Singapore teen influencers: Only 16 and she has 20K followers, worked with 100 blogshops and brands



Social media teens
At school, 16-year-old Joey Heng (pictured) isn’t one of the popular girls.

But the self-professed “low-key” Secondary 4 student has her hands full being popular elsewhere.

With some 20,000 followers on her Instagram, the teen is a “social media influencer” among teens in her age group – showing them the latest fashion trends and new restaurants to visit.

Sometimes, even her mother gets roped in to help her to take “Insta-worthy” photos.

“I just wanted to follow the trend and post photos of myself in the latest fashion,” said Joey, who started her account when she was 10 to meet more friends.

“I think people started following me because they thought the clothes I wore were nice.”

As her popularity grew, so did the attention she received from blogshops and brands that wanted her to endorse their products, given that each of her posts gets at least 1,000 likes.

So far, she has worked with about 100 blogshops and brands, including watch company Daniel Wellington and e-commerce platform ezbuy.

There are a number of other “student influencers” just like her who are followed by tens of thousands on social media. Several study at brand-name schools.

Related: 7 famous toddlers on Instagram with over 1 million followers

These teens, some as young as 14, take on marketing gigs for sponsors, such as blogshops, cosmetics brands and delivery services, in exchange for freebies, discounts and even advertorial fees.

However, there is no estimate of how much they earn as many receive free or discounted items rather than cash for their gigs.

Mostly girls, these “influencers” post photos of themselves in trendy clothes and are often seen at the latest hipster joint. A few are known to show a bit of skin too, presumably to get more followers and better sponsors.

The going is so good for these teens that some of them are considering being a social media celebrity as a profession.

Among them is Catherine Khoo, 16, who has received sponsorships for clothes and accessories.

The Sec 4 student, who has more than 10,000 followers, said her parents were initially against the idea of her being an “influencer” but they have come to accept it after she explained the hard work involved.

“I would like to show people how influencers actually work behind the scenes, and how it is a job and not something that you take on just for free things,” she said.

Sec 4 student Toh Yi Xuan, who has some 6,000 followers, hopes her popularity will eventually kick-start her modelling career.

Next page: Some see this as more of a hobby

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