Maristella Colombo is an Italian Fashion Business Coach/Consultant and Fashion Marketer for Ebooks4fashion.com, a professor for several prestigious Fashion Academies in Milan, Italy, as well as a jewelry designer, a personal shopper, and a visual artist.
In addition to being a top clothing & apparel influencer on Intellifluence, Maristella also leads an ever-growing community where she helps fashion entrepreneurs to start or grow a profitable, successful fashion business and live the life of their dreams.
As a course instructor and a professor, Maristella has taught more than 3,000 students and as a businesswoman, she has turned her dreams in fashion into successful and profitable fashion businesses, living the life she’s always wanted.
Can you tell us a little about how you got started in fashion?
Yes, I started actually more than 10 years ago because I launched my fashion business. Which is a jewelry business and a jewelry brand. And in 2015 instead I started my second business which is a fashion marketing platform and is a book swap for fashion. That is our fashion marketing platforms that helps fashion business owners to start or to grow their business. So I really dreamed about this business because I wanted to create something that can help other people too. Because when I started I didn’t have something like that more than ten years ago so I really wanted to have a platform that is a point for people that they are looking for help on the internet.
As a fashion business consultant and fashion marketer, can you tell us a little bit about how your average day is structured?
Okay running two businesses actually is not quite easy because I have to be very strict to my schedule. Usually I have – I prepare my schedule one week in advance so I’m very very clear on what I’m doing, And I usually only set three goals per day because otherwise I will feel overwhelmed. So I have a really only three goals per day and I want to stick on that. And so every day I try to work on my – on the different content. I have free resources I can provide for fashion business owners or I work on my online courses on the promotion, on the sales, and at the same time I have also professional store here in the Italian – here near Milan so I also have to work with my private customers then for the jewelry brand. So I have to be very very clear and many times I also work with a virtual assistant so I can have hard hand on my fashion businesses. But I am very very strict and I have – I really only need three goals per day because otherwise it would be a mess.
At what point of your career did you get into influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is very important for I think a fashion entrepreneur because it can spread the word about the brand and the business. And I started to work as influencer marketing because I have a different point of view with ebooks for fashion. I try to help other people, other fashion business owners to have more- to view more advertising for their brands and their businesses. For example I work with other fashion businesses and I interview them and I promote them through my channels so I can give them exposure for their brands.
Fashion and influencer marketing are a perfect pair. Do you find that a lot of your students are aspiring fashion influencers as well? Is this something you encourage?
Oh definitely! I encourage them to work with the influencers because I think it’s the best way when they their niche. When they have found their niche and found an influencer that they have similar niches, similar dream customers. So they can spread word about their fashion business more easily then working with advertising or with more expensive advertising. So I think that working with [an] influencer it gets easier for them, especially if you have a fashion product business. But it is the same also if you have a professional service business.
Once you know your niche and what you are promoting and for who you are talking, which people you want to reach and you find an influencer that can have your similar interests it’s the best way. For example if you are starting from scratch and you need to get more exposure, you need to get an audience it better to contact- to start to work with influencer because they have already an audience. So you can get more exposure and work with their audience too. So their audience can be interested in what you’re doing.
What has been your most successful brand partnership as an influencer?
So through a very good- I had a very good experience with a fashion platform, which is called utelier. I had this partnership, that is still going on right now and utelier is a fashion manufacturing platform. So basically fashion designers or fashion business owners that they need to get in contact with other manufactures they can do in only one platform. So I really believed in that platform because I’m using [it] myself as well. So that’s why I wanted to start this partnership as an influencer helping this platform to spread the word, so that’s why we started this collaboration. And then it’s still working because I really believed in this platform and I also talk about this platform in my fashion marketing podcast.
And I think many people can really get help with this platform because you don’t have to travel the world or go to trade fairs or other places. But you can just work from your own place so you really save the money if you can get only one place where you can find all the manufacturers from the world.
What has been the strangest influencer request you have ever received?
Yes, I had one request that was quite weird because it was not with my fashion businesses and it was a request of promoting whitening toothpaste for teeth. So it was quite strange, quite weird, and of course I didn’t accept it. But every time I think about that it makes me laugh because I think those people didn’t really understand what they were doing and didn’t know me at all so I thought what is the point of this request. So this make[s] me think, especially when I suggest to people to work with influencers, you really need to know for who you are talking. So you really need to understand who is the influencer that you ant to pitch to contact. So if you don’t know what’s the point to it. Your message and your promotion will be pointless.
Where do you see fashion influencer marketing in five years?
I think it’s growing a lot and it will be more used I think in [the] future, especially for small brands. So if small brands or small fashion business really understand the power of influencer marketing I think that they can really go very far and grow their businesses more quick than before. So I think it’s going to grow and grow every day. I really believe in influencer marketing in that I used influencers myself. Before starting ebooks for fashion I also worked with influencers for my jewelry business so I’m in the both of the side. So I really believe in this type of marketing.
Note: Intellifluence Influencer Spotlight interviews are edited for clarity and time.