The word influencer has become part of the modern vocabulary and is more common than ever. According to a recent report, 54% of American youths aged 13-38 showed interest in becoming influencers, and 12% already consider themselves influencers. The report further indicates that 88% of this demographic learn about new products or services they want to buy from social media. Therefore, it is no surprise that social media personalities have become integral to our culture. One can find them in almost every industry these days.
21-year-old Krissy Spaulding from Saginaw, Michigan, has built her own business through her social media channels for over 11 years. Born and raised in the digital era, Krissy saw firsthand how instrumental the internet could be to one’s success. In time, she became an influencer and first created dance videos on YouTube and later TikTok and Instagram, earning her thousands of followers. On TikTok alone, she has amassed 600K+ followers across her channels, with videos reaching over 10M audiences. Krissy has 70k followers and counting on Instagram, and her YouTube channel has continued to grow steadily over the past few years.
"It's been an incredible journey so far," she shares, "and I hope that my story spurs others to pursue their passion, and make a job of it." However, my career hasn't been an entirely smooth ride; For one thing, Krissy has a life away from the cameras. She explains that before her platform grew, she juggled 15 credits while working 50+ hours a week between a restaurant in her hometown and a Financial Representative Assistant at an insurance firm.
"This was tough to combine because I was trying to put out as much content as possible; 3-6 videos a day on Tiktok and 2-3 Instagram posts a week,' Krissy shares. While she was neck-deep in communicating with brands and collaborating with friends, she sometimes had to put on many things an average 20-year-old typically does; even worse, her social life was in jeopardy. However, on the flip side, it turned out to be a remarkable choice as she grew her platforms. 2022 hasn't been a smooth sail so far because she now pursues an online marketing degree at Eastern Michigan University while living in LA.
Add to the list of downsides, Krissy's encounter with mental health breakdown wasn't one anyone had prepared her for.
"I never realized how much social media could affect me mentally, as you have hundreds of thousands of people judging you every day," she admits. "I'm not usually one to care what people think, but I expect my content to improve daily and sometimes when those expectations aren't met, it can be hard." Nevertheless, Krissy has learned to keep moving by reminding herself that progress is not linear. "It is more like a rollercoaster," she explains. "I just need to keep moving forward and keep a positive mindset, and everything will fall into place as it needs to be."
Krissy admonishes any young individual aspiring to earn a living through social media: "Keep moving forward, no matter what it is," she encourages. "It's impossible to consistently have a good day. But as long as you keep moving forward, things will fall into place exactly how you want them to!" Krissy is not one to be complacent, as she always looks for ways to be dutifully engaged; she's therefore picked up modeling and acting and currently works to achieve that.
Photography by: Krissy Spaulding