Students turn to influencing as a side gig – KentWired

Students turn to influencing as a side gig – KentWired

There are many ways students make money while in college. Some wait tables while others may work retail, but these individuals have found a more creative approach to supporting themselves. They’re content creators.

“Filming content as a college student has given me such a wide engagement,” said Zharia’Elizabeth McGlothin, a senior fashion merchandising major. “It’s helped me to have content ideas to do as well as be a source of inspiration to other incoming students to Kent State.”

McGlothin began creating content at the age of nine. Her main platform is YouTube, where she said her audience has grown with her.

While her followers enjoy getting insight from a fashion student, McGlothin also has a knack for vlogging. The strategies she uses set her apart from other content creators trying to join the space.

“I like to spend a good amount of time editing because that’s where my creativity can really shine in, especially my YouTube videos, and I can take a simple video and make it into a cinematic film,” McGlothin said.

Nicole Farmer, a senior fashion design major, decided to start a blog during the COVID-19 pandemic. While cooped up, she took photos against a white wall in her room.

Courtesy of Nicole Farmer

Now, her blog serves as a place to post her outfits and share her passion for fashion with her followers. When she got to Kent, she began creating her persona on her main account to make it easier for students across campus to connect with her.

But there has always been a monetary benefit, too.

A couple years ago, Farmer reached out to cosmetic brand Drunk Elephant. This became the first brand she would work with on her socials. 

“I just sent them an email,” Farmer said. “They replied, ‘We would love to send you some minis,’ and I still use the oil to this day.” 

Although Farmer’s goal is growing her socials, fame is not a main factor. But as her audience grows, the hecklers come with it.

“I had a video do really well 3 years ago, it was about my ins and outs of the year, and used a trending audio and I got so much hate for it and my feelings were hurt,” Farmer said, laughing at online trolls.

Now, Farmer takes a user-generated content approach. This allows her to create content for brands that they can keep in their reserves and use for up to one year to post on their socials. Even if the brand does not utilize the content she produces she gets paid regardless.

“I only take the deals I want to take,” Farmer said. “I don’t have a management team, it’s just me behind the emails. If I don’t have time, I just say no.”

 Last month, Farmer worked with Dove to highlight its new body washes.

“They paid me a good amount of money for it,” Farmer said. “It was a thirty second video; I did a voice-over and it probably took me three hours from film to edit. They approved it, and I got paid.”

Farmer said she utilized social media awareness and literacy in her internship and will continue to use these as she enters the workforce.

“A lot of companies love to see you have social media on your resume because it means you are able to figure out analytics, trend forecasts and so much more that goes into creating content that people don’t really see,” Farmer said.

Farmer’s top brands she works with include Dove, Fresh Sends, Princess Polly and Savage X Fenty.

“I love working with Dove because I go out and buy their products naturally, so getting paid to talk about something I already like is just a bonus,” Farmer said.

The strategies she uses set her apart from other content creators trying to join the space. 

McGlothin said while she has fun with her content creating, she also knows that it serves as an income to help her through undergrad. 

For many influencers, this is a full-time career. But as McGlothin finishes her fashion degree, it remains her side job.

“I also know that it is possible to be full time as well if I choose to go that route,” McGlothin said.

Working with brands and collaborating at events are among the many things that McGlothin would not have experienced without taking content creation seriously and utilizing her skills.

“It has given me partnership opportunities with brands that I couldn’t have imagined working with,” McGlothin said. “The ability to have people reach out to me, to have me come to their event and just record my experience to show my audience, review their product, has all been something that I love about influencing.”

Full-time or part-time, a new career could be right at your fingertips.

Lauryn Tadda is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].

Originally Appeared Here