I ditched software engineering to become an influencer. Here’s how I scaled up to 6 figures — and why my computer-science degree is now my backup plan.

I ditched software engineering to become an influencer. Here’s how I scaled up to 6 figures — and why my computer-science degree is now my backup plan.
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I ditched software engineering to become an influencer. Here’s how I scaled up to 6 figures — and why my computer-science degree is now my backup plan.
Vanessa Chen.

  • Vanessa Chen has a computer-science diploma however selected to pursue content creation.
  • She began posting her outfits as a pandemic interest and grew her following to more than 4 million.
  • Now she earns six figures and collaborates along with her favourite manufacturers. Engineering is her backup plan.

This as-told-to essay relies on a dialog with Vanessa Chen, a 22-year-old content creator in Boston. Her revenue has been verified with documentation by Insider. The following has been edited for size and readability.

Before the pandemic, I used to be a computer-science undergraduate with plans to change into a software program engineer. Now I’m a full-time content creator with more than 4 million followers throughout YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok who earns a mid-six-figure revenue.

My pandemic interest was my full-time job due to the right timing. Like many people, I began posting movies of my outfits only for enjoyable throughout lockdowns as a result of I’d at all times been into vogue. While I have my largest share of followers on TikTok now, my social-media journey started with Instagram. It had simply rolled out Reels, and there weren’t many people utilizing the function but.

I leaned in to video content from the beginning. My Instagram stats blew up as soon as I began posting movies, and the same factor occurred once I repurposed my content for TikTok and YouTube Shorts. Before Reels, I had about 1,500 followers on Instagram. Within six months of posting each day, I reached 100,000 followers.

I wish to benefit from this content-creation profession whereas I have it as a result of there isn’t any job safety in social media. My computer-science diploma is my backup plan.

Juggling content creation and faculty wasn’t straightforward 

I turned down a summer-internship supply in 2021 to deal with my social media. I used to be nervous at first, however I noticed many people who struggled to do each a full-time job and content creation, so I knew it was the right time for me to go all in as a result of it will get only more tough.

Fortunately, I ended up making more cash that summer season than I’d’ve made out of the internship, and by the time I graduated, I’d constructed up a large enough following to be a full-time content creator.

I construction my content-creation job like a 9-to-5

While many people assume an influencer’s job is glamorous, my workday appears to be like simply like a 9-to-5 job, besides it is simply me and my gear in my bed room. I used to have a part-time assistant who was a pupil and will work only throughout faculty breaks, however right now, it is a one-woman show. I plan on hiring a full-time assistant quickly.

On a typical day, I get up and go straight into filming. I do know many people batch their content, however I movie and edit in the same day. It’s very tiring to continuously keep up with traits, so I attempt to movie what I’m most enthusiastic about. When I’m in a rut, I look by way of my old movies to attract inspiration — I can at all times redo a development, a transition, or a sound in a brand new way. This provides me a backlog of concepts that hopefully I’ll by no means run out of.

Once that is accomplished, I normally verify my emails, hit the fitness center, go back residence, and eat. I spend a few hours in the night with my fiancé, Jason, after which I fall asleep and repeat every thing the following day.

You’d assume, as a content creator, I’d be updated with every thing on social media, however I attempt to keep away from expertise in my free time for the sake of my mental health.

When I’m working, I do verify social media to see what others are posting, particularly when I’m missing inspiration. But I take extra care to make sure that I at all times put my own artistic spin or aptitude on content I’m impressed by.

I leveled up by hiring a administration firm

Before I had a supervisor, I did not make a lot cash. The business was new and nobody talked about cash, so I did not know the way a lot to charge. It did not assist that I used to be horrible at negotiating.

But I did hear influencers might make some huge cash, so I made a decision to rent a talent-management firm two years in the past, and it was game-changing. My present administration firm reached out to me once I had only 10,000 followers. At that time, I wasn’t certain if I wanted it, so I said no. Just a few months later, it contacted me once more, and I noticed I did need assistance with negotiating and coping with manufacturers. It’s been nice ever since.

My administration firm offers with contracts for me, so I can deal with what I’m greatest at: content creation.

My revenue comes from a couple of locations

About 80% of my revenue comes from sponsorship offers, and the remainder comes from affiliate codes and advert income. I’m very fortunate to have labored with many manufacturers I cherished rising up, together with Coach, Tommy Hilfiger, Lululemon, Reebok, Marshalls, and Nike. Last year, Amazon requested me to work on a clothes line with it, and it was an thrilling opportunity.

My development was exponential firstly, and it has began to plateau, which could be scary, however I’m fairly snug with it. I do not have to chase numbers anymore, and I do know what I’m doing.

Some creators assume larger numbers equate to larger revenue, however in my experience, loads of occasions manufacturers prioritize high quality content and high engagement over followers alone. I’d a lot fairly have 100,000 followers who genuinely join with my content than 1 million followers who barely know who I’m or do not devour my content commonly.

Hopefully, if I play my playing cards right and begin investing my cash in the right locations, I can semiretire, or at the least not have to work each single day, by the time I wish to cool down and have youngsters. I have never invested but, however Jason and I have been speaking about investing our financial savings quickly into areas like stocks or properties.

Read the original article on Business Insider