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 Sam Ciurdar.
Sam came into influencer marketing the same way he’s grown his audience: by shooting what he loves. With a growing family (who, as you’ll see on his Instagram, are adorable), Sam continues to produce high quality content both for fun and for brands. He manages three accounts that highlight his favorite subjects from behind the scenes with his family, to travel and branded content, to incredible nature photography. We caught up with Sam to hear about how he began creating content for brands and how he grew his following organically by leading with his passion, not the desire to gain popularity.
On getting started as a content creator
I have always done something with media since I can remember, whether that be video or photography. I used to shoot weddings and things like that, but I really didn’t enjoy it. One day I thought to myself that it would be amazing to shoot product photography for brands, but had no idea how to go about it. I started shooting things on spec, and creating somewhat of a portfolio of my work that wasn’t paid yet, just to prove that I can do it if someone would give me the chance.
On his first influencer campaign
Photography became a second passion over time, but film will always take number one! After a trip from Canada, I posted a photo of a mug at my desk on my Instagram and used the hashtag for Tim Hortons. The brand ended up seeing the post and really liking my photo. They then offered to pay me to shoot a couple of images and post them on my social media. I didn’t even know that was a thing, and that was my first “influencer”gig!
His favorite challenge and favorite campaign with Pop Pays
A friend recommended Pop Pays to me, and I’d say it has been the most consistent content creation app I’ve used since. My favorite collaboration was with Bose. I like to be challenged creatively, and the stop motion video I created for Bose was a fun challenge.
Managing the chatter around fake followers
I try not to get involved with that. I hear about it, and I’m sure it’s real, but I wish it wasn’t. I think a lot of people know when someone has a bunch of fake followers and at the end of the day I think it will only hurt those trying to create a fake following. To me, it’s just people wanting “fame” for the wrong reasons. I sort of think of it like people wanting to be actors for the money and fame rather than the passion of that craft. If you’re not passionate, it’ll catch up to you.
On the content that performs best for him
I have noticed that most the my followers really don’t care when I post portraits of others or even photos of myself. They are only interested in my landscapes for some reason. Which is kind of a bummer. When I follow someone, I’m invested in them, I like to see more personal work on top of their polished content. However, I don’t think that’s the case with my and my audience. If I post a really nice landscape shot, it’ll perform really well. I post a picture of myself, I lose followers! But I’ve also learned to not care. I’ll post what I want and it is what it is!
Words of advice for his fellow content creators:
Create what you want to create, share what you want to share, and shoot what you want to be hired for.
A final fun fact:
Fun fact, I’m Romanian and I won the game show Wipeout in case that’s something you find interesting!
Big thank you to Sam for sharing his creative process and journey with us. You can keep up with Sam on his main Instagram account, his account geared towards family & behind the scenes, and his account highlighting his stunning nature shots. 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.