Leroy Marc shares points on the growing industry of influencing

Invest in your career via time or financial risks, advises influencer

Thango Ntwasa Lifestyle Digital Editor
Leroy Marc the 3rd Annual GQ Men Of The Year Awards at Four Seasons Hotel on November 27, 2021 in Johannesburg.
Leroy Marc the 3rd Annual GQ Men Of The Year Awards at Four Seasons Hotel on November 27, 2021 in Johannesburg.
Image: Oupa Bopape

It is almost archaic now to think that the bloggers and vloggers of 2003 and 2009 were the beginning of the influencer world.

Taking to websites and YouTube, these up-and-coming stars led the way for the game-changing marketing tactic.

Today, there is an abundance of content creators who either rise to the top or flop before they taste success. But one of the local talents who managed to continuously grow his brand is Leroy Marc.

Celebrating the 10th year of his journey as one of the pioneers of local influence, Marc was on a clear path to a career in law as a candidate attorney.

Feeling constricted by the corporate world, he often felt restricted in the contrasts between his personal life and work life.

Marc started to take pictures of himself in his car on his commute to work at a robot where “the lighting was great” under the outfit of the day trend.

The looks he played with started to gain traction in which he was able to extend in opportunities to show up on TV shows and his radio gigs.

Over the years, the award-winning influencer has also co-founded the underwear brand, House of Basil.

Hosting the recent Business of Influence panel for one of the biggest content creator platforms, Style ID Africa, Marc shared a number of thoughts on the growing industry of influencer.

As SA enjoys a growing luxury market and a thriving fashion influencer space that takes up a huge chunk of an industry that is worth well over $15m (R262m), Marc is excited by how the influencer space has come to take itself seriously over the years.

Noting that people are no longer waiting for celebrities to dictate popular trends, Marc says that this has shifted within multiple communities that have found their key opinion leaders.

This plays out greatly in SA’s media space.

“The next frontier, as far as fashion and influencing is concerned, is brands that collaborate on a different scale. It’s no longer looking for what trends exist but they ask you what trends exist and what your fans say,” he says.

As a clearer community and regulations form around influencing, Marc notes that the negative connotation that once existed has also been lifted to allow influencing to exist as someone’s day job.

With the advent of TikTok, the influencer space continues to grow in the country, creating more opportunities for those who are enjoying the fame or taking it seriously.

While these platforms have made it somewhat easy to regulate virality, Marc advises those who have not struck it lucky to invest in the pursuit of an influencer career through the time they put into it or the financial risks of getting the right photographers and trade exchange deals.

He says that niches are also a powerful way to grow one’s brand and ultimately learn the science of influencing.

“Even the person whose photocopying a book reads it while they are doing it; something will stand out for them,” says Marc, suggesting that each gig earned should be a learning curve on understanding how the space works and how to best improve in it.

"You must always work in the business because you are the business. So don’t get tired of it.”

Marc is currently working on business consultancy, particularly in the sustainable spaces in multiple industries in his attempt to make more awareness among other people.


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