Alivia Fields’ journey to becoming an influencer was unconventional. Initially, she started as a photographer with around nine years of experience. She began taking photos of friends and influencers, which she shared on her Instagram. At this time, she had about 700 followers and no plans to become an influencer herself.
However, this was around the time when aesthetic Instagram feeds took off. A company noticed Alivia’s beautifully curated Instagram feed and asked her to visit their headquarters and provide insights into crafting an aesthetic Instagram feed and how teenagers used the platform.
Around the same time, Instagram began promoting Alivia’s account with its suggested users’ feature, and she quickly went from 700 to 30,000 followers in less than three weeks.
After amassing a much larger following, Alivia began looking at content creation as a career and continued using her platform to promote her photography and diversify her income.
Photographer & Creator Alivia Fields On Authenticity, Overcoming Self-Doubt, And Diversifying Income Streams
Becoming a Content Creator
Along with sharing her carefully curated photography, Alivia quickly realized that posting about her personal life also helped her gain followers. She also partnered with Socialyte, a digital influencer and celebrity talent agency, which helped her build her career.
Alivia was reached out to by the Socialyte team four years ago. An initial phone call with the team helped her understand how they could help her grow.
Alivia explains, “I can send it [brand offers] to them and ask them to make sure it’s a good partnership, the contract looks good, and that make sure it’s a good rate so I’m not being taken advantage of… The most beneficial thing that has just been so helpful over the years is having someone play the good cop and bad cop, especially if we’re negotiating rates.”
Staying Authentic to Your Audience
Alivia stresses that one of the most critical parts of content creation is staying authentic, upfront, and transparent with your audience and brands.
For sponsorships, she recommends remembering that brands will expect you to create content that fits into your other content naturally. For example, if you post day-to-day content typically, creating a formal post about a brand’s product won’t feel natural to your audience, diminishing its authenticity and value.
Defining expectations with brands and not creating content that doesn’t fit your niche, aesthetic, or typical content style is key to creating sponsored content that doesn’t feel inauthentic to your audience.
Finding Your Niche and Style
Many content creators need help finding their niche or unique style. This process can take time, which is okay. Alivia advises creators to remember that their content and niche will evolve over the years.
She adds, “When it comes to finding your content niche, don’t pressure yourself to just be like this is my one thing. I have to always stick with this thing. Take the pressure off yourself and allow yourself to evolve.”
For example, Alivia previously posted more travel content, but during the pandemic, she expanded into other niches, such as home decor and interior design.
Alivia’s content has also evolved with the birth of her child, Greyson. Recently, Alivia worked with a pro-life diaper company and made an Instagram reel showcasing their diapers.
Another tip Alivia provided was considering what content makes you stop when scrolling through Instagram. What makes you stop and take a second look?
If you could see yourself doing this type of content, try it out.
The Importance of Diversifying Income Streams
A critical step for all creators is diversifying their income streams and never relying on one client or platform to pay all their bills.
Alivia has several income streams, including photography. She does a lot of behind-the-scenes photography with brands that she doesn’t publicly post on her social media.
In addition, her Instagram account provides monetization opportunities when brands want to sponsor her content. Alivia even sells presets on her website, creating a passive income stream.
Alivia is also opening an online shop on her website featuring home decor and antique products.
Managing Multiple Platforms
Managing multiple platforms, her website and other revenue streams is time-consuming. To save time, Alivia repurposes the same idea across various platforms to keep herself from burning out.
For example, she may make a reel showing off her backyard and then use photos of her backyard in a blog post. This content is based on the same idea but repurposed in multiple ways so she can make different content without spending too much time on it.
Batching content also saves her time. She will take photos and videos of one idea, like organizing a bookshelf, then share pictures in her email newsletter and create video content for Instagram and YouTube, all in the same creative session.
Handling Criticism Online
All content creators face criticism online, making it challenging to stay positive at times. Here’s how Alivia handles criticism and maintains a positive mindset under online scrutiny.
She shares, “This is definitely something that I’ve dealt with. A couple of years ago, it was pretty heavy, and it was the first time I dealt with it, so it was a big shock to me. I tried to handle it by being as kind as I could.”
After a while, she found it exhausting to respond to every negative comment with a positive response. Alivia also realized she wasn’t being as authentic at this time either, as she was trying to make everybody happy – an impossible task for anyone.
Alivia explains, “When I realized that if I were my authentic self online and were bold in who I was and the things that I posted about and shared, I would attract the right type of community and the type of people that aren’t going to get offended or make hateful comments.”
Ultimately, being herself online and creating bolder statements led to more peace of mind because she knew she was being authentic, and if someone didn’t like it, they didn’t have to consume her content.
Overcoming challenges, creative blocks, and self-doubt are par for the course for content creators.
Alivia shares, “Creators always have to evolve, or else you get left behind. Again, that doesn’t mean you have to be chasing the next trend, but I think being able to think outside of the creative box you’ve previously been in is beneficial when it comes to creative blocks.”
Alivia recommends taking a step back and remembering what inspires and motivates you.
Sometimes, this means taking a break from consuming other content in your niche if you feel intimidated or overwhelmed. Taking a walk or looking at things offline, such as cookbooks or magazines, are ways that Alivia keeps herself inspired.
Her biggest advice for aspiring creators?
“Be honest with yourself about what content you like to see – what inspires you? What motivates you? Figure out how to turn that into things you’re doing in your day-to-day life into content because that will be the most authentic and truthfully going to be the most fun for yourself.”