In the last decade, social media has gone from just being a fun distraction to a way to make serious money. YouTube creators, Instagram influencers, and social media-based businesses have found a way to leverage social media's exposure and engagement into a solid living.
We interviewed Monica Huldt social media influencer/ model who has expanded into a brand and entrepreneur.
Determination and Drive
I had no plans on being a successful social media influencer when I came to the United States from Sweden with my husband. What I did have was the typical tenacity and drive of an immigrant. I was born in Poland and raised in Sweden. The community where we lived in Sweden wasn't very welcoming to foreigners. The cold shoulder from the people around me, coupled with a strict upbringing, led to an adolescence that included depression and, eventually, an eating disorder. Despite setbacks and struggles, I was determined to make something of myself. I received a bachelor's degree in education and taught school for a year, but I didn't find it fulfilling in the way I had thought it would be.
I entered the business realm and even opened my own nail business. I've had an entrepreneurial streak from the get-go, but my heart was set on modeling. Becoming a model was a venture my strict mother strongly warned me against pursuing.
In 2014, I threw caution to the wind and set out towards the United States to pursue a modeling career.
The New American Dream
Landing in a new country with nothing but our varied skills and a hunger for success, my husband and I struggled to make ends meet initially. The hardscrabble life of an immigrant is a story told again and again among newcomers to this country. Starting from scratch in an unfamiliar place was monumentally difficult, especially when I had not yet earned my Green Card.
The American Dream has driven swathes of people across oceans and over borders generation after generation. Even though their end goals may differ, the drive is the same. Immigrants seek a better life, realization of their purpose, and a greater opportunity for financial stability.
My lack of a Green Card meant that getting a traditional job was impossible, so I started stripping to keep us both afloat as my husband pursued a personal training career. It was far from where I wanted to be, but we were new to the country and needed to pay the bills.
Parlaying a Passion into Profit
I always had social media accounts, but it wasn't until I started combining a passion for modeling with monetization that things began to fall into place for me. I started with my Instagram following, which was gaining in strength. One of my Instagram followers suggested that I check out OnlyFans. Not knowing much about it, I joined and grew my subscriber base slowly. Today, I can bring in up to $150,000 a month from my social media accounts. Our days of pinching pennies while I strip to keep us afloat are over, as are my days of sadness, depression, and stress.
"I believe what sets me apart and has led to my unique success with social media lies in how I authentically engage with my followers and subscribers."
I believe what sets me apart and has led to my unique success with social media lies in how I authentically engage with my followers and subscribers. I like to make every follower feel special. I go out of my way to personally connect, which is something not every social media star will do. I will answer DM's and other messages, and I genuinely enjoy hearing about their lives and building friendships with many of them. People are drawn to authentic relationships online because it is such an anomaly. Followers and subscribers will reward influencers who go above and beyond with their engagement.
The Life of Dreams
I never imagined I would be where I am today, making a living through social media. I don't want to rest on my laurels. However, I hope to continue growing my modeling career and become a strong advocate for female entertainers. I'm passionate about removing stigmas that surround adult entertainers. I also am interested in real estate, so who knows, perhaps that will be my next great adventure! If I have learned anything from my journey, it is the lesson that taking risks often leads to amazing rewards.