By Katie Cattell, Copywriter
Here at Ahalogy, it’s no secret that our influencers are at the core of everything we do. From their gorgeous imagery to their unique creative vision, we would be lost without our Ahalogy Partners—a network of over 5,500+ content creators across the Food & Drink, Health & Beauty, Lifestyle, and Parenting categories. Just as no two blogs look the same, each of our influencers have a different story to share. Check out the following Partner Spotlight interview to learn more about what it takes to become an Ahalogy Partner.
Bringing a new meaning to the phrase, “southern gentleman,” Josh Johnson uses his blog, The Kentucky Gent, to publish a variety of lifestyle, travel, entertaining, fashion, and cocktail recipe posts. Josh also uses his site to bring awareness to some of Louisville’s best-kept secrets—such as the best bars, restaurants, and events in town. Check out his blog and follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to get a better look at all of the exciting things that Louisville has to offer.
To start off with, can you tell me a little bit about how you got started in influencer marketing? Your site says that you became The Kentucky Gent by accident?
I started The Kentucky Gent roughly five years ago while I was working another job and doing travel quite a bit. People were always surprised when I told them I was from Kentucky. That’s kind of where the name came from.
It started out as outfit of the day kind of things on Instagram, and then it picked up from there. So I decided to just go ahead and start the blog. The first two years were a little haphazard for me but the last two years, I’ve been doing it full time.
An example of branded content from The Kentucky Gent. See the full Finlandia Lavender Cocktail here.
A lot of your content focuses on local Louisville attractions, which makes sense since you’re The Kentucky Gent. What’s something that you wish people knew about Kentucky or Louisville in particular?
I definitely think Louisville is much different from the rest of the state, it’s kind of like a city-state in and of itself. One of the best cities in the country—we were named that by Nat Geo this year—as well as a travel destination by Forbes. I think it’s maybe misrepresented on occasion based on antiquated ideas of what the South is. So I would definitely encourage people to be a little more open-minded to things that would be different from what they would typically think of.
An example of branded content from The Kentucky Gent. See the full Doritos Three-Cheese Stuffed Sliders recipe here.
A lot of your pictures have a very distinct style, especially on a platform like Instagram. Do you mind telling me about your photography process?
Yeah so I’m totally self-taught on photography, just kind of picked it up from YouTube and trial and error. I definitely like a little moodier, darker editing as you can see on my Instagram. I use VSCO on my iPhone. Most things that are posted on Instagram are from my iPhone. Unless it’s a blog photo, which is a photo of me, they’re typically taken on iPhone.
Do you have any tips for someone who’s looking to get started as an influencer?
I would say to do it for yourself more than anything. Don’t create content for other people. For me, whenever I was trying to create content that I thought people would want to see, I didn’t love it as much anymore. Now I do what I want to do and what I love doing. When people followed me in the beginning, I was doing things that I wanted to do and when I wanted to do them. They were things that I thought were interesting.
I think having a unique point of view like that and focusing on what you are interested in and what you find fun is much more appealing to most people. It’s much more organic and less work.
So my biggest advice is to find something that works for you and that you love doing. Find a unique point of view and focus on that. Don’t focus so much on the numbers and the metrics and all that. A lot of people would rather have someone who creates authentic, engaging content over someone who creates copycat content or they do the same thing every time.
What is your favorite kind of content to create?
My favorite kind of content is probably travel. Second to that, it’s cocktails and food. Travel is awesome because it incorporates everything that I do. From what I’m wearing to travel to where I’m eating, where I’m drinking, and what I’m doing. I also think travelers are the nicest people. A lot of people want to travel and do things, so it’s very cool.
Obviously, a big part of influencer marketing is the brand partnerships. What is something you look for when you’re applying for sponsored content opportunities?
The biggest thing that I look at is that it actually fits with my brand. I also want to know that the brand’s that I’m working with, their values and ethics align with my value and ethics as well.
Do you have a favorite part about being an influencer?
My favorite part would definitely be the flexibility and the travel; I love the travel. To be able to pack up and go somewhere if I need to for work or for fun. It’s like, “hey, do you want to go on a weekend trip somewhere?” It’s much easier for me to say yes to that now than it ever has been before.
Also being able to meet people and make connections. It’s a fun industry to be in, especially as it’s still continuing to grow. It’s fun to be on one of the front ends of it.
We hope you’ve gotten to know Josh (and his hometown of Louisville!) a little better. It’s not easy being an influencer, but a devoted reader base and unique opportunities through sponsored brand partnerships make it all worth it. Stay tuned next month when we talk to a brand new voice in influencer marketing and learn what their perspective is on creating meaningful content for their site.