At some point, content creators must ask themselves the difficult questions we all try to avoid. How big of an influencer do you desire to be? Do you want to be behind the camera or in front of it? What kind of influencer do you want to be? What will your content revolve around? The list goes on. However, if you want the power of being able to build a career and community from scratch, then this is for you.
Laura Jung’s content consists of food, fashion, and beauty. From time to time, she participates in other activities involving her life in New York and Seoul. Jung describes her Instagram following of 70,000 users to be accidental. What a great mistake to make! I know we all wished we made mistakes that are in our favor. And even so, she seems to know exactly what she’s doing. She carefully considers the brands she works with ensuring they all align perfectly with her values and what she stands for as a woman. She also establishes boundaries between her personal life and her social media personality.
When you purchase an item, you’re doing your research on that brand and its products.
“I have the same approach when I’m working with brands,” Jung said. “I only want to work with brands that have some sort of social corporate responsibility embedded in their brand.”
She then explains that it is hard to decide at times because money is better than no money. But above all, she wants to stand up for herself as a woman and a person of color. She believes you should stand up for your values and what you believe in. As an influencer stay true to yourself. This will give you the reach and engagement you desire. Your audience will trust you and know that you have strong morals that you stand by and hold true to yourself.
Jung is successfully setting up her platform to fulfill a long-term career on social media with the help of Oxygen, a new financial platform. She has also launched a newspaper called “Up” to help grow her community.
Oxygen is a great platform, especially for people like Laura in this field of work. Jung said, “They are the freethinkers and entrepreneurs that are writing their own rulebook, it has made banking into something that’s fun, cool, and really accessible. The app is amazing.”
If you are an aspiring influencer, you should consider using the app. It has made everything you need from cashback rewards to retail and travel benefits for creators and entrepreneurs. Jung raves over the cashback rewards program because after college you realize how important cash is. You must save as much as possible.
“Oxygen makes it super seamless to save money and manage it within their app,” Jung said.
She then explains her background and how she accidentally crafted her career as an influencer. While attending New York University, Jung started a fun Instagram account where she documented her life in NYC.
“Primarily the restaurants I would eat at because I was so excited to be surrounded by amazing food,” Jung said. Although she never planned on Instagram becoming her full-time job, over time she started gaining more followers and it just stuck with her. “This was when Instagram wasn’t as saturated as it is now, but it grew very fast.”
After Jung graduated from NYU, her content transformed from food into lifestyle, where she posted more of her outfits and the places she would travel to while working as a manager at a beauty company. She began getting so many influencer invites to trips and events that she was no longer able to be at the office. Then it dawned on her that she could monetize Instagram.
“I only worked for three months before I made the switch to being a full-time influencer three years ago,” Jung said.
It was always her plan to become her own boss and work for herself. She expresses how growing up she knew she wanted to be in full control of her life. However, she may not have realized what that meant and the process involved in order to do so.
“I realized this is actually so much work,” Jung said. “And because I started it right out of college without any tangible work experience, I was learning everything for the first time. Now, influencers have revolutionized marketing and advertising.”
Jung mentions that it’s incredible how the online community has turned advertising around in a cool, fun, and engaging way.
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Jung feels that the biggest thing is to delineate work from free time. Although her life is her work, she still tries to distinguish the two as much as possible.
“It was really hard to separate the two and get off my phone or computer and live my life without needing to share everything and constantly be on and performing,” Jung said. She advices doing so for a much healthier relationship with social media and the web.
According to Jung, you should hire a manager to help with tedious tasks such as paperwork, filing, and invoicing. It is incredibly challenging to do it on your own, and it’s something a beginning influencer should consider. It’s a great thing to learn in this line of profession but it’s easier with the help of an expert.
Given the experience she has gained over the past three years as an influencer, Jung advises to stop saying yes. It’s detrimental to you as an influencer, it damages your brand and hurts you. In the end, you are not being true to yourself as a result you’ll lose yourself and your credibility.
Feature image by Amelia Bartlett from UNSPLASH.COM