These days, there are many demands on our time. We are asked to do more and more. For those who see this as a challenge worth pursuing, content creation might be for you. But in a world bristling with technology and an abundance of information, how does one build a successful career as a content creator? Thobeka Mthembu, a.k.a “Thobi Rose” sits down with Pat on Brands CEO, Pat Mahlangu and tells us how she became booked and busy.

Boasting a large social media following, a knack for travel, all things lifestyle and a qualification in Strategic Communications, content creator, Thobi Rose is taking on the world, one brand at a time.

Early Triumphs

At a young age, it was clear that Thobi was destined for greatness. She started working when she was 16 years old and went on to study at UJ. “Already on campus, I became quite the social butterfly, I worked with Blackberry as one of their ambassadors, I worked for an alcohol brand that used to host events on campus”. She laughs fondly at the memory now, but this defining moment unleashed her creativity and the love for working with brands and creating content.

Later, at 20, Thobi worked for YFM as an entertainment reporter. “After four years, I was looking for something different, I started to itch”. She soon realized that her persistence and hard work at YFM did not go unnoticed, a DM on Twitter from the Senior Producer, led her to VUZU’s V-Entertainment where she worked as a Junior Content Producer. She later received a promotion to Senior Content Producer for V-News and it was during this time that she experienced so much of what would help her on her journey to being one of the most sought-after content creators in the country.

Building a Brand

When questioned about the secret to her success, Thobi revealed, simply, “being myself”. Although her name, “Thobi Rose”, suggests she is always shifting, changing, and blooming, “like a rosebud”, Thobi has always stayed true and authentic to who she is. Her personal brand has grown through her love and passion for traveling and collecting experiences. “I have been traveling since I was 5 years old and have found my passion for storytelling, meeting new people, connecting and engaging with brands”. If you follow Thobi on social media you know she is the epitome of an empowered woman and a true 21st-century inspiration, she not only walks the walk, but she talks the talk as well, and is dedicated to ensuring that her followers understand the messages of the brands she works with.

Content Creator vs Influencer

“There are influencers who are not content creators, and there are influencers who are content creators”. Like many of us, the distinction between the two has not always been clear. A guru in her field, Thobi explains it so candidly. “Influencing is like modeling a product, the brand tells you what to do with the product and how to do it, while a content creator can create content without working with a brand”. Content creation is about telling a story, portraying the message that the brand wants to put across. She mentions a list of behind the scenes tasks that a content creator needs to think of before tackling any work, some of which include photo and video production, location, as well as marketing.

Thobi Rose

A word from the wise, building a career as a content creator

In an industry saturated with talented and aspiring content creators, Thobi does not shy away from sharing tips on how to stay on top of your game. When asked about the issue of ownership, she discusses the importance of a contract or NDA. “It is important to protect yourself”. Allow yourself to be taken seriously, that will, in turn, make brands take you seriously. Be consistent, have a passion for creating, and know what you want to achieve with your content. She continues to share that content creators need to be smart about the work they produce, “I am not at the top tier level but I am consistently creating, and always getting paid for it”, *insert ‘yaaas queen’ emoji*. Anyone can become a content creator if they are willing to work hard for it, be resourceful, and be financially and business savvy.

Against the Madness

The news of the Coronavirus and the national lockdown came as a shock to us all, but Thobi overcame the challenges by tapping into her other talents. She started a consultancy business on social media and was able to create another stream of income. It seems, as a content creator, one should never settle, always thrive to find different ways to make money by identifying your skills and exploring them. “When we are faced with discomfort, that is when we are forced to grow”. With such infectious energy and a ‘yaaas queen’ attitude, it’s no wonder Thobi Rose is one of the most sought-after content creators.

Watch the full interview.

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Nomakhaya Makhaya

Nomakhaya Makhaya is a B.A. Journalism graduate.

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