Meet the UK’s first ‘Creators of Tomorrow’ – Meta’s power-list of entrepreneurial creators using authenticity and passions for unusual social-first careers. 

Gen Z is leading the way in the Great Resignation and young people are re-evaluating how work fits into their lives - and not the other way around. Meta has identified a group of creators following this trend and disrupting the 9-5 – turning what they love into what they do. From fashion forecasters, curators of cool advocating for marginalised bodies and digital doodlers, these cultural disruptors are changing the game.
by ELSIE CULLEN Nov 1, 2022

We spoke with some of the ‘Creators of Tomorrow’ to find out more about the journey behind their platforms, and their advice for the next generation of creators

     The Online Bestie – Rita Balogun  @msritab 

Rita knows what you’re thinking before you think it. From hilarious dating advice, pop culture jokes and flawless style, Rita’s gives Gen-Z a bestie they never had. 

What is your name and how would you describe your craft?

My name is Rita Balogun and would describe my craft as an Actor & Content Creator that focuses on making lighthearted content inspired by things that happen in my life and pop culture. 

When did you take your creativity full time? How was the transition?

I became a full time content creator in 2020. Comedy is something I’m passionate about and creating content is something I had always wanted to do but I was too nervous. Then,my friend convinced me to start and it quickly became obvious that I made the right choice. I enjoyed it so much, it felt like home. Honestly, I was pretty nervous at the start of the process and I had to get used to being paid in a different way, but as the transition was well overdue, it all ended up feeling pretty natural.

What do you think you’d be doing work-wise if you weren’t doing this?

I think I’d still be running a hair business or possibly setting up a fashion brand. One of the joys of being a content creator is that you don’t only have to wear one creative hat so hair and fashion could be topics I incorporate/explore more through my content in the future. I’m so glad I get to be in control of what I create though, I feel like a producer of my own story. great. A bonus to being a full time creator has allowed me to have more balance in my life.

What advice do you have for other aspiring creatives?

My advice always is to be authentic and patient with yourself. The journey isn’t easy at all and it’s forever changing, allow yourself that room to change/adapt where necessary.

What conventional career might you have had without your platform on Facebook or Instagram? 

To be honest I’ve always been an actor so would’ve continued on that route the old school way with flexible jobs on the side or I would’ve tried to be a therapist. Luckily, through my platform on Instagram I’ve still been able to flex those acting skills and create for an audience in a new way. 

How does it feel to be named a Creator of Tomorrow?

It feels so amazing to be seen from using a platform like Instagram that’s helped me so much, it makes me feel supported and inspired. There are thousands of creators so to be chosen and recognised as a Creator of Tomorrow in this way means the world. Instagram has allowed me to be unapologetically myself, authentic in my creations and free in what I post, all whilst supporting my career ambitions. Sometimes that’s what you need from a platform, room to be who you are. 

Do you have any advice for people looking to use Instagram or Facebook to build their careers?

  • Keep going. It might be tough to build traction and you might feel like you aren’t making progress but it will come if you keep at it.
  • Don’t focus on going viral – I know we’re all aware of the power and pull of virality but it shouldn’t be the goal. It’s better to focus on building a core community who will hopefully be there to support the journey.

How do you think IG/FB is inspiring a new generation of careers 

People have been given the freedom to create their own work. I think 9-5 can be great if that’s what you want but for the people who don’t, platforms like Instagram/Facebook are giving people an opportunity to create work that doesn’t fit a job description and allows them to turn their passions into a career. 

 The Fashion Forecaster – Estelle Francois Aliot @estelle_aliot

Estelle is the fashion icon you’ve never heard of: serving LEWKS you’ve never seen and setting the fashion agenda before there’s even a meeting, darling. She’s the creator communities turn to for trailblazing fashion trends.

What is your name and how would you describe your craft?

I’m Estelle and I am a fashion & style focused content creator! I like to make fun and playful videos for my Instagram using lots of different wigs and other fun accessories. Each look I put together I like to see as a different ‘character’, my favourite wig I own is my short bob it’s gives Edna Mode in the best possible way :p

What advice do you have for other aspiring creatives?

To stay consistent. If it’s not working sometimes it can be very disheartening and hard to motivate yourself to keep going – I know the feeling. Trust yourself and the process and eventually it will work out 

How does it feel to be named a Creator of Tomorrow?

It really does mean a lot, it’s a huge milestone! Mostly down to my amazing community and the support they have given me, they are the best. I dedicated so much of my time on content over these last few years it’s nice to see it finally be celebrated and appreciated. I am working my way towards making this my full time job, which I’m very close to doing!! I hope I am able to still encourage people to have fun and pursue their dreams too, whilst spreading the messages of positivity and sustainability.

Do you have any advice for people looking to use Instagram to build their careers?

To be patient and focus more on the content. Try shooting with an iPhone first and get used to using a camera then maybe try some new things like buying a cheap fisheye lens for the iPhone! I gradually bought new equipment as I went along but you really don’t need anything fancy. It’s when you wait for the perfect moment, there never is. Just start!!!!

Don’t worry or focus on the numbers that’s all just noise, try and stay focused on your craft! Look for new ways to keep content exciting and don’t be afraid to get creative and try new things. Everything else will follow.

How do you think Instagram is inspiring a new generation of careers 

What I love about being a creator is the community it brings. It’s really nice to see the different creators across countries and the variations of content and how different creators use the app! 

What is your biggest learning for creating your career on Instagram or Facebook?

Everything is a journey and remember that journey isn’t just online…try to take breaks from creating and building your community, encourage your community to do the same and remember to not compare yourself too much to others. As long as you are on this journey, you are doing just fine. 

The Bollywood Babe – Leo Kalyan @leokalyan

Singer and activist Leo Kalyan uses their platform to serenade us with their dreamy Bollywood mash-ups and represent as one of the first openly LGBTQIA+ South Asian artists, creating a hybrid career of music and activism.

What is your name and how would you describe your craft?

My name is Leo Kalyan and I’m a singer, songwriter, music producer and content creator. Through my music, I try to inspire others from the South Asian & LGBTQIA+ community to embrace their authenticity.

When did you take your creativity full time? How was the transition?

I took my creativity full time when I started writing songs, producing beats and getting paid for them. The transition took time and effort – but to pursue a career like this, you need to be very focused and single-minded – and I guess I was.

What do you think you’d be doing work-wise if you weren’t doing this?

I would probably have become an architect and interior designer – or a painter. I’m into aesthetics, and I still like to paint as a hobby – it’s therapeutic. 

What advice do you have for other aspiring creatives?

Find your own voice: that’s the hard part, I know, but don’t be discouraged. Originality, uniqueness and individuality are within all of us – but it takes time and effort to find them. Try exposing yourself to new things and use your life & surroundings to inspire you and pull inspiration.  

How does it feel to be named a Creator of Tomorrow?

I’m proud that these little experimental singing videos that I film all by myself at home have gained worldwide traction… It’s very humbling, and I’m hugely grateful to be recognised for what I love to do, especially to be named a Creator of Tomorrow –  Instagram has been such an important part of my journey.

Do you have any advice for people looking to use Instagram or Facebook to build their careers?

My advice would be: find your unique point of view and stick with it. Don’t be afraid of experimentation – and don’t believe yourself when your brain tells you: “i can’t” – because you can.

How do you think IG/FB is inspiring a new generation of careers ?

Instagram has provided a  platform that encourages endless ways to be creative and express their creativity online. It’s inspiring people to pursue what they love to do in a very real, tangible way – which is exciting because we get to build our own futures and tailor our lives to suit our own individual needs, rather than the other way round. 

What is your biggest learning for creating your career on Instagram or Facebook?

Work on your craft. Do your research. Find an original idea and execute it well. And remember that social-media isn’t real life… So don’t forget to take time off for self-care too.