Start the New Year the right way!

Bryena (left) and Hanan (right) are both health-oriented creators who dedicate their online space to helping creators live whole and well. Bryena’s Instagram is a collage of travel and exercise tips, while Hanan uses both Instagram and Tiktok to share healthy recipes and workouts. Both have earned their Super Creator status with Social Native, completing over 10 campaigns with brands such as Zhou, The Vitamin Shoppe, Vive Organic, and Ozarka. As we head into a New Year (new you!) we asked these two about their creator journey and experience with sponsored content.

Q: Tell us about how you began creating on social media. How did you choose your niche as a health creator?

Bryena: I have always loved to travel and have been an athlete my entire life. the two don’t necessarily go together but they did come together when I was 15. I took my love of traveling to England as foreign exchange student. While I was there, attended a sports academy and played soccer for a few local teams. Social media wasn’t what it is now, but I used Facebook to stay in touch with family. I’d share photos of what I was up to while we were apart. When I returned from my trip I was able to share all these memories with my family and give suggestions to others who were going there in the future. I think that is where my love for sharing experiences really started.

Hanan: Content creation started off as a fun idea to help kick off my fitness journey. As my platform grew, I wanted to inspire and help women create a more balanced lifestyle for themselves through health and fitness.

Q: What role has health and fitness played in your own life?

Bryena: Currently, I still play sports and stay fit because I legitimately enjoy it. No matter where I go, I want to be physically capable enough for any experience that presents itself. I just have a passion for learning new things, making new memories, and being outdoors! Being healthy and fit has allowed me to see some gorgeous places that are not easily accessible. I am very grateful for that. 

Hanan: Not only has working out made me physically stronger but it also has contributed to my mental health. I have been able to prove to myself that through consistency and hard work any goal can be accomplished.

Q: Hanan, you often include your Arab culture in your content, tell us about how that impacts your channel.

Hanan: My Arab American Identity is a big part of who I am. I always advocate on my channel that being your authentic self is very important. Sometimes fitting in or feeling accepted means showing up as yourself and who you are. In parts of my content I love showcasing different foods, or different cultural things that Middle Eastern people do. Also, I love creating a safe space where people can learn and ask questions about my culture.

Q: January is a popular time for new diets, workout programs, or recommitment to healthy living. Does this impact your channel in any way, and if so, how?

Bryena: The start of a new year does not impact my channel. I don’t sell products or market workouts, my channel is just an authentic capture of my lifestyle and that’s exactly what I hope to remind people amidst New Year resolutions…do it for yourself, no one else. What works for you will not look the same as the next person. Start small and have grace with yourself that you’re doing better than you were before instead of looking for perfection!

Hanan: I try to use that motivation people have at the beginning of the year, but I also try to help people set realistic expectations for themselves. No matter what, New Year’s resolutions are a big part of our culture. Helping people navigate through this time of year is essential in my content.

Q: Over the years, what have you learned about your audience and their own health/fitness goals? How have those learnings impacted your content?

Bryena: Over the years I have learned that my audience seems to care more about my lifestyle and less about specific workout programming. For a while I posted workouts and spent a lot of time trying to share those with others. Yet I noticed through comments and messages that my page is more of an inspiration spot than a workout channel and that is fine for me! I love being able to share more than just fitness. It feels like people can get to know me more that way too.

Hanan: I have learned that everyone has their own lifestyle, and not one fitness/health routine works for every person. I try to show people what I do in my daily life but offer general pieces of advice that’ll help people navigate through their own fitness/health routines.

Q: Do you have a preference for the type of content you produce? 

Bryena: I definitely have a preference for the content I produce and that is Reels and in-feed posts on instagram. Tiktok just isn’t as familiar for me and I do not find their video editor easy to use. I also find it more difficult to locate sounds I like in comparison to instagram. I also love static posts because I can capture a lot more information that can easily be referred back to.

Hanan: I love producing stories because that is where people really get to know you, see what you’re doing, and engage with you in real time. It’s a great tool for a health creator to reach their current following. Aside from stories, I love using reels and tiktoks as a tool to implement my own style, and personality into my content. Before TikToks and Reels, posting a picture was really the only way you could catch a followers attention. With the use of trending sounds, captions, and voice overs I feel like I am able to showcase my own personality and post my content all at the same time.

Q: How does sponsored content impact your channel? What feedback have you seen from your audience when you post via paid partnership?

Bryena: Sponsored content impacts where I go and which brands I publicly support. I wear many brands, of course. But if a partnership is paid I will make an intentional post to spotlight the product and what I love about it whereas otherwise I might not. I do not EVER accept partnership with companies I am not familiar with or use though. I notice when I post about new partnerships I do get questions. People reach out for more information along the lines of, “I have heard of this and/or wanted to try…what did you think/suggestions/opinion/etc.

Hanan: Paid Promotions help gain credibility amongst followers and help show different product followers might be interested in. Aside from that, my goal with paid promotions is to add diversity into campaigns. I want to show my supporters that minorities are able to tap into content creation.

Q: What makes a paid partnership “successful” in your own eyes?

Bryena: In my eyes what makes a partnership successful is when it is mutually beneficial for both parties, of course. However, sometimes a payout isn’t extremely beneficial depending on your goals. When brands use health creators to curate content it benefits their brand and, for me, when they SHARE my content it helps me grow my ‘brand’ as well. I like working with brands who support me more than just financially, like sharing to their page or stories. 

Hanan: The most successful paid promotions are the ones that align with your personal values and your channel’s goals all at the same time. From my experience, promoting products that you personally already use, or would use in your daily routine/life produces the most authentic content.

Q: What would you like brands to know about creator collaborations?

Bryena: Brands can benefit from partnerships with creators because it appears, to me at least, to be more genuine and authentic than a traditional ad. When my friends share things they like, I trust their testimonial more and am more likely to try it vs. a random ad. I would recommend to brands to stay in contact with collaborators. Repeat campaigns continue to build respect for and familiarity with the brand to those who follow your content creator partner.

Hanan: I think brands are able to reach a more diverse audience by partnering with creators. Creators are able to also put their own twist and personality into brand deals, which helps showcase products in a different light. As a content creator, I love working with brands that allow creators to create content without too many stipulations, and allow the creator to add their own personal value to the content.

Brands are able to reach a more diverse audience by partnering with creators. Creators are able to also put their own twist and personality into brand deals, which helps showcase products in a different light. – Hanan, @hypegirlhealth

Q: Do you have any tips for creators in the health & fitness world looking to get paid partnerships?

Bryena: Tips I have for creators in general would be to capture what you are already doing. Then, apply it to your partnership goals. Do not accept random brands that you have to force content. Instead, reach out to brands you already support. Even if they aren’t ready to partner with you YET, tag them in authentic content and keep it up. You might become a reliable and familiar name to them in the future or end up finding another similar brand you can branch off to. 

Hanan: Relationships and networking are very important. Starting with getting to know fellow content creators in your niche really helps. When I started out I had a lot of help from other health creators that helped me.  Connecting with Social Media companies like Social Native is also a valuable asset. It all starts with building a solid platform with quality content that’ll eventually lead to getting paid content. 

Q: What attracted you to Social Native’s platform, and what was your favorite campaign?

Bryena: What attracted me to Social Native’s platform is the ease, it is convenient to use. The campaigns are straightforward, the guidelines are clear. The brands are ones I have heard of and genuinely like, and the pay is fair. My favorite campaign that I have worked on with Social Native so far is Fireball Whiskey. The product is actually one of my favorites! I felt that the content was authentic and represented myself naturally and presented the brand well also. I love when it comes naturally and doesn’t feel forced.

Hanan: Social Native was the first company that offered me a brand deal when my channel was very new. I love how they work with big companies, and they also welcome diversity onto their platform. My favorite campaign I worked on with Social Native was the Sara Lee Delightful bread campaign. Delightful bread was a big part of my weight loss journey. At the time I was using it on a daily basis.

Q: Has there been a moment in your career when you felt you made an impact?

Bryena: There isn’t one particular moment when I feel like I have made a significant difference. However when people come to me for advice about living a healthier lifestyle it definitely feels good. When people tell me my workouts inspire them or they ask me for workout ideas, modifications for their needs, or how to meet their goals it makes me feel valued and helpful!

Hanan: The best feeling in the world is when I get messages from my supporters telling me that I inspired them to restart or begin their health journey. Having a positive impact and empowering people to implement fitness/nutrition for the betterment of their health really inspires me to keep putting content out.

Q: What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone looking to get healthier in the New Year?

Bryena: A piece of advice I would give to someone looking to get healthier in the New Year is to set small, reasonable goals. Too often people set high goals and burn out. Attainable goals that you can stay consistent with will have more success in the long run. Health isn’t a temporary thing, you have to make lifestyle changes and those will be unique to each person.

Hanan: Commiting to a goal for 365 days at the beginning of the year can be very overwhelming and exhausting. Given the fact changing your lifestyle is already mentally challenging, it’s important to just take things in blocks of time. Set an overall goal for your year but focus on small monthly goals that’ll lead up to that. Small goals help us reflect and build to create something bigger.  

Change your life, become a Social Native creator today!