“After four years of odd jobs, I became an influencer”

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Assountina vit de son activité sur les réseaux sociaux depuis 2021.

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Posted on Dec 15, 2021 2021 at 18:14

“As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to get rich (laughs). Some say that money does not buy happiness. I am convinced that it is. Money brings serenity. We don't worry about how we will fill our fridge, and we take care of our loved ones. This is what I wanted, for myself and my middle class family.

As a teenager, I saw myself becoming a veterinarian. I was very dissipated in class. In high school, to have a more structured environment, I went to boarding school in Belgium, near my parents' place, in the Ardennes. There, I calmed down. My grades were good. While I was entering the equivalent of the final year, an event turned everything upside down: the death of my grandmother. I was very close to her. I then questioned everything, including my professional plans. Did I really want to study for seven years to become a veterinarian? Make a loan to finance this course? And be caught in the daily grind at the exit? No, that did not make me dream.

Contracts of a few months

On a whim, I left for Vendée without finishing my high school. I started by moving in for a few weeks with a friend's parents and distributed CVs all over the place. I wanted to gain professional experience to find what made me tick and make me some money.

I started out as a saleswoman in a clothing store. After six months, I changed jobs. I went on missions lasting a few months between the Vendée and the Ardennes and was in turn cashier, waitress, barmaid … I also worked for a few months in a Casino, then, as a sedentary salesperson for a company that sold formations.

I knew for a fact that I didn't want to work for someone, that I wasn't made to be led. I had to find my way, a job I wouldn't feel like working with, and which paid off. So, in parallel with my job, in 2017 I launched a channel on YouTube under the name Assountina. The filming, the editing, I found it fascinating. My ambition: to end up living from this activity. I didn't follow any particular influencers, but I was sure that creating content could bring me a comfortable and fulfilling life.

In my videos, I showed my mundane days. I wanted people to get attached to my character, that of a girl like everyone else. But it was not taking at all. I persevered, bought equipment with my savings: a good microphone, a camera, lighting… When I saw friends or met people, I only had my project in my mouth. I was only thinking about that, I was ‘matrixée' (laughs)!

Devote yourself full time

After four years of odd jobs, I decided to take a job and devote myself to content creation. I was convinced that if I didn't do this full time, it would never take off. The months that followed were not easy. I dedicated myself to videos but it still didn't work. Some peaked at 500 views … I was sure I was going to get there eventually, but no one around me really believed it.

At the time, I was hyperactive on Insta and Snapchat, where I was constantly posting stories of my life. I received a message on Insta from a TikTokeur, followed by 200,000 people, who said to me “Girl, you're too hilarious, make videos on TikTok, you're going to break through”. I was a little skeptical but thought it was worth giving it a try.

I quickly noticed that the same music and dances kept coming back to TikTok. So, in April 2021, I decided to make a humorous video of it, where I wrote ‘since I have TikTok' and in which I hum these songs that keep coming back. And there, it took off! The video has been viewed over a million times in one day.

I told myself that there was really potential on this platform, and that I had to take my chance. So, I charred. I posted a lot of content, usually every one or two days. I was trying to see what was working so I could focus on it. I was reading in the comments that people liked my laughter and the entertaining content, so I tried to capitalize on that.

Product placements

A first brand approached me a month later, offering to pay me if I made their water bottle appear in one of my videos. Little by little, other brands came along. I have worked with McDonald's, So Shape, Les produits laitiers, PrettyLittleThing, etc.

They ask me to show a product in my videos and tag them, or to talk about it during the video. Today I refuse a lot of proposals because I don't want people to take me for a billboard. This deprives me of some income but I prefer to be credible, to retain my audience.

Delegate administrative tasks

Influence is a pretty cruel world. There is a lot of hierarchy in this environment, depending on the number of subscribers, and jealousy between influencers. For the time being, I mostly work alone. I negotiate my prices with the brands, manage my invoices … It takes a lot of time. After a while, I know I will have to delegate. I will surely have to find an agency to manage these aspects, but I need real people I can trust.

After focusing on TikTok, I am now trying to get my Instagram account off the ground, where I am followed in December 2021 by more than 79,600 subscribers. My ultimate goal: to get my content on YouTube. This is where I have the most fun, with longer videos, more worked editing.

Thanks to collaborations with brands, I now earn more income than I earned from my odd jobs. I aim higher. It takes a lot of investment. If the life of an influencer can make you dream, it is quite stressful, because you must constantly be inspired to produce content. But I finally feel that the efforts I have made over the years are paying off. “

To note

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