If you’ve spent time scrolling Reels and TikToks, you’ve definitely come across videos where you find some crazy hacks and tricks about Instagram stories, picture editing, Apple phones, or product photography tips. Do you know who’s behind these tips and tricks that float around Instagram and Tiktok?
The 24-year-old Croatian-Canadian woman, Katarina Mogus, changed the game for everyone on social media. You could scroll through her page and find a hoard of information from how to confidently take pictures on the streets or how to enhance your social media presence, and how to blow up small businesses and profiles easily. And the best part about her content is that it does not just help influencers and businesses, but ordinary people like you and me grow and feel confident online and enjoy our experience of using gadgets.
For a person who lost her job at the beginning of the pandemic and started sharing tips and hacks to help small businesses grow and stay afloat during the lockdown and then end up being featured in various news articles, talk shows and even a music video, a conversation with her was a must.
As a ‘Queen of Hacks’ on social media, how do you discover such tips and tricks? Describe the process.
Well, I have always been a tech-savvy person. I really like being on my phone and coming up with new things, especially iPhone tips and tricks, Instagram stories, or even creative ways of taking photos. I remember when I was in university, I was that friend who would take pictures and edit them for my friend group and add some spin to them. I would always think of creative ways of doing things and finding out hacks. And if it is a basic hack I already know, then I come up with a creative way to show it to my audience so that it is interesting for them to watch, and that is how I come up with videos on hacks.
When and how did you start your journey as an influencer?
A lot of people don’t know this, but I actually did not start out with a mindset to be an influencer. I started posting on TikTok to show small businesses in my city, Toronto, easy tips and tricks they could use to grow their social media because many of them had to close down. It was really sad for me to see that the city that was always thriving see so many businesses close down. The tutorials that I posted started getting major traction from all over the world. From there, I built a business called En Flique Creative, which is a social media marketing agency. It got really exciting because, at one point, I was building a business and also becoming an internet personality. Guess that is how I became an influencer.
What is the most underrated or overlooked hack that people are unaware of, according to you?
Definitely how much your iPhone camera or smartphone camera can do! A lot of people think they need to spend so much on photoshoots and expensive equipment. But I think an iPhone camera has everything, and you can start a business, run a business and market yourself online. That is the reason why I focus on showing people how they can do so many things, just at home, including product photography.
You are best known for your Apple/iOS hacks. What is the craziest Apple fact you have discovered so far?
For sure, my craziest and well-known Apple hack was when iOS 14 came out. I made a video on how you could customize an iPhone home screen. I think no one was thinking of customization and aesthetics until that video brought that in. That video went crazy viral and had like 40 million views. The app I used went No. 1 in the App Store overnight, and I was getting calls from so many media outlets around the world and so many articles written about me in languages I couldn’t even read! That was a huge standout moment and definitely the craziest Apple hack I found.
Aesthetics and minimalism are the essence of your content. How do you create and maintain the feed?
People think it is crazy how planned out and perfect my feed looks, but I like to plan out and match things even if it is my backdrop. When I’m taking photos, I just come very prepared. I have all of my looks planned, including hair and makeup, so that I can shoot different looks in one go. And what makes my content or any content great is when you make sure that you are having fun while creating it. If you continuously worry about the perfect shot or how it looks and how well it will perform, neither will you enjoy your work nor generate the content you wanted.
As a social media specialist, what is the most essential factor to work on as an internet personality/business?
Being genuine and being yourself online. I love following people who showcase their personalities and tell me about their day and promote products and causes they love. I think being genuine and honest with your followers is essential. Because the audience can tell when someone is faking it or trying too hard to be someone else. And I always say you can grow online only when you are you.
Expanding your business presence on social media is a relatively new concept. How would you advise someone dealing with people at work who do not realize the potential social media can bring?
I think this issue has changed a lot since last year when the pandemic made a lot of people go online. I used to work a traditional job. I would see that people who were not active on social media would not understand how essential social media is nowadays, but 2020 has been a transition. People need to know that this has become the new normal, and social media is taking over and will continue to do so.
What is your biggest achievement in your journey of sharing tips and tricks/ recommendations/ideas on Reels and TikTok?
There are few things I am super proud of. My biggest achievement would be creating my business and getting noticed by companies all around the world. I had so many huge influencers and brands contacting me, asking to run their social media, which was a game-changer. Another proud moment for me was when I hired my first ever employee! And also when I was featured in the Croatian newspaper. My grandparents don’t understand much of my work and social media and what I was accomplishing. But when they saw me in the newspaper, they were super proud of me and understood that their granddaughter was doing something big and seeing them proud made me feel proud of myself.
Personally, what do you prefer: TikTok or Instagram? Why?
They both have their strong suits, but I would say video content, in general, is different. TikTok is fun and addicting to watch, and you are learning and laughing at the same time. I feel we have an opportunity to showcase our talent more than on Instagram, where it is already oversaturated. Instagram has become more about being picture-perfect, while TikTok gives us the space to be ourselves and narrate or show things that we may not feel confident showing on Instagram. Also, TikTok is very inclusive, so I would choose TikTok.
What is the most challenging part of your job as an influencer and business owner?
Definitely the work-life balance. I always put myself so deep in my work that it consumes my whole day. Focusing on both my Instagram and TikTok career as well as my business, which is again based on social media, makes it difficult to detach from the internet. But I make sure to keep my phone away, step out of the room and work out or journal.
What is your opinion on bloggers/influencers being undermined when talking about converting social media presence into a career or full-time profession?
I see it and hear it all the time. Sometimes people tell me that I do not have a ‘real job’, but I don’t think I have ever worked harder in my life. This is the hardest job and the most time-consuming job I have ever done. Influencers, content creators, and online small businesses are working every single day of the week. The internet doesn’t sleep, and neither do they. Influencers and content creators should be seen as entrepreneurs who negotiate with brands and businesses daily. I didn’t know this until I stepped into it.
Tell us more about your ebook Powerful Presence – An Informative Roadmap to Instagram Content Creation and Marketing Success.
I created this ebook in 2020 with my best friend, a professional photographer and my business partner, Cassandra Goltsis. Essentially, this book teaches people how to grow their brand and personality online using what they already have and outline things to be successful online. Cassandra did the photography aspect where she showed easy tips/tricks that people can use for photography. My part was about branding – creating a brand to colour theory to developing a strategy to post content on time. It’s like a guide anyone can use anytime, anywhere, without booking an appointment or consult agencies.
There is a lot of advice and suggestions you can take away from this conversation to help build your social media and learn life-changing hacks, but something I hope you realized from Katarina’s journey is that when you take the initiative and start something with an intention to help others grow and succeed, success finds its way to you too.