Lifestyle Blogger Kim Thomas Gives Gems on Blogging and Branding
KimThomas is a lifestyle blogger + photographer based in Memphis, TN. Launched in September 2010, her blog KP Fusion provides of-the-moment fashion, style and beauty tips + trends with a little Memphis, TN flavor thrown in. Whether it’s high, low, fast fashion, vintage, or something new, like a well-edited wardrobe, there’s a place for it on the blog. Kim and I chatted about her successful creative business and the key to being a great blogger.
How did KP Fusion get started?
KT : “KP Fusion started as a creative outlet. I first got into blogging while I was working in healthcare management (it was a completely different blog), but I missed talking about fashion. Once I started working in retail again, I began researching fashion blogging so that I could figure out my niche, voice, etc. A friend on social media randomly suggested I check out the blog Cupcakes & Cashmere and reading her blog helped me see that I could just be myself and a month later (September 2010) I launched my blog. The content has evolved over the years to include more lifestyle content, but I’ve stayed pretty true to who I am in the process.”
What do you love most about being a content blogger?
KT :”I love being a storyteller and sharing new places, products and people with my readers. It’s easy to copy larger sites and try to focus on celebrity culture for the clicks, but I like being able to share my unique viewpoint on things, whether it’s about a new lipstick I’m trying or a cool new business that has opened in my city. “
What are your favorite and least favorite things about running a creative business?
KT : “My favorite thing is that because this is MY little corner of the internet, I can share whatever I find interesting without trying to follow someone else’s blueprint. It has allowed me to not only work with cool people and brands, but it was also the catalyst that lead to a career change. Because I was trying to take better pictures for my blog, I really fell in love with photography and over the last 3 years have been able to transition and now work as a full-time photographer.
Least favorite is trying to get brands and businesses to see my worth when they reach out for collaborations (so many want you to work for free or “exposure” which does NOT pay bills!) and also having to “sell” my services as a photographer. I’m naturally an introvert, love being behind the scenes and choose to work with a very specific clientele (bloggers, creatives and small businesses), so having to push my business can be very hard sometimes. I really enjoy what I do, though, so I just make the best of it!”
In your line of work, what is success to you?
KT : “Success to me is seeing a client be successful using the imagery that we’ve created. I love visual storytelling, so when I’m able to get the shots that my client needs in order to help THEIR blog or business grow, that makes me happy. “
What makes a great blog post?
KT: “A great blog post is one that falls into 1 of these 3 categories: it’s inspirational, aspirational, or teaches you something.”
What is your biggest goal this year?
KT : “My biggest goal this year is build my photography business to the point where I can have a natural light studio. While I love the freedom of shooting on location, there’s so much more that you can do when you have a dedicated space that is designed to be a blank canvas for content (and gets gorgeous sunlight!)”
Name 3 things a new blogger can do to start-up their brand.
1.) Know your audience.
If you’re trying to create content for everybody, your content may be too generic and people will skip over it. Niche down as much as possible so that you have a solid point of view no matter what you’re talking about.
2.) Invest in your photography.
Yes, iphones are great in a pinch, but there is nothing like the pictures that you can get with a DSLR camera. If you look at the larger bloggers that have really been able to monetize their blogs, their imagery is always on point and professional looking (whether they hired someone to shoot them or invested in a camera and it took the pics themselves). At the end of the day, blogging is a form of marketing + advertising and nobody wants to look at a blurry ad.
3.) BE YOURSELF + HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY.
That is the secret sauce that will lead to real brand development, no matter what size your audience/following is. You don’t have to have a huge following to work with brands or to use your platform to help with launching a business. What you DO need is a personality, lol. Your unique voice and personality is what will attract your tribe and make people connect to your content. If you can get them to do that, you’ll be golden.
Name 3 interesting facts about you.
I played the flute in jr. high school. Couldn’t read music to save my life but somehow I was able to play well enough to be first chair. Ha!
I will ALWAYS have gum in my purse. Like, always, lol. It’s an addiction.
I’m super girly now but was a tomboy growing up. I always surprise people when I show them that I can throw a football “like a boy” (left-handed at that!)
What tools or object could you not live with in your workday?
KT: “I cannot live without my phone, laptop and my camera. I can work anywhere in the world if I have these 3 things.”
What is your personal style?
KT: “My personal style is classic with a twist. I know what works for my body type, and while I will experience with trends here and there. I know my core aesthetic and will always go back to that. “
About Kim Thomas
In addition to blogging + collaborating with brands like J. Crew, Lane Bryant, Shopbop, European Wax Center + more, Kim also hosts blogging workshops + events, and has been featured on ABC 24 Memphis as a fashion + lifestyle expert.