( ENSPIRE Interview ) Bailey Spinn Shares Good and Bad Aspects of Social Media and Illustrates Her Journey to Fame
ENSPIRE Contributor: Claya Davis
When Bailey Spinn encountered the POV (Point of View) trend on TikTok, she was inspired to embark on her own creative journey on the platform. Spinn’s very first video on the platform has been viewed over 68 million times and received an astounding 8 million likes. While much of her early content played into preexisting trends, like POV, Spinn also branched out and created unique content, like comedic sketches, which added layers to her portfolio and widened her reach.
The TikTok star is quickly becoming one of the most successful creators on the platform. Spinn has amassed over 500 million likes and 12 million followers on TikTok alone. As with many influencers, her success on TikTok has trickled over into other social media platforms, leading to her acquisition of over 600,000 followers on Instagram as well.
ENSPIRE talked to Bailey Spinn about her rise to fame, her TikTok journey, and her personal experience being a content creator.
What inspired you to pursue a TikTok career?
When I was younger, I had the biggest obsession with watching YouTubers. I would sit down every day after school and watch my favorite creators for hours on end. I always looked up to them, thinking it was incredibly brave to put myself on the internet like that. It became something I could see myself doing forever—a career with no restrictions creatively. I tried my best to blow up during the rise of social media. I would post on Instagram like an influencer, hoping to reach the explore page and blow up. That definitely didn’t happen, but when TikTok came out, I saw it as my chance to follow my dream. I started posting every day, gaining fans who loved and appreciated my content. All the support I started to gain encouraged me to keep posting so I, too, could build a fan base that enjoyed my creativity!
Before starting your TikTok, what did your life look like?
I was just an average high school student, doing my homework and practicing for the swim team, then repeating. I’m from Virginia and being quite honest, there isn’t much to do there. I loved hanging out with friends, working out, and doing a lot of shopping. I had been a competitive swimmer for 12 years of my life, so it was a massive part of my childhood. I would swim every single day after school and even every day in the summertime. I also spent a ton of time hanging out with my family—they mean the absolute world to me. We would always go on vacations, go to the pool, or even just go get dinner. I love my parents more than anything and they gave me the best life full of new opportunities and love!
What is your favorite aspect of being a content creator?
Creating content is my biggest way of expressing myself. I always have at least 15 ideas running through my head and getting them out into video form allows me to share my creativity with everyone else. I love getting to connect with all my fans on a daily basis because they are the whole reason I love what I do. Putting a smile onto someone else’s face, even through a screen, is such a heartwarming feeling. I have met so many young fans and they are the cutest things I have ever seen. I always get so giddy and happy after meeting someone new that watches my content. All the support makes me feel so loved as a person, and I can’t get that same feeling anywhere else.
What hardships have you faced while building your social media presence?
One thing that can be a struggle is not having enough time to create the content that I want to. I like to put out quality videos, but earlier this year my schedule just did not allow for that. Other obligations stood in my way. I noticed my videos getting worse and being rushed, although I had no other choice at the time. This led to one of the toughest decisions in my life so far, leaving college to pursue social media full time!
What goals do you have in terms of social media and potential brand partnerships in the future?
One of my main goals for all my social media pages at the moment is to grow, not only in follower count but in the content that I create. Instead of sticking with what I know best, I want to start posting more content that represents me and my interests. I’ve always been very passionate about fashion and makeup, yet it’s something my audience never saw until recently. I’m hoping to expand my content outward and try new niches that will allow me to express myself even better. I want to start creating long-term relationships with the brands that I personally love. I’ve done a lot of one-off deals, but I haven’t found that bond with a brand that I’ve been desiring. Some of my dream brands to work with are Dolls Kill, Converse, and Tarte! Working towards expanding my content will also help me reach my goal of working with more brands. Brands look for content that fits with them, and I want to share my tips along with my favorite things with my followers!
What has been the most unexpected opportunity you have received from brands since your path to fame on social media?
Last weekend I was given the opportunity to attend the Billboard Music Awards which was one of the craziest experiences of my life. My friend Carter Kench and I made a video to a song by Charlie Puth back in December, not thinking anything of it. Three days before the award show, someone reached out asking for permission to use it in the show and my manager negotiated all the way to the top. She ended up getting us three tickets, and we were off to Vegas two days later so we could see our video appearance in person. I’m so glad that the licensing team for Charlie wanted to use our video, but I’m most grateful for my manager who pulled everything together. This was a once-in-a-lifetime chance I never thought I would have, and it was 100% the most unexpected thing that has happened to me in my career.
What is your favorite TikTok video you have created and why?
My favorite video that I’ve made is the first part of my POV “mark” series. This video is now my most viewed and represents the time my account changed forever. This video was just like every other POV, but it was the first time I used my real voice to act. I was so scared to post the video, not knowing what people would think because I was trying something new, but they loved it and it defeated all my insecurity. The end of the video was also really unintentionally funny, and that series lasted for about 30 parts. I was so proud that my creativity was paying off and well-received!
What advice can you give to other aspiring TikTok creators?
Don’t be afraid to fail! Failing on social media is inevitable, whether it be an underperforming video or receiving hate comments. There is always a chance that your content will not always do exactly how you want it to, but that does not mean you should give up. Sometimes all it takes is a bit of reimagining or trying something new to get the results you want. If you start viewing your mistakes or failure as new opportunities to learn and build, your content creation will come naturally!