By Jesse Garcia
Kim Nguyen, 24, wakes up every morning to schoolwork like most students who attend Cal State University, Dominguez Hills. Her morning routine consists of homework, checking her calendar, and planning her day accordingly. For most students, this is a typical Monday morning, but for Nguyen who is just shy of 500,000 Youtube subscribers, it’s the necessary prep work to engaging with her audience.
Like most Youtube curators, Nguyen began posting videos on social media as a fun hobby. A hobby she was oblivious would make her a social media influencer and a voice of inspiration to people all around the world.
“I started Youtube the day I got accepted to Dominguez Hills,” Nguyen said. “I was very into video editing and wanted to have fun and just create.”
Nguyen’s following has reached a status known as “Social Media Influencer.” An influencer is a user on social media who has established credibility by having access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach.
For anyone starting their venture in social media, Nguyen has three tips she would recommend people to keep in mind.
“Be yourself, be authentic, your voice can inspire people every day,” Nguyen said. “Secondly, have tough skin. You are exposed to everyone online. And third, just have fun and create.”
Part of the perks of being a social media influencer for Nguyen is getting the opportunity to work with a lot of companies that pertain to her interest. She has partnered with FashionNova, a clothing company that gave her a six-month contract to post pictures of their clothing a few times a week.
Additionally, she recently became the face of Benefit Cosmetic’s Dandelion blush product. Though, through her social media influencing, she always makes sure she stays true to who she is.
“You have to be honest with your subscribers,” Nguyen said. “You have to do sponsorships you are passionate about and true towards. For example, you can’t be a stylist who goes out and tries to promote tires.”
Although Nguyen has become an inspiring voice to many of her followers, it is her who feels inspired by her subscribers.
“I went through a tough break-up a while back,” Nguyen said. “I lost myself in process. I started my Youtube channel, and although many people have told me I have inspired them, through its journey I have been saved by my followers.”
Currently, Nguyen is finishing up her last semester at CSUDH majoring in public relations and advertising. From her busy schedule with social media, she has found the time take over the required 12 units each semester. As she gets ready to graduate she recalls one specific class she took that has influenced her.
“One of my favorite classes was with Dr. Kim,” Nguyen said. “It was an advertising class that made me realize I wanted to work with a creative brand.”
From her achievements in school and social media Nguyen has been offered an opportunity to work for Urban Decay cosmetics as a product developer.
Aside from her social media presence Nguyen also knows there are limits to social media and is aware of the importance of having personal space as well. Part of her non-social media worries is common ones for any post-grad, like getting a place of her own.
Nguyen, optimistic about her future, has a clear message for anyone who has looked to her for advice or is striving to follow in her footsteps.
“Do not feel pressured,” Nguyen said. “It is okay to take a break, it is okay to face your fears, and it is okay to have detours…I have been in college for six years but have no regrets. If I would have done things sooner, I would have been a nursing major and not have gotten the opportunities I now have. Everyone has their own timeline.”