In today’s Instagram obsessed world, the burning question that is often asked most is how to leverage a digital presence into a successful and long lasting business. It’s far more than perfecting the perfect feed, it’s about creating a recognisable community online that audiences want to continue to be a part of across multiple-platforms and into the real world.

Cassie Snelgar launched her fashion brand Caslazur in the early days of social media, with not much knowledge when it comes to marketing but a clear vision on creating something ethical, beautiful, and with longevity. At the same time, she was working on building my personal brand…without even knowing it!

“Authenticity is really key, and I was just sharing what inspired me in my day to day, and the journey of being a business owner and fashion designer. This helped me grow my personal audience organically and has been a powerful platform since.”

Cassie’s brand has grown globally since, having shown at MBFWA, and being stocked in retailers like Moda Operandi, but as she grew, she saw a gap in the market for a digital presence that really serviced her audience.

“We knew that they wanted unique buys, were ethically minded, liked to spend money and liked to look outside of the box. They wanted a curated experience. So we used our data analysis of our audience, knowledge of the fashion retail space, and our design perspective to create a new publishing platform The X Cartel that in its first 6 months is averaging 100,000 unique browsers monthly. “

So how did Cassie and her team get there?

1. Know your audience

“It might sound geeky, but we did a lot of analysis and market research on our audiences. We ran test Instagram profiles, surveys, dug deep into purchase behaviour, audience engagement and more to figure out what they wanted. What we found, is that they wanted small curated edits of cool, unique things from around the world- the effect of globalisation is really clear in their interests”. 

2. Consistency is key

“We had a fair bit of fine tuning at the start finding a consistent brand and aesthetic message across all of our channels. We found that the more we could provide a consistent brand presence, the more brand recall and engagement we received. We became an identity where someone could say…oh that’s from The X Cartel”. 

3. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

“We’ve always felt you can’t just rely on Facebook and Instagram- we try to really stay abreast of changes in algorithms..but you just never know! We really focus on what we know are our truly “owned” channels like EDM lists, and converting our social audience to those data points. We’re always exploring new platform opportunities and how to use new features authentically, for instance Reddit and Pinterest Paid.”

4. Have a vision

“What’s really important for myself and the team to have a clear vision and mission that we are all working towards. Not just our aesthetic vision, but our purpose as a team and a brand. I feel that audiences can tell when you are all rowing in the same direction and that bleeds across into our marketing and output”

5. Work with like-minded people

“This is true on so many levels. At the forefront, we partner with key persons of influence to collaborate on curated collections. They’re always like minded and not necessarily the obvious choice- think poets and musicians. It’s also true of your internal team and your partners. When you work with people who believe in the brand, and who share the same values, it creates magic!”



Image: @cassiesnelgar