As far as strategies, overall I’d say Be authentic, Post frequently, Be aware of what the latest trends are, Don’t wait to post something until it’s ‘perfect’ chances are if you wait too long you miss the moment, Have fun.

We often use the term “Influencers” to describe people with significant social media followings on platforms like Instagram, Twitter TikTok, Youtube, Linkedin and Facebook. Influencers have become today’s media titans, sought after for everything from product placements to timely trends. What’s the difference between influence and impact? Fans and followers? Sizzle versus staying power?

In this interview series, called, “How To Cultivate Community In A Click to Connect World” we are talking to influencers about how they define success and what we all need to discover about the true nature of influence. As a part of this series I had the pleasure of interviewing Jada June Totten.

Jada June Totten is a seventeen year old rodeo athlete. She uses her platform to highlight the positive culture of rodeo. Rodeo is a way of life and she hopes to inspire others to support the sport.

Thank you for making time to visit with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. How did you discover your career path and what got you to where you are today?

I started riding in the sixth grade and found my passion in rodeo. Rodeo is not an individual sport. I must work with my horse, the livestock, weather conditions, and many other factors. Things can work against each other and can quickly go wrong or everything can match up perfectly and you can have a perfect run. The thrill of the ups and downs of rodeo is what drives me to work harder and be the best that I can be.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned along the way that influences how you operate now?

An important lesson that will never leave my memory is to not fall behind the shadows, be you in your own way. This doesn’t mean you have to do things out of the ordinary but to be yourself and make an impact everywhere you go.

We’re all searching for some good news. How are you using your platform to make a positive social impact?

I am not from a rodeo family, so I’ve had to seek help from many other people. When I first started riding, I would watch videos of other riders. Sometimes, I’d replay their runs several times to learn. I post my good and bad runs hoping that it’ll teach others that we all experience wins and losses. Having a good attitude and appreciating every run with your horse is important because you never know when it will be your last.

Many of our readers are influencers as well. Others have tried and have yet to succeed. What words of advice would you offer to aspiring influencers, knowing what you know now?

There’s a sign I saw in an arena and it is something that I live by. “Somewhere around this arena, there is a little kid that wants to be just like you someday. You owe it to them to be the best you can be.” Being mindful of the content you post is very important. Remember that if you post something public, you don’t control who your audience is.

Success is often a matter of perspective. I’ve always resonated with Henry David Thoreau’s quote, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” How do you see success — or define success — for yourself now?

I measure my success by personal gain. If I do better than I did last time, I consider it success. I see so many athletes fall into a slump because they aren’t celebrating their personal gains. They compare themselves with others and lose sight of the wins in front of them.

What are your strategies to make room for who and what matters most?

I set daily goals. Of course, my family, animals and school are the most important. If I accomplish my daily list, I make time for friends and others.

How do you reduce or mitigate stress?

Riding my horses clears my mind and brings me happiness.

I’m going to try a few of your tips, and I’m hopeful our readers will, too. Now it’s time for the big reveal — the moment our readers have been anticipating. What are your “five strategies to cultivate a large & engaged social media community?’ Please share a story or example for each.

As far as strategies, overall I’d say 1. Be authentic 2. Post frequently 3. Be aware of what the latest trends are 4. Don’t wait to post something until it’s ‘perfect’ chances are if you wait too long you miss the moment. 5. Have fun.

I share experiences of my life on my TikTok @JadaJuneTotten with rodeo and friendships. Because I’m authentic with it and people can see I’m having fun, it makes them want to follow along as well. It’s helped me grow my account to almost 140k followers.

What do you do to create a greater sense of connection and community among your fans?

I only post about what’s authentic to me, I post often, and I engage in the comments.

As an influencer, you are, by definition, a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

Social media can be a ‘fake’ place where people only show a highlight reel of sorts, but if users can see that social media doesn’t have to be that, it can be a place where people can just document their lives being silly, trying new things and having fun, you hope you can trigger inspiration for others to not take social media so seriously, and instead can treat it as a place to be authentic.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He, she or they might just see this. 🙂

I would love to meet with Keith Mundy. He was the former president on Cinch Brands and is the current president of American Hat Company. I’ve heard him speak and he is very passionate about the western industry. I feel like I can learn a lot from him about building a western brand and being a positive leader! @americanhatco

What is the best way for our readers to further follow your work online?

I’m on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and I have an online shop, Rodeo Trippin.

Online store-

Thank you for these thought provoking insights. Here’s to your continued success!