Thursday, November 3, 2016

Who Influences OSC's Cynthia Smoot?

If you are looking for a new restaurant to go to, wondering if the latest Tom Cruise movie is any good or want fashion advice on which fall trends are right for you, chances are you've turned to an online influencer for help. An "online influencer" is someone that lives and breathes via their over-populated social media accounts, while focusing on very specific niches. They can coin terms, spread news like fire and influence other people's opinions. Not surprisingly, this has made many in the field very attractive to advertisers as they provide a valuable (and generally affordable) tool to reach targeted shoppers. The first thing you learn in Marketing 101 is that "word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising". The rise of digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and blogs have injected a big dose of steroids into that philosophy and given influencers a megaphone to reach thousands, even hundreds of thousands, with the push of a button. What I used to say to a couple of girlfriends over lunch, I can now share with 30,000 people in one tweet. Amazing! I am thankful that there are many of you who turn to my channels for advice and opinions and I was thrilled to visit the set of Good Morning Texas today to share with their viewers a few North Texans who influence me!

There is no shortage of amazing restaurants run by talented chefs in Dallas. One of the byproducts of this industry is a booming foodie community. There are many food bloggers and journalists whose opinion I turn to when looking for a recommendation on a new place or to ask if a new dish is order-worthy. FoodBitch, Stephen Lindsay at Zagat, Teresa Gubbins at CultureMap, Catherine Downes at D Magazine's SideDish are a few opinions I respect. But when it comes to getting my daily dose of food porn on Instagram, I turn to Brandon Baker of Brandon Does Dallas and sisters Kelsie and Lexie at Pizza + Champagne. Their photos are mouth-watering and captions are quip-worthy. Scroll through the photo galleries below for a taste of what I am talking about.

  Brandon Does Dallas

Pizza + Champagne

Fashion is a $343 BILLION dollar industry in the USA alone. Yowza. Fashion bloggers have cashed in on our passion for fashion through their blogs using affiliate links and social channels. rewardStyle is the industry's leading affiliate marketing company and it's even located right here in Dallas! One of the ways I describe myself on the ABOUT page on my blog is that I have "champagne tastes on a soda pop budget and pride myself on presenting my great personal style on a budget". That doesn't mean I don't live for aspirational fashion and designer labels... You never know, I might win the lottery one day. Amy Havens of Dallas Wardrobe, Courtney Kerr of KERRently and Krystal Schlegal are a few fashion bloggers who make a living hawking style, but when I want to be inspired, I turn to Samantha Stewart of Style of Sam and Cathy Williamson of The Middle Page.  Both ladies have impeccable taste and provide affordable ways to implement the latest trends into your wardrobe. Sam is an avid consignment shopper and I bump into her frequently at our favorite haunt, Clothes Circuit. Their blogs provide practical advice on how to be the most for less.

Style of Sam

The Middle Page

My son is sixteen and driving, so I am past the point of reading Mom blogs for advice. However, if you are looking for the latest trends in DIY holiday crafts, recipes and parenting tricks and tips Dallas bloggers provide valuable lessons. A few of my favs are Autumn Reo of Mama Challenge and Holly Homer's Kids Activities Blog.  I am OBSESSED with Casey Wiegand who published Casey Leigh. Her life is straight out of an Anthropologie catalog circa 1930. This stunning Mom of four little ones seems to spend her days making homemade apple pies decorated with sugar-dusted crusts in her washboard white kitchen while her kids pleasantly frolic about her charming abode in tutus and paper rose crowns. She is the Mother I will never be but am so fascinated by. It's like reading a harlequin novel. You know that real romance is never that passionate and deep but you long for it anyways... I'm sure her kids throw tantrums, cry because those tutus itch and smear chocolate on those perfectly white walls, but to look at her blog you think they are singing hymns and dancing all day.  Fascinating...

Casey Leigh Wiegand

Lastly, I couldn't talk about influencers without mentioning photographer Joseph Haubert. Joe is a photographer who primarily shoots the city of Dallas. The amazing thing about his work is that almost all of his work is shot and edited on an iPhone, making me feel incredibly inferior with my skills. It's not uncommon for him to scale buildings and creep out on rooftops or belly-crawl through fields to get the perfect angle for a magical shot. If a photo says a thousand words, Joseph Haubert has written novels about the majesty of Dallas. 

Joseph Haubert

I hope that you will follow my recommendations soon their various social channels and add their blogs to your list of daily reads. They all provide a valuable voice to the cluttered online conversation as it pertains to our fair city. From food to fashion, reality TV to movie premiers, cultural events to business deals, this city is happening and you'll find me right in the middle of the action! Follow me on the channels below to stay connected!