JaLisa Vaughn-Jefferson knows how to turn her dreams into reality.
“A mill in brand deals next year. Mark my words and remember this tweet,” the Dallas-based influencer tweeted in November 2020. In less than a year, Vaughn-Jefferson has surpassed that goal.
“I got noticed by these brands because I was doing the job before doing the actual job,” says Vaughn-Jefferson said in an interview with Black Enterprise. “Before just waking up and deciding I wanted to start working with brands, I was sharing the products that I use and love every day without being paid. The brands I’ve worked with have been watching me for years. They reach out because they see how consistent I am. They love how I interact with my audience and get things done.”
Social media brand endorsements are big business, and they account for $10 billion a year globally, according to SignalFire, a venture capital firm that tracks industry data.
Vaughn-Jefferson launched her lifestyle brand over 10 years ago. She shares her insight on fashion, beauty, travel, faith, lifestyle, and, of course, being a mother on her YouTube channel and her social media platforms.
The influencer has shared authentic moments of her life by inviting followers on her journey–from a single woman climbing the corporate ladder to being a married woman juggling a growing online presence. Her sharing has paid off. She’s used these moments of her life to garner deals and leverage partnerships with popular brands such as Zales Jewelers, Walmart, Carters, Cascade, Arm & Hammer, and Reebok.
From Side Hustler to Full-Time Influencer
When Vaughn-Jefferson launched her brand, she was working in IT. At night and on the weekends, she would create content for her YouTube channel. She’d also share her ideas on Instagram and Twitter.
It was not easy to be successful as an IT professional and content creator, but Vaughn-Jefferson relied on the following strategies to manage her time:
Content is king. Consistent development of content is crucial to being a successful influencer, and Vaughn-Jefferson would plan and produce her content at least one week in advance.
Build a team. In any business, it is impossible to do everything. By outsourcing specific tasks to a team, Vaughn-Jefferson was able to make the most of her time.
Create a work/life balance. Early on, Vaughn-Jefferson learned that establishing a schedule and boundaries was the key to success.
Following these strategies helped Vaughn-Jefferson to make the ultimate plunge in 2017. She resigned from her 9-to-5 job and began running her influencer business full time.