In this modern world of glamorous lifestyles showcased all over social media, it’s hard not to wonder what actually goes on in the daily life of a social media influencer. However, is it really as simple and glamorous as most of us seem to think it is? To find out, we reached out to two Malaysian influencers — here are their stories:
Meet the influencersHailing from the quaint town of Teluk Intan, Chan Won began her journey back in 2008. Since then, she has grown into one of Malaysia’s most influential travel and beauty bloggers. Her journey began when she started showcasing her haul of beauty products and fashion sense on social media. From here, she soon realised that sharing her fashion knowledge with her sweeties (followers and readers) and documenting her life was something she was really passionate about — and she hasn’t looked back since. As for singer, dancer, and actor, Nurshazwani Shamsuddin or better known as Cik Manggis to many, she is another prominent figure who requires little introduction. Having over half a million followers on social media, her massive social media presence is something which is of little debate. She earned the nickname ‘Cik Manggis’ during her time as a student in UiTM (Universiti Teknologi Mara) as her big and round white eyes resemble that of mangosteens. However, life had other plans for her and it all began when she collaborated with local street brands in 2010.
Life lessons & struggles
A day in their livesContrary to popular belief, the lives of influencers are much more than the glitz and the glam you see on their IG feeds. In reality, a typical day in these women’s lives can get pretty hectic. For Chan Won, it involves lots of administrative tasks — and we’re not just talking about replying a few emails. On top of that, she:
- creates and brainstorms storyboards
- schedules her weekly schedule and plans meetings with her team
- takes photos
- shoots videos
- replies messages
Wow, that sounds like a lot of work!
It’s no different for Cik Manggis as well who says her daily life is occupied with crazy schedules and work, work, work!
On following their dreamsChan Won’s journey to where she is today was not a smooth sailing one by any means. In one of her blog posts, she reflects on how she was told she was not ‘pretty enough’ and being a blogger is not a ‘real job’. Sticking to her guns, she ignored the negativity and gave her all in making her dream a reality. She also recalls when she had to work part-time promoter jobs just so she could purchase a camera to kickstart her career. Although she is a Bachelor’s degree holder in finance, Chan Won has no regrets in choosing the life of an influencer. In fact, it was her family’s expectation for her to take up a career in finance and banking upon graduation. That said, she soon realised that her passion lied in blogging and no one was going to stop her in pursuing what she wanted in life.
On being motivated & finding strength
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Source: Cik Manggis / Instagram
For Cik Manggis, being motivated is all about doing something you’re passionate about. In an interview with Buro, she recalls: “I dance four times a week and this has always been my favourite therapy.” To her, dancing helps her express herself and be in control of her body. Of course, just like any of us, there are times when she feels unmotivated. So, when the going gets tough, Cik Manggis turns to her father and husband as they remind her that she can overcome any situation she faces.
Meanwhile, Chan Won turns to her followers to keep herself feeling inspired and motivated. She even keeps a folder labelled ‘sweeties’ on her phone containing screenshots of affirming messages from her followers. Awww, how sweet! Additionally, she also finds inspiration from her travel experiences as it helps open her eyes and view the world in a new light.
Advice to aspiring influencersBeing in the industry and having established a name for themselves have taught Chan Won and Cik Manggis some valuable lessons. When asked what they would like to share with upcoming influencers they said:
- Be transparent and take it slow. Build a small audience that you can truly influence and grow from there
- Don’t take shortcuts such as buying followers online
- Understand that success does not happen overnight, but with years of hard work
- It’s not all glam and easy. Put hard work into the content creating process
- Stay humble and always think about how you can add value to people’s lives
Wow! Those are really inspiring words.
Well, if you’re an aspiring influencer and looking to kickstart your career, here are two things you can do:
- Try this simple quiz which helps you find your niche.
- Join Passionation, an online platform which connects brands with influencers bringing forth opportunities for both parties!
What’s great about Passionation is that you’ll be able to gain added exposure, helping you along your influencer journey. Whether you’re into travelling, beauty, or are a hardcore gym bunny, being featured on the platform allows brands to browse through your social profiles to collaborate with you on projects.
We hope these stories from Cik Manggis and Chan Won have shone some light on the true lives of influencers and inspired all of you to chase your dreams, whatever they may be! Also, always remember that life is about living your dream, not others’!
Have a great day ahead, my fellow Malaysians!
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