Last Updated on May 14, 2021
Shanell Grant is an entrepreneur, beauty influencer and educator. Shanell started her blogging career in 2011 during her freshman year in college. Shanell has a passion for teaching women about the power of knowledge and importance of building a stable empire. In addition to working as an influencer, Shanell is the owner of Serene Body Scents, which offers all natural, hand crafted body products free of preservatives and artificial chemicals. Shanell’s audience reach is currently over 125,000 followers and you can find her on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook or go to naturallynellzy.com to learn more.
In 2011 you started going natural with your hair and your mom encouraged you to document it. This was the beginning of Naturally Nellzy, which has grown into a very popular personal brand. Can you tell us some of the first steps you took to establish yourself as an influencer?
Sure! So the first thing I really did was try to like narrow down what the brand was going to be, the name or everything like that because I wasn’t too sure. But after I found something that was kind of catchy I kept running with it.
And then I started introducing myself as Natural Nellzy and all the social media platforms I had also had the same name so it caught on and that’s how a lot of people just referred to me as Naturally Nellzy.
Tell us about Serene Body Scents and your philosophy when it comes to bath and body products…
Sure! So Serene Body Scents was basically started when I got out of college. I had graduated and I could not find a job in the field so I literally had to create on for myself. So I knew that I had a love for like shea butters and like different natural, organic products so I was thinking okay well if I combine this with what I already know, I have an audience, put it altogether, spoke with the family and then Serene Body Scents was born.
With all of your different areas of focus, how do you structure your average day so you can get everything accomplished that needs to get done?
I think the best thing to do is really plan the day out before because it took me awhile to realize that trying to do everything at once you end up not getting anything done. So what I like to do is like if I have a day where I need to file I will do that on Mondays, if I know that I need to post that’ll be on Tuesdays, if I have to edit that would be maybe on like a Wednesday so I just put things into blocks on specific days so that I’m not like, you know, trying to juggle everything at once. And that’s been pretty much working for me, so.
Out of all the different social media platforms and mediums, what is your favorite one to use?
Oh wow that’s actually kind of hard. I think I like Instagram because I feel like Instagram seems like it’s more so organic because like sometimes when you see my notice that the algorithm will kind of like pick up on people that are “popular” but with on Instagram like you could reach a majority of your followings as long as you have your engagement up and it’s like genuine comments and like, you know, connections you’re building with people. So I would say Instagram because it’s just so much easier to do.
Where do you see influencer marketing headed in the next five years or so?
So as far as where I think it’s going to go I do believe that influencers are going to be around because I mean like brands are saving a lot of money by actually hiring influencers. And I also realize that rather than going with like celebrities or other people to endorse their product people genuinely connected to influencers because you literally have to build that connection and relationship with your followers.
So if you say like “hey guys go get this water bottle” they’re going to do it as opposed to somebody with like a million followers like they really don’t have that connection. So I think influencers will definitely be around however, I do feel like a lot of people are getting into the market and it’s becoming very saturated so I always tell my audience like “it’s okay to do that but make sure you have something stable that you can actually fall back on” like a business or service a skill set something like that so that’s pretty much what I’m trying to set up for myself at this point in time.
What do you do when a brand pitch you and it’s clearly not a good fit?
Right! It definitely does happen and sometime I notice like they won’t even get my name right I’m like that’s really not my name but it’s okay. Like I mean things happen it could be a new brand so if I find that I do get a pitch and it doesn’t align with like my values or, you know, just something I don’t feel would be a good fit I basically tell them “thank you so much for the opportunity. I really appreciate it but unfortunately I’m going to have to pass on thus offer because it doesn’t align with my audience”.
What have been some of your favorite brand partnerships to-date?
I just had a collaboration with a brand called, Lunette. It’s basically a brand that is really big on like female hygiene. They have a lot of different things for like menstrual care and all that and it was a really fun collaboration because rather than it being makeup or something like that it was something that all women can relate to like as far as female hygiene, the time of the month. So it was cool because I got to interact with everyone not just like, you know, my followers that are into hair or into beauty or into fitness but like everyone so that was really cool. The brand was really nice as well. I love like they were just pushing out encouragement, empowerment for females so I really really really love that one.
Do you focus on natural products in all areas?
Right, right. So anything that’s like more so organic based, because I’m trying to like change my lifestyle to that realm, I would be for but it doesn’t have to be one hundred percent like natural because I mean sometimes we can’t get away from that like deodorant sometimes. But if it just like isn’t mainly chemicals but it’s more so on a healthier side, just being health conscious then like yeah I’d totally be in for it.
Note: Influencer Spotlights are edited for time and clarity.
Andrew is the Head of Client Services for Intellifluence and has a background in communications. He is committed to helping brands get the most out of their campaigns and is the co-host of the Influencer Spotlight series.