Though only 23 years old, Sjana Elise Earp’s many accomplishments are difficult to count. The Australian model, yoga instructor, blogger, and influencer empowers audiences worldwide with inspirational content surrounding health and wellness. No matter the social channel, Earp prides herself on being honest and authentic with her followers, a characteristic to which she credits much of her success.
We sat down with Earp to discuss her rise to online fame, how she approaches sponsored content, and how she uses social media as a tool to inspire. Hear from the uplifting Instagram influencer herself in our exclusive interview.
1. What inspired you to start doing yoga, and what compelled you to share that interest on social media?
Curiosity to be honest! I saw images of people doing these crazy poses on Instagram and I thought to myself “Yeah, I reckon I could give that a go!” Some I mastered quickly and others I am still trying to wrap my head around! I’d go to the beach every morning for sunrise and take pictures of the ocean and the clouds, and then once I learned a couple of yoga postures I started taking photos of those too. I’d share my favorite ones just for fun!
2. In what ways has your Instagram account changed since you began? Your YouTube channel?
I don’t think it’s changed much, to be honest. I’ve always known what message and vibes I want to share (positivity, empowerment, kindness, happiness, etc.), and I don’t think I’ve wavered from that much at all! I guess the image quality has gotten a little better over the years though… #thankyoutechnology!
3. How does your thought process differ when creating content for YouTube versus content for Instagram?
I guess Instagram is more of an aesthetics based platform, whereas YouTube is more candid.
I’m a bit of a self-confessed perfectionist, so I try my best to maintain a clean, consistent and fluid profile on Instagram. I use Instagram as a creative platform to make beautiful images and videos. And that has always been and will probably remain one of my favorite things in the whole world to do!
YouTube I use as an extras and bloopers reel; a “behind-the-scenes” look into my life if you wish!
4. Is there a central message or theme that you hope people takeaway from your social media content?
I just want people to feel empowered, inspired, uplifted and happy. I want to inspire people to be healthy, smile more, wake up earlier and maybe give yoga a try – who knows!? I want people to see how remarkable life is and live it to its fullest.
But I also don’t want to create a false illusion that it is always rainbows and fairy floss 100% of the time. And I want people to understand that it is okay to not feel okay all of the time, while being living proof that you can come back into the light again if only you choose to.
That’s why I choose to be completely transparent on social media – I show the good, and I try to express true, raw emotion when that is necessary also. Ultimately, I break down the barriers around what is and isn’t socially acceptable in terms of discussing topics such as mental health.
5. How do you choose whether or not to work with a brand, and what do you look for in branded partnerships?
I won’t work with a company unless I support them 150%!
I think that is the most important part of being an influencer, is being selective about who you do and don’t work with. Not only do I want to ensure that it is a brand I respect and support, but I also want to ensure the product is either something I do use, will use, or genuinely love.
That way, the collaboration is genuine and not forced, and I think my followers like that too. Brand synergy and resonance is essential to maintaining quality posts and an authentic relationship with your followers!
6. What’s the single most important lesson you’ve learned from working in social media?
I’d probably say the most important lesson I’ve learned is that social media is a powerful tool. It can quite easily be used to share and inspire positivity and happiness, maybe even more easily than saying something hurtful or hateful. And it is up to us as both individuals and a collective community to consciously CHOOSE to use it for good and not evil (aka bullying, mean comments, insults etc.).
7. In the next five years, how do see your social media channels evolving?
Oh boy! I don’t even know what I’ll have for breakfast tomorrow morning, let alone what will be happening in 5 years time! I’ll tell you what – I’ll keep you updated!
8. What two pieces of advice would you give aspiring Yogi influencers?
A. Don’t “try” to be an example or an influencer. Just live by example and allow others (and yourself) to take your own courses.
Yoga isn’t a destination, it is a never-ending, long, windy, bumpy but extraordinarily beautiful journey and you cannot compare your path to anyone else’s. It’s like comparing a piece of paper to the Eiffel Tower. Neither is any better than the other, they simply have different purposes in life.
B. Just be kind, and live YOUR truth.
9. Lightning round:
Yoga pose you’re most proud of mastering?
I’ll let you know the day I master one! My yoga poses look different every single day! And I don’t think I’ve ever found perfect alignment, and I think that’s kind of the point. It’s not about perfecting a pose, it’s about what you learn while trying to.
Most underrated part of growing up in Newcastle, Australia?
The beaches for sure! Possibly the worlds best-kept secret!
First thing you thought of when you woke up this morning?
Just five more minutes…
Instagram or Snapchat Stories?
What’s Snapchat? 😉
10. Any upcoming projects on your social channels that fans should get excited about in 2018?
Stay tuned to find out!
11. Anything else to add?
Thanks for having me!
This interview has been edited for clarity.