In a recent study done by The Sun, it was discovered that 1 in 3 kids want to be a YouTuber, and 1 in 5 kids want to be a Blogger/Vlogger. I am both of these things, but I never planned to be. I absolutely love what I do for a living, which includes building LEGO, then turning around and creating content around what I build for YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and of course articles like this. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that my LEGO hobby would someday become a career, but that’s the reality I’ve worked to build and I am truly grateful. It has been a lot of hard work, but I truly believe anyone can do this within their interests given the dedication and determination.
With that being said, it’s not often that content creators pull back the veil and really talk about what it’s like. In March 2021, I celebrated my six-year anniversary of creating daily content online without ever missing a day. Yes, you read that right: WITHOUT EVER MISSING A DAY. Creating daily content with a perfect record is an achievement I am proud of, and I have learned a lot about myself, my followers, my hobby, and what it is to be an influencer.
Today, I want to share the four things I wished I knew before starting my influencer journey in hopes that it inspires you. Whether you’re working on building a new page or breathing life into an existing one, I hope these influencer insights help you gain a better picture of what life is like, un-photoshopped and unedited:
I started my influencer journey in 2015 while studying my Freshman year at Belmont University. I was going through a tough time personally, and I had a random idea while looking at the toys I’d had on my desk: I challenged myself to post a daily LEGO photo on Instagram and see how long I could go for. That challenge remains ongoing to this day and has taken me further than I’d ever imagined. I went from a 19-year-old with six LEGO figures on his desk to a 25 year old with over 3,000 minifigures, a literal LEGO room in my house and a partnership with LEGO themselves through the coveted LEGO Ambassador Network.
My wildest dreams have (and continue) to come true every day. I had people I thought were friends laugh at my account when I started it, and for a long time, I ran my account anonymously. These days, more people think it’s cool than not when they learn about my alter ego, but things were not always that way when I had less than 200 followers and nobody took my dream seriously.
Lesson Learned: The first few chapters of becoming an influencer are the hardest, but that’s why most people aren’t influencers. Stay true to yourself, don’t focus on the numbers and be consistent. Eventually, you’ll end up exactly where you want to be, right when you’re meant to be there.
I wish I wouldn’t have made myself a “daily content creator,” because there are times I’ve felt uninspired to make a new post. At the same time, my daily commitment is what kept me going all these years. Just like the gym, once you skip a day it becomes a slippery slope to start skipping more often. Stay committed, stay focused, but don’t burn yourself out!
After more than half of a decade, it seems silly for me to skip a day at this point. I know my following would forgive me if I missed a day, and the world certainly would not end, but at this point I might as well keep my perfect streak going!
Lesson Learned: Don’t overcommit to a schedule you can’t handle, but DO commit to a plan that holds you accountable!
My original niche was “white background photography,” since that was the only way I could photograph my minifigs at my humble dorm room desk my freshman year. The white background quickly became “my thing,” and even to this day, when I deviate from it I do see a decrease in my engagement. Sometimes I wished I was more of a “general photography” page, but at the same time, I am glad my images have a certain consistency and brand to them. Catch-22!
Lesson Learned: Give people something to expect and recognize when they engage with your content. Let them know it’s your post before they even see your name attached.
My first IG photos were taken on an iPhone 4s while I knew nothing about lighting, composition or any other photography basics. Still, I was able to attract an audience through storytelling, posting content at the right place at the right time and offering consistency. The fact that my first 100 photos look awful by today’s standards doesn’t matter in the long run; it helped me build a solid fan base all those years ago that has transitioned into my audience today, eclipsing 150,000+ followers across all platforms.
Lesson Learned: Your first several dozen pieces of content will probably be subpar, but that’s what will set you apart. Everyone dreams, but very few people do!
I wouldn’t trade my influencer journey for anything. Although I’ve been at it for over half a decade, I truly feel like I’m just getting started and the best is yet to come! I wish you all the success in the world in whatever path lies ahead for you as a content creator, and if you ever have questions, DM me on IG and tell me you read this article.