Luz De Lourdes “Lucie” Calderón is a marketing and branding associate for SBNG Certified Public Accountants. Known for her main account @/luciecalderon, she uses content creation personally and for work.
Luz De Lourdes “Lucie” Calderón is a marketing and branding associate for SBNG Certified Public Accountants. Known for her main account @/luciecalderon, she uses content creation personally and for work.
Annabella Mireles

How To Be The Brand

For most people with a social media presence, being in front of a virtual audience becomes second nature. When the red button is hit and the camera flashes go off, content creators come alive and utilize their platforms to help keep a good image. Whether it be for their own brand or that of a business they are representing, things have to be “lights, camera, action” ready for those on the other side of the screen.  

Making revenue through sharing content on the internet seemed impossible nearly two decades ago, especially if it only revolved around someone’s personal life. The age of social media has completely revolutionized the game, and helped expand what self- expression and advertising can look like in tandem.  

However, working in this field does raise some logistical and moral questions:  

What does it mean to be your own brand? Is this type of career sustainable? What type of feelings come with such a visible line of work compared to more traditional jobs?  

Most importantly, how can others branch into such a broadly accessible field?  

Two El Paso content creators who have built careers out of utilizing different social media platforms help answer these questions by giving a run down of the magic behind their jobs.  

Best known by her Instagram handle @/tori.takes, 21-year-old Victoria Duran is taking El Paso by storm through the online connections and content that she has cultivated over the years. The media advertising major talked about what life currently looks like for her. 

Victoria Duran built her 14 to 15-year-old passion into a platform to promote her photography and videography business. Known as @/tori.takes on Instagram, her relationships through social media have helped boost Duran’s confidence and skills to grow her connections. Annabella Mireles.

“I wear many caps,” Duran shared. “I’m mainly a photographer/ videographer. I’m a student, own a 360 booth, and also do social media management marketing.”  

When asked about financial sustainability, Duran mentions how having a social presence or social platform does not necessarily bring in a full source of income. This is why she takes on as many roles and responsibilities as mentioned before.  

Duran also talks about how this path has been years in the making and is something she did originally because of the joy she had from making content online. What started as a 14 to 15-year-old passion has blossomed into a booming photography and videography business.  

“2020 is when I began to grow my network as a photographer, and obviously photography was always a thing on my platform, but that was when I began to scale up and network,” Duran explained.  

She went on to describe how networking led her to dozens of opportunities with local businesses as well working at more personal events like grad sessions, weddings, quinceñeras and more. Maintaining her relationships through social media has not only boosted Duran’s confidence but it has helped grow her clientele and connections.  

Duran describes the appreciation she has for content creating and all the opportunities it has presented her with. Her platform provides her with the space to bring awareness to a larger audience and maintain her creativity and originality.  

Being such a public figure does come with some hurdles, and Duran expresses how this visibility can create a sense of imposter syndrome.  

“One thing is since I am on social media, I feel like everybody is always looking at me or expecting me to post something,” Duran said. “And with that too it looks very easy, it looks fun as well, but it does take time and effort and work.”  

Victoria Duran said being a public figure does come with challenges as a platform can create imposter syndrome. Lucie Calderón shares the same feeling, she says posting online can be vulnerable as they are in a visible position. Annabella Mireles.

A close friend of Duran’s who is also a content creator shares a similar story and sentiment.  

She has work that ranges from videography to photography, candle-making to cooking, and beauty to lifestyle posts. UTEP Alumni and creator, 24-year-old Luz De Lourdes or “Lucie” Calderón goes by many Instagram handles, but she is mostly recognized for her main account @/luciecalderon. She is a marketing and branding associate for the company SBNG Certified Public Accountants who uses content creation personally and for work.  

Calderón describes what she does at SBNG and how she utilizes her skills to bring life and motivation to her office. She covers events for the firm, plans celebratory events and sends emails that boost workplace morale.  

In terms of her own social media, she maintains a similar optimistic outlook as Duran.

“Content creation is always something I’ve been interested in,” Calderón said. “I’ve always been into photography, I romanticize my life a lot, I appreciate the art of noticing things and really just seeing the ordinary as very beautiful.”  

While financial sustainability looks different for Calderón who works under a company, she has similar feelings of gratitude about the people she’s befriended and the work she does. Aside from SBNG events, she is also an ambassador for companies like Guayki Yerba Mate and Desert Beauty.  

“It’s really about just having wonderful friends in the community who will say your name in a room full of opportunities,” Calderón said.  

Despite this, she comments on the feeling of imposter syndrome and negativity projected onto her because of her visible position. Posting online can be very vulnerable according to Calderón, so being a public figure can be a challenging thing to maintain.

Regardless, Duran and Calderón still love the field and have advice for anyone looking into becoming their own brand.

Victoria Duran and Lucie Calderón maintain similar optimistic outlook regarding social media. They both emphasize the importance of being consistent and being authentic to build a successful platform in social media. Annabella Mireles.

“Capture everything with your vision in mind, put your flare to it, Calderón explained. “That is exactly what makes you stand apart from other people.”

Duran emphasizes the importance of maintaining consistency and being on top of the trends. She also wants people who are interested in content creation to remain true to themself and dedicate time to the craft. Being in that line of work means engaging with an audience and being able to accept constructive criticism according to Duran as well.  

For Calderón it’s also about balancing the information with the personal to help garner a broader following. However, the main sentiment and take away from both lies within Calderón’s parting words.  

“Try your best at everything you do,” Calderón insisted. “Whether it’s content creation, whether it’s getting up in the morning. Just try your best and the best will happen to you.”

En Breve 

Traducido por Meagan Garcia and Yoali Rodriguez 

Con el paso de los años las redes sociales se han convertido en una herramienta increíblemente poderosa en el mundo de los negocios. Las personas pueden utilizar diferentes aplicaciones para promoverse a sí mismos, sus estilos de vida así como a grupos con los que trabajan.  

Sin embargo, esta línea de trabajo puede dejar a las personas con una pregunta. ¿Qué significa ser tu propia marca?  

Dos creadores de contenido de El Paso comparten su experiencia de trabajo en este medio para que las personas puedan tener una mejor idea del concepto de como es volverte tu propia marca.  

Victoria Duran, estudiante de UTEP es reconocida por su cuenta de Instagram @/tori.takes. Surgiendo su carrera en El Paso gracias a sus múltiples trabajos, Duran menciona que todos sus negocios destacan alguna de sus habilidades. Así que ella es fotógrafa/camarógrafa, directora de marketing digital, y es dueña de un booth de fotografía 360. Duran cree que su carrera en redes sociales le ha dado oportunidad de impulsar su creatividad y poder crear su propia audiencia.   

Luz De Lourdes o “Lucie” Calderón, es una exalumna egresada de UTEP que también ha creado su propia marca por las redes sociales. Reconocida por su cuenta @/luciecalderon, ella dedica su carrera a crear su propio contenido así como el contenido de la compañía en la que trabaja, SBNG events. También es embajadora para las compañías locales Guayki Yerba Mate y Desert Beauty. Lucie considera que crear contenido la ha llevado a tener diferentes oportunidades en su comunidad y aconseja que todos los que buscan una carrera en las redes se mantengan auténticos con su contenido.  

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