It seems like everyone wants to be some type of influencer or creator on social media, but what does it actually require and entail? Chloe Jade, an Instagram creator, gives us her perspective.
For years everyone wanted to be famous, and now it seems that everyone wants to be an “influencer”. But what is an influencer? Although people like the Kardashian’s and other high profile people with millions of followers are true influencers, there are now plenty of micro-influencers (people with less than 500k followers on social media).
Now, Instagram has coined the term “creator”, to describe people like Chloe Jade (@chlooooejade on Instagram). Working with brands to promote products, but also traveling to promote hotels and provide photography for them as well. Although she doesn’t have millions of followers, she does have a following base that is interested in the photo and video content she puts out to the world. She splits her time between NYC and the Bay Area of California as her “home base”, but otherwise, she travels 70% of the year as a travel creator and blogger.
Since it seems like everyone is looking to achieve some type of following on social media, we decided to ask Chloe about her feelings towards the words influencer and creator…What they mean to her, and how to get started as a creator.
When first asked what she thought of “influencing” Chloe said: “Ask a child under the age of 16 what they want to be when they grow up…75% of the time you are going to get the answer of ‘influencer’ or ‘Youtuber’. Although I always found this to be kind of sad, in order to achieve this you need to be creative. I really believe that social media creation has brought back the ability for photographers and creators to make money with their passion. It is exciting to see artists celebrated for their work more often than they used to be.”
She also mentioned her distinction between “influencing” and “creating”: “In my opinion, influencing is the act of sharing products and ideas that other people want to copy. Creating is the act of showcasing photography, videography, cooking, or any type of art. All influencers create in some kind of way, but not all creators influence.”
Having said that, we asked Chloe what she thinks is needed in order to become a “creator” on social media.
“I think that every social media network requires different things to create successfully enough to make money. Generally, though, you need a niche. Not just something like travel or art, it needs to be specific like ‘making macarons’, or ‘luxury travel’. You have to pick one specific niche because all of the algorithms favor a niche. It is how they categorize what people are interested in and present interesting things to the users in the feed.
Second, you need to make good content. I had to make a huge switch in the quality of my content over the years. When Instagram started you could take a mirror pic from an iPhone 4 in a messy room and write a long caption underneath it because there were no stories or reels or anything like that. I came back into this world after a four-year hiatus to find that everything was so different and it required a lot more quality.
Now, you have to put a lot of thought and time into taking incredible photos and actually ‘creating’. You’re making art.
You also need to be invested and engaging. You have to collaborate with people in your niche and almost network online. You can’t just post, people want to engage with you. It is actually a community.
This means that you need to put a lot of work in. Posting almost every day, creating engaging content even when you are tired or want to enjoy your life, it isn’t easy. Travel bloggers and creators have to write and take photos for hours while traveling, so it’s not as glamorous as it might seem.
Finally, one of the most important parts of being a creator is that you have to be lucky. There are people with incredible Instagram accounts and portfolios but they aren’t ‘lucky’ and their content just doesn’t catch on.”
It seems that being a creator is something at the top of many people’s lists, but it does not come without work and sacrifice. To learn more about how Chloe is making this lifestyle work, follow her on Instagram (@chlooooejade), her newly emerging Tiktok (@chloooejade_) or check out her website www.chloejade.co.