Isabella Lanter is a content creator, micro influencer, and entrepreneur based out of Kansas. Some of the content she creates is related to beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. But a large portion of it is dedicated to the anti-MLM movement. With her videos, she hopes to educate people on the dangers of multi-level marketing companies (MLMs). In addition to all that, she also works as a micro influencer for multiple brands. She even started her own business by launching merch back in September. Needless to say, she’s a busy force to be reckon with!
I was so happy and honoured to chat with Isabella a while back. In this exclusive interview, she answered questions about creating content, being a micro influencer, the anti-MLM movement, and more. Check it out below!
E: Could you please provide some background on yourself?
Isabella Lanter (IL): I’m 20 years old and am currently a full-time college student going for a business and marketing degree. I have an amazing boyfriend and an adorable puppy, and we currently live in Kansas until he and I finish up school!
E: How did you get into creating fashion & lifestyle content?
IL: Before, I only created makeup content since that was what I loved. I was a bit nervous to expand on my creative content because people knew me for makeup. But I got the confidence at the beginning of 2020, and ran with it. I’ve always been obsessed with dressing up, and I wanted to share more of me and the things I loved to do. It was an awesome change and I’m so glad I started. Now I get to share my love of fashion, coffee addiction, and so much more!
E: What do you hope viewers take away from you fashion & lifestyle content?
IL: I honestly would love for people to take away that they can do this, and that they can relate to me and my content. A major goal I have is to resonate with my audience. I want to be honest and real so other people can be like, “Ahhh finally, someone who’s this way too.” I would love people to be inspired and feel like they can relate. That’s why I pop onto my Stories looking like a mess because I try and embrace that there’s nothing wrong with no makeup or not looking “perfect”, according to society’s standards.
E: You also create beauty content through your “Ministry & Makeup” series on YouTube. For those unaware, what is this series about?
IL: This is such a fun series. At the beginning of 2020, I felt a strong pull to create it. It’s where I do my makeup while I tell a story from the Bible so the audience can understand it better. I was someone that wanted to grow in my faith- but man, the Bible can be difficult to read or understand. So I wanted to help someone in a way that I struggled before.
E: Do you consider yourself to be a micro influencer?
IL: I honestly consider myself to be a micro influencer. I believe I am because through my Instagram and videos, I’ve noticed an awesome group of people inspired or “influenced” by what I create. I see my influence being put into action and it’s so cool. I honestly consider it an honor to have this experience, and I hope I can keep running with it more.
E: What has been your biggest achievement as a micro influencer?
IL: A major accomplishment for me was getting onto Ulta, Sally Beauty, Target, and Eva NYC websites. I did a collaborative project with Eva NYC where I was able to do photos for their products, and it was the craziest thing ever. From buying their products when I was broke living in a dorm room to working with them was so surreal!
E: What is the biggest challenge that comes with being a micro influencer?
IL: I believe the major two issues are being grouped with other influencers that aren’t the greatest and really bad hate comments. The first part is difficult because some people have this perception as “influencers” as a whole, and it’s usually negative. I so agree that there are some iffy people out there that use their audience. But I try so hard to show my audience that I truly care. Do I want this to become a full-time career? Absolutely! But I also want to have a good and real connection with my audience because they’re the ones that have given me a platform.
The second struggle would be the hate comments, and them manifesting into something that shouldn’t happen. I’ve seen some influencers have one person create a rumor about them, and then it blew up from others believing it, and it made them struggle in the future. I would truly hate for a false rumor or hate comment to be shared about myself because then it discourages some to see the real me.
E: What advice do you have for aspiring micro influencers?
IL: Don’t ever lose your authenticity. Be real and take chances! Don’t be scared to switch up your niche. Be real with your audience, and they’ll love that. Spread so much love. Also, nothing has to be perfect when you start. I started with a phone and a dream- anything is possible. We all have to start with bad quality photos and struggles. Don’t let it discourage you. You can do this!!!
E: Another big part of your YouTube channel and content is being part of the anti-MLM movement. How did you become a part of this movement?
IL: It honestly started over a year ago, I believe. My mom was in an MLM when I was young, and I also had family members in MLMs. I had been recruited before, but never got into one. I knew something didn’t feel right deep down. I did some digging and realized I was right. I decided to dive in and talk about it on my channel in hopes that I could protect someone from dealing with the struggles I had witnessed with others in MLMs.
E: In your opinion, why are multi-level marketing companies (MLMs) a bad thing?
IL: MLMs are bad because their biggest money maker is harming financially unstable people. Then it progresses to affecting people mentally even. That isn’t ok to me. I will always fight for those who are being screwed over from that.
E: How do you use your platform to educate others on the dangers of MLMs?
IL: I understand that people want to entertained while learning. I completely resonate with that. So I started making anti-MLM react videos that would show real-life examples that- at the same time- would educate others, and maybe even give us a little bit of a laugh too. I also have a series where I dive into individual MLMs and talk about every aspect of the company as a whole. That helps so much because they do so well to where I have messages from old videos popping up today from people telling me they left an MLM because of the video. Praise Jesus!!
E: How do you gather your research on your MLM deep dives?
IL: I have many ways of getting research. I do research on lawsuits, the business, their fine print, other articles (reliable ones) and what they have to say. I also look into what consultants post and what patterns most of them follow. But one of the biggest things I do is get the info from the source itself. I realized that I needed to cover all areas so that way, if someone in an MLM came across my video, I had every ounce of a chance to show them the real and raw truth. I do “MLM catfishing”. I pretend to be a girl through a fake Instagram account interested in the MLM, and I reach out to some people involved in the hopes they’ll answer my questions and guide me towards the “truth”. I get on a phone call and listen. It’s sad, but I knew that was the only way to talk to the source because anytime I reached out to them before, they’d block me or harass me. So it allows me to get the word from the people and share it. It’s more believable when you hear it from the consultants themselves. I usually try to reach out to the big big consultants. The ones with thousands of people under them because they’ve been in the game for years and honestly…they’re doing the messiest stuff.
E: Why is it so important for you to educate people on the dangers of MLMs?
IL: I want to protect them from going through these struggles. MLMs prey on any vulnerability you have. I’ve talked to people who have gone into $10 000 in debt, were emotionaly harmed, or mentally scared from the pressure. It sounds like a cult nightmare, and I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy!
E: Do you believe that there has been a bigger legal crackdown on MLMs since the coronavirus pandemic?
IL: I absolutely do. MLMs wanted to desperately capitalize off of the “people losing jobs” factor. The recruitment posts sky rocketed and the manipulation was terrible. Not to mention the horrible medical claims people made about their products to “protect them” from the virus. The FTC was fed up, and I am so glad.
E: What do you think it will take to ultimately get rid of MLMs?
IL: I think It will take two things: For an MLM to get sloppy, for the FTC to get fed up and shut them down as a whole. Thankfully, we’re seeing at trend of these MLMs getting sloppy and getting into legal trouble, which is helping the cause so much more. The FTC is also getting harder on them, which is amazing! I hope that someday, they just sit back and make it to where MLMs are illegal business practices as a whole. If gambling is a better opportunity than an MLM, there’s a major problem!
E: What has been your biggest achievement since joining the anti-MLM movement?
IL: Honestly, connecting with amazing new people and helping people get out of their MLM. I truly feel so overjoyed knowing they are free from that terrible pressure and business. To me, that’s worth it all. Hands down.
E: What advice would you give to someone who is currently in an MLM, or is considering joining an MLM?
IL: Please do your research and look everything up. YouTube has become an incredible source. Don’t trust your old high school friend- please just look around and ask some people about it. I am so sure you will find the real truth about it.
E: I understand you recently launched a business of your own. Could you please talk about what the experience was like?
IL: Yesss!!! I am so excited about this! I have always wanted to do this, and it’s been an amazing experience. It took a ton of research, asking questions, and help with Legal Zoom. I was able to get it going and find a way to share my creativity in a new way!!
E: What do you think is next for you and your career?
IL: Honestly, I don’t know! I had goals at the beginning of this year and half of them didn’t happen. But they were replaced with even better experiences. I tcchink I will grow more on YouTube, which is so exciting. But hey- I am just here for the ride, and to see what new things God will bring to me!!
E: Where can people find you?
IL: You can follow me on Twitter (@Lanterisabella), and on Instagram (@isabellalanter). You can subscribe to YouTube channel under my name, Isabella Lanter. You can also by my merch at Isabellalanter.com!