Interview with Nicole Lee (@minicolee)

Jeremy Cherng on 29 November, 2018

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Hi! Could you first give a brief introduction of yourself and what you are doing now?

Hi! I’m Nicole! My Instagram username is @minicolee. Right now, I’m doing what I love as a consultant editor for two regional trade magazines!

Besides work, what do you like to do?

I’m a fitness fanatic! I’m really into aerial and yoga now. I also recently adopted a puppy and I’m in love with him! Check out my Instastories to see my cute Maltipoo melt your hearts.

What are some interesting facts you would like to share with your followers and other Partiposters?

I published my first article on The Smart Local when I was 17. They were just starting out at that time and I was one of the first few writers onboard. I wrote over 400 reviews in my two years with them.

Wow! That’s a pretty long time and A LOT of articles! What did you enjoy most about working there?

My editorial director was very supportive and published most of the articles I wrote. Some of the notable articles that were published include “Remembering the 16 Most Horrifying Incidents that shook Singapore” and “What a girl really means when she says ‘I'm Fine.’”.

What got you into writing?

Reading and writing have always been my two passions. I wrote my first 1000-word essay when I was 8! There was once when I read a book and didn’t like the ending so I rewrote the story and changed the ending.

That’s really talented! Which book was that?

It was the 3 Little Pigs! I rewrote the plot. Instead of the wolf chasing after the pigs to devour them, I changed it to the good-hearted wolf picking up their misplaced wallet and chasing after them to return it but was misunderstood.

I’m amazed, we had no idea you used to write! Tell us more interesting facts about you!

I travelled solo to New York and Miami to watch Brand New’s concert. You have probably never heard about them but I love them! So much that I flew all the way to the US alone to watch them live.

Travelling solo takes a lot of courage! So do you encourage solo travelling?

I absolutely encourage people to travel solo at least once in their lifetime! You will learn so much about yourself and experience so much more! In fact, I enjoyed it so much I have been travelling solo annually since then. That being said, I cannot stress enough the importance of being tactful and practising caution when travelling alone. Not everywhere is as safe as Singapore!

What are some unusual happenings you encountered while travelling solo?

When I was travelling in New York, I was cash tight and had to live on a 50 dollars daily budget. 50USD may sound reasonable but its chump change in the US. I was hard pressed and had to save as much as possible. One of the things I did was use Groupon to get discounts. For instance, I bought a 17USD Groupon to sail from New Jersey to Liberty Island. I was so happy! I got to meet people onboard the speedboat and they brought me out for dinner so I saved even more money. Besides that, I also saved money by hitching rides to my desired destination.

Wow! You are not just charming but extremely resourceful! I’m sure your followers enjoyed reading about your travel solo blog entries! Could you share with us about how you got into Instagram.

It was 2014 when I started getting really into the fitness scene. Instagram was like my personal photo journal to document my progress and give brief reviews of studios I visited. At that point in time, I saw Instagram as a platform that drove traffic to my blog.

Would you then say you started off as a blogger?

Definitely! Writing was my first love.

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When did you really start to focus on growing on Instagram?

When my follower count grew and I started getting campaigns – the first brand I worked with was Meditrina! I never expected it grow so much to be honest. The growth took off in 2015 and has stabilized since.

What do you enjoy posting about or what you think is the niche for your Instagram account?

My feed used to be very focused on fitness but these days, it has diversified a lot. I would say my forte is still in fitness but my feed encompasses everything that has to do with lifestyle.

Do you have any tips for growing a following on Instagram?

There isn’t any special formula to it. People always wonder what it takes to grow your following but it boils down to the amount of effort you put in. From my personal experience, the amount of effort you put into producing the content matters A LOT. When you don’t put in as much effort, it shows. The quality of the content speaks for itself! I personally have a very strong work ethic when it comes to my Instagram. I put in the styling and hours and it pays off.

Do you have any photo editing apps to recommend?

Of course! Everyone has their go-to apps for photo editing. Here are some of the ones I use! Firstly, I use Photowonder to slim down my face. Here’s a fun tip for those who use Photowonder. Sometimes when the background seems too ‘long’, use the ‘leg lengthening’ function to ‘shorten’ the background. I also use Snapseed to remove people from the background and adjust the perspective to make my legs appear longer. Then there is the standard VSCO.

How do you take Insta-worthy photos?

The amount of effort you put into taking the photo directly translates to how ‘Insta-worthy’ the photo will be. People have no idea the amount of effort and thought influencers put into each and every posting. For example, one of the things I do is scout the area I will be going to by searching the Geo-tag on Instagram and looking at the angles, spots and lightings other Instagrammers utilised when they took photos there. This gives me a better idea of what I want to achieve when I am there so I am prepared. It also allows me to evaluate beforehand which spots are the most scenic and what time to go there for the best lighting. P.S. this is a tip for people who want to scout a place without actually going down to the venue too!

What do you think is the most challenging aspect of social media?

My greatest challenge is my addiction to social media. I refresh my Instagram feed every 15 minutes because I have a fear of missing out.

Have you ever tried to curb this issue?

No I haven’t. Not because I don’t acknowledge it is an issue but because I think that it is not necessary for me to try and curb it. It hasn’t reached the stage where I am affected by it emotionally and mentally.

What advice do you have for others whom may be facing a similar issue?

I think it is ok to be addicted as long as it does not affect you emotionally. Just don’t let it get to you. So many people let social media consume them these days, we should never let ourselves reach that stage.

How do you deal with haters or rude users online?

I screenshot and shame these users online or I ignore them. Most influencers would ignore them but I think some people, especially the truly incorrigible ones, should be shamed so they will learn from it and cease doing it to others.

How did you learn about Partipost?

I cannot remember how I got to know about Partipost but I do know my very first campaign was Wantedly back in 2017. Back then, the app was not available yet so everything was through email. That included the campaign brief, campaign confirmation, photo amendment, campaign alert, etc. It was time consuming but I stayed by it to the Partipost it is today.

What got you started on Partipost?

Initially it was for the payout but these days, I see it as more of discovery app, much like Entertainer. Through participating in campaigns, I find things to do during the weekend. Those of you who are always wondering what to do in your free time should give Partipost a shot!

Would you say that the app made your life easier?

Yes! Definitely. One thing I really like about having the app is there isn’t a shortlist process anymore. Anyone can take part in any campaign. Simply submit your photo and caption and wait for approval. Another thing is back then, I had to constantly check my Outlook for email updates but now the app sends me notifications, making things a lot easier. You also don’t have to transfer photos! Partiposters should really appreciate the app!

What is the most memorable or interesting Partipost campaign you took part in?

I think it was the Guinness campaign! I went down to the venue to take part in the campaign with Scarlet (@scarletplaysguitar) and we met a group of girls who were there to Partipost as well! It was interesting because we ended up chatting and helping each other take the photos for the campaign. After which, we moved on to Cineleisure’s Burger King to take part in the Burger King campaign. Coincidentally, another couple was there to Partipost too! Those of you who are hesitant to Partipost should really give it a try! There are many other users out there, it’s like a community! Don’t feel like you are alone, we often do campaigns together!

Do you see yourself as an influencer?

Yes, I see myself as an influencer but only in the fitness industry. I think you can only be considered an influencer in a field if you are an authority on the subject.

Any influencers you look up to and why?

@jyan.yoga! Her Instagram feed on fitness truly inspires me. Go check out her profile! You will be blown away by the multitudes of fitness feats she can pull off. I have been to one of her acro yoga classes and I absolutely loved it.

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What would be some brands you would be keen to see collaborate with Partipost?

I would love to see Partipost collaborate with local universities and polytechnics as a part of their youth outreach marketing efforts. Instead of being limited to brands, maybe Partipost could include working with chain establishments.

What is your favourite trend at the moment?

I think barre is really popular these days! It’s tough but fulfilling. Partipost should have a campaign that involves barre so more people can try it. Trust me, the endorphins fueling the happiness and sense of fulfilment is something that will leave you craving for more!

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