hate running, then don’t do it! Because you’ll never see results from something that you don’t enjoy.
What are some of the biggest entrepreneurial lessons you’ve learnt so far?
It's funny as I've learnt so many things along the way of starting my own businesses, but just recently I had a meeting with a very successful man who gave me some important advice that rang true: Work backwards, that's how you realise efficiencies.
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