Claudia Oshry, the mastermind behind social media powerhouse Girl with No Job, shares some tips for conquering the platform—and why she’s just waiting for the right moment to DM Harry Styles.
Chances are you don’t know who Claudia Oshry is. But there’s an equal chance you just burst out laughing at one of the Instagram posts or Snapchat videos she uploaded under what has become her digital pen name: @girlwithnojob.
Oshry is only 22 years old, but she’s already the brain and muscle and face behind the hugely successful online persona (which has grown into an empire encompassing a presence across a variety of social media platforms and a merchandise line) that banks on the power of memes and comedic takes on pop culture to capture the attention of social media users.
How did Oshry make it all the way to the top of the digital kingdom? Here, she gives us some of her expert advice:
1. Always Listen to Mom
“I went from [a high school with a] curriculum from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. [to] having class once a day [at New York University]. It was a little too much free time so my mom said, ‘You should get an internship!’ I got an internship at [my] favorite website ever and I thought it was going to be the greatest experience of my life. It was my dream job until I got there. It was literally the worst place ever. Part of me was miserable and part of me was like, ‘This would be really funny if we turned it into something.’ I used to write my mom these emails on the subway ride home and [she] was like, ‘You should turn them into a blog.’ I created a blog called Girl with a Job. It was like a diary but I forgot that other people could read it too and it was actually really mean. [Eventually] I got fired so I was obsessed with the idea of being a blogger and I just brought it back and made it Girl with No Job because I got fired. Then I started exploring different platforms (Instagram, specifically) and it kind of blossomed, even more so than the blog.”
2. Don’t Underestimate the Value of Experience Over School (Sometimes)
“I worked all throughout college, even when Girl with No Job became successful. I was working in media, in social media, in PR, and nothing that I learned in school or at an internship could even equal what I learned by just doing Girl with No Job, building my own brand, traveling, doing different things. It was really a self-taught kind of thing and yes, I feel like I was definitely better off going to NYU and learning all these things but, at the end of the day, school just got in my way toward the end.”
3. You’re Allowed to Have Favorites but Don’t Forget About the Root of Your Success
“I feel like Instagram will always have my heart but I really am obsessed with Snapchat. I cannot stop Snapchatting. If I had to have one app on my phone, it would have to be Instagram because it’s how I pay my bills but I really think I would need Snapchat.”
4. Cater Your Content to the Platform and to Who is on the Platform
“Each [social media] platform requires a different kind of content. You have to cater your content toward what type of platform it is and then who is on that platform. [On Snapchat] I have to be up with what’s going on in pop culture whereas Instagram might skew a little bit older so I have the freedom to, like, say curses.”
5. Don’t Ignore People’s Emails
“I feel like a meme is a repurposed piece of content and it sucks because someone will submit something to you saying it’s theirs and then literally, unbeknownst to me, someone else wrote it six years ago. On the Internet, in general, it’s impossible to know where something came from and you have to really do your best and you can’t be an a--hole and you can’t ignore people’s emails. You have to do your best at trying the hardest you can to figure out who wrote [something you’re posting]. Sometimes you’re going to get it wrong and it sucks and people are going to write you emails, but if you do your best to figure out where it originated, it’s not that hard.”
6. Learn from Those That Came Before You
“When I was younger, I met [Leandra Medine, who runs the Man Repeller blog] at a Shabbat dinner and then she actually reached out to me a little while ago and I’ve gotten to talk to her and know her. She’s really smart and really nice so now I feel cool [that] I know her.”
7. Know Your Audience
“[My audience] is really Gen Z [and] millennial and that’s why brands die because I really have this unique age range of 16 to 25. But then there’s also this really big mom community that I’m just learning about. I go around and I hear: ‘My mom is obsessed with you.’ I’m like, ‘Your mom?’”
Claudia Oshry and her fiancé Ben Soffer.
8. Set Realistic Expectations When Working with Brands
“A lot of people think: ‘We sell T shirts so if [she] has 2.3 million followers, [we] will sell 2.3 million T shirts. No. Odds are you’re going to sell a lot of T shirts but that’s not really the point of doing social marketing. Yes, it’s going to encourage people to buy the things but the more important reason why you’re doing it is to familiarize people with the brand, to familiarize people with a product.”
9. You’re Allowed to Go Fanmode
“Harry Styles [is the coolest celebrity that follows me]. I have one chance to direct message him. I haven’t done it yet because I can only do it once and it has to be amazing or funny or smart or something. I don’t know when I’m going to but I’m waiting for the right moment to do it. [If he reached out to me] I would literally go into cardiac arrest. You would need to take me to the NYU hospital. I would die.”
10. Always be Professional
“By just watching episodes of the Kardashians I learned so much about being a woman in media. When I’m ever not feeling well or thinking about canceling something, I literally think: ‘Kris Jenner does not let you cancel.’ I never cancel on anyone and I really try to never be late.”
11. Don’t be Scared to Draw a Line
“[Do I ever feel overexposed?] No. When it’s coming to planning my wedding, a lot of different brands and networks have reached out about filming it and I am definitely doing a lot of press stuff around the dress and the venue and the planning but when it comes to actually filming the ceremony, it’s so intimate. So I think when it comes to that, that’s when I draw the line. But I don’t fault people who do it because it’s awesome. A part of me wants to do it.”
12. Don’t do it for All the Wrong Reasons… but Have a Reason to do it
“I feel like if you set out to be an influencer to get money and fame, that’s a really inauthentic way to go about it. Don’t do it for the wrong reasons. I feel really strongly about body image and confidence. I feel like it’s really important to talk about body issues [and] fat shaming. That’s something I’m really passionate about and that’s kind of my platform and my message.”