This isn’t the first time we’ve talked to Li-Chi Pan – nor do we think it’s going to be the last. Chatting to the food, fashion and travel influencer for the launch of Husskie in late 2016, things have changed a lot for Li-Chi in the past 1.5 years. She’s growing up fast, and her content with it.
Originally making a name for herself through a food-filled feed of architecturally-perfected flatlays there was little sign of the girl behind the Gram. These days, we’re getting to see a lot more of Li-Chi… and we’re loving every second of it. While she’s not completely turned her back on her love for pastel-hued food constructions, Li-Chi has found herself moving more into travel and fashion – with her 550K+ followers enjoying the evolution.
With Li-Chi fresh back from an influencer trip to Grasse, Paris with Le Labo fragrances, we caught up with her at the recent Fujifilm Instax event to chat everything from what happened on the trip, to shifting content, to what camera equipment she typically uses.
You’ve just come back from an influencer trip overseas, can you tell us a little bit about it?
I got to travel and connect with different influencers. It’s awesome because everyone came from all over the globe, you really get to learn from other influencers from different countries. One thing I love about this job [being a social media content creator] is the people you get to meet – on this last trip for Le Labo fragrances there were three or four influencers that I’d been following for ages and it was only on this trip that we were all brought together. We all got along so well! That’s the beauty of Instagram – it really connects people.
Did you find the influencers from overseas work in a similar way to you?
It was interesting to see that some of the influencers who are on about the same amount of followers as me worked completely solo, while others had a full team. One of the girls had someone to manage their website, a manager, a campaign manager, and a photographer – so there were four people. It was very inspiring to see everyone’s varying work methods. We also got talking about the algorithm and how it’s really affected people…
Has the algorithm affected you?
I think that now I’m changing the direction of my content to have more travel and less food, the algorithm is working for me. I think the algorithm has affected many people, but I think what’s beautiful about it is that you don’t have to post at a certain time anymore – it’s all about posting what you want in that moment. The algorithm focuses on good quality content, so if you’re always uploading high quality content that your followers engage with – then the next post will see the engagement jump. That’s what I find. If I upload a really high quality content image and I keep up the standard – then the next image keeps its momentum.
I also find that being really candid in your Instagram Stories and talking with your audience is good. I’ve started doing a bit more personal blogging and my followers are engaging a lot better with that. I think it’s interesting – we were sharing insights with all the different bloggers and they all said that speaking to camera is getting high engagement from their audience.
Can you talk me through a normal day in your life when you’re at home in Sydney?
I’m an early riser, so I’ll wake up at 6 o’clock and get changed to meet my trainer for a work-out session for about 40 mins. I’ll then run to my corner café to grab a long black and then I’ll start my day around 8.30am. I’ll do all my admin – get all that done, and then I’ll start addressing any shoots or campaigns that I’m working on. If I’m done with campaigns – then that’s my favourite time to just be able to focus on creating organic and inspiring content for my followers.
There’s no set routine for my day. People always ask me how far head I plan my schedule – but I can’t really plan because a lot of the time travel trips come up just 2 or 3 weeks before. You can’t plan too far ahead or you miss out on a lot of opportunities. I like it though because I’m not someone who can be dictated by a 9-5. Some people work really well in that environment where they like routine, but for me – every day is just so different and that’s what I like about my job.
Why the Fujifilm Instax [instant photo camera]?
It’s good for travel because it’s very in-the-moment and you can capture candid moments. I think a lot of analogue photography has been lost in time – but I feel like Fuji is starting to bring it back. I think it’s also good for documenting memories in a moment, plus it’s really light!
Apart from cameras, what other tech equipment do you take on trips with you?
I normally like to use my macro lens – the 50mm. It’s a set lens, but it gets really good depth of field in your images and the focal length is great for me because the images that come out are very intimate. I bring a tripod, but then I also travel with Michaela [Li-Chi’s Content Editor] a lot. Michaela helps me with all my content – she was helping me non-stop in Grasse [for the Le Labo trip]!
All images: Li-Chi Pan