History Rewards Risk-Takers

Everyone wants to get noticed.  We spend hours creating content on TikTok or YouTube.  We design creative thumbnails and pay for ad promotion.  We retweet and tag others to build connections.  All of this, only to be lost in the mix.

Creatives in 2022 give their lives to their content.  They pour all their energy into their product or brand.  Yet, they gain little to no traction.  Why is this?  Is it because they lack talent or simply create unappealing content?  Is it due to the time of day they post or the hashtags they use?  Could the blame be placed upon the shoulders of the “Instagram algorithm”?  These are questions that occupy the minds of content creators on a daily basis.

CL KID, a recording artist, and producer based in Orlando, FL, understand this narrative deeply.  We sat with him in a recent interview to discuss what keeps him motivated and if he has any tips for artists, creatives, and models struggling to be seen in a crowded market.

First off, how are things going with your music?

Honestly, great.  I recently completed a project called, “Memories”.  This was a sequel to a project I released last year, “Bonnie”.  It’s about a guy who becomes obsessed with the women he encounters and the emotions he experiences within that timeline.  Very similar to the vibe that Netflix’s, “You” provides.

It’s always hard to evaluate progress in music.  There’s streaming numbers and posts views and the list goes on.  It can become stressful to constantly check on engagements.  I’ve learned to just love what I do and trust the process.

Would you say that’s how others should approach their content, “trust the process”?

Yes and no.

If you are someone who is constantly creating content and truly dedicating your energy to your brand, then yes.  Trust in yourself and believe in what you offer.  Understand that it takes years to become an overnight success.  Don’t allow future desires to steal from today’s happiness.

If you are someone who has yet to fully dive into your product, whether it’s music, modeling, acting, whatever, “trusting the process” can be a crutch.  You can give ten-plus hours a day to your brand, and still fail to be seen.  You have to give yourself a fighting chance and strongly pursue your dream.  History rewards risk-takers.

Speaking of risks, we came across your brand through a clip online of your music video for, “Towel of My Own”.  It seems to be very different from your other projects.  Discuss that if you will.

“Towel of My Own”.  What a name.  That song was initially a joke for a country love song that I eventually followed through with.  I was fortunate enough to find an amazing location that had everything I needed to actualize my vision for the video.  That song is very different from my usual music.  Most of my songs speak to darker emotions based on sadness.  Chasing after your dreams is scary.  I don’t mean posting on social media occasionally or creating content on and off.  I’m speaking to those who go all-in on their talent.  I have a great appreciation for those who take a chance on themselves.  I’ve done it myself, and I know it can lead to depression, self-doubt, fear, financial burden, isolation, and any other number of emotional scars.  You can’t be afraid to take risks and try new things on that path.  “Towel of My Own” was something new from my usual content and I decided to follow through with it regardless.  Pushing my boundaries has definitely helped me think more creatively.

We feature many upcoming models in our publications.  What is one piece of advice you would give to them?
Obviously, music and modeling are separate entities, but they fall under the same industry, which is entertainment.  At the end of the day, everyone scrolling social media or browsing YouTube and the internet are doing so for personal gain.  Most people don’t decide to go to my website (Official Website of CL KID) to make me feel good about myself.  If they do, it’s because they felt it brought them joy or entertainment.  You have to fully grasp that concept when creating content as a model.

What are you offering to your audience?  What makes you different from other models?  What makes someone go out of their way to check your IG page or website? 

There are an infinite number of models online.  I can follow #model on Instagram and find a million examples of models providing similar content to one another.  I would tell all models the same thing I tell myself:  YOU ARE A BRAND.  

I am a music artist.  I am a producer.  Most of my content falls under those categories.  However, I also co-founded a non-profit organization, Be the Reason.  I’ve created an NFT collection for my music (CL KID NFTs) and have an online merch store.

You are not JUST A MODEL.  Showcase your differences.  Take risks.  Find out what you are good at, other than modeling, and highlight that ability as much as you do with your photoshoots or videos.  Together these skills will make you stand-out from other models following the cookie-cutter mold.

You mentioned Instagram.  What would you say is the best platform for models to use to get noticed, other than submitting photos to publications?

It sounds strange, but I would say YouTube.  There are subtle differences between each platform that we use each day.  Facebook is personal.  Instagram is a highlight reel.  TikTok is a short-video market.  LinkedIn is a resume.  YouTube is perceived as a platform for gamers and music artists, but it can be used as so much more than that.

Instagram released “reels” as their answer to TikTok.  Traffic on reels is newer, therefore more opportunity for exposure, than that of standard post feeds on Instagram.  Users have found great success utilizing reels on IG due to this.  YouTube now provides their version of reels, “shorts”.  If I am a model, I am using all these platforms in conjunction to expand my reach.  However, DO NOT sleep on YouTube “Shorts”.

Models can promote the same reels or TikTok clips and upload them onto their YouTube channel as shorts.  They can create separate playlists for video shoots, photo reels, behind-the-scenes footage, video blog entries, etc.  Keep an open mind when pushing your brand.  All these platforms are free tools to maximize your reach.  Use them diligently.

Do you have any upcoming projects you wish to mention?

I have a new project which I plan to release soon, “Feel Me”.  It is a sample of the “Elf” movie soundtrack.  I’m looking forward to creating a visual for the song and have other projects waiting to be released beyond that.

Stay in touch with CL KID and all his ventures here:  CL KID

Olivia Salinas

About The Author – Olivia Salinas is an author, model, and marketing specialist who writes independently for LA Model Magazine and other outlets.