The Road to Social Influence with Lisa Linh

Author: Kacie Anderson / Photos: Angelo Vasquez
02.22 / MB Series

When she’s not hanging out on white sandy beaches or taking pics in epic hotels, Lisa Linh is creating content and working closely with her clients. Giving a whole new meaning to the title “Influencer,” Lisa has a hand in tons of projects, making her one badass force to be reckoned with. Check out our interview with her below to see the trials and tribulations that led the social media maven to where she is today, and see how she manages it all.

What were you doing before you were an "influencer?"
Before I was a full-time influencer I worked in corporate for over 12 years in several different positions. I worked in customer service, I worked in debt collections, in e-commerce as a buyer; I also have done PR/marketing on the wholesale side as well as menswear marketing on the retail side.

At what point did you decide you wanted to stop your conventional job and do this as a full-time career?
I remember sitting in my car frustrated and crying in front of a nail salon. I had called my boyfriend and a couple of my best friends and started venting to them about how much I hated my job. I remember them telling me that if I wasn't happy then I should quit but in the back of my mind, I was worried because I didn't have a backup plan. However, I knew they were right, and the very next day I walked into the office and turned in my two weeks.

Talk to us about that transition.
That first year of entrepreneurship was rough. I was mentally, emotionally, and financially drained. I was also trying to figure out who I was and it took me about a year and a half to identify who I am and how I wanted to contribute to the world. To say that it was a trying year is an understatement because it literally challenged me in so many ways. I never thought it was easy to be a full-time influencer, however, I also didn't expect so many ups and downs to occur all at the same time. You definitely learn a lot when you're in business for yourself. I honestly still don't have it all together and I still have a lot to learn, but I can say that I am 100% happy with the choice I have made.

What was your first big gig and how did you land it?
Well, my first big gig was not paid but a product sponsorship for HP. Ken, my photographer and boyfriend, and I created a stop motion video of an unboxing of the HP 360x laptop, which they loved. They had emailed me because they had seen my Instagram profile. In regard to my first paid gig, I think it was with Target for their denim collection and that was through a website that is no longer in business called Mode.

"I think it's important to show your weakness as well as your strength, especially when you have younger people looking up to you."

You work with your significant other on a daily basis, what are some pros and cons? 
It's a blessing, but it can also be stressful. Ken and I work really well together, however, it took us about 2 years to really figure out how to balance out work and our relationship. Just like every other couple we fight, however our fights will be over creative differences or scheduling complications because of project deadlines. It gets kind of weird blurring the lines because you end up depending on your other half to help you create content and then if you guys get into a fight you're kind of f*cked--because he was supposed to shoot you and now he isn't. There was a point where work was all that we did when we were together and that strained our relationship quite a bit. We had to take a break and refocus on us again.

It isn't crucial to have an "Instagram husband" but it's extremely helpful and supportive to have your other half understand what you do and want to help you. Ken has been there since the beginning and I can't imagine where I would be if he hadn't helped me. After all, IG is based on visuals and he has created some amazing imagery that's helped me progress and gain attention with brands.

What are some of the negatives about this industry that we might not know?
This is probably the only industry where a lot of brands look at quantity over quality, aka how many followers a person has. Other than that, I feel like a lot of negatives in this industry are negatives in many other industries. For example, there are long nights and there's a ton of stress. However, the difference between our negatives versus other industries is that we chose this lifestyle. So technically, we really can't complain about the negatives because we create them and have some control in changing it.

Tell us all of the amazing projects you're a part of and your role in them.
Aside from being a full-time influencer, I also have my own social media consulting agency. I have a few clients currently, which includes Supra Footwear.

You've recently participated in a suicide prevention walk as well as written a couple posts about your contemplation with suicide in the past. Being that vulnerable on social can be scary, why do you think it's important to share these moments?
Vulnerability shows strength. I purposely talk about the things I struggle with in hopes that it will start a conversation or at least acknowledge someone else who is going through it so that they can open up and talk to somebody. My DM is always open to anyone that needs someone to listen to them and I've said it numerous times on my Instagram. I think it's important to show your weakness as well as your strength, especially when you have younger people looking up to you. They need to know that you're not perfect.

How does MISSBISH relate to Lisa Linh?
As an independent woman and entrepreneur, I'm always looking for inspiration and motivation from other strong women, which is where MISSBISH comes in. MISSBISH not only highlights those who are doing big things but also makes sure to give those who are underrated the limelight as well. I've discovered some really dope people from MISSBISH and love the content that they push out.

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