How Model, Cheerleader and Influencer Hailey Smith Built Her Instagram Following
Hailey Smith may be just 10 years old, but she's accomplished feats worthy of talents twice her age.
Hailey's a model and cheerleader who's also a successful fashion blogger and Instagram influencer. She's already making big waves in the business, and from here, the only place to go is up. We wanted to learn all about her work and how she does it, and she dishes on all of it in the interview below:
Sweety High: When did you first discover your passion for cheer? How did that eventually grow into the more multifaceted role that you have today?
Hailey Smith: I first started cheer when I was 6! I started on a small non-competitive team. Once I realized it was my thing and I loved it, the next year I tried out for the competition team and made it. This is my fifth season cheering at my gym Fire & Ice and I cheer on a youth level two team called Ignite. I just bumped up to a different age group and I am a flyer, which means I am the one up in the air and getting tossed. I absolutely love it.
I actually started modeling and influencing before cheer and it started by accident, really. My mom is a professional photographer and wanted to keep a record of me growing up so she started an Instagram page for me. She started posting pictures of me in cute outfits and my likes and followers started to grow. Eventually, clothing companies started reaching out and asking us to promote them. Over time, as my passion developed for cheer and I posted about it, cheer-related companies started to reach out and I started working with a few. In 2019, I applied for a coveted role as a Rebel Cheer athletic model and got it! I have been a part of the Rebel Athletic Cheer Talent team for three years, and hope (when I'm old enough) to become a feature model for them and travel overseas to model for their couture lookbooks.
SH: Between being a model, athlete and influencer, is there one role you're most passionate about?
HS: Oh my gosh, that's a hard question! I love all three, but I guess I would say cheer has my heart. I love going to practice with my friends. I love seeing my hard work pay off when I get a skill or do a stunt correctly. I love pushing myself to do better. But my absolute fave is that two minutes and 30 seconds of performing at a competition where we get to see all our hard work come together in front of an audience.
SH: How did you become interested in blogging about fashion? What do you love most about getting to share your unique style, and what are your favorite trends at the moment?
HS: Fashion blogging became an interest because of influencing. Once I started working with companies and getting to pick out styles from those companies' latest collections, I loved putting together outfits! In late 2019, Katwalk Kids Fashion Magazine reached out and asked if I'd be interested in writing a monthly column for them and I jumped at the opportunity. I love researching and finding new designers and companies and working with them to build outfits and styles that I love. My favorite trends of the moment are flannels with crop tops. I usually pair them with jean shorts or jeans and boots. I love shoes! I love to pair Jordans with a dressier outfit and am currently loving my motorcycle boots. I also love to accessorize with scrunchies and bags.
SH: Do you have any tips or tricks for other aspiring influencers out there?
HS: My advice to other aspiring influencers is to be persistent. Building a quality following on Instagram happens over time. You need to post consistently. Think about your followers and what they like to see (if you don't know, just ask them through Stories!). Interact with your followers by responding back to comments and DMs and go show them love on their page. Social media is, after all, about being social!
How do you find balance in your life between all of the different parts of your career?
SH: So our family life is a bit busy! Between cheer, school, influencing, my brother's activities, my dad's work and my mom's busy schedule with photography, we are always running. But, my family is very organized and scheduled. We try for the most part to keep weekends for family time and chilling. So I have plenty of time to do fun activities and sleepovers and just be a kid, which is the most important. Also, school comes first, then cheer then modeling and influencing. I adore school and learning and am proud to say that I have maintained an A average in school while also cheering and influencing.
SH: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
SH: I want to thank my family, mom, dad and Mason for their continued support and also thank my fans for their constant loyalty and love. It is because of my fans and followers that I am where I am at today and able to continue on this journey. Thank you so much!
Curious about cheer? Click HERE for the seven things one of our writers wishes she knew before she became a cheerleader.