If you want to find out more about how I pitch brands and what I say, watch below.
I want to make it clear that just because I got flights back in 2015 doesn’t mean that you can have 100 followers on Instagram and get a free flight – it doesn’t work like that. I doubt any airline gives free flights anymore. You’re obviously only getting .1% of the story on my video. BUT if you do want to do this for a living, stop focusing on getting free stuff and become an EXPERT in your field. Get a degree in what you want to “educate” about, start teaching courses about business or social media, and pave your own path!
Last week I went viral on Tik Tok. I’ve been working on producing a new show with my friend Alix and our producer Elyse. One of the episodes we’ve decided to launch with is “I faked my own assistant” which is based on my experience! I’ll give you some background before I get into the video.
Back in I think 2014 or 2015, I had maybe 700 followers on my blog (at the time, it was A Life in the Fashion Lane) and Instagram wasn’t even around. I wasn’t making much money, but I was hustling.
My email was firstname.lastname@example.org. That goes to show you how young I was because no one in business should have an email that long!
One day I googled an airline and came across the communications email. I wrote a pitch and got an email back. A few months later, I found myself on a completely comped flight (alone) heading to London to write about the airline for my blog.
I have the kind of drive that I don’t think you can buy. I’ve always been like this, no one in my family is an entrepreneur- I just live and breath business. I’ve made my fair share of mistakes along the way. I moved out at 17 to live on a floor in Brooklyn, New York. I’ve done a lot of dumb stuff but I’ve always let rejection fuel me.
I’ve always been someone “against” the concept of going viral. I guess against is the wrong word, but I just don’t care about going viral. I love what I do, I speak at colleges across the country and to young and hungry girls who need to feel inspired every day, and I’d be happy doing this for the rest of my life. Of course I want more and bigger success, but I don’t think you can only get that going viral.
I hope I have proven that slow and steady growth wins the race in business and the field of social media.
I decided to test the waters last week. I knew the video would do well (one day when I got a free flight years ago I made a fake email of the woman who was and no longer is the head of PR to guarantee me entrance into the lounge in London, it wasn’t ethical but it got me in). I didn’t expect it to blow up. Lately I’ve been turning my cell phone off for hours or days at a time to get offline, and it wasn’t until one of my childhood friends texted me I really hope my comment on your video makes me famous that I was like huh? I don’t have notifications on my phone besides texts and emails. I open up Tik Tok to see the video had garnered close to 100K views and 100s of comments in less than 24 hours.
I was shocked, not because I didn’t expect the concept of the video to go viral but because you’d be SHOCKED at how much more professional you look when someone is emailing on behalf of you.
Think about it: would Kim Kardashian or Reese Witherspoon email Target at email@example.com to land a clothing deal with them? Their manager or publicist would. I wasn’t continuing to use her email per say, but was seeing if a fake assistant to email on behalf of myself would get me results! At the time I really used that email, I didn’t have a manager or a publicist. I couldn’t afford one, but I continued to get results without having to follow up 300 times by saying that I was on my team. I’ve suggested this to tons of young aspiring founders who reach out to me, because it worked and it set me apart.
I eventually stopped looking at the comments over the past few days because I’ve received disgusting Instagram DMs, comments on Tik Tok and tweets saying serious shit that I don’t need to hear. I got 100s of followers over night. I hope the people who looked at the video and laughed instead of slammed me for impersonating someone (again, I was a child) decide to pave their own path and think outside of the box too – not about getting into a lounge, but about becoming their own brand. I don’t encourage what I did in the WAY that I did it, but I 10000% encourage trying to pitch on behalf of yourself. You have to get started somewhere.
This experience taught me that Tik Tok is an incredible platform that truly does enable you to get in front of 100s of new eyes. The video continues to get 1000s of new views everyday, which I’m assuming is because it’s keeping my video on the “for you” page, but I think I like the slow and steady growth wins the race most for my career.
Tik Tok is here today, but what will be here tomorrow?