With roots embedded deep in the military, Caroline Lewis has transitioned from her past in the armed forces to the thriving world of digital content creation, offering an exclusive peek into the blend of discipline and passion that fuels her.
Caroline Lewis: Marching From The Military To The Creator Economy
“Thank you for having me,” Caroline began, her excitement evident. “I spent nearly seven years in the military, serving both in the Army and RAF.” Such a background is not what one might expect from a content creator, but Caroline isn’t one to fit into predictable molds. Her time in the military wasn’t just a job; it was a crucible of challenge and growth. “I worked a lot. Long hours. But it kept me motivated, pushed me,” she recalls. “I’ve always loved challenges. The military served them up in spades. So for me, diving into the world of content creation was just another challenge, albeit a very different one.”
The creator economy is known for its relentless hustle, where individuals craft their narratives and build their brands. This constant grind might daunt some, but not Caroline. The discipline and dedication she cultivated in the military seamlessly found a new outlet. “The military was my community, my family,” she shared, a note of nostalgia evident. “We looked after each other, supported one another, and experienced incredible things together. Leaving that behind was hard.”
But life threw Caroline a curveball that temporarily halted her journey. “I had to medically retire after suffering a pulmonary embolism,” she revealed, her voice tinged with a mix of sadness and determination. This health setback wasn’t just physically challenging—it was emotionally taxing. “I felt I’d lost a chunk of my self-confidence, my sense of independence. I desperately needed to push my boundaries, challenge my comfort zones.”
It’s this innate need for challenge that led her to a surprising decision. “I decided to participate in a competition called Swimsuit UK. Imagine, just two weeks before the event, with limited preparation, I turned up in a basic bikini. It was terrifying.” But this wasn’t just a personal challenge; Caroline aimed to inspire. “I wanted to feel good about the way I looked and hoped that in doing so, I’d inspire others to embrace their own selves.”
At the competition, a chance meeting with Sinan from Sintillate Talent marked the start of her official journey into the influencer world. “It’s funny how life works,” she mused. “I placed third, and there was Sinan, handing me my sash. That moment was my doorway into the creator economy.”
With a mix of enthusiasm and a hint of nerves, I approached him. I told him how much I admired what Sintillate stood for and expressed my desire to join the agency.”
For many, such a direct approach might seem daunting. Yet, Caroline’s forthrightness resonated with Sinan. “What impressed him,” she recounted, “wasn’t just my pitch, but the fact that I took the initiative. He appreciated that I approached him, that I was ready to seize the opportunity.” In an age where many wait for opportunities to knock, Caroline’s proactive gesture stood out.
Sinan’s response? A mix of admiration and intrigue. “He asked to see my social media,” Caroline shared, her tone both humbled and excited. “And just like that, a new chapter in my creator journey commenced.”
Finding Her Footing with Sintillate
“It began as a pursuit of self-confidence,” Caroline candidly remarked. A seemingly simple objective turned into a transformative experience for her. “When I first conversed with Sinan, what really drew me in was the ethos of Sintillate. They stood out, not just as an agency, but as a brand deeply rooted in the principles of support, equal opportunities, and holistic growth.”
It’s clear that her association with Sintillate wasn’t just about getting a footing in the industry; it was about personal and professional evolution. “They truly bring out the best in you. My journey with them has seen me mature, not just as an influencer but as an individual. The boost in my confidence is undeniable,” she reflected.
But it wasn’t just the brand’s ethos that resonated with Caroline. It was also the connections she fostered there. “I had the good fortune to meet Sinan through a friend, which then led me to Becca Merchant. Through these connections, I met so many individuals who shaped my path in the creator space.”
For Caroline, her relationship with Sintillate goes beyond a mere professional affiliation. “They aren’t just another agency in the vast sea of the creator economy,” she emphasized. “With them, it’s about community. It’s about empowerment. It feels like being a part of a family.”
Reflecting on her journey, Caroline said, “When Sintillate decided to sign me, that’s when it clicked. It was as if the universe was signaling that my efforts were being recognized.” Sintillate, renowned for its brand collaborations, charity campaigns, and digital influencer events, saw something in Caroline. “Their belief in me,” she noted, “changed everything. Suddenly, brands wanted to work with me. That realization, that my creation was more than just a personal hobby, was empowering.”
Authenticity in a Filtered World
“For me, it’s all about showcasing real life,” Caroline begins, emphasizing the “real” with a fervent passion. “I want my followers to see the genuine Caroline when they scroll through my feed. My health journey, my collaborations with brands, everything that makes me who I am today.”
While many influencers focus on curating a picture-perfect life, Caroline’s ethos is to be relatable. It’s this authentic approach that she believes sets her apart. “I aim for naturalness in my photos. When someone stops on my post, I want them to see the real moments, the unfiltered emotions. And, truth be told, I’m still on a learning curve. Every post, every story is a new lesson.”
But Caroline’s commitment to authenticity doesn’t stop at just representing her life honestly. She’s deeply invested in the creative process behind content creation, often collaborating with local photographers. “It’s not merely about snapping a photo,” she explains. “It’s about crafting a narrative. I make it a point to engage with local photographers, providing them a platform while ensuring the content remains fresh and unique.”
Moreover, Caroline’s partnerships with brands are not just transactional; they are transformational. “While I deeply respect the brands I work with, I always try to infuse my personal touch. It’s about creating a synergy where the brand’s essence and my authenticity converge.”
When asked about a campaign that left an indelible mark on her, Caroline’s response was immediate and impassioned. “Without a doubt, it has to be the Autoimmune Disease campaign,” she began, her voice reflecting the gravity of the cause.
The initiative, a collaboration between her agency, Sintillate, and the Autoimmune Awareness Foundation, involved a unique challenge. Participants had to hold a lemon in their mouth while speaking the words: “autoimmune disease, educate, detect, and treat. Don’t suffer in silence.” The goal? To drive conversations around the disease and make more people aware of its impact.
For Caroline, this wasn’t just another campaign; it was deeply personal. “Working full-time for a charity helpline, I understand the significance of awareness campaigns. The fact that Sintillate was keen on not only achieving success but also remembering and supporting the community was truly heartening,” she shared. In today’s fast-paced world, staying grounded and lending a helping hand is more important than ever. This campaign embodied that sentiment.
What made this initiative even more enlightening for Caroline was her personal learning journey. “Before the campaign, I wasn’t fully aware of the nuances of autoimmune diseases,” she admitted. But the campaign brought staggering facts to light, like the foundation’s post on 3rd September revealing that one in ten people are now affected by the disease.
For influencers like Caroline, campaigns like these are more than just a post or a story on social media; they represent a larger purpose. “The realization that my efforts could be a part of spreading awareness and potentially even saving lives? It’s monumental. It’s not just an honor; it’s a privilege,” she said, her words echoing the weight of responsibility she feels.
Fostering Genuine Connections on Social Media
“For me, it’s about being accessible,” Caroline shares, her words reflecting a sincere dedication to her followers. “I make it a point to respond to as many messages as I can. I want to be relatable, to create a space where my followers feel heard and seen.”
One key topic that resonates deeply with her community is her personal health journey. “Opening up about my health experiences has fostered a bond with many who are going through similar challenges,” she explains. These shared narratives have not only allowed Caroline to offer solace but also to find strength in the collective experiences of her community.
But her engagement isn’t limited to her followers. Caroline underscores the significance of networking within the influencer community. “I’m constantly connecting with fellow creators. There’s so much wisdom to gain, especially from those who’ve been in this space for longer,” she says. Describing herself as a “micro-influencer”, Caroline remains humble about her position in the influencer hierarchy. “In the grand landscape of digital creation, I might be on the smaller side, but every interaction, every connection, enriches my journey.”
Caroline’s approach to her online persona is refreshingly introspective. “It’s a continuous process of self-discovery. I’m constantly contemplating: Who do I want to be in this space? What stories do I want to tell? How can I stay true to myself?” For her, authenticity is non-negotiable. “It’s essential to remain grounded in one’s values and not lose sight of one’s identity amidst the ever-evolving digital dynamics.”
Next Milestones and Career Goals
“It’s been a whirlwind, to say the least,” Caroline remarked, a hint of disbelief in her tone. “I often find myself caught up in the rush, always thinking about the next goal, the next milestone. But when I pause and reflect, it hits me just how much has transpired in such a short span.”
Indeed, the past five months for Caroline have been transformative. A significant catalyst was her participation in a competition, a decision that became a pivotal moment in her journey. Sintillate, known for their extensive support and their role in the judging panel, was among the sponsors. Their involvement not only highlighted their commitment to nurturing new talent but also underscored their emphasis on empowering women.
“The event was more than just a competition,” Caroline explained. “It championed women empowerment and body confidence. The sense of camaraderie, the feeling of belonging to a community was palpable.” This newfound network of “swimsuit sisters,” as Caroline fondly refers to them, has gone beyond the confines of the event. “Many of us still stay in touch. I’ve forged friendships that I believe will stand the test of time.”
“My ultimate aspiration? To become a swimsuit model,” Caroline shared with enthusiasm, her eyes lighting up at the very thought. “Victoria’s Secret stands as a pinnacle for me, symbolizing the zenith of the modeling world.” And while swimsuit modeling sits at the top of her dream list, Caroline is also venturing into the realm of lingerie modeling. “It aligns perfectly with my advocacy for body confidence. Every photo shoot, every pose, is a celebration of self-love.”
The recent swimsuit competition she participated in isn’t just another event for Caroline. She sees it as a potential launchpad, a stepping stone towards her bigger dreams. And with Sintillate backing her, Caroline’s journey is replete with brand exposure, networking events, and invaluable opportunities. “Sintillate has been instrumental in opening doors for me,” she expressed gratefully. “In this industry, networking is paramount. But more than that, it’s about being authentic. That’s your true ticket.”
As for the milestones that lay ahead, Caroline’s journey is just beginning, and her excitement is palpable. “I’m still absorbing the momentum of my career, still pinching myself every time I put out a post,” she confessed, her voice tinged with wonder. “Every like, every comment, it’s all so surreal.”
Wisdom for Aspiring Creators
“First and foremost, do your homework,” she began, emphasizing the significance of aligning with the right partners. “Sintillate has been monumental for me, but it’s vital for every creator to find their ideal fit.”
But more than agencies and collaborations, Caroline’s advice centers around resilience and self-belief. “Rejections? They’re a part of the journey. Remember, a series of ‘no’s might just lead to that pivotal ‘yes’. So, don’t let setbacks deter you. Use them as stepping stones.”
In an industry built on connections, Caroline underscores the value of networking. “Engage, converse, and immerse yourself in the creator community. It’s all about reaching out and fostering connections.” And while she champions networking, she also opens her arms to those seeking guidance. “I’m always here to lend an ear or share an insight. We’re all evolving, all learning together.”
Highlighting the collaborative spirit of content creation, Caroline points out the myriad roles that come together to produce a piece of content. “It’s not just about the influencer. Think of the photographer, the lighting expert, the editor. It’s a collective effort. Recognize that. Value that.” In her eyes, gratitude and humility are non-negotiable. “Being appreciative of everyone’s contribution, understanding the effort behind the scenes, and always staying grounded are the keys.”
As for personal branding, Caroline’s words resonate with authenticity. “Chart your identity, define your brand essence, and stay true to it. It’s okay for it to evolve, but never compromise on your core values.” For her, genuineness and consistency are paramount. “Being genuine is the cornerstone of relatability. Your audience should see the real you, always.”
In a nutshell, Caroline’s advice for aspiring creators is a blend of tenacity, authenticity, gratitude, and continuous learning. As she succinctly puts it, “Stay true, stay you, and always remember the journey is as significant as the destination.”