We’re reaching out to some popular creators to get their best tips and tricks for success and better understand the ups and downs of life as a trailblazer on the internet.
This week, we caught up with Sara, aka NutrientMatters, via email. The popular creator has over 750,000 followers across TikTok and Instagram, and is known for incorporating nutrients into average meals. When asked about her username, Sara let her followers know that doesn’t like to focus on labels like “healthy” or “unhealthy” and instead uses a lens of nutrient density.
What’s the first thing you do to start your day online?
The first thing I do to start my day online is to start my day offline. I find going onto social media platforms first thing in the morning gets me into a consumption mindset rather than a creative one. So it’s important for me to sit down and review my notes where I jot down any and all ideas for upcoming content. This is typically how I decide what content I will be filming that day/week.
What do you wish you knew when you were first starting out as a creator?
When I first started out as a creator, I would constantly worry about not growing fast enough or not getting as much engagement as I hoped for. I would obsess over each individual post and check hourly on how it was doing. If I was disappointed with the engagement on one piece of content, I would get really discouraged and unproductive. Obsessing over the engagement on individual posts would lead me to think “what’s the point” which was really destructive for me and didn’t encourage me to focus on the bigger picture. Once my videos started to go viral, I would feel so motivated to make more content and that’s when my engagement would be the best—when I consistently pumped out content. The point is that don’t post content and wait for that one post to do well. Just keep pumping out content and naturally the engagement of your platform as a whole will improve.
When did you realize you’d broken through and become a successful creator?
I still haven’t completely acknowledged myself as a “successful creator” because I feel like acknowledging my minimal success would cause me to become distracted from potential greater success. So for me, avoiding establishing myself as entirely successful keeps me in a productive mindset that pushes me to keep working harder. Although there are moments throughout my journey as a creator where I give myself a big high-five for achieving new milestones that ultimately build up my confidence as a creator. Moments like being offered my first brand deal, hitting half a million followers, having hundreds of people recreate my recipes and telling me how obsessed they are. All of these moments are affirmations that I am on the track to success.
If you hadn’t become a creator, what would you be doing right now?
I completed my undergrad in social psychology and actually still work in the social services sector while being a content creator. I want to pursue further education in holistic nutrition and align that with my social media and online presence. Even If I wasn’t a content creator, I would still be in some sort of career that allows me to help people improve their life and well-being whether that’s specific to the social services or health & nutrition fields.
What’s one thing you do to manage your relationship with your fans?
I think one of my biggest priorities to manage my relationship with my followers is to respond to every personal message… (unless it’s spam). If a follower takes time out of their day to directly acknowledge me and ask me a question, I do my very best to respond to them which helps strengthen my relationship with my audience beyond just a “like” on a post.
What do you think of the idea of cancel culture?
I think cancel culture stems from people putting creators on a pedestal and perceiving them as incapable of making mistakes or ever disappointing their audience. No one should ever be put on a pedestal or idolized to the point you feel the need to collectively cancel them. If someone messes up, educate them *gently* and let them be. If you disagree with someone’s opinion, just unfollow them.
How much of your true self do you show online?
Generally speaking, I don’t have the opportunity to show much of myself since my content is focused on the food rather than myself. When It comes to my personality online, that is something I try to keep authentic to how I would act in real life.
What’s one of the best interactions you’ve ever had with someone who follows you?
The most memorable online interaction was receiving an email from a follower telling me about the impact my recipes had on him and his wife while she was battling cancer and how much my recipes helped. I honestly got goosebumps reading that email. Something else I love about TikTok is that it feels very communal and supportive. It makes my day when complete strangers online defend me from a negative comment—even when those comments don’t bother me—the gesture that people who don’t even know me personally are defending me, makes me feel blessed.
What is your most treasured tool?
I would have to say my iPhone 12 PRO. I truly believe that you don’t need *too much* fancy equipment to build an audience online and my iPhone is a testament to that. It captures my recipes in 4k, my go-to editing software is done through an app on my phone, even my recipes and brainstorming is done on my iPhone in the notes app. Needless to say, a majority of my work as a content creator is done through my phone, which is so much more to me than just a device that makes phone calls.
What holds you accountable?
Recognizing that If I do not plan, I am planning to fail (definitely not my original thought and a quote I read years ago)—but in every aspect of my life before becoming a content creator, my only task was to complete tasks that were given to me. Due dates were set, outlines were made, the tools to complete tasks were handed to me. Being a content creator requires you to be a manager, supervisor, employee, advisor and more roles all at once. I have to brainstorm new projects, set due dates, prioritize tasks, complete the task and anything else that goes with being a creator. There are so many aspects to managing a platform online and it’s important that I create a plan and stick to it to the best of my ability—because I know that having no plan means nothing gets done.
Thank you, NutrientMatters, for talking with us!