Model, actor, NYC native, Jessica Markowski is not just another pretty face. Her life is the great American fairy tale dream that we see in the movies, but the dream-like quality has not disillusioned Jessica. She knows what it means to work hard, she knows how to be a strong, empowered female, and she knows how to be a social media influencer boss. She is living the essence of the modern American Dream. I have no doubt Jessica’s interview will leave you feeling as inspired and uplifted as it left me.
ZJ: Jessica, do you think that growing up in Manhattan made it easier for you to break into modeling and acting?
JM: I think New York City definitely made it easier for me to break into the industry. When I was 16, I was recruited on the street while rushing to my morning class. I don’t think it would come that easily if I lived elsewhere.
ZJ: Can you share with us some of your favorite television and film roles you’ve played, and why you enjoyed them?
JM: I think my favorite will always be the first role I ever booked. I was cast for a lead in Deadly Sins. I think booking a lead as one of my first jobs allowed me to learn so much. I gained so much valuable knowledge and experience that I will remember and carry with me.
ZJ: What is your take on the modeling world, and how long do you see yourself modeling for?
JM: The modeling world is fun, creative and exciting. Every other day brings new, exciting opportunities. I hope to be a model as long as time allows!
ZJ: At what age did you start getting into social media? Was it just Instagram?
JM: I got into social media probably around 3 years ago. I really just focused on Instagram as I didn’t want to devote all of my time to every single social media platform. It all just seemed too time-consuming as I had a full-time job, running around from casting to audition to booking. I think the process of gaining followers happened very organically. I always made it a priority to update my followers with content I thought they would enjoy. The process of gaining such great exposure on social media makes me feel blessed. At first, the growth was slow. But providing my fans with what they wanted in a dedicated way, I was able to prove my commitment to my audience and gain their loyalty, thus, my following grew.
ZJ: Do you think people follow you because of your beautiful images? Why else do you think people find and follow you on social media?
JM: They might be following me for the beautiful images, but I believe people are as interested in my career and journey. In a way, my Instagram profile is like my diary. I record my life moments and luckily my followers appreciate what I share, and look forward to what’s to come.
ZJ: I’m guessing that you still actively model, work as an actress, and do your social media thing. To what extent do you wish to use the social media to parlay other work, and how much of your week is taken up by social media?
JM: Yes, I am a full-time model and actor. It is interesting to see how many more opportunities have come about as a result of my social media presence. When I first started on Instagram I never treated it as a business. Now, there are endless business opportunities that continually come for me.
ZJ: Has social media landed you jobs or the other way around?
JM: It is interesting to see how many jobs I have landed due to Instagram. I have booked everything from commercials, jewelry campaigns, to print, etc. due to my social media presence.
ZJ: When did you begin gaining massive amounts of followers on social media/ blog, and what did you think about it all?
JM: I think I began to gain massive amounts of followers on social media as soon as I hit over 50,000. It is nice to see how it rapidly it is growing but at the same time IG distracts me with the notifications! I am just really appreciative of the fact that people want to hear and see my story. When I just began, I only kept my Instagram for friends to see. My account was private for a very long time. By making that switch, the growth increased significantly.
ZJ: Do you consider yourself a marketer?
JM: I do consider myself as a marketer. Since the beginning, I promoted and sold a product or service. As a model, actor and social media influencer I am constantly promoting myself to essentially sell a product and service to a wider audience.
ZJ: Do you see yourself as an “influencer”, and if so, what does that mean to you?
JM: I like to consider myself as an influencer. I like to think that I have a certain power that affects people. An influencer has the ability to impact many and that is what I essentially love most in my career.
ZJ: What is your favorite part of doing the social media thing?
JM: My favorite part of doing the social media thing is the fact that I get to partner with brands that I really believe in. I like to hear people’s comments, requests, and opinions. I love engaging with my fans – they are the ones who allow me to keep going!
ZJ:: Do you work for brands? Can you give us an example of sponsored posts you have done as an influencer (that we can share in the interview)?
JM: Yes, I work selectively with brands all the time. One example is Triniette. They are a magnificent jewelry line that protects men and women from loosing their valuables. I have booked a campaign and video for them, as the face of their brand.
ZJ: How do you decide which photos or selfies to take? Do you have to be extra careful given your high-profile work as a model and actress? Do you have a photographer follow you around, or are you more carefree about it all?
JM: Well I take an exaggerated amount of photos/selfies and then choose my favorite one. As Instagram is a visual platform, it is really important for me to present myself in the best way possible. Instagram is like my portfolio/resume. It is what gets me the job. Sure, 70% of my photos are perfectly shot and lit, but the 30% is carefree and effortless as I like to show my audience that I still am a casual and low key person
ZJ: Nearly 70k followers on IG. What would you attribute most to your success on social media?
JM: I think consistency has played a big role in the success of my social media. I have always dedicated a lot of time to my Instagram. I engaged with my audience and I have provided them with content that might interest them.
ZJ: Who do you most admire in the world?
JM: My parents. I was born and raised in New York City but my parents are from Poland. They came to America with only a few dollars in their wallet, all to better their lives in a country of opportunity. Without their sacrifice and inspiration, I wouldn’t be as driven. So thank you, Mommy and Daddy!
ZJ: If you were to give someone advice who is thinking about getting into social media and the world of influencing, what would it be?
JM: If I were to give someone advice about getting into social media and the world of influencing, I would say to know who you are as a brand. By knowing what you are, you will know who to attract and potentially inspire.
ZJ: General words of wisdom you live by?
JM: Life is a mystery to be lived not a problem to be solved.
ZJ: Favorite quote (if different from above)?
JM: We must strive to live with purpose. When we live with purpose, we feel good inside.
ZJ: What is your favorite thing to do outside of your life in social media, modeling, and acting?
JM: I love to relax. My career keeps me very physically busy. When I’m not working, I like to be very low key. TV, movies, theater, gym, beach, couch… They all sound quite appealing. It all is a perfect way to get my mind away from the never ending business and busyness of New York City.
ZJ: What is your biggest dream in life?
JM: To go on achieving each and every dream, that we chase one after the other since we fail to realize, that the definition of the ‘Biggest Dream’ keeps changing throughout every phase of our life. So essentially, there is no ‘One Biggest Dream’ in my life. There are always more on the way.
ZJ: Do you have any upcoming events or announcements you wish to share?
JM: I wish I could share my upcoming events and announcements! Unfortunately I cannot reveal much just yet!
Jessica signed off with mystery and excitement in the air. Follow Jessica on social to see what exciting events and announcements are coming up!