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Inside Influence: One On One With Caroline Solomon

I spoke to Caroline Solomon, known on Instagram as lowcheekbones, about the best lessons she has learned on her road from the Ivy League to life as an influencer

Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to go behind the brand. First things first, though, what is something about you that the many people who follow you don’t know?

Caroline: I create funny videos on my Instagram channel, @lowcheekbones that center upon food and pop culture mashups. I have just filmed a mock game-show series for IKEA to promote their new AR furniture-placing app for Android. I am also working on a series for Super Deluxe that is an extension of the life hacks I create on my own channel.

Adam: How did you become an “influencer”? What is the inside story?

Caroline: I’m sure people would be surprised to know that I went to Harvard and studied Psychology, and was interested in becoming a doctor at one point. And people might also be surprised to know that for a chunk of my twenties, I worked as a beauty writer/assistant at several magazine publications. I think people might be surprised to know anything about me, as I exist in a strange virtual universe, generally eating and sipping weird things I’ve made.

Adam: What advice do you have for those interested in working with influencers? How do you do decide who to work with?

Caroline: I hesitate to call myself an influencer, and would rather just say that I create funny content on Instagram. But since brands are paying the bills, and are also the backbone/focus of my content, then I guess I am somewhat of an influencer. But to be frank, I’m not sure I’m influencing you to buy a product as much as I’m providing you some source of entertainment (whether it’s funny, weird, or just interesting, or none of the above ha).

I started making these videos in April of 2016, while still a beauty assistant at Glamour Magazine. I was tired of writing the same humdrum beauty articles and we kept receiving strange beauty products that no one wanted to write about. Like weird infomercial Sky-mall style products, like razor extension handles or weird nail polish holder rings. I started taking these products home and filming myself testing them as mock tutorials, and it kind of took off from there. Since making weird makeup tutorials, I’ve expanded the repertoire to lifestyle, cosmetic, and food hacks/DIYs, whatever you wish to call them.

Adam: What advice do you have for those interested in becoming influencers?

Caroline: My advice for anyone who wishes to become an influencer is to have a unique voice. Cheesy to say, but content is king. The market is incredibly saturated with a certain kind of influencer, who poses with a nice looking latte and a French bulldog. Perhaps people want to see more of that, but I certainly don’t. There’s an expression about the Red Ocean vs. Blue Ocean, and you want to make sure that your work is part of the blue ocean, which isn’t threatened by any competition because it’s unique and captures a new demand. And it’s exciting to be in the hot seat creating that demand.

Adam: What is the biggest misconception about the influencer world and life as an influencer?

Caroline: The biggest misconception is that you get a lot of free products and that the work is light. I have never worked harder in my life, but I’m also working alone concepting, filming, and editing these videos. The work is rewarding but challenging, especially on such a fickle platform like Instagram, where people expect something similar from you, but maybe just a tiny bit different to keep people coming back to your channel.

Adam What has being an influencer taught you about branding and marketing?

Caroline: I’ve learned that a lot of food/candy brands have a sense of humor, and a lot of fashion and lifestyle brands simply do not. In the beginning, I wanted to take on a weird crusade and show the fashion world that they could sell their products with a bit of sense of humor, but it just wasn’t translating.

I have also learned that when it comes to branding and marketing, people get excited when you remix two genres together (food and fashion, food and pop culture, food and cosmetics), etc. It’s all about recontextualizing a product in a fun, entertaining way that reveals a truth about human behavior/human psychology. For instance, I made a LaCroix inhaler recently that got over 8 million views. People are obsessed with LaCroix, and the inhaler encapsulates that obsession.

Adam: What are your hobbies and how have they shaped you?

Caroline: I think hobbies are overrated. I like to walk a lot, swim. I read a lot on my kindle. I love going to movies as a nice form of escape. These activities help me decompress and relax. I think if you’ve found something that your passionate about, you don’t have to put so much pressure on making your hobbies these lofty ventures (that’s just my opinion).

Adam: Who have been the biggest influences in your life and how do you pay it forward?

Caroline: My biggest influence in my life is my dad.
He’s incredibly supportive of my path, and is also very funny. For the time
being, I pay it forward by making a lot of entertaining content free on
Instagram.

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