Following the launch of the Talent of Tomorrow campaign last week, we’re meeting another one of the influencers who joined us on the shoot to model the final year collections of students from around the country.
Today, GFW digital editor Megan Doyle speaks with Sul from @SulsWorld — a blogger, influencer and Youtuber who creates content on fitness, fashion, lifestyle, self confidence, dating and everything in between. Sul shares his advice for students transitioning from university into their careers, as well as sharing the most surprising aspect of his job.
Megan Doyle: Thanks for joining us on the Talent of Tomorrow shoot, Sul! Tell us about when you first became familiar with Graduate Fashion Week.
Suleman Kudus: I know about GFW through a few of my friends — I’m so happy to be here today! I’m glad I can support university students and help promote their work. I was a student too and I know how much passion goes into work being produced. When I was asked to take part in this project, I automatically agreed. As an influencer and a blogger, I’m proud to wear these designs.
MD: You’re known for your fitness and lifestyle content but you also discuss self-confidence and mental health too. Does it come naturally to you to discuss these issues?
SK: I personally think that if you produce any type of content it needs to relate to you somehow. It is more personal, I think. It’s mainly my own experiences with these issues. For example, if I had a bad day, I like to share how I dealt with it, perhaps to inspire more people to take care of themselves. With self-confidence, I feel that is something I developed over the years in many different ways. By creating specific content where I share how I did it, I hope it work for others as well.
MD: What was the catalyst that helped you develop your self-confidence?
SK: Time definitely helped. Trying to figure out who I want to be by reading books, surrounding myself with people that helped develop my character, rather than distract me from my goals. I’m lucky to grow up within the football environment, where you build your confidence and push yourself to be better.
The main thing for me was finding what makes me happy, because when you’re happy you’re automatically more confident. If you have doubts about your happiness, if you don’t necessarily know where you’re going, this may cause your confidence to plummet.
MD: What has been the biggest surprise for you as a full-time content creator in your day-today life?
SK: Admin work! People never realise how much admin work is involved in blogging and social media influence jobs. I get so many emails, people offering photo shoots or free clothes; and what comes with it it’s the whole negotiating process, production, PR – things that happen behind the scenes.
It was not so much of a surprise for me, that all these things happen, however that becomes your main job sometimes. When you’re an influencer and a blogger, your whole life becomes your content – there is no switching off, and that could be problematic to some people.
MD: It must be difficult to structure your work/ life balance as an influencer who needs to be “on” constantly in order to engage with your audience. Are you strict with your working hours? How do you navigate this?
S: When I first started blogging it was just a constant content creating and thinking about it all the time. Then, with time, I started to realise that I needed more structure to it, and that there are a lot of things that I don’t personally need to be doing or going to. I learnt how to identify events and products that are worth my time, that make sense for me to share or to be involved in. And that also meant I had time to relax and kick-back.
MD: When you were finishing your marketing and advertising degree a few years ago, how did you transition from university into the workplace. Do you have some advice for those students who are about to leave school for the workforce?
SK: When you jump straight into an industry, you can feel lost and not know about all the opportunities available. I think it’s important to research the role you want to go into. The more you know about the field, the more confident you’re going to be. It’s important to chat with the photographers or stylists or creatives you’re really interested in to get their opinion on industry.
The fashion industry is full of opportunities; people always need assistants or volunteers; you can ask to shadow someone for few days at their work. Sometimes it’s not possible for bloggers or influencers, they don’t necessarily need much assistance, but there is so many photographers on Instagram for example, organising photo shoots, casting models; they could potentially need assistance and give advice in exchange.
Check out more from out 2019 Talent of Tomorrow campaign below!