Inside Influence: One On One With Celai West

I spoke to social media influencer Celai West about her best advice

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Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to go behind the brand. First things first, though, how did build such a huge following at a young age? What is the inside story?

Celai: Well my mom is in charge of all my social media pages. She really tries to engage and build relationships with other accounts, but I got LOTS of followers from my viral videos. For one of them, I’ve got like 40k new followers in a few days! 

Adam: What advice do you have for those interested in better leveraging social media or becoming influencers? 

Celai: Well I think it’s important to have really good content. Mom is really particular about what we post and also what time we post it. Most importantly, never buy likes or followers because then the companies you want to work with will find out and not want to work with you. 

Adam: What are your best tips and tricks?

Celai: The best thing is liking other people’s stuff. If you like it, then “LIKE” it. Then hopefully they will come and like your stuff back. It takes lots of time, but we try to like lots of pictures every day. 

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

Celai: Well if you are a company and you see an influencer that you want to work with, it’s good to ask them for their rates or ask if they want to collab. Just don’t assume you can send them something and they’ll post you for free. Some do, but if you assume they will, they won’t. 

Adam: How do you decide who to work with?

Celai: Hmm, I think it depends on their followers. I mean, if you have about 2k followers, it would be really hard to get someone with like 200k followers to collab. I mean, it could work, but they may charge, so usually you want to find someone who has maybe a little more than you. If you don’t mind paying, you can find someone with LOTS of followers and find out their rates. It doesn’t hurt to ask. 

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

Celai: Well, I think some people think influencers are fake or pretending, but it’s not really like that. I mean, we don’t have to work with companies we don’t like, so we don’t have to pretend to like their stuff. 

Hmm, well it’s definitely taught me that when I do hair tutorials, I have to hold up the product long enough to where they can see and read it. Companies want people to see their brand because that is what they pay me for! We also need to make sure the quality of the video is good too.

Adam: What are your three best marketing and branding tips?

Celai: My best 3 tips would be: show the product well, have good quality videos or images, and have fun! It comes out so much better when you’re having fun. 

Adam: Who are the best leaders you have been around and what have you learned from them?

Celai: One of the best leaders I’ve been around is Liris Crosse. She’s taught me to work hard, use my voice to speak up for others, and to trust God. David Tupaz is also a great leader, and he’s taught me to always have a good heart and to keep working hard. 

Adam: What do you believe everyone should know about leadership?

Celai: I think leadership can come from anyone, no matter how old or how young… and everyone should know that. 

Adam: What are your key messages to other kids your age?

Celai: I just want kids to know that you don’t have to change who you are or what you look like to be beautiful. God made us all perfect already AND if you have a goal or a dream, it doesn’t matter how old or young you are. If you set goals and work hard, you can achieve it! 

Adam: What are your key messages to adults? 

Celai: Well, my message would be the same too, because I get lots of messages from adults who said I encouraged or inspired them. But if they have kids, I’d tell them to make sure they listen to and support their kids’ dreams. It’s super important to have your parents’ support. 

Adam: What is something about you that the many people who follow you don’t know? 

Celai: Hmm, well they probably don’t know that I can be super weird and awkward… and that I eat A LOT!

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