OnBrand panel gives students tips on succeeding as social media influencers
To finish off the week for Guelph Humber’s fourth year Media Studies students, the Emerge team held an event for students and staff to mix and mingle with social media influencers.
OnBrand held a panel discussion at the Guelph-Humber Lecture Hall with five social media specialists and influencers. Ranging from Instagram ambassadors to YouTube personalities, students got the opportunity to gather insight into how to be successful in this industry.
The team of panellists discussed all sorts of topics revolving around the digital world of social media and how relevant it has become for marketing and advertising companies. Social media influencers like Marlon Palmer, Rachel David, and David Reyes spoke about how their careers started and things that helped them stand out from the rest.
Rachel David built her company three years ago after working in broadcasting for 10 years prior. After being let go from her job, she took a year off and started making YouTube videos, opening doors that led her to where she is today. Featuring a number of different creators, David started getting contacted by brands. The connections she built in that year helped her connect with others which led to the growth of her company. Without direction or guidance, David was stuck to face the unpredictable outcome of her career change.
“Starting a company is like falling in love. You don’t know why or how it’s going to happen it just sort of happens.”
When Daniel Reyes started blogging five years ago, he had no idea what a blog was. Studying conventional marketing in school, Reyes was forced to teach himself the ins and outs of the industry in less than a year. Reyes started off as a food blogger while working in marketing for the next three years. Tied between two full-time jobs, Reyes had to find time to dedicate to his growing passion and his side job. After changing and monetizing his blog, Reyes expressed the most important things one should be able to do to be successful.
“It’s mostly a learning process. I think that that’s one of the best things about the industry is that if you’re willing to learn and pivot you can make a really great living doing this,” he said.
For social media influencer, Marlon Palmer, his career started because he wanted to get the attention of two girls he liked.
“They happened to see my video and commented on it. Back then, once you commented on something, all of your followers could see it. All of their followers came over, which catapulted. I didn’t take it seriously for about the next three years, and I was dishwashing at the time,” he continued.
“I went on break and I was trying to get some food, and people kept stopping me for pictures. But I was in a dishwashing uniform, it didn’t make sense. I went back to work, took off my uniform and snuck through the back. I went home and made a video every day until I could make my rent”.
Throughout the last decade, the industry of social media has grown to become a place to share your experiences for a source of income. The hyper-personalization of online personas used on the internet sometimes paint a dishonest picture of reality for some. But as we’ve seen within the industry, businesses and companies are starting to use social media as more than just a platform for entertainment. Brands and advertisements have taken to social media to help promote their products.
Some of the biggest challenges for influencers are the inconsistencies of payments.
“Some people who work normal jobs can plan things out way better because you know and you’re expecting this amount in this month. You can generally budget better. With us it’s like the Wild Wild West, we don’t know if they’re going to honour the invoice and pay you within the 45 days,” Palmer said.
Palmer said following through with your ideas is one of the key factors that separates successful people from the rest of the world. Being able to put your pride aside and ask for guidance and help are some of the little factors that can help you reach your personal goals.
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