Media Matters Blog

Posted on January 6th, 2021 in Student Spotlight by Emily Turnier

Influencer Arabella Rollison smiles at the cameraBy Arabella Rollison

What is the life of an influencer like?

The word “influencer” is a laden term. When you think of an influencer, you might think of Kim Kardashian or someone dancing on TikTok. Well, I can assure you I’m not them, but I do fall under the category of an influencer!

My page, @arabella.rollison (shameless plug, find me on IG!), falls under the category of fashion/lifestyle. You can expect to see some fun photography of my outfits, stories showing my daily life around Indy, as well as styling/editing/shopping tips and tricks.

This title fell in my lap during my gap year after high school, which I spent trying to decide what I wanted to do in my life. Daunting task, right?

When I picked up photography in my year off, I shared my work on social media—and began to build some traction. One thing led to another, and I realized, “Hey, this is something people actually do!”

The question that I now found stirring about in my mind was “How do I build a career around this”? I decided that I would keep up with own personal brand, as well as go to school for something that would equip me to work in the field of social media/content creation. I decided upon journalism with a PR concentration and a Communication Studies minor.

What does this look like? Well, a typical week for me is a balance of influencer work, keeping up with classes, as well as extracurriculars, internship hunting, and networking. You could say I have a busy schedule!

My influencer work includes writing IG captions, blogs, photoshoots (for sponsored posts, AKA how I make my income), staying on top of social media trends, engaging with my audience, coordinating future partnerships, and answering TONS of emails. Yes, there are the glamorous events I get to attend and of course I don’t mind getting sent “PR packages” (freebies!) from the brands I work with, but man, it is hard work!

All of this goes in hand with what I’ve learned from my classes in school. The skills transfer. The writing classes I’ve taken have made me better at writing captions and blog posts. The photojournalism course I took this year gave me new perspective of how to shoot content. The various PR technique classes have strengthened my ability to connect with my audience—I’ve even been able to take one in which the focus was social media!

Being the Social Media Director at IUPUI’s chapter of PRSSA this year has also been wonderful. I’ve gotten to learn from some talented and interesting people in my industry this way!

I love what I do. I’m thankful that being an influencer has allowed me to not just work to pay the bills in college, but to start a career. Where do I go from here? Well, I would love to work for a company in the creative field (fashion, beauty, home, etc.), directing their social media and content creation. I’m a junior now, but I’m already scoping out opportunities to make this dream come true!

Arabella Rollison is a junior journalism major concentrating in public relations, with a minor in communication studies. She is a Content Creator and Social Media Specialist. Follow her on Instagram, connect with her on LinkedIn, and check out her website.