Carson Light on Rising to TikTok Fame
By: Lauryn Jiles
22-year-old influencer Carson Light is a Charlotte, NC native with a social media following of over 15,000 followers on Instagram and over 29,000 on Tik Tok. The recent University of South Carolina grad majored in advertising and retailing, and credits working in New York and studying abroad in Florence, Italy, for sparking her interest in fashion.
Light has established a career on social media, collaborating with brands like Mejuri, Princess Polly, and Trend Savvy. To learn what it’s like to be a budding social media star, we talked to Light about all things style, TikTok, and growing an authentic following online.
How did you get your start in fashion?
I got the chance to work for Tory Burch in New York City last summer, which was an amazing opportunity that motivated me to focus on fashion as a career. I’ve always been interested in fashion but I realized in college that I put a little bit more effort into my looks than most people. I was never the girl to wear leggings to class, which there’s nothing wrong with, but for some reason, I always enjoyed dressing up. I’ve been sharing fashion-related content on Instagram for over three years now and on Youtube for about two years. It’s a great way to express yourself, and anyone can do it, at any price and age.
What does a typical day look like for you?
My full-time job consists of running three different social media accounts for fashion brands but I also mix my own content creation in there. I typically wake up early, go to the gym, make myself breakfast, and then get ready. I film Tik Toks and IGTV videos daily and film one Youtube video a week, although sometimes I’ll refilm those a few times until I get it exactly how I want it. For Instagram content, I have posts planned out 12-15 days in advance.
How do you come up with new content?
I try to incorporate a lot of lifestyle images so that people can get a comfortable vibe that’s not intimidating. I also avoid editing my pictures too much, so that they are authentic. For inspiration, I look at other bloggers, mood boards, and Instagram accounts like @velvetdynasty and @voguegram. I take elements of pictures I like and recreate them in my own way. In general, I’m big on good lighting and a clean background.
What are your tips on growing a following on social media and getting people to engage with your content?
I would say the main thing is being authentic. I think a lot of people try to replicate other influencers or try to change themselves for social media, but if you’re honestly being yourself, more people will be drawn to that. Be engaged with your audience and treat every person who DMs you like they’re your best friend. Be genuine to those who reach out and they’ll be more inclined to engage with your content. You also need to have a good reason for posting. I don’t post on social media for money or followers, I do it to share my interest in fashion with others and try to help women feel more confident.
One of your videos on TikTok went viral with over 1.4 million views. What was it like to reach that many people?
It was very nerve-racking. I can be hard on myself when it comes to content, so I kept thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, I really don’t like these outfits that much.’ Although I wasn’t super happy with it, I posted it anyway. I went to my boyfriend’s house and saw it suddenly started getting so many views. There are women from Germany, the UK, Greece, and all over the world who engaged with the post and it’s been really cool to see some of those followers convert to my Instagram. It does put a little pressure on me now because I feel like I can’t just post random things and need to be a little more curated.
What goals are you hoping to accomplish in your career?
I would love to collaborate with Aritzia and Revolve because they have high-quality pieces that are great wardrobe investments. I would also love to attend fashion week one day, that’s definitely on my bucket list. A Dior show is my ultimate dream. Overall, I want to keep working with great brands and continue creating unique content.