She started as a fashion blogger at Shine By Three, and is now a fashion photographer, model, writer and stylist. WGSN contributor Holly Ambrose charts the secrets of her success.
There are very few bloggers who have made the transition from a single person fashion blog to a fully-fledged brand and fashion icon. However, Margaret has managed to blaze that trail, even though the traditional fashion blog format no longer holds the creditability it once did as bloggers gravitate towards Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat to share everything from their daily outfits to their lifestyle.
Here’s the secret to Margaret Zhang’s popularity.
The first wave
The term ‘Fashion blogger’ is so common now that we forget there was a time when blogs felt fresh and new. Back in 2009 when Margaret set up her blog Shine By Three, the media landscape was not as saturated so she was able to stand out, curate her brand identity and stay true to it, this helped her to stay ahead of her rivals.
As the blogger landscape has changed, bloggers have had to adapt to stay relevant. For Margaret that meant building on ‘brand Margaret Zhang’, and adding to her skill set. She is a master of all traits now – fashion photographer, model, writer, stylist and socialite. She does it all and she does it well.
The blogger community is just that, a community, and the bloggers that do well are the ones who give back and share tips. Another great example of this is Michelle Phan, the beauty vlogger who created beauty marketplace Ipsy, which also has a platform for other beauty vloggers. Zhang teaches tutorials on how to create the ideal shot, together with her fave clothes, accessories, food and tech into one artsy layout. Sharing and educating within the community is a key way to amass fans and dedicated followers.
Very few bloggers have been able to capitalise on their success by featuring in their own TV show, but brand Margaret Zhang was strong enough to do just that. She had a featured role in reality TV show, ‘Fashion Bloggers,’ on The Style Network. Documenting the fast-paced professional and party lifestyles of five of Australia’s most popular bloggers; Zhang has her place in the fash-pack firmly secured.
Design and style
She is a designer’s muse, knowing how to style key pieces and layer perfectly. Her couture fashion vs. street style balance is on point. We get huge outfit-envy over how Zhang can do both eccentric high fashion and effortless casual chic so well. This also makes her perfectly placed to work with a wider number of brands and range of price points.
Zhang has worked with some of the biggest brands in global fashion. She’s worked both in front and behind of the camera for the likes of Clinique, Nike and Swarovski. This shows the strength of her personal brand that established, global brands are clamouring to work with her.
Travel and lifestyle
At a time when Instagram has added the places tab to their app, Zhang sees the importance of extending her brand to incorporate travel and lifestyle, so she’s even more visible on Insta and so that she appears more often on Google search, with her beautiful content standing out from the noise in the digital space. This allows readers to find her more easily and then sit, scroll and ogle at her travel, food and cultural pics.
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