Content creator turns losing job into creating a social media safe space

Written by: Sarah Chase


Rachel Naonn was born and raised in O’ahu, Hawai’i and just as many young girls, she became obsessed with YouTube in 2008. Naonn currently lives in the east coast after moving in December of 2020. Soon after her move, she decided to join the TikTok community.


2020 was not an easy year for the average working American and Naonn, like many others, was laid off last May. After struggling finding a job, she was finally able to get hired into merchandising. Now Naonn creates content not just to share her everyday life in merchandising, but to…


“I am always watching my Snapchat memories and Instagram archives to relive those moments, so when I moved to the east coast I decided I wanted to make a video everyday to have memories to look back on,” Naonn said. “I really didn’t expect to grow a following, I started purely for my own joy. Once I grew more on TikTok, a lot of my community asked me to start a YouTube channel.”


Naonn loves what she does and even though she does not have any exact goals, she knows that she wants to keep creating and keep her platform for as long as she can. She hopes in doing so she can make a career out of her platform.


“I used to be very critical and specific about what I posted on Instagram, it always had to match the current theme. I am a lot more [relaxed] now and do not restrict my feed to look a certain way. I usually go in with the intent to take a picture so I plan an outfit and if I see a backdrop I like I: prop my phone up, turn on self-timer, and start shooting. I’ve always had a keen eye for detail, which greatly helps while taking pictures. If I’m with someone, I put the phone in the angle I want and ask them to take the shot,” Naonn said.


Michelle Choi, Tara Michelle, and Paige Secosky serve as inspirations for Naonn. Naonn says that each creator “have an effortless way to their content, but you’re still able to see the amount of hard work they put into it.” She has been impressed by multiple content creators and works to make sure her content is just as authentic.


“[Content creation] gave me a creative outlet and an incredibly supportive community that gave me something to look forward to everyday,” Naonn said. Everything is recorded on my iPhone 12 and I film my average days, there is no planning. There are a few angles that are always the same because as a consumer I love to see consistency, so I make sure to implement that as a creator. I don’t script my voiceovers, I just record over and over until I feel like it’s the right take.”


The “That Girl” trend took off in the early months of this year and many content creators took it as a challenge to be their best selves. With some controversy, the trend took off and Naonn wants her supporters to know from her content that “That Girl” looks different for everyone and does not exist all the time.


“I hope people learn [from what I share] that you don’t have to be ‘that girl’ and being perfect on social media is not real,” Naonn said. “You should accept yourself as you are and let yourself feel. It’s amazing to have a positive mindset, but you don’t have to pretend that you’re ok 100% of the time.”


Knowing who she is, Naonn has learned to ignore negative comments. Valuing herself and knowing her worth makes her confident in who she is.


“I have a very strong sense of self; I know who I am and I know what my values are. When I read a negative comment it bothers me to an extent, but I don’t dwell because it means nothing to who I am. When it comes to being overwhelmed with work, I listen to myself and take a break. I put my phone and iPad away and do anything else,” Naonn said.


Comparing numbers and content is another side of content creation that many do not open up about. Naonn makes sure to remind herself that everyone’s experience in creating content is different.


“It is easy to look at another creator’s numbers and think ‘wow why am I not getting that engagement?’ or “their aesthetic is way more pleasing than mine.’ I try to remind myself that everyone’s journey is different and I use those experiences as market research. I also like to think that someone is seeing my content and thinking the same,” Naonn said.


Naonn’s advice to those wanting to dive into creating content, no matter what kind, is to do it because it brings joy and it is based on something that brings joy.


“Make sure you are starting off with the right intentions; you can not go into content creation only wanting to make money or hundreds of thousands of followers because you will never be genuine,” Naonn said. “Pick a niche that is sustainable for you and your lifestyle and be consistent with it. Content creation is not as easy as it seems and is a profession that is often belittled. I hope that no one becomes discouraged by that and carries on doing what they love to do.”

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