Masters of Content Creation: Whalar's Emily Freda Sharp

Want to know what brands are looking for when working with Instagram influencers?

Are you a brand wondering how to make the most of Influencer marketing and how to successfully implement a creative campaign?
Look no further!

I have such a treat for you! Every day this week, you’ll meet some of the team from influencer marketing platform Whalar.

If you want to know what brands are looking for when working with influencers, how to raise your profile as an influencer or if you’re a brand, learn the importance of creative visual content…stay tuned.

Today we are meeting the gorgeous Emily Freda Sharp. Instagram influencer and Visual Content Producer at Whalar.

I adore Emily’s light, airy and creative Instagram feed. She creates the most beautiful self portraits and her feed is full of her lovely personality.

Emily offers a unique perspective as both an Instagram influencer as well as working as a Visual Content Producer at Whalar.

Read on and not only find out why you should make mistakes, but also learn why she would like to time travel.

Over to you Emily…

Masters of Content Creation | Whalar Emily Freda Sharp | The Content Designer Blog

Master of Content Creation: Emily Freda Sharp

1. What’s your name and where are you right now?
Emily Freda Sharp, and I’m sat at my desk in the Whalar London office, next to Chelsea (our Head of Content and Community), and Greg (our Head of Graphic Design).

2. Describe what Whalar is and does?
Whalar is an influencer marketing platform, which places creative content above all else. We pride ourselves on the quality of our collaborations, and like to think of the work we commission as better suited to billboards than banner ads.
Less selfie more Cezanne! 😂

3.  What do you look for in a content creator?
Personally, I look for the same things I like in any Instagram account. I’m quite picky about who I follow, as I like to curate my feed in the same way that you might use Pinterest.

Using the top 9 litmus test, I look for overall consistency of style, a sense of story and or place is always nice, and a general tendency towards playful creativity.

Masters of Content Creation series with Emily Freda Sharp | The Content Designer Blog

4. How do you like content creators to tackle a creative brief?
Working on the Content and Community team, I don’t tend to be a part of the campaign process from the Whalar side of things.

I am however an influencer with Whalar, and was for several years before coming in house as our Visual Content Producer - so looking at things from the influencer side of the story, I’d definitely say that I prefer the more creative briefs.

There are a few tell-tale signs that often indicate whether a brief is going to be fun to work on, and they tend to include: a lack of clunky product placement, a strong colour pallet and mood board, a simple but interesting story or stimulus, and I definitely try to avoid briefs that have too much of a clear idea of what they want, if that makes sense.

If the brief is littered with exacting visual references, chances are the brand will be looking for you to pretty much recreate what’s on the page in front of you - and that’s no fun at all.

5. What tool set does a good content creator need?
The best thing about content creation in this day and age is that the level for entry is so accessible. Gone are the days of needing studios, models, materials, props, and loads of expensive tech; now all you really need is a smartphone and an arsenal of amazing apps.

When it comes to getting work as a content creator, it’s so important that creators remember to approach jobs with a strong level of professionalism. I think in general it can be difficult navigating the industry as a freelancer, which is why at Whalar we’ve made Campus - our digital learning resource, by and for the creative community.

6. Art school or school of life? 
School of life. 

7. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
When I was 18, I left school to go and work in film. I found myself working at a post-production house in Soho, where, when chatting to one of the in-house editors I learnt something I’ve never forgotten.
What he said was, whether you’re the best editor/photographer/painter in the world, if you’re working for a client, you’re always going to get feedback. The trick, he said, was to remember to deliberately leave a small mistake for the client to correct.

At first, I didn’t get it. I just couldn’t understand why you would leave a mistake, why you wouldn’t do the absolute best job you could first time round. But over the years I’ve come to realise that within that advice there’s more than meets the eye. 

When you’re creating something, you have to remember that a melting pot of ideas and hard work has gone in to the process up to the point of your involvement. Whether you think you’ve done the absolute best job you can, or you’ve deliberately left room for small improvements, there’s always more than one creative voice invested in the collaboration. The trick is, to remember that they have every reason to want to feel as much a part of the final creation as you.

So what I took from that conversation over half a decade ago, is that it’s not about tricking others, it’s about teaching yourself that there’s always room for improvement.

8. What’s the best advice you’d like to give (to budding artists, designers, content creators etc)?
See above!

Masters of Content Creation Series | Learn from the best and be inspired by Whalar's Emily Freda Sharp | The Content Designer Blog

9. Can you give us an insight into future trends.  Or what content creators should be doing to ensure they stay ahead of the influencer game in the eyes of brands? 
I was chatting about this exact topic with Chelsea just this week, and we actually came to an interesting conclusion: Content seems to be moving towards either end of the spectrum - the real and the surreal. By that I mean that the work we’re seeing is either leaning more towards heavily curated and creative art, or the more candid everyday moments. 

I think for so long now, when people think of influencers and Instagram, they tend to think of those heavily staged, ‘#IWokeUpLikeThis’ shots. But more and more people are starting to question the culture that surrounds those unattainable levels of perfection. This began with the introduction of Stories, but I think that we’re beginning to see its effects on the main grid, and I definitely think it’s for the better.

Image via Eberhard Rossgasteiger, Unsplash

Image via Eberhard Rossgasteiger, Unsplash

10. Imagine this scenario:
You’ve been given the opportunity of a lifetime. You have half an hour to pack and you’re only allowed to take 1 piece of hand luggage. What’s the opportunity and what do you pack?

(NB: In your suitcase you already have your toothbrush, toothpaste, basic toiletries, phone & phone charger and the capsule wardrobe necessary for your trip. There’s only a small amount of room left. So it could be a luxury item, lucky charm, tools you can’t do without, book etc etc - the more creative the better!)

It’s 1953 and I’ve just been asked to accompany what will be the first successful expedition to the summit of Mount Everest, to document their journey. Given that I’m clearly a time-traveller in this scenario, I’ll take the above-mentioned phone, along with a DJI Mavic drone, and spend at least half of the trip dreaming of a cosy log cabin where I can get to work on the edit beside a nice warm fire!

Thank you Emily for your amazing insights. Let us know when you have mastered time travel and we can see your documentary about that expedition to Mount Everest ;)

About the Masters of Content Creation

The Masters of Content Creation series aims to highlight the visual artists and creative visionaries on Instagram, that do everything right. These are the people to learn from and follow when it comes to making great imagery for social media.

Today’s Master of Content Creation post is part of a special week-long series of interviews with the team from influencer platform Whalar including:

Chelsea Carter, Head of Content & Community
Lauren Sherry, Associate Director and Head of Whalar Stars (Europe)
Miranda Harle, Client Manager
Will Rix, Content Executive

Additionally, every month I’ll be emailing my top 3 Instagram content creators in a newsletter. Sign up at the end of this post, if you would like to receive monthly inspiration from the best artists, creatives and content creators on Instagram.

Discover More Masters Of Content Creation

Sign up to this special monthly newsletter to discover other content creators spreading visual joy on Instagram.

Subscribe to the Masters of Content Creation newsletter series

Pin For Later

Master of Content Creation with Emily Freda Sharp, Visual Content Producer | Learn from industry professionals about what makes great visual content on Instagram. | The Content Designer Blog