Episode 186

Tina Lee ·  Inspiring Others to Pursue Their Dreams Through Social Media

“Do it for the passion because if you don't have passion you won't last for long”

Five years ago, Tina Lee took a leap of faith and quit her 9-5 to pursue content creation. 596K+ followers later, she now dedicates her time to teaching other aspiring creators how to do the same so they, too, can chase their dreams. 


Social media handles:

Instagram: @ofleatherandlace @fulltimeinfluencer.co


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Podcast Transcript

[00:00:00] Maggie Chui: Hi, everyone. Welcome to the Asian Hustle Network podcast. Today, we have a very special guest with us. Her name is Tina Lee. Five years ago, Tina took a leap of faith and quit her nine to five to pursue content creation, with 596,000 followers later. She now dedicates her time to teaching other aspiring creators how to do the same so they, too, can chase their dreams. Tina, welcome to the show. 

[00:00:26] Tina Lee: Thank you so much for having me. 

[00:00:28] Maggie Chui: We’re excited to have you on the show today. So, Tina, I would love to know more about you. Tell us where you were born and raised and what your experience was like growing up. 

[00:00:38] Tina Lee: Sure, I was born in Taiwan, and at the age of three, we immigrated to Brisbane, Australia.

[00:00:45] Tina Lee: It was a smaller city in Australia. There weren’t as many Asians. So growing up, it probably felt like maybe some, a lot of other people’s experiences where I didn’t fit in as a little struggle finding your identity. But over time, as you grow up, go to college, and then go into the workplace, you overcome that.

[00:01:05] Maggie Chui: Wow. What was that experience like? It must have been a life-changing journey for you, just moving from country to country. And I know that after Australia, you also moved to the states. 

[00:01:16] Tina Lee: Yes. 

[00:01:16] Maggie Chui: And just going through so many transitions, what was it like for you? Did you have any experience where you felt like you were just trying to figure out your identity, especially being Asian, moving from Taiwan to Australia, to the United States?

[00:01:29] Maggie Chui: I’m sure there was a lot of figuring out that you were doing and discovering who you were, so 

[00:01:34] Maggie Chui: tell us a little bit about that. 

[00:01:35] Tina Lee: Yes, for sure. In addition to not feeling like a fit in, I’m super introverted. So I always felt like I was out of place in the Western world, where everyone was open and complemented each other.

[00:01:48] Tina Lee: That’s just not really how it happened in my Asian household. My parents were very much stuck to their roots and didn’t want us to assimilate and forget our roots. So it was always a struggle between trying to fit in and trying to find an identity in this land that you won’t feel is home, but then missing the Asian part.

[00:02:10] Tina Lee: And I’ve been around the world like you mentioned. It was Australia. When I grew up, I went back to Taiwan for about ten years before moving around and moving out to the US. Years of actually growing up in college and working in Taiwan. So maybe it wasn’t quite ten years, but it was many years in Taiwan.

[00:02:27] Tina Lee: I feel like it’s a transition for every period that you’re living in a different country. So in Australia, I was trying to fit in but not feeling like you fit in anywhere. And then, when I returned to Taiwan, I realized this felt like home. This is my roots. And I got that kind of settled into me before moving to the US. And so I know that this is my home and my identity. I know, maybe, that’s a different story to many other Asian Americans, Australians, or anybody else who spent most of their lives in the country they grew up in. 

[00:03:02] Maggie Chui: Yes, for sure. I love that you had that experience and that you came to that realization. I often feel that way because sometimes, it might not feel like 100% home to me in America. Sometimes, I do feel a little bit more Asian. And then when I go back to my motherland, I’m like, wow, so many people are resonating with me or just have similar backgrounds. I completely understand what you mean. 

[00:03:23] Maggie Chui: After moving to Australia and the States, what was that kind of like the entrepreneurial mindset that kind of spark? Did you always know that you would be entrepreneurial, or was it something taught to you? I know that you had a lot of like design roles in the past before you became a full-time content creator. So what was it that sparked? Did you always know that you were going to be an entrepreneur? 

[00:03:46] Tina Lee: Yes. When I grew up, my parents wanted me to be a well-rounded person, so I could pursue whatever I wanted. My dad is an entrepreneur, and he runs a publishing company in Taiwan.

[00:03:59] Tina Lee: And I guess, even though I didn’t think I would become an entrepreneur, it probably affected all the dinner talks, and everything affected me over time. And so I was first working in design and wanted to become a fashion designer one day. But while there, I realized it is very capital intensive.

[00:04:19] Tina Lee: I didn’t want to depend on my parents too much. Although they still helped me along the way, I wanted to do something that wasn’t so capital-heavy. I stumbled upon other people blogging, doing Instagram. And I thought, oh, that’s cool. What if I could try and make work.? And so I tried to work on it while working my full-time job.

[00:04:40] Tina Lee: And then, over time, it developed into something I could never have dreamed of. 

[00:04:45] Maggie Chui: Oh, my goodness. Yes. For the people who are watching this podcast on video, if you can see Tina’s background. Oh, my goodness. It is so beautiful. It has all these unique pastel colors with all her dresses in the background.

[00:04:59] Maggie Chui: I can tell that you have a fashion designer background. 

[00:05:02] Tina Lee: It’s super messy camera gear too. This is like my Instagram set. 

[00:05:06] Maggie Chui: No, it looks neat, like it doesn’t look messy. When you just started on social media, can you tell us what year this was? I just want to get a picture of the social media-like field at that time.

[00:05:19] Tina Lee: Yes, it was the end of 2016. So at that time, Instagram was just starting to take off for everybody, and blogging was still very popular. So I wanted to start with the blog, but then I realized that Instagram and social media are where it’s at. So I hopped on that very quickly after.

[00:05:38] Maggie Chui: Oh, wow. Doing those two different things, like having a nine to five and doing social media, and content creation are so tiring. I’m sure that you were doing a lot of content creation. Like when I’m doing content creation with Brian on Asian Hustle Network, it is like a full-time job. And if you’re balancing the two, it can burn you out.

[00:06:00] Maggie Chui: What was it like for you? Like how did you manage your time doing content creation? And were you like, did you have set goals? Like I have to post once per day, or I have to do a vlog once per week. What were your measures of success at that time? Did you have specific goals at that time?

[00:06:16] Tina Lee: Yeah. The beauty of starting as a beginner in the entrepreneurial world is that you don’t know exactly what success is, and you just have this blind passion for what you do. I didn’t have measurable goals because I had no idea what was expected. I didn’t know what the trajectory would look like.

[00:06:34] Tina Lee: It wasn’t as mature as it may be now. I just really wanted to do it. When you see little mini glimpses of progress, not even success, not got brand deals or anything, it’s just that when you first set up your blog. And then, you’re proud of yourself, post the first blog post, then you’re proud of yourself.

[00:06:53] Tina Lee: So I try to celebrate every little win. And that motivated me to keep going, even though it was very hard to balance. Like it’s impossible to find balance in the beginning. I think you just have to accept that if you’re okay with that and you just grind for a while in the front, then you’ll start to see rewards over a more extended period.

[00:07:14] Tina Lee: It’s not going to be overnight, and it’s going to be a lot of struggle. But it’s all part of the process, and it’s pretty. Yes. 

[00:07:20] Maggie Chui: You bring up a really good point because I feel like nowadays, with many social media platforms, they say that you have to post three times a day. You have to post once per day on Instagram. You have to post a real one once daily or something like that.

[00:07:33] Maggie Chui: But for the people who were like early adopters on a lot of other social media platforms like Instagram and others, I feel like a lot of people were just like throwing paint on the wall because there was really, no you have to do this, you have to do X, Y, and Z. And people were just like being themselves, like doing whatever they wanted to. You didn’t have to follow this routine or this. I don’t know what everyone else is telling you to do. And so that’s true. The people who were early adopters just did whatever they wanted. Many people found them early on and thought, oh, I like this person’s content. This is what makes early adopters so unique that they can start early on.

[00:08:10] Tina Lee: Yes. 

[00:08:11] Maggie Chui: So while you were doing that and doing your nine to five, when did you decide? Okay. Do I want to stay at nine to five, or do I want to quit? What made you make that final jump, and what was it like right after that last jump? 

[00:08:26] Tina Lee: Yes, I think any intelligent person would not do what I did, which was quite too early.

[00:08:33] Tina Lee: I mentioned that I started in late 2016, and I think it was mid-2017 that I decided to quit. That’s too soon. I didn’t even have foundations set in. I wasn’t sure what I was doing, but I just saw that there was growth in terms. There’s a follower count. There was no growth in money or anything.

[00:08:50] Tina Lee: But I had saved up some money, and I was dating my current husband, so we were about to move in. So I was like, I can give it a try. I’ll give it a try for one or two years. If this works out, then. Awesome. I knew I was onto something, but there was no concrete plan or anything.

[00:09:06] Tina Lee: I just was obsessed with creating content. And so, I decided to leap. Fortunately, it worked out. 

[00:09:14] Maggie Chui: Oh my goodness. That’s crazy. 

[00:09:16] Maggie Chui: Yes. Many people say you should probably have a lot of brand deals lined up or make sure that you have consistent sponsorships before you quit your job to do content full-time.

[00:09:27] Maggie Chui: But I feel like you had faith and a lot of confidence in content creation in your case. And it was like something passionate that you wanted to do. And you hit the gun running in and put all of your efforts into it after you quit. 

[00:09:38] Tina Lee: I figured that I could still get back into the workforce if it didn’t work out after a year.

[00:09:44] Tina Lee: I was working as an associate designer. So one year in the workforce wouldn’t put me too far back. I can imagine if let’s say, you are a lawyer climbing up, or if you’re in the finance industry and you leave, and then you come back, it might be a bit more complicated. So depending on the industry and how far you’re at, you have to weigh your decisions. But also Ryan Serhant, he had a book where he said he had his back against the wall, and then that’s when he did, like really great things. I feel like I would never give people the advice to quit their job when it’s too early. I always tell everyone to make sure you have savings, make sure you have brand deal income.

[00:10:19] Tina Lee: But quite frankly, I went against all that, but it’s just because as someone advising other people, you want to think for most people, and you worry about them. But sometimes, I do believe that if you have a strong belief and have enough self-awareness to know your strengths and weaknesses?

[00:10:36] Tina Lee: I think you should go for it and just give it a go and try things out. Especially if the worst thing that can happen is just finding a job a couple of years later. 

[00:10:45] Maggie Chui: Yeah, that’s a good point. I like that you knew precisely what your fallback plan was, but at the same time, you knew exactly what your passion was and had a niche; you knew what type of content you would create, like fashion, travel, and lifestyle. Many people who want to quit their jobs and do content creation full time, even when they don’t have a niche or even don’t know what content they’re going to produce, can become risky. Because then, you’re doing the first or the next trend.

[00:11:17] Maggie Chui: But it doesn’t become sustainable. And then, if you have a niche and kind of content that you’re going to create, exactly like your followers are going to follow you because they follow your content because of that thing. Yes, and that’s why they keep coming back for your content.

[00:11:31] Maggie Chui: Yes. It’s amazing to know that you had a fallback plan and knew exactly what your vision was. 

[00:11:37] Tina Lee: Yes, sometimes you have to take a risk. 

[00:11:40] Maggie Chui: Yes. So during that time, when you first quit your job and didn’t have your income from your nine to five, I think one big topic many content creators talk about is sponsorships and brand deals. We have to make money to survive, and for many content creators, I think that even if they have a big following, not many people know how to get sponsorships or brand deals. And it is upsetting that many of these agencies or corporations take advantage of that.

[00:12:11] Maggie Chui: They know that there are a lot of content creators. They don’t see the business side to get brand deals and stuff, so what was your strategy like? How were you able to secure and lock down sponsorships and brand deals? What was your thought process for you at that?

[00:12:25] Tina Lee: I was one of the people who had no idea what to charge. And although I had grown pretty fast because I was so focused on creating content, I wasn’t as focused on trying to get a brand deal. I fall into that category of people who don’t know how to price themselves. I also didn’t know how to pitch to people.

[00:12:43] Tina Lee: I’m kinda scared to pitch to people in the beginning, especially because you don’t feel confident at first, especially in a new field, like social media. I think there’s a lot of imposter syndrome. And so it took a long time, I already had maybe over a hundred thousand, and I still wasn’t getting consistent brand deals because I just didn’t know that’s possible and quite normal for people on the net. 

[00:13:08] Tina Lee: What changed was when I started networking with other influencers in the New York area. And then, I started going to events with them. I showed up on their stories, and then the PR people following them saw me. Without actively trying to reach out, I started getting more inbound. So I think the first thing to do is understand who controls the brand deals and how to reach those people, whether through somebody else’s stories, direct outreach, or signing up to a platform. That’s a great point.

[00:13:38] Maggie Chui: Yes. I think a lot of the time, a lot of content creators believe that if they just create content themselves and only themselves, then they’re going to be okay. Like the brand, deals will just come in, but making those connections, right? Yes, making those connections and finding collaboration opportunities is just as important, if not even more.

[00:13:57] Maggie Chui: That’s a great point. I think that’s why a lot of people always emphasize that building relationships with other content creators is very important. 

[00:14:05] Tina Lee: Yes.

[00:14:06] Maggie Chui: So social media is just like a different ballpark. A lot goes into it, like followers, managing your social media accounts, and chasing those numbers.

[00:14:21] Maggie Chui: I’m sure there’s a lot of times you have burnout, right? Many content creators have burnout, and it’s constantly like trying to get a more significant number of followers or reaching a certain number of likes. And even though, I think there’s like certain things that Instagram tries to hide, like counts.

[00:14:40] Maggie Chui: But at the same time, it’s inevitable for us to look at likes and follower numbers. How do you manage burnout in that sense? What do you do to manage your stress levels? 

[00:14:50] Tina Lee: Yes. I realized that burnout comes not because you’re creating too much when you love something.

[00:14:58] Tina Lee: It doesn’t matter if you have to do it for 18 hours a day; you will keep doing it. If you see the same numbers and the same results or consistently more numbers, what burnout means for creators is how we feel about our numbers. It’s not that you are physically burnt out, you can’t do more work, or you’re physically so stressed and tired.

[00:15:17] Tina Lee: That is, it translates to that. But we need to think about our mindset towards the numbers that are showing up in our insights and how we feel about that. And to remind ourselves that, you must first be proud of what you do and enjoy your work or else. All those numbers will entirely dictate how you feel about yourself as a creator and whether you want to keep pursuing this.

[00:15:41] Tina Lee: So I think it’s important to understand that numbers don’t reflect our self-worth. And then, remember that content is the first thing you should be thinking about rather than the numbers or anybody else’s approval. And if you do it for the content, you’re probably doing it for the wrong reason.

[00:16:02] Maggie Chui: Yes, I agree. I think we live in a time where we are chasing numbers so much, but if you produce content about the things that you are really in love with and are passionate about, it becomes so easy. You could do it all day, and it won’t get tiring. And for you, I could tell that you’re in love with fashion.

[00:16:22] Maggie Chui: You’re in love with traveling; that just comes easy for you. And you’re open and willing to do that type of stuff all day. Some people, they never find that they never find their niche. It’s just amazing. I love that you did get to hone in on your niche and find what you are passionate about.

[00:16:37] Tina Lee: Yes, I guess I got lucky. 

[00:16:38] Maggie Chui: Yes, for sure. 

[00:16:39] Maggie Chui: So there are so many platforms out there, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, like I feel like we always hear from other content creators where, they say, oh, once you gain several followers on TikTok, you have to move your content to YouTube, et cetera, et cetera.

[00:16:56] Maggie Chui: Is there a specific platform that you think is more important than the other? And why? 

[00:17:02] Tina Lee: I think it’s either Instagram or YouTube. But it does feel like YouTube is more long-form. It has more searchability, so there’s probably more strength in that, but YouTube is a lot harder, and there’s a higher entry barrier.

[00:17:16] Tina Lee: So I can imagine fewer people are succeeding to a certain degree on YouTube. So I would say overall, a more well-rounded strategy, Instagram, would be an excellent choice for most people. I have always focused on Instagram. It was just what I fell in love with.

[00:17:33] Tina Lee: And so I obsess over it, which kind of means that I have less time to obsess over other platforms. But I hope to get into YouTube, create longer-form content, and get good at it. 

[00:17:46] Maggie Chui: Yes, I love that. YouTube is more for the longer forms. And if you’re able to execute it flawlessly, I feel many people’s attention spans get very short nowadays. And that’s why many people like moving on to those videos in less than 10 seconds.

[00:18:02] Maggie Chui: But if you can execute on YouTube effectively like you’re able to get your followers and your subscribers to watch your whole video, that’s a really good thing. And I know that you’ve been able to execute on Instagram and YouTube effectively. I have a question on Instagram, and there’s no right or wrong answer, but I’ve been hearing about the Instagram algorithm changing, and many people have been talking about this.

[00:18:30] Tina Lee: Yes. Yes. 

[00:18:31] Maggie Chui: Many people have voiced their opinions saying, I can’t believe Instagram’s algorithm is changing. I’m not getting as many likes or followers. They’re getting followers from fake accounts and stuff like that. What are your thoughts on it? Have you personally experienced any changes with the Instagram algorithm?

[00:18:49] Tina Lee: Yes. Yes. First of all, that is all true. There are very few people who are immune to this. I’m pretty sure most, if not all, people are affected. However, I went through the period where I was most heavily focused on photos, especially when RS was first introduced. I was very concerned.

[00:19:06] Tina Lee: I may have even cried. It’s embarrassing, but I may shed some tears. I was concerned about where the future was going. Can I keep up? There’s a lot of fear around change, but over time, even though sometimes I hate the algorithm, I hate that certain things don’t get seen, but what I think is that social media is not a content type. 

[00:19:28] Tina Lee: Instagram is not made for photos. It’s just a social media platform, and you can choose to get better at the video and improve yourself and adapt to what’s changing. Or you can not, and that’s fine if that’s your choice, but I would like to enhance with whatever the changes are happening and ensure that I stay up to date.

[00:19:48] Tina Lee: And I think we need to adjust our mentality towards the numbers. There can be new norms for engagement rates, and maybe brands must also understand that. You, as a creator, have to understand that. So I think it’s about adapting a mindset and then improving your skill.

[00:20:05] Maggie Chui: Yes, that’s a great point. I see many people saying, ” Oh, Instagram should just go back to how it was. Just do all photos because that’s really what we want. But we also have to think about the times we’re in. Many people now want to watch videos because they see that our true personality shines through with videos and photos.

[00:20:25] Maggie Chui: It’s hard to see your personality because you’re just looking at a photo. We must adapt to the times and what the platform wants us to post content on that platform. 

[00:20:38] Tina Lee: Yes, unless we want Instagram to die out, we must produce videos on Instagram. It’s not necessarily Instagram that is forcing us. It’s that their data is forcing them to make these changes. They are a super powerful colossal company. They are backed by analytics and numbers and know where business is coming and where it’s going, and they understand that this is how they have to evolve.

[00:21:02] Tina Lee: It pisses a lot of people off, but ultimately we adapt, and we change with the flow. 

[00:21:07] Maggie Chui: Yes. It’s a good thing that we’re changing, we always have to improve. And if a platform stays the same the whole time, we don’t improve our skills and content creation.

[00:21:19] Maggie Chui: It can also have pros and cons. 

[00:21:21] Tina Lee: Yes. 

[00:21:21] Maggie Chui: Okay. So I’ve seen many articles and read many articles on you and those articles. There are a lot of photos from your Instagram that they pull into those articles, and they’re all so beautiful. For the listeners to check out Tina’s Instagram, we’ll also leave all her social media on the show notes for this episode. 

[00:21:41] Maggie Chui: Just looking at the photos is beautiful. I just want to know how much planning goes into your shoots and just talk about the effort that goes into changing and bringing your set of clothes, just like setting the tone and the image. What is your creative process when you’re doing a shoot? And just walk us through when you go to the actual place to shoot, like when you would need to change your outfit. How often do you change out of your outfit in a single day, and what does that timeline look like? 

[00:22:13] Tina Lee: I will say before reels were introduced, it was very labor intensive. It was to bring at least three to five outfits to one location. I have this changing dress where I just plop it over my head and then change it underneath. It’s like a magic trick. It’s like pulling a rabbit out of a hat.

[00:22:29] Tina Lee: And so, that works well. And I would get to places early, six or 7:00 AM at the latest 8:00 AM, so I can get it all empty and get little different looks from shoots. And then I will go to the next cafe store when it opens. I research all that stuff and plan the day out in probably one-hour or two-hour time slots to maximize my time and have a lot of content. But that has changed now. 

[00:22:54] Tina Lee: Now that video content is the main driver. I don’t go to destinations as much as I used to. I also don’t go to places as much just because it’s pretty. Because if you can’t show it well in a video, then the photo itself is less likely to be pushed out. And so as much as I love pictures, I’m pretty focused on my insights.

[00:23:17] Tina Lee: I go where the best engagement comes. And so, that’s why I set up this studio so I can create video content here. But it’s great because if I took a photo, I could only do it a few times, but I did videos. I can do all kinds of creative concepts and create in Premier Pro and more advanced software, so it’s interesting. 

[00:23:34] Maggie Chui: Wow. Both of those just seem like there are a lot of creative processes that go into it. So congrats to you. And just like lugging all of your clothes to a certain destination, that must take a lot of work. Do you ever come up with any creative blocks?

[00:23:48] Maggie Chui: There are moments where you don’t know what to produce or don’t know what type of content to record. Because I feel like I go through that a lot personally; sometimes I just don’t feel like I know what to record. I feel like a dump, and it’s hard to get out of that dump.

[00:24:06] Maggie Chui: I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’ve done that already. Just want to know if you’ve ever had any creative blocks and how you get out of them. 

[00:24:12] Tina Lee: Yes, for me, usually the creative blocks come when I have to play two characters in my business, two roles in my business.

[00:24:20] Tina Lee: I have to be a business-minded person with business strategy and do marketing. And then do the backend like funnels and set up automation, tech, and everything, and I enjoy it. It’s fun. It’s rewarding. But then, I have to be creative on the front end, show up daily, and greet everyone.

[00:24:38] Tina Lee: It’s very hard. That’s when I had a creator block, and I just couldn’t come up with anything creative because my mind is too focused on the business. I’m not sure, is that kind of what you go through as well? 

[00:24:49] Maggie Chui: Yeah, creating content is easier if you have a niche. Before, when I was just trying to create content and didn’t have a place, it was hard to think of what content to create.

[00:25:01] Maggie Chui: I would just come up with the latest trend and content on TikTok. But once you have a content niche or know exactly what you’re going to post, it’s easier to think of things surrounding you. Like I can use that as a prop or I can use that as my background.

[00:25:16] Maggie Chui: So it gets a bit easier that way. Having a creative blog is inevitable because sometimes you just feel uninspired. But yes, knowing your strategy to get out of that creativity is fascinating. 

[00:25:26] Tina Lee: Yes, if I’m feeling stuck, I will usually return to the people I looked at maybe four or five years ago.

[00:25:33] Tina Lee: I think over time, we evolve to keep looking at people in our industry, people in our niche, because those are the people we do not have to, but like we tend to engage with. What I realized is looking outside of my niche and also looking back many years back at what inspired me to get started in the first place that gives you that original spark of passion for what you do.

[00:25:54] Tina Lee: It reminds you that you don’t have to think within the narrow definition of what is trending. If you only look at what’s trending right now, you’re only ever going to produce what is trending, and it will look more or less the same as everybody else. So unless you can bring some unique spice, it works well.

[00:26:12] Tina Lee: Usually, you have to extract yourself from that situation. 

[00:26:16] Maggie Chui: Yes. That’s really good advice. So, of all the destinations you’ve been to, Tina, what has been your favorite destination where you had a photoshoot? 

[00:26:25] Tina Lee: Oh, that’s hard. Oh, I love Tuscany. Tuscany is so beautiful.

[00:26:30] Tina Lee: My husband and I got married there. Our wedding was there, so it was terrific. That’s a special place for me. 

[00:26:37] Maggie Chui: Oh, I love that. Congratulations. By the way, I read about your destination wedding and wanted to ask about that as well. Did you have this whole planned out with the destination wedding? I’m sure, with the destination wedding, there was a lot of opportunity for content creation there, as well. So how did you plan the content creation process as well as your wedding and make sure that they intertwined with each other? 

[00:27:02] Tina Lee: Yes, my husband is very practical. He’s not romantic. So I almost was like, take the money you were going to spend on the wedding and give it to me. But at some point, I was like, I want a wedding. I think I’ll regret it if we don’t do it. Even though it sounds great to skip all that hassle, I decided I would make it super picturesque.

[00:27:23] Tina Lee: My whole goal was that it would be insanely beautiful in pictures and photos. And I know everyone’s going to be like, you don’t live in the moment. That’s not faithful to the meaning of love, but I enjoyed it, and he enjoyed it. All the guests had a great time. It was the best day of our lives, and we were so happy. Everyone got drunk, and I had this great planner. And so, it all worked out very well. I got my videos and photos, and we had a blast. 

[00:27:48] Maggie Chui: Oh, I love that so much. Most of the time, when I’m doing content creation, I get so stressed. I’m like, I have to make sure everything’s perfect.

[00:27:55] Maggie Chui: But for you, I can’t even imagine because you also had a wedding to plan side by side. I give you props for doing both. 

[00:28:01] Tina Lee: I did sponsorships too. 

[00:28:03] Maggie Chui: Oh, wow. For your wedding?

[00:28:04] Tina Lee: Yes, I negotiated a couple. 

[00:28:07] Maggie Chui: Oh my gosh. 

[00:28:08] Tina Lee: I was like, this is a good time to get a good engagement, and so I marketed that to them and it did work out well. But fortunately, obviously, the planner was great. My husband is super chill. He doesn’t care how it turns out, so I was able to dictate how everything happened. And my friends, I invited them to be photographers and videographers.

[00:28:30] Tina Lee: I have worked with them many times before. And so, that’s where the trust comes from. I know they’re going to do a fantastic job. I didn’t have to worry about that. And even I had other friends who were content creators, and I designated them a role. And I was like, Jerome, you are the behind-the-scenes person. You film all of the iPhone content. So that’s how it went. 

[00:28:50] Maggie Chui: I love that. I’ve heard that many people are trying to get their wedding sponsored lately. Maybe not the whole wedding, you can have little bits and pieces of your wedding sponsor, but it is possible. Weddings are so expensive nowadays, especially if destination marriage is a little bit more affordable. But weddings in the States as they charge so much. Just for the venue itself, it’s so expensive. It adds up for everything else just added on top of it, but if you’re able to sponsor parts of it, that is a win-win.

[00:29:23] Maggie Chui: So definitely, listen to Tina, become a content creator, and get your wedding sponsored. 

[00:29:29] Tina Lee: If you create great content from the wedding, you can also grow followers, bringing you more business. So it’s just good business overall to have a lovely wedding. 

[00:29:37] Maggie Chui: I love that. That’s a really good business strategy.

[00:29:39] Maggie Chui: So Tina, I have the last question for you with your rising social media, where do you see your platform going in the next five to ten years? And where do you want to take it, hopefully?

[00:29:52] Tina Lee: Sure. So, initially, it was just creating content for fun and working with brands.

[00:29:57] Tina Lee: But two years ago, I realized that many people were asking me how to create content or do the same. And so I started the full-time influencer program. That’s become its brand on its own as well. I would like to educate more people on the power of social media because I have seen it change so many people’s lives, including mine.

[00:30:20] Tina Lee: A lot of my friends are creators, and they always say, it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to them, and I have to agree. So my goal for the future is just to spread the word more. No matter how you take it, how you do it, sponsor, become a coach, or start a network like AHN, which is super powerful. I wish more people knew about what they could do with social media. 

[00:30:44] Maggie Chui: Oh, yes. And not only that, but you are inspiring so many other people, especially the younger generation that like you; this is something you can do in your career. And you’re right, it has changed so many people’s lives, like people who feel stuck in their nine to five.

[00:31:01] Maggie Chui: Yes, and want to continue creating content about something they’re genuinely passionate about. It can be life-changing. Yes. And so, full-time influencers, we will also leave that in the show notes. And for our last question, Tina, if you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring content creator, what would that one piece of advice be?

[00:31:24] Tina Lee: This is so corny; it would be to do it for the passion because if you don’t have passion for driving, you won’t last for long. To build a personal brand that will last a decade or longer, you must be passionate about what you do. 

[00:31:38] Maggie Chui: That’s really good advice, and that’s a perfect ending.

[00:31:42] Maggie Chui: Tina, thank you so much for being on the show. Where can I listeners find out more about you? 

[00:31:48] Tina Lee: Yes, you can find my creator account @ofleatherandlace on Instagram. And if you want to find a full-time Influencer brand, we also have a podcast where we share tips and resources for creators. And that’s also @fulltimeinfluencer.co on Instagram. 

[00:32:05] Maggie Chui: Amazing. Thank you so much, Tina, for being on this show today. I had a fantastic time learning about your story. 

[00:32:11] Tina Lee: Thank you so much for having me. Thank you.