10 Questions x 10 Creators: Tessa Burton
Tessa Burton speaks with us about what it's like to be a full-time creative balancing influencer work, content production, and a career in commercial and fashion modelling.
What do you love most about being an influencer/creator?
I absolutely adore being a Creator because it allows me to blend all of my passions and skills. From a young age, I've had an appreciation for visual and creative expression, particularly through photography. I started my professional modelling career more than a decade ago, so being in front of the camera feels like second nature.
However, what I love most is the versatility that comes with creating my own content. I wear many hats during the process, from producing and styling to being both in front of and behind the camera (I often self-shoot or direct my partner), followed by post-editing and curation. It can be a lot at times, but I genuinely love every aspect of it!
What's your biggest challenge as an influencer at the moment?
At the moment, my main challenge is maintaining an active online presence, especially when I'm not feeling my best. Being a perfectionist can be both a blessing and a curse. I have a backlog of content, but when I get overwhelmed I can occasionally disappear from social media. I'm actively working on finding a better balance between my personal life and online presence.
Are you full-time or juggle with another job?
I'm a full-time creative — balancing influencer work, content production for small businesses, and a career in commercial and fashion modelling. These roles complement each other well and allow me to merge my skills. It can be difficult not having a steady income but I’m trusting the process.
Do you have an agent?
No, I don't have an agent. I prefer to freelance as a creator and manage all aspects of my work independently. Given that I have moved location a couple of times in the last year and that I am a frequent traveler I like to be in control of my own schedule. I would definitely be open to the idea of having representation if I find the right fit though.
What's your ideal brief and brand to work with?
My ideal brief is one where the brand trusts my vision and grants me creative freedom, whilst of course providing essential guidelines, deliverables and expectations. I enjoy working with travel & lifestyle brands who value me as an individual, especially when they have a unique story or mission behind them. I love working with brands I believe in!
What makes a successful collaboration or brand partnership?
A successful collaboration or brand partnership is built on a strong and respectful relationship. Establishing a good rapport with the brand or PR representative is key for me. Feeling heard, appreciated, and trusted motivates both parties to go the extra mile and make the partnership successful.
What are your pet hates when it comes to working with brands?
My pet peeve when working with brands is when they exert excessive control, such as dictating the tone and content of my captions in a way that doesn't align with my authentic voice. While I'm open to following guidelines, I won't take on a project that doesn't resonate with me personally.
How do you stay on top of trends?
I personally prioritise authenticity and quality of content over trends. While trends definitely have appeal (and I know avoiding them probably doesn’t do me any favours with the algorithm) I often find them very repetitive and would prefer to put my own unique spin on my content.
What are your predictions for the future on influencer marketing?
Authenticity is becoming increasingly valuable and I predict a shift away from overly polished, fake lifestyles. Brands will likely collaborate more with smaller influencers who offer more honesty and transparency. I’m sure there will be developments in the Metaverse too — but that all still goes over my head to be quite honest!
Which influencers do you admire and why?
Some influencers I admire and find inspiring are:
@prettylittlefawn : I love her cinematic style and high-quality content with a distinct, nature-inspired colour palette and elegance.
@tezza.barton : Tezza is a style icon whose content is magazine-worthy. She is everything I aspire to be! She is an entrepreneur, with her own ‘Tezza’ app, collage kits and clothing line. All whilst taking on motherhood.. and always looking effortlessly cool!
@xoxotsumi : Tsutsumi is not only incredibly stylish but also a wonderful representation for Eurasians. She is an ‘It Girl’ but comes across as genuine and lovely, making her someone I'd want to be friends with.