David Solomone’s power of influence

David Solomone

Over 4 billion people now use the internet, and that accounts for more than half of the world’s population. 

More than 3 billion of those people use social media. With the advent of smart phones and the lower cost of making them, technology has had a huge impact on everything from education to agriculture – and even to shopping.

While using Facebook may have started off as a trendy way to connect people with similar interests, it is now a crucial component in the marketing and sale of any product or service.

Forbes describes it best: “Today’s consumers turn to social media to find brands they can trust, looking for user testimonials, examples of exceptional customer service and more.”

Influencers provide consumers with exactly that and more because while they enjoy the independence of a third party, their carefully built up followers or audience trust their opinion.

They are a dynamic new generation of people whose biggest assets are a good mobile phone and an appreciation for the artistic take on even the most mundane things.

In Fiji, David Solomone is part of that clique, those people who seem to know everything about what is trending or what will be the next ‘in thing.’

At the very least, they are well connected to those who are in the know.

That power is such that many international brands, whether they sell stationery, luxury cars or beauty products are increasingly turning influencers to widen their market reach.

Solomone’s success as an influencer is best described in three words: Pacific Island Art (PIA).

The fashion wear company that was established in 2010 in Lautoka is owned by a branch of the Tahitian family who created the original brand 50 years ago.

Five years after opening in Fiji, PIA hired David who had just completed a four-year stint with Fiji Fashion Week where he began his career as a public relations intern.

David’s PIA work quickly made the company the go-toplace for Bula wear despite their designs not being Fijian. 

He grew up on Raiwaqa’s Good Lane (after which his platform Three Good Lane is named) and has had to work very hard to get the almost 10,000 audience he now interacts with across Facebook and Instagram.

“I didn’t come from money but I had lots of moral support and this was important to me, especially when I really had to hustle just to travel to places and events to capture good content,” David reveals.

Three Good Lane provides its followers original content served on a bed of exciting language and graphics – all of which require expensive gadgets and clothes!

“People think we go to exciting events every night, lunch at nice places every day and wear fabulous fashion wear all the time. The truth is, these things are expensive so obviously I can’t turn up to venues all the time and, actually, most days I’m at home just working.”

As fabulousness goes, events in the lifestyle and fashion industry where David plies most of his trade, can ask for anything from $100 to $300 a ticket and, while the Three Good Lane brand may get him some access, he regularly has to pay his way through like everyone else.

David’s client list reflects a whole range of businesses – he works full time on social media, and he has not restricted himself on the products to promote or brands to push.

From milk to furniture to luxury cosmetics and fashion brands, David likes to take them all on. 

You may even find him on a set of a television show giving fashion and style advice, or directing photography shoots for new clothes which have yet to hit the market. Whenever there is an event in the fashion or entertainment industry, chances are high that David will be sitting in the front row.

What he will not do though is work for free, for cheap or for clients who don’t have the right vibe: “Sometimes you will get the odd client who doesn’t understand social media but who will try to micro-manage your work. I can usually identify clients like this very early and these type I normally decline.”

“This work is creative and if my creative juices aren’t flowing, I can’t give my clients the best I have to offer. Negativity can get in the way of creativity so it is just now worth it,” says David.

“Sadly there are still many people who do not fully understand the value of the work we do and the critical part that social media platforms play in marketing.”

The business and art, or some may say, the science involved in the work that influencers do is in making sure their recommendation of a product is not just a personal preference but is also an expert opinion. It is a job that David takes seriously and one he has worked hard to perfect.

“It is not an easy job but at the same time it has a lot of great benefits,” declares David.

“We are always around influential and powerful people but I’m always reminded to stay true both to myself and my humble beginnings.”

He stresses that “it is important that I don’t lose myself so I always know who my followers are and why they believe in me.”

David is “absolutely thrilled” that he has just been recruited by Fiji Plus’ publisher, Julian Moti QC, to join our stable from next month to strut his stuff as Fiji’s trendsetter. Such is his power of influence!

Republished from Fiji Plus, August 2019

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