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SOCIAL SUPERSTARS: Two social influencers making it big in The Fort

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - Social influencers are becoming the top trend in advertising/marketing, but did you know we had some living here in The Fort?

Two influencers, 31-year-old Taja Keasal and 25-year-old Samantha Miller, have made a part-time living out of posting on different social platforms.

Miller is also a part-time orthopedic nurse and Keasal is a full-time sales analyst.

But how did it all start from posting for fun to now getting paid to do it?

"After having a lot of free time, outside of work I started posting consistently to Instagram and I was just sharing outfits that I would put together that I had for years and tried to get creative."

Samantha Miller, Social Influencer
25-year-old Samantha Miller

Miller caught attention from other women that was then followed by local and national brands.

She tells me some of the brands she has worked with include Rue21, Windsor, Lane201 (a local boutique), LuLus and so much more.

As of right now, Miller has racked up more than 24,000 followers on Instagram, which is her main platform for sharing content.

A similar story for Keasal, racking up more than 13,000 followers on Instagram and over 18,000 subscribers on YouTube.

31-year-old Taja Keasal

When visiting these two ladies pages, you may notice there content is different from each other. Keasal focusing more on athleisure apparel and sneakers, while Miller focuses more on fashion and home decor.

According to Four Communications, 49% of consumers claim they depend on influencer recommendations on social media to inform their purchasing decision.

This means that if consumers feel confident in the influencer's recommendation, they'll be more likely to purchase the product.

With that being said, how are these influencers actually making money?

"When you are starting out, you have to earn your stripes. So, you may do the exchange of product for your content. Whether it's pictures, whether it's video, it's an unboxing. But as you go along you may show you have real value in the market."

Taja Keasal, Social Influencer

Through Instagram, influencers can charge based on a single post or a 'story' with the company's product.

But through YouTube, creators get paid based on how many subscribers they have and how much watch time they get from each video.

The starting point is at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time.

Once you achieve that, you are now eligible to monetize your videos that will now show advertisements through banners, short commercials, etc.

One piece of advice that both women tell me is 'be authentic and true to yourself'.

"But I think if you let your own authentic self-shine through, you have no idea, whether you know it or not. That's going to open the door to make another young woman feel comfortable enough to jump up on whatever platform."

Taja Keasal,, Social Influencer

Even women in The Fort are making it big on social media.

Want to follow their journey? Click here for Kesal's page and here for Miller's page.

Emilia Miles

Emilia Miles joined Fort Wayne’s NBC in September 2019 as a Social Media and Digital Content Manager. Emilia also serves as a producer. She’s a Fort Wayne native and graduated from Indiana University.

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