MANILA - With a combined social media following that could account for a quarter of the Philippine population, "It Girls" Anne Curtis and Georgina Wilson harnessed their online popularity into successful businesses.
Curtis, the face of her own blk cosmetics, said her followers, 10.4 million on Twitter and 8.6 million on Instagram, tell her which colors they like and which stores are carrying her products.
"That's what really helped me. It's instant feedback," Curtis told a GoNegosyo forum for female entrepreneurs.
Curtis said she was reluctant at first to serve as the face of blk, until her partners told her that hiring an endorser would drive up advertising costs.
The "It's Showtime" host said aspiring entrepreneurs should find the right partners and stay within their budget.
Wilson, who has 4.2 million followers on Twitter and 2.8 million others on Instragram, grew her Sunnies sunglass kiosk into an eponymous brunch cafe where millennials can take pictures of their chicken and pancakes against a backdrop of pastel interiors.
The mother to one-year-old Archie said she swept the cafe floors when Sunnies Cafe was starting. She said being a businesswoman was harder than raising a child.
"I found it very humbling," she said. "Whats great in starting small lahat ng wins (every win), every way you grow you appreciate so much."
"Mental drain is something that you have to be fully prepared for. Lifetime commitment siya (it's a lifetime commitment)," she said.
From just 4 staff, Wilson now has 400 employees after 5 years as an entrepreneur.
"Digital is constantly having that open communication online with consumers. Open lines is one of the reason people feel connected to the brand," she said.