‘You don’t need a fancy camera, an extensive, elaborate set, or a fancy outfit to go viral. You only need a memorable personality.’
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 spoke with Sol Carlos (@solcarlosofficial), a content creator with over 7.2 million followers on TikTok and an additional 1.7 cumulative followers across Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
Carlos posts lifestyle, travel, fashion, makeup, and comedy content on her social media pages in both Spanish and English. She is a self-proclaimed “nerd” who, in her videos, showcases her love for Disney, Broadway, films, and theme parks. She also discusses cyberbullying and body positivity on her channel and told Passionfruit she wants her page to be a “safe place” to discuss topics like self-love, women’s empowerment, and mental health.
Carlos is originally from La Plata, Argentina, but has lived in multiple countries, including Venezuela, Mexico, and the U.S—where she has been for over ten years as of December 2022. Carlos was invited to participate in Meta’s two-month-long program for Latinx and Hispanic creators called Dale Tú, which launched in September 2022 and aims to provide creators with resources and networking to build sustainable creative businesses.
In an interview with Passionfruit, Carlos described the inspiration behind her content, what content she thinks resonates most with audiences, how she tailors content to TikTok versus other platforms, how she got chosen for Meta’s Dale Tú program, the importance of maintaining mental health as a creator, and more.
The following interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
How long have you been making content? How has your content evolved since you first started?
I have been making content since 2019. Initially, I made videos discussing and re-creating my anecdotes as a Latina in the [U.S.] and all those culture shock experiences I felt. One day on a video, I received many negative comments about my body, making me feel insecure and self-conscious. I realized in this industry, you have to accept and love yourself, otherwise, you won’t survive.
So, I went to therapy and took so many seminars on self-love. I felt unstoppable. I then realized that many people in Latin America suffer from eating disorders, and no one at home or school is helping them. I noticed that many hateful comments about my body were from misinformed people. That’s when I decided we need to educate people on eating disorders, the effects of commenting on someone else’s body, cyberbullying, and how all bodies deserve respect and educate them that there are many healthy body types, not just one.
When was the first time your content went “viral,” and what made that content special?
We have gotten used to seeing filters and poses on social media, and seeing someone being 100% authentic was refreshing for many people. I was unapologetically 100% myself. And seeing a woman not sucking in her stomach and showing herself without makeup was a representation many people needed to see to realize they were not alone, so they realize they have value and deserve respect. I talk to the camera like you are there with me. [I did this] especially during quarantine, when so many people felt alone and scared that having company was soothing and needed.
Which styles or formats of content work best on TikTok versus on Instagram?
On TikTok, I notice this sense of spontaneity. Of course, they still take time and work, but there is a level of chill and relatability. You don’t need a fancy camera, an extensive, elaborate set, or a fancy outfit to go viral. You only need a memorable personality. On Instagram, people expect a level of production which is more significant than, say, TikTok. Using famous sounds and keeping [videos] short has been key to my growth on Instagram.
Do you have any advice for monetization or working with brands?
As an influencer, you need to work on many platforms, not just one, because you never know if that app might close or become irrelevant. So, I post on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
It is important to know your worth and discuss with other creators how much they charge. Having a media kit is also essential. When you pitch yourself to brands via [direct message] or email they need a little portfolio where you have all of your information.
I am lucky to have a great manager now who handles all my brand deals. It has been great, and that way I can focus on the creative side of my job. I would recommend looking for the hashtag #ad and [looking for] brands that have worked with creators. Some brands still don’t understand influencer marketing, so it’s important to only communicate with brands who understand the benefits of social media influencer marketing.
What are your favorite software or hardware tools for content creation?
I edit almost everything on my phone. I use apps including InShot and CapCut. I am very creative, but I am no technology expert. That’s why I love those apps. They are very user-friendly. They make the experience of creating content very accessible and not intimidating.
As a bilingual person, how do you choose which content to create in Spanish versus English?
My brain is Spanglish 24/7. So I record what feels most authentic to me because my page is about being yourself 100% of the time, so there are specific topics that naturally come out in English and some in Spanish.
How did you get to participate in the Dale Tú program? Did Meta reach out to you, or did you apply?
Meta reached out to tell me about the program, and I immediately applied. I’m excited to participate in the Dale Tú program that celebrates creativity in the Latinx and Hispanic community. It’s fun meeting other creators in the program and we’re learning a lot about building our platforms.
What specific qualities do you have that made you stand out as a candidate for the program?
I [think I stand out because I] use my platform to help others. I understand how privileged I am to have such a big audience, and I want to use that attention to make a difference in society. I am very emphatic, which is not something we see daily on social media.
I am also so passionate. I love what I do, and people can sense that from watching my content. I usually record five videos every day, and it’s something that brings me so much joy. I believe Meta appreciates creators who are constant and dedicated. I talk a lot about mental health, and Meta has done a tremendous job implementing tools to help users have a better mental health experience while using their apps. Our values align a lot.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a creator looking to grow their online community?
You need to take care of your mental health, otherwise, you will burn out. You need to understand numbers don’t define your worth, and social media takes a lot of time and patience. Also, be yourself. No one who is happy and has self-love sends hateful comments. So if someone makes fun of you, they are not brave enough to show themselves authentically like you.
Are you a popular creator? Email [email protected] for a chance to be featured in an upcoming newsletter.