Everyone who is building a personal brand or growing their business should be "all in" when it comes to marketing on social media.
Why? It is grossly underpriced exposure.
I'm Alex Velez. I am a 15 year old social media influencer, CEO of the upcoming Hoodie Apparel, LLC and graphic designer – none of which would’ve been possible without social media effort.
An unexpected start
In August of 2016, I created the now popular Instagram sports page @holyhurdles.
At the time, I had zero experience with any online marketing; I was just a kid who loved sports. I posted everyday, and after a couple months of consistent posting, my account began trending.
This motivated me, and while my account grew, so did my knowledge of how social media works and how I could take advantage of it. As I began to realize the opportunities that came with this, I began to expand my areas of development.
"As a kid, I never really had a creative mindset, but I always loved computers so I took interest in Photoshop. I started designing and eventually made an Instagram account showcasing my work."
The quality of my work caught the eyes of other designers and businesses, and this got my name out. One of these businesses contacted me about designing for celebrities who took interest in what we had.
2 Chainz, the rap artist, really liked a design I had created on a baseball and basketball jersey for his most recent album Pretty Girls Like Trap Music. In fact, he liked them enough to list the designs on his merchandise website, which amasses over 1500 sales in a day.
Balancing entrepreneurship and growing up
I faced many challenges in my journey with social media, one being what most 15 year olds face – finding a balance with school.
The best advice I could give to anyone struggling with this is that you need to take control of the things that control you, like phone, TV, video games, etc.
Granted, there are exceptions if you use your phone/computer for work, but you also need to learn how to live without the miscellaneous things that come along with them.
"Once you can take control of what controls you, you’ll notice how much more time you have."
Another challenge I was faced with was decision making; through the internet, you don’t get the advantage of seeing someone else's body language, which makes you have to work a bit harder when making decisions.
I’ve dealt with scammers, cheaters, liars – you name it, and I’ve dealt with it. You must be able to think quickly and efficiently, because you’re going to need every second you have when working. That one minute you aren’t working could be a follower you miss.
Advice from Alex
For those who are trying, have tried, or want to try to grow a successful business, personal brand, sports account or anything else you partake in online, the best piece of advice I could ever give is this:
persistency + consistency = unstoppable
If you are persistent and consistent – giving out the same high quality work every time – you’re doing it right. Social media influencing is the best and easiest way for young people to make money, learn about the internet, and inspire – and it costs nothing but your time and determination.
The effects of my journey on social media have changed my life completely; over the past year and a half that I’ve worked with social media I’ve been able to take my favorite things and turn it into my career.
Not only have I been able to gain knowledge of how the internet works, but I’ve also gained plenty of communication skills that I’ll be able to use in my future with ecommerce, as well as other general life skills.
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