Interview with Morgan Braastad (@morganbraastad)

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Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path? 

Influencing on social media really just sort of fell into my lap! I moved to downtown Chicago almost seven years ago to pursue degrees in Music Business and Entertainment Entrepreneurship from Columbia. While I was studying there, I was contacted by several photographers in the Chicago area wanting to collaborate. Through posting their photos on my Instagram, and in turn, gaining a greater following through being posted on their accounts, I was able to start getting attention from the Chicago social scene. While my Instagram was starting to grow I also decided to create a Youtube channel, which I continue to post on today. The channel features mostly storytime videos about my hilarious dating life in Chicago. After finishing college, I began attending law school and the combination of influencing, modeling, and pursuing a legal career has brought me a lot of attention. It’s safe to say that my career has many facets, and is just getting started!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this? 

Since starting my Instagram, and social media influencing in general, one of the most interesting opportunities that I’ve had has been fashion design consulting. I was able to connect with a woman in Chicago who is an entrepreneur with several other Forbes recognized companies. She was working on starting a new fashion line and wanted my opinion on the designs. We were able to meet, go through what she was working on, attend several events together promoting the company, and seeking investors and continue to collaborate on both current and future designs. Many companies reach out to me for promotion, but it was very rare and incredible to have a successful business owner actually want me to be involved in the process of creation.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? 

I’m not contained to just one industry, but I think in general, and among all of my paths, it’s important to diversify your work to avoid monotony and continue to thrive. We are all multi-faceted as people, so if we want to stay engaged and not “burn out”, we have to be willing to explore new areas of experience, even if they’re outside of our comfort zone.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story? 

The first person who comes to mind is my wonderful friend, Emmanuel. He was one of the first people to reach out and want to photograph me. He was working as a consultant but trying to start a photography business on the side, which would eventually grow to be his full-time job, and was looking for models to help build his portfolio. My social media at the time was decent, but Emmanuel really took things to the next level. We met at the “golden hour” to take photos and just completely hit it off. It was as if we had known each other for a lifetime. Our photo shoot was scheduled to only take an hour, but we spent more than four hours walking around downtown Chicago taking photos, laughing, and getting to know each other. We even ended up grabbing some iconic Chicago deep-dish pizza for dinner mid-way through the shoot. A few days later, I received an email with some of the photos that we had taken and was completely blown away. They were incredible, and are still posted on my account. Not only was he unbelievably talented, but he quickly became my best friend. We started doing photoshoots on a weekly basis and he made me feel so confident in myself that I was really able to skyrocket my social media presence. It’s safe to say that my social media and Chicago social scene presence would be barely a fraction of what it is now without Emmanuel.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? 

I truly try to use my present to be a light in the world. Every Sunday on my Instagram account I do a series on my story entitled “*potentially bad* Advice with Morgan”. The “potentially bad” aspect of the title is just a disclaimer, I thoughtfully approach the series every week. My followers are able to send in questions or something that has been weighing heavily on them. I choose a few that I think are the most helpful collectively and respond to my story. In this way, I’m not only able to interact with followers, but I’m able to lend a helping hand and provide an objective opinion to whatever they’re going through. My Youtube channel also has a similar series entitled “Slice of Advice”, where I take questions from Instagram or email and respond via video. Through this medium, I’m able to give more detailed answers and reach a very wide audience.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life? 

The first quote that comes to mind, which has been spoken to me by my parents from the very beginning of my life, is “Do your best, forget the rest”. Anytime I go through a challenge, this rings in my mind. Most specifically I think back to my very first year of law school. It was the most challenging thing, at least academically, that I had ever experienced. There seemed to be no chance of taking full control of the situation, and I was entirely overwhelmed. Day after day I believed that I was going to quit, but day after day my parents continued to tell me “just do your best, forget the rest”. I did what I could to succeed in my new, challenging academic environment. I did my best and ended up at the top of my class.

How can our readers follow you on social media? 

I can be found on Instagram at @morganbraastad, and on Youtube under my name “Morgan Braastad”.

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