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How She Became An Influencer + How Important Authenticity is.

Hi Babes,

For this week’s Influencer Tips Thursday, we are learning so much from Camly on how she became an influencer & how important authenticity is! She has so much insider insights so let’s get to it!

Who are you and where are you from?

My name is Camly, and I’m a Vietnamese American who is LA born and raised.  My parents are both refugees from the Vietnam war, and my dad was a POW so the Vietnamese part of me is near and dear to my heart.  I graduated from UCLA so I’m a Bruin through and through.

What is your brand about and what made you start it?

My brand is just me, Camly. The crazy thing was it was my personal Instagram; I wasn’t necessarily looking to build it into a brand. I think one thing I realized was being myself and also wanting to break the mold of what a “influencer” should be was important to me. I want people to see my account, and see themselves. I want girls to see a normal, average height, average sized girl doing extraordinary things and know they can be that too.

Do you have another job outside of being a (blogger/influencer/entrepreneur)?

By day I’m a data analyst for a nonprofit in DTLA, called LA Promise Fund. I love my full-time job because it always allows me to keep perspective of life and what’s going on. I work with youth in South LA who’ve had to experience more life in some ways than I have. Its a constant reminder of the change I want to be able to make. I’m fortunate enough that my job allows for flexibility, while still feeding my soul to help others and make a difference.

Is it difficult to balance your work life and passion project(s)?

Of course, if it was easy everyone would be doing it, but I think the best things in life don’t come easy. They require commitment, sacrifice, and drive; at the end of the day I see the hard work as always worth it. I want to see how far I can push myself, how much I can do, what my limit is; there’s no better time to do that while I am in my 20s without kids or a marriage. Being able to explore these things has also redefined those goals; I actually think about whether I want a traditional family. My passion project has redefined what I’m passionate about. I’ve thought about adopting, about starting my own company. It is difficult hold that down while still working full time, but without doing both I don’t think I’d dream as big as I do. I don’t think I would have experienced what I have. I’m grateful that its been a roller coaster; where I’ve dealt with health issues that put me on bed rest post surgery for 2 months. It all gives you perspective about what’s important, and also what really matters to you.

What do you love the most about being an influencer?

That I have the power to make a difference; whether thats promoting a brand I love or sharing about something I care about. The term “influencer” means you have influence, and at the end of the day we are all “influencers”. I love being able remind every single person who crosses my path that. I’m not “special” or “unique”; I’m like you but took my influence and ran with it so you can too!

What do you think is the hardest thing about being an influencer?

I think its the idea that my feed is my real life, and yes it is, but I also want people to know I’m a real person. I think so often people don’t see all the behind the scenes, and do share some of that but Instagram is a highlight reel. I do my best to be real, but I don’t share every moment.  Like everyone else I have a private life; in many ways I’m an open book. But, I want people to know that influencer’s feeds aren’t every part of them; its a filtered down reality.

What are three tips you can give to someone who also wants to be an influencer like you?

1) You are already an influencer. OWN THAT! KNOW THAT!

2) Be open to networking. Meet people from all walks of life, and see where that can take you.

3) Collaborate! This is a space that is meant to work with people so you’re not on your own. Bring people along for the ride.

What are your goals and where do you see yourself a year from now? & where do you hope to be in 3 – 5 years?

In a year from now I hope that my brand has grown, but I don’t necessarily have a specific goal. I want to be open to whatever happens at some point I’d want to start my own company, but I don’t want to put a timeline on that. I think we so often set these goals, and when we don’t meet them we think we failed, but thats not failure its a learning process so who knows if in 5 years my company will be up in running. No matter what I hope to still hold true to who I am, and make an impact, empower young women, and love where I’m at.

Who/what inspires you or keeps you motivated to do what you do?

My parents are one of my biggest inspirations. My dad started his own business here in LA, ran it for 23 years, and came here as a refugee and POW without any money to his name. If my dad can beat all odds, what’s stopping me? Gives me so much perspective, and the kids I work with on a daily remind me that we need to change society. If I don’t keep fighting how are things going to change. They deserve better, we deserve better, this country needs better!

What’s your favorite app aside from instagram?

Oh that’s so hard…can I be honest I don’t use many apps. I’m pretty low maintenance on apps because I want to be in the moment and a not always locked to my phone. However, GoogleCalendar is my best friend! Its how I keep track of every collaboration, every lunch meeting, and every workout session. It keeps me organized and allows me to share with friends too!

What’s your next project and how can we support you?

I’m working on building out my website. IT’S NERVE WRECKING as I took on the task on my own, but I would love any guidance I can get. Also shout out to WEOSH! I’m working closely with them to launch workshops, events, and simply opportunities to empower other women so check us out and come along for the journey.

How important is it to you to make genuine connections/friendships through social media/in our industry & why?

It is so important. I am fortunate to specifically have a girl gang I LOVE, and they truly support me and back me up. Its hard when sometimes others tear you down, and without that love and support you can get lost in the industry. In addition I love being able to mentor women; I’m so young and have so much to learn, but those mentor figures in my life have kept me sane. Trust me…I have had my moments of insanity so its important for others to keep you grounded.

What does female empowerment and girls supporting girls mean to you?

It means you are genuinely supporting other women; its not competition. When one women gets a deal, a campaign, or a promotion its a win for all women. One more step closer to even the playing field for women kind. It means setting aside your opinions to truly love without expectations; so often society pits us against each other. WE GOTTA LOVE EACH OTHER, SUPPORT EACH OTHER, and BE HAPPY FOR EACH OTHER.

Where can we find you in social media?(state your social media handles/blog/website)

Instagram: @camly.me (formerly @camly.n)

Yelp: camly.yelp.com

MORE COMING SOON, and a rebrand!

What are you looking forward to the most from Influencer Girl Gang and what do you hope to acquire from joining us?

MORE Boss Babe connections, and simply another community of amazing women I love!

 

Hope this blogpost was helpful to other aspiring influencers out there to pursue their passion.

Xo,

Joy

 

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madewithjoy

Made With Joy is a fashion, lifestyle, adventure blog featuring the latest fashion trends, travel tips, influencer tricks & DIY hacks.

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