Updated: Aug 6
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Content creation is my full-time job. In just a few short years, I've grown an engaged audience of over 140,000 total followers across multiple platforms, had my photos published in print, and been featured in numerous major publications. I've signed five-figure deals, worked with partners that include numerous Fortune 500 companies, and built a business that I love.
And I've done it all with a phone as my primary means of creation - well my sole means, given that I don't own a traditional camera.
With my iPhone, which I've upgraded over the years from an iPhone 10 to now a 13 Pro, I take my photos, film video content for my own purposes and for partners, and more. While I prefer to edit on a computer for the larger screen, my phone also serves me well for editing and creating graphics when I'm busy and on the go. It's the ideal tool as it's always on hand, designed to be portable, and is also relatively inconspicuous.
Can you really be an influencer or content creator with just a phone?
You don't need fancy tools to be successful as an influencer or content creator. My career is a testament to that. None of my brand partners have ever had an issue with my work being created on a phone. Instead, my ability to tell a story and connect with my audience has been most important. The best tools are the ones you have access to and know how to use. Yes, some brands will specifically be looking for creators to partner with who have a full camera setup and more advanced photography skills. Sometimes, you may play the comparison game with others who have "fancier" equipment and feel behind.
But relying on a phone is not a hindrance to your work or career as a content creator. In fact, as long as it's a relatively newer phone so the camera is up to date, there are even advantages to being a phone-only creator.
First, you'll be more likely to capture those unscripted, off-the-cuff moments if you rely on the tool you're most likely to have on hand. When was the last time you went somewhere without a phone? Second, especially for platforms like TikTok, filming with a phone is preferred as it makes the content you produce feel more native to the platform. And TikTok has impacted other social media platforms as well, including Instagram, making the picture-perfect style of the past less prevalent on the platform. Those raw moments you snap on your phone might just be the key to success in the evolving social media age. Finally, working with a phone can lower the cost of content creation, making it more accessible and encouraging creators to stop worrying about getting the right tools and to just start creating.
The Tools I Use As A Full-Time, iPhone Only Content Creator
Let's make some phone magic!
Below are my favorite accessories, apps, and tools I use in conjunction with my phone to create content. I use them regularly to create for social media, my subscription community, and brand partnerships.
Remember, the tools you have are not nearly as important as how you use them, how you work to level up your skills over time, and how you build community and credibility with your audience. Those are the things that will determine your success as an influencer or content creator.
So yes, even with just a phone, you got this!
Apps & Digital Tools For Phone Content Creation
I subscribe to the entire Adobe Creative Cloud Suite. It's about $50 a month for the all-apps subscription and I can't stress enough how useful it is. In particular, Adobe apps are my go-to for photo and video editing. I use Adobe Rush for quick video editing projects on my phone (and it was a relatively easy software to learn) and Premiere Pro and Lightroom regularly. Especially as video becomes more important for social media, mastering a video editing software like one of those offered by Adobe is vital. Pro Tip: In addition to making better quality videos than you could make using the tools provided by social media apps, using a third-party editor allows you to make one video and then tweak and export it in multiple formats and orientations. With minimal additional effort, you can quickly use one piece of video content on multiple platforms without any pesky watermark issues which can depress your video reach.
I use Later to schedule social media content for multiple platforms. Especially as I work to repurpose content and ensure coverage on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, Later either auto-publishes or sends a push notification so I can keep it all straight and don't forget to post. Later also has great tools to help with hashtag strategy for Instagram, a link in bio tool, post analytics, and more.
Learning to edit photos well takes a lot of time if you don't already have that skill set. And while you will get faster and more proficient at editing, Lightroom presets can professionalize your photos while you learn to do it manually. Parker Arrow offers good starter sets for presets.
Canva Pro is easier to learn and use than other tools such as Illustrator and can do almost everything I need. From creating media kits to social media graphics and more, Canva likely has a template and tools to get to a finished product I'm happy with. For Reels cover photos on Instagram, I also use Canva to create them with a consistent look.
Physical Tools & Accessories For Phone Content Creation
I have tried various lower-cost alternative versions of this kit, and have finally settled on this one as a must. It's high quality, works well, and I've traveled with it for work multiple times. The microphone is great for capturing quality sound during interviews, the phone tripod for getting perfectly still video shots, and the light that comes with this kit is particularly great. The diffuser cover makes for soft even lighting, the battery lasts for a long time, it fits in my bag without taking up too much space and has quickly become my favorite tool. If you just want the light without the rest of the kit, you can find it here.
For overhead videography, which is great for recipe and how-to videos, I highly recommend this phone tripod. It was an investment at $209, but I use it almost every day and it has dramatically improved my video quality.
Find the rest of my preferred affordable tools for blogging in my Amazon shop, including the tripod I use for Instagram lives, the lights I use to shoot at home, affordable photography backdrops, and more.