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Jalessa De Jesus On Finding Her Voice Through Content Creation


Jalessa De Jesus On Finding Her Voice Through Content Creation

Jalessa De Jesus (theofficial.jale) always wanted to “leave a good impact in the world.” This aspiration led her to pursue content creation and use social media to share aspects of her life. Coming from a “really big Hispanic family” with 11 siblings, Jalessa filled her free time by watching YouTube and (the predecessor app to TikTok). She followed trends on those platforms, observing what content was popular.

An early breakthrough came unexpectedly when Jalessa De Jesus recorded herself singing and posted the video to TikTok. “It blew up. I was not expecting that” Jalessa explains. Though she had previously shared singing videos online, this TikTok clip quickly amassed views and attention beyond anything she had experienced before. [Jalessa explains that] “I just genuinely was just posting my everyday life and me singing.”

This initial viral moment set Jalessa on a path to further content creation. Next, she began receiving requests from viewers interested in how she styled her curly hair. “I kind of just started doing hair routines and showing people what I do.” Jalessa De Jesus started making tutorial videos to assist young women in appreciating and caring for curly hair. Sharing her “journey with [her] hair” allowed her message of empowerment to come through.

Live-streaming presented another opportunity for Jalessa’ burgeoning influencer career. She regularly went live on TikTok and Instagram, having genuine back-and-forth conversations with viewers. One day, after ending a TikTok live stream session where she had simply been packing for vacation, Jalessa noticed she had accrued a small amount of revenue from the stream “It was like $20. I was like, what?” She was confused how simply talking to her audience had generated any money. Still, the moment provided a glimpse of potential financial gain from content creation. Jalessa decided she would use the money to buy herself breakfast the next morning before school.

Buoyed by this initiation into direct monetization, Jalessa leaned further into live streaming. As she continued going live regularly, she found herself earning increasing revenues. Around the same time, brands started contacting Jalessa, offering payment to feature their products. As she recounts, “Brands started reaching out to me, and like wanting me to share their clothing or their hair products, and they were just offering me a budget.” Jalessa enthusiastically accepted these early sponsorship deal

Jalessa De Jesus On Finding Her Voice Through Content Creation

Balancing Authenticity and Partnerships

Authenticity is paramount for Jalessa De Jesus when creating content and fostering an engaged community. As she states, “if I lie to people to gain an audience, it won’t be authentic.” Jalessa strives to “keep it as real as I can” by openly sharing both her challenges and triumphs. Showing that she too experiences difficulties helps assure her audience “you don’t have to feel alone.”

This commitment to authenticity also guides Jalessa’ decisions around sponsorships. She turns down deals promoting products that clash with her values or that she feels could negatively impact young followers. Jalessa De Jesus explains that “some companies have big budgets and they offer crazy amount of money, if it doesn’t fit with me, I really will not accept it.” For her, staying true to her principles and her audience takes priority over potential financial incentives.

Jalessa brings the same candid ethos to discussing mental health and other serious issues, even if it means breaching topics many influencers avoid. As she notes, “maybe if I’m going through it, someone else might be too. So if I speak up about it, maybe they won’t feel as alone.” By giving voice to struggles many experience privately, Jalessa moves the culture towards openness and support.

Interacting directly with her community also fosters meaningful engagement rooted in authenticity. Jalessa De Jesus often goes live so followers feel connected with her in real time. She loves “having like a community to share things with” that has grown organically from her transparency. As Jalessa summarizes, although content creation provides income, “it’s very fun to have something that’s like a dream come true” where she gains fulfillment from forging authentic connections. 

Incorporating sponsored content also provides income streams, but Jalessa De Jesus only partners with brands she fully stands behind. As she explains, “I won’t ever promote a product that doesn’t work because I wouldn’t want to…lie or captivate my audience.” By only featuring genuine products she has verified herself, Jalessa maintains her supporters’ trust. She builds open communication so that even if an item she tries out happens not to work for her, she feels comfortable sharing that fact transparently.

On The Ups and Downs of Being a Creator

Like many other creators, one obstacle Jalessa encounters is periodic “creator block” where she lacks inspiration on what to film or share. As she explains, “maybe I’m really having a hard week and it’s just like, I don’t want them to see me, like all sad and mopey all the time.” To overcome such hurdles, Jalessa stresses the importance of taking alone time to “just sit by oneself and just focus, you know, touch some grass, come into reality.” After resetting her mindset, she finds that “once you get that flow of like, okay, I know what I want to create, I know what I want to show people…you just don’t stop.”

Jalessa also must contend with misplaced skepticism about the validity of content creation as a profession. Early on, her family dismissed it thinking “oh, you don’t do nothing, you don’t do anything. You literally just post the video.” Jalessa highlights how much effort actually goes into even a short video, between “an hour to record the video, five hours to edit the video.” She wants people to recognize “it’s not just like I pick up the phone record, because in that case, then everybody would be a content creator.” But given “there’s a lot of details, little things that goes into making it what it is…if that was the case, it would be so easy. But it really isn’t.”

Despite facing doubts and creative obstacles, Jalessa offers encouraging advice to up-and-coming creators trying to find their voice: “just record everything…You may not think what do I have to record this for? No, just record every moment.” She also urges creators to step outside their comfort zone, referencing her own shyness after Covid as an example she pushes past. By being relentlessly real and committed, Jalessa believes anyone can prosper creatively.

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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