The Pop Profile series is a peek into the creative process of some of the most talented people making content on social media. It’s a chance for them to step out from behind the camera, into the spotlight, and let us pick their brains. This month, we’re talking with long time friend of Pop Pays, influencer Nesrin Danan (aka @blackprints).
To call Nesrin a Pop Pays original would be an understatement. She has been part of the Pop Pays creator community since the very beginning in 2014 and has completed 98 campaigns on the platform, and her content has evolved with the platform from our original swaps campaigns to recently creating content for a Frito-Lay television commercial. As a full time influencer and content creator for 7 years, Nesrin has truly grown professionally in tangent with the rise of social media, and is able to provide some interesting insights and reflections because of it. Her overall advice for people interested in getting into social media? Keep it light, keep it fun, and always stay true to yourself. Read on for more from Nesrin on how she got started, her process when working with a brand, and peek at some of her favorite collaborations.
A bit on Nesrin: My name is Nesrin Danan, I’m a 25 year old professional photographer from Portland, OR, but I recently moved to Los Angeles, CA. Photography and influencer stuff has been my full time job for almost 7 years! Normally I’m doing more professional photography – I tour with musicians, shoot events for YouTube, and do a ton of branded work as well as model tests. I’ve always done influencer work on the side though, and during the pandemic I’ve relied more on influencer campaigns because I can shoot them by myself if necessary.
On getting started with Pop Pays: I found Pop Pays YEARS ago, literally when swaps were the biggest component of the app! I was a freshman in college and saw that it had a bunch of fun, free stuff to do if you had followers, so I downloaded it and used it for free tickets to the Skydeck in Chicago and things like that. I was kind of working with brands already, but not really getting paid for anything because back then influencer marketing was totally unknown terrain. When the app started offering paid partnerships I never knew how big this would become. I think my first paid campaign on the app in 2013 was for like $20! It’s been super fun to grow my audience and see Pop Pays grow as well, being able to work with some amazing brands through the platform.
On keeping up as social changes: I’d say the biggest change I’ve seen is probably the way brands have realized that creators are essential to their growth and reputation. Marketing has shifted so much since social media influencers have become more popular, and more people are consuming this content than traditional media, making influencers and social activations more important than ever.
Her process for creating branded content: First I read the brief and see what they want and how I could do it in my own style. I love creating content, but it’s honestly very hard for me if a brand is too strict on what they want. I love open-ended campaigns where I can put my own spin on things! Once I’ve pitched an idea that they approve, I plan a day to shoot and get whatever I need ready, whether that’s props, an outfit, a location, or inviting a friend along to help me. I normally shoot 2 versions of the photo just in case the ones I like aren’t approved, and I do way more takes if it’s a video. And then once I edit everything, I come up with copy that adheres to all the guidelines but remains in my own voice, and then submit and hope they love it!
Her favorite branded collab: My favorite ones of all time I think would be any of my campaigns with Total Wireless – I LOVE experiential stuff and for one I went to the iHeartRadio awards, another one was a private Lizzo show, and another one was an Alec Benjamin show which was so fun because he’s a friend of mine. I’ve also done several campaigns with Revlon through Pop Pays which I loved. Recently I’ve done more video/TikTok/Reels campaigns (HBO Max, OLLY, and RXBAR) which are definitely more challenging but super fun.
Creating a commercial during COVID-19: I loved this commercial, it came out so good! The brief mentioned it was a super tight turnaround but being that it was the height of quarantine, my schedule was more available than usual haha. I communicated some ideas to them over the app – they were super helpful and easy to work with! My friend Candace and I got together the next day and just had a cute little summer day and recorded some 30 second vignettes around our neighborhood. I submitted around 3 mins of footage since it’s always better to have more than not enough. That was my first time ever doing a commercial for TV and I was so excited when it started airing and people were sending it to me, and then I saw it one day! I’d love to do more stuff like that in the future. (Check out the commercial here!)
What is your advice to people interested in getting started as an influencers/content creator? Just post stuff you like! I think a lot of people really overthink being an influencer. Forcing an aesthetic that isn’t you, or posting stuff that isn’t genuine won’t draw in followers or brand partners. Now more than ever, being your authentic self and doing things that set you apart are what will make your socials more interesting!
A huge thank you to Nesrin for sharing her creative process and journey with us. You can keep up with her on her Instagram account and website. Interested in learning more about how Pop Pays can speed up your custom content production? Learn how to get started, and check back here for more inspiration from our creator community.