Blogger Grace Lee Gives Influencer Tips You Can Actually Use

College is hard, but somehow you always still make time to party.

But what if instead of wasting all your extra time scoping out hot frat guys or putting together slutty Halloween costumes, you started building your brand instead?

Grace Lee has taken being a boss to a whole new level as a style blogger and student–and not just at any school, at UNC Chapel Hill.

When she isn’t updating her blog or posting dope pictures on IG, she’s plotting her next move. We got her to sit down and give some amazing tips and tricks for budding bloggers, and her suggestions go way beyond the cliché “be yourself.”

Why did you become a style blogger?

I became a style blogger because I have always been infatuated with fashion since I was young. I wanted to document my outfits that I wore to school and share different ways to wear items, so I started my blog.

What represents your personal style and what are your favorite pieces to wear?

I believe that style is what you make of it. I don’t have one set style. I like to mix it up and try new things. What’s most representative of my personal style is the ability to step out of my comfort zone and try new trends. My favorite pieces to wear are oversized sunglasses, anything with flares, and a pair of statement earrings.

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What tips do you have for entrepreneurs looking make their brand stand out?

Be yourself. That’s the number one key to standing out. And don’t overdo it. A lot of people think that standing out means overdoing the style or look in order to “be different.” Standing out means staying true to yourself, your style, and knowing your limits, but still pushing yourself to step out of your comfort zone. Also, being original is another aspect to that. There’s nothing worse than a copycat because not only does it humiliate you, but you’re deceiving yourself.

What is your favorite fashion item and why?

My favorite fashion item is jewelry because I think being able to accessorize an outfit is an important aspect of being a blogger. It really reflects your personal style. Picking the right earrings and right necklace can be a challenge sometimes, but that’s what makes doing what I do so much fun. It’s all about the element of surprise and pairing things together that you thought wouldn’t work.

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What are the most important factors in creating a successful blog and personal brand?

Even though there’s more than five, I want to focus on five factors:

1. Be consistent. And that’s not just with maintaining a blog, but also staying consistent with your content. That way, your readers can always count on when you’re posting and come back to visit.

2. Be nice. In a world of superficial, fake, and materialistic people, I see that many overlook the power of kindness. Respond back to other bloggers, followers, and people who ask for help. Being nice can help you form relationships and connections to further your brand.

3. Time management. That’s a must. In order to be successful, you need to be able to manage your time. Not just for your blog, but also for your sanity as well. Staying organized really helps you in the long run.

4. Make connections. Connections are everything. Just like you’ll help people with questions, people will help you connect with brands and companies to work with.

5. Be original. Like I said previously, no one likes a copycat. Everyone will be able to see right through it, so save yourself the humiliation and stay true to yourself and your style. If other bloggers influence you, then be sure to credit them or show that you’re appreciative that they inspired you. Don’t take credit for something that isn’t yours.

What are some business goals you set for yourself?

Some business goals that I’ve set for myself is growing my Instagram account to at least 20K before 2018, working with new companies that I’ve aspired to work with, and improving my email newsletters.

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What tips do you have for college students looking to balance starting their career and school?

1. Know what you’re about to get yourself into. As in, do your research. Can you manage starting your career with school? Will you have time to socialize? What about clubs? The minute it starts to feel like a burden, is when you need to reevaluate whether you should be doing both at the same time.

2. You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.

3. Ask for help. I always thought I could figure out everything by myself, but you have to realize that that is why there are experts for that. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

4. Manage your time. If you really want something, you need to work for it. Stay organized and if you really want to work on starting your career with school, you’ll make it happen.

What’s an interesting fact about you that many people don’t know?

An interesting fact about me is that I’m really athletic. I used to do gymnastics, play soccer, run track, tennis, and can even throw/catch a football, and pretty much any sport that someone throws at me.

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What do you want your supporters to take from this interview?

To know what you can and cannot handle. But at the same time, be open to new things. You learn from your mistakes, so don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and pick yourself up when you fall down. That’s the most important thing I want to stress. Times will get hard. You will go months and months, maybe even longer, without any growth. We’ve all been there, we’ve all done that. You’re going to wonder what you did wrong and why some people succeed faster than you. Don’t worry about them. Don’t compare your middle to someone else’s beginning.

What’s important is how you deal with your struggle and what you make out of it. I hope you all enjoyed these tips and learning more about me.

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