It was the very last day of my corporate job…and I didn’t even know it was!
That’s because I was forcibly removed from my job as an agent at a famous, fast-paced fashion photography agency in London. When they say the fashion industry is ruthless it’s an understatement.
Hi friend, my name is Emily Valentine and I have 7+ years experience as a Full Time Content Creator and Influencer Talent manager. Just think of me as your Influencer Big Sis sharing with you all the tools you need to monetise your digital platforms.
I wanted to write about the power of an origin story and why knowing yours inside out and finessing it from the beginning will serve you as a social media star for decades to come! This may be something you have, until now, overlooked in your journey as an aspiring Creator!
What’s your origin story? Not sure? 🤷♀️Keep reading for what is it and how you can develop yours.
If you’re trying to build your personal brand, having an origin story and sharing it with your audience and brands is a fabbb way to showcase who you are, your unique journey or struggles you’ve overcome and the results you’ve gotten that led you to where you are today, an expert in your field.
If people like what you do, chances are they want to know more about you and how you got to where you are today. The relatability and authenticity that comes with having and sharing your origin story will cultivate a really engaged community, and this is what holds the 🗝 to a long/prosperous career as a creator!
That’s where your origin story comes in 😉
Before I walk you through an example let me show you a quick exercise to get you thinking about a potential starting point for your own Origin Story.
Question: Can you think of a time when a SETBACK actually turned out to be an OPPORTUNITY in disguise? Hint: Apply it to your niche as a Creator
Fill in the blank :*_________* turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me because ____________.
Ok, I’ll go first.
Getting unfairly fired from my job as an Agent in fashion Photography turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me because it lit a fire so huge under my ass, that I made a choice to make Influencing a lucrative career for myself despite only having 8k followers and not a band deal in my back pocket.
Oh sure, it felt like the end of the world at the time but when I read that back to myself I can only smile 🙂
Here’s how it went down…
7 years ago I completed my last day of work working for somebody else. 7 years ago this October I was pushed out of my job. I’ve told this story a few times but with every year that passes as a “solopreneur” the story cements itself in my timeline as one of the most important and pivotal moments in my life. A platform from which everything I have built up around me today unfolded from.
I believe that life is a cycle of decisions, actions and reverberations. We could have lived a million different lifetimes if one thing had gone differently. At the time my 27 year old self being fired from my job felt like devastation, I was angry and felt wrongly done by but I also felt relief, liberation, and hunger. Being suddenly unemployed with no visible means to pay my London rent or feed myself lit one motherfucker of a fire under my ass.
Being pushed out of my company was, at the time, the push into working for myself I never knew I needed. Who knows how much longer I’d stayed working in a job where I felt undermined and undervalued.
At the time I was only earning pocket money from blogging and brand deals, not enough to support myself. So when I found myself served with a letter from my company signed by my boss, littered with accusations and fabricated accounts of disciplinary meetings that had never happened, I knew that whatever happened next, failure was not an option.
And I HAD to make money and FAST.
I hustled, pitched, readjusted and pitched some more and within 1 month I landed my first paid gig for £5,000 and went on to hit £100k revenue in the 2nd year of influencing with only 25k followers on Instagram.
I’ve often pondered why I made this seemingly desperate situation turn into my own modern day fairytale.
Alongside the gnawing hunger to have a job I was passionate about and enjoyed, the dedication and the working hours I put in, I didn’t allow myself to believe this wouldn’t work for a second. Oh I got knock backs, sure, but they only made me pick myself back up, readjust my strategy and dive back in. The positive response to putting myself in front of brands and basically saying; this is who I am, this is what I stand for and this is what I can do for you had an eye-openingly positive response rate. And I built on that, one small win on top of another.
It’s ironic now as a successful business woman that self doubt and imposter syndrome plague me way more frequently than when I felt like a nobody and had nothing.
Being a Creator and managing and educating other creators is an amazing job. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s wonderful all the same. Nothing beats the adrenaline rush, the feeling of achievement and, ultimately, freedom.
I can’t think of another industry that is more exciting to be in than the Creator Economy! Despite the great money and sometimes glamorous lifestyle, I have learnt that running a Content Creator business isn’t the highlight reel we often see and from the beginning.
I have endeavoured to be as transparent and honest as possible when it comes to being in this line of work. I want to advocate for every woman wanting this job and give you the tools to succeed.
I’m very excited about the next chapter.
How to write your own origin story
It’s safe to say that followers tend to value people that are their most honest, authentic selves and aren’t afraid to speak their truth! If you take my origin story example above it can be broken down into these five points…
💫 How you started: Working all the hours under the sun, low pay + never given any opportunity
💫 Struggles or Challenges: Got fired from my job whilst having less than 10k on IG + wasn’t making money from my blog
💫 Mindset Shifts + Actions you took: I decided that I wouldn’t take no for answer, created a media pack, pitched to 30 brands a week for a few months whilst bettering my craft
💫 Results: Landed my first paid gig for £5,000 and hit £100k revenue in 2nd year of influencing
💫 Where you are today: Managing + educating other creators!
I challenge you to open a fresh google doc and have a go at doing this for your own origin story! If you get stuck – I have a few spots left for 1:1’s in my September Creator Clinic where I help women to grow their influence (and earn more cash!).
Once you’ve done this task stay tuned for my next blog where I will be taking you through all the steps you need to take in order to optimise your bio for maximum results with brands.