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For Chantelle Rance, Influencer Stardom Began With Outfit Pics During Lockdown

Actress Chantelle Rance found an unexpected new career path during the pandemic lockdowns. With her acting work halted, Rance turned to Instagram to satisfy her creative drive and post fashion and lifestyle content. Those initial outfit photos and videos quickly blossomed into an influencer career as brands began reaching out about paid partnerships. 

Rance discovered she preferred the direct connection with online fans over acting roles. Drawing on lessons from her pageant experience about supporting others in the industry, the actress-turned-influencer has tried to foster a spirit of camaraderie among her fellow creators as her following has grown.

She first turned to Instagram to fill the creative void. “I started doing like little bits here and there, just posting and putting outfit pictures, and I was doing like the odd little video. And that’s what my creative journey sort of took off from there.”

As Rance posted more fashion and lifestyle content, brands began contacting her about paid partnerships. “You sort of get the odd emails, and I really like your outfits…And then that leads to brands getting in contact,” she says. Rance realized she enjoyed the direct connection with her online fans and opted to prioritize content creation over acting.

“I ended up really loving doing the content creation because there was a real connection with your online fans and people that really liked what you did,” Rance explains. “And I kind of thought, oh, I like that connection. I want to carry on doing it.”

What Pageantry Taught Her and How She Enriched Her Content With That Knowledge 

Rance draws lessons from her background in pageantry, an industry she says values “empowerment and support.” She tries to maintain that supportive spirit among her fellow creators. “If you’re not willing to kind of support those in the same boat [as] you…[then] you’re not going to get [brand deals] further down the line,” Chantelle says.

She places significant emphasis on audience feedback when planning her content. “They really influence because…if you’ve got your audience really liking something specific about a photo once 1 or 2 times, you think, okay, that’s something to take forward,” she explains. As an example, Rance noted incorporating more vibrant summer visuals after getting positive responses to bright, colorful photos.

However, the influencer is also mindful of staying true to her authentic personal brand amid trends. “You’ll never be afraid to just be you. So bring yourself to everything you do,” she advises. “You can follow the trend…but always remember, okay, how does this relate back to me? Do I see me in that picture?” Her key is finding a balance between what resonates with her audience while remaining recognizably herself.

How Rance Dealt With the Difficulties She Faced Early In Her Influencer Career 

In her early days as a content creator, one of Rance’s biggest challenges was simply gaining a following. “Getting started is a real big one because obviously if you’re a content creator, you want your following and you want people to be like, ‘oh, I like this, I like that,'” she says. “And it can be quite demoralizing just getting your foot in the door.”

Rance advises aspiring creators to persevere through this period. “Don’t be afraid to start because everyone goes through it. It takes time,” she counsels. Over time, consistent posting allowed her account to gain traction. “Once you kind of hit a point, it just keeps on going. You just got to stay consistent.”

Another hurdle was handling the mental pressures of content creation. Rance learned the importance of taking breaks when needed rather than burning out from overwork. “For my own mental health, [I would] take the step away and then just come back.” 

She also had to overcome tendencies towards perfectionism with her photos and content. Ultimately, Rance realized, “If I like the photo and I’m happy with it, then I put it out…You’ve got to kind of remember you’re still doing it for you as well as everyone else.”

Last year, the meticulous content creator joined the influencer marketing agency Sintillate Talent to help elevate her career. “I can honestly say like career trajectory [went] onwards and upwards…I’ve got to work with a few more photographers as well because I’m able to create some content. I’ve got some good brands that I work with.”

Rance appreciates that the agency emphasizes creator well-being and checks in regularly. “They will check in with you weekly…[and say] if you need a break, that’s okay. There’s no pressure to do this…And I love the way they’re like, no, don’t overdo it.”

Chantelle Co-Hosts a Relatable Podcast Bridging Different Lifestyles

In addition to her influencer and modeling work, Rance recently launched a podcast with her friend, Sereena Parris. The show aims to bridge their contrasting lifestyles and perspectives.

“She’s a working mom. She’s trying to get this career in acting while balancing the family life and her kids. And I’m kind of like the creative model girl about town going on the dates,” Rance explains. “We’ve got two audiences here. Let’s bring them together.”

Despite their outward differences, Rance and Parris found common ground. “We’ve still got so much in common. So when you can kind of realize you can mesh those two things and there’s two different opinions…you just got a whole new audience.”

One topic that particularly resonated was dealing with insensitive comments about Rance’s multiracial background. A critic messaged her, saying she didn’t “look very English enough” to compete in the Miss England pageant, which Rance found baffling.

“I never kind of thought of myself any different…I find our country very multicultural,” she says. Rance addressed the incident on the podcast to raise awareness and encourage more open dialogue about race and heritage.

The frank discussion struck a chord. “I had one girl message me…’I’m so glad that you spoke about that because it’s something that comes your way more often than not, and no one really speaks about it.'”

When it comes to handling negativity online, Rance advises creators: “You have to remind yourself that it’s nothing about you…When someone sends negativity your way, it’s something that they’re not happy about in themselves.”

She measures the podcast’s success primarily through positive audience feedback so far. “As long as people are listening and responding to it, that’s how you can measure your success,” Rance says, attributing the early traction to the show’s relatability.

When asked what she would change about the creator economy if she could, Rance said plain and simple: “I’d block the negativity. If I could do that, just hit a button and be like, negative. Gone. That’s definitely what I do.” 

She condemns the persistence of online hate. “There is a lot of negativity in the world. Why focus so much on that? Because there’s so much positive on social media as well…I’ve had my magic wand that would be gone. I would. Everything’s gone now. Keyboard warriors gone. Happy people,” Rance says.

Cecilia Carloni, Interview Manager at Influence Weekly and writer for NetInfluencer. Coming from beautiful Argentina, Ceci has spent years chatting with big names in the influencer world, making friends and learning insider info along the way. When she’s not deep in interviews or writing, she's enjoying life with her two daughters. Ceci’s stories give a peek behind the curtain of influencer life, sharing the real and interesting tales from her many conversations with movers and shakers in the space.

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