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Meet Mata Leiataua

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mata Leiataua.

Hi Mata, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
The Mata Mix started as a personal blog to document my wedding planning process. It was the Summer of 2017 and I was right in the middle of planning my Fall Wedding. I had a lot of friends at the time that were asking for details on vendors I was using, how I chose my wedding photographer, outfits to wear for engagement photos, etc., and I remember thinking, “I wish there was a place I could just brain dump all this information” and thus, the birth of my little corner of the world wide web. It has evolved so much since then (as have I), and I could have never foreseen the path that would develop. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to connect with people all over the country (and sometimes, even the world!) and genuinely feel a great sense of fulfillment in what I get to do every day.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I think it probably looks like it’s been a smooth journey, but that’s certainly not the case. I try to be transparent about struggles I’ve had as an entrepreneur because I realize how glamourous things can appear. I would say that there are obvious challenges, like the logistics of running a business, the nature of hustle culture, and of course, making money. But there are also very personal struggles that no one really talks about- especially in an industry that demands you to operate at your very best creative frequency at all times. I’ve had moments where I’ve conflated my identity with how ‘busy I was’ or ‘how well my content performs’ as the ultimate measure of success. It takes time, practice, and a great deal of discipline to learn how to set boundaries with others and yourself.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a content creator and have the pleasure of partnering with brands in the lifestyle, fashion, and travel spaces. My expertise includes social media strategy and content creation. What really inspires me is the opportunity to delve into what makes a brand unique. I love bringing my passion for creating content to tell their stories and take great pride in being able to bring those stories to life through compelling visual assets.

I feel like content creators and influencers get a bad rap because the industry is so new and largely misunderstood. There is more work involved than you can possibly imagine and goes way beyond posting cute photos for the gram. For a lot of us, that don’t have robust teams yet, we are single-handedly managing countless tasks such as communicating directly with brands, pitching creative ideas, organizing mood boards, styling the photography/shoot, post-production (editing the content), researching hashtags, and current industry trends, implementing strong SEO to ensure that content performs, copywriting for social posts and websites, community management and engagement, website design and development, storyboarding, reviewing contracts, accounting, and much much more. It’s the blessing of a lifetime to be able to call this my job!

Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
There is a lot I wish I knew, but one of the big things is that the best way to start… is to start. I am someone that needs to have all the answers before diving into anything new, but sometimes, there are situations and challenges you just can’t anticipate no matter how prepared you are. Don’t let that hinder you from pursuing your goals, and don’t get discouraged when those moments arise (because they will). Another huge piece of advice is that authenticity always wins. It’s tempting when you see what is driving success for others, to want to adopt that same path for yourself- but it is not sustainable in the long run. It doesn’t give you purpose and will ultimately lead to a debilitating sense of burnout. Spend some time identifying what makes you special, what unique stories you have to tell, what your strengths (and weaknesses) are, and how you can add value to your work.

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