Social Media Stars Making a Social Impact: Why & How Kasey Ma Is Helping To Change Our World

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Be positive. Try to always look at the glass half full. It’s easy to get caught up in thinking about everything that’s not going right, or what’s progressing so slowly. Make sure to always write down and celebrate the wins and what is going right for you and how you are positively impacting the community you are trying to help. Thinking positively will put you in the right mindset to get over hurdles and build upon your business and ultimately, help attract opportunities towards you. Practice the law of attraction. Be positive and positive things will happen to you.

As a part of our series about leaders who are using their social media platform to make a significant social impact, we had the pleasure of interviewing Kasey Ma.

Kasey Ma is a social media influencer and star of Amazon Prime’s The One That Got Away. She’s using her social media influence to start an Asian American and Pacific Islanders focused influencer management agency and network that helps creators make money doing what they love to do.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Like a lot of creators who started, I felt very stifled in my job in corporate retail — constantly burying my head in Excel sheets and analyzing data every day. I was working at corporate retail conglomerates such as Macy’s and Lord and Taylor, as an Assistant Planner, Pricing Manager, and eventually a consultant at a data analytics firm for pricing software. As much as that appealed to my nerdy, Economics-degree side, I still had this creative, artsy persona inside me that I felt wasn’t being tended to. Just within months into my first job, I launched my fashion blog,, alongside my Instagram to help promote it. After work, I would come home at 10:30PM every night, publish 3 articles a week and 2–3 Instagram posts a day. I was so passionate in sharing my love for fashion to the world while also writing about motivational content. I was doing all of this without the knowledge that you could get paid doing this. The term “influencer” wasn’t even coined yet and no one was really making money from this. I truly loved what I was doing. Finally, 6 months later into publishing my content, I was getting reached out to by companies who offered to pay me to promote their clothing. I could not believe I was making money from my passion so quickly.

Fast forward to 2 years later in 2017, I decided to take the leap and become full-time, and not for a reason you’d expect. I was flying back home from a retail client of mine in Columbus, Ohio. Just after take-off, I get up out of my seat to ask the flight attendant for some water. Next thing I know, I feel myself falling backwards. Apparently, I had blacked out, hit the back of my head on the hard plastic of the airplane armrests, and had collapsed on the floor. All I remember is me laying on the floor, slowly opening my eyes, and hearing the plane’s intercom announcing, “We will be making an emergency landing — a passenger needs to be rushed to the emergency room.” I woke up thinking, “Why am I on the floor? How did I get here? How did I let my health be pushed to this limit?” As neighboring passengers filled me in on how I got there, I was just in complete shock.

After the planed landed, I was rushed to a hospital and stayed overnight in Cleveland, Ohio. It was 4 in the morning, and none of my friends, family, or boyfriend at the time was up to receive my calls and let them know I was there. I was so scared for my wellbeing. I had pushed myself to not only work this 65+ hour-a-week consulting job where I was traveling every other week, but I also was running my blog and Instagram for the 40 remaining hours of the week.

It was in that moment that I knew I could not sustain pursuing both jobs fully. I had to choose between my very lucrative 6-figure job or take the full leap of faith into trying to work for myself and my passion. I thought to myself, ‘I am 25 years old, I don’t have kids, I am not married — THIS is the right time to take a huge risk. My mom had also just gotten diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer a month prior, so the idea that I could potentially be home more often was a no brainer for me. And that’s when I went full force into becoming a full-time influencer. To this day, 8 years later, I never went back to another job again.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this career?

Maybe not the most interesting story, but the most interesting thing that happened to me was getting discovered by both MTV/Viacom and Amazon Prime to star in two different reality shows. The first one wound up not happening because of COVID and the pandemic quite literally shut down all studios globally for two years. I was actually in the final round of interviews before filming was about to start, then boom, the next day, the world shut down. Two years later, the casting producers remembered me and asked me to star on Amazon Prime’s 1st dating show, “The One That Got Away”, a show about dating people from our past (not exes), and having them revisit us in the present for another shot at love. I did not even apply to these shows, but I was discovered through my social media platforms!

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I feel like I’ve made so many mistakes and embraced them all so much, I can’t think of one that stands out as a huge lesson! All I know is that with every mistake, I became more skilled at what I was doing because I knew how to do it better the next time.

You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?

I want to be careful with the word “blessed”. You don’t become successful in a challenging industry just because of luck or being “blessed”. I believe success in a creative industry is mostly hard work, perseverance, and then the last ingredient may be that stroke of luck. If luck strikes you and you have no foundation or momentum in your journey towards success, that luck will just pass you by.

For those who are scared to pursue their dreams due to the fear of failure, a piece of advice is to simply embrace the failure. You cannot be successful without a multitude of failures. Failures are quite literally the stepping stones to success. Without failure, you cannot learn the tools you need to use to do better for next time. Success is not a linear progression, it is a roller coaster, and you need to go along for the ride through all its up’s and down’s in order to get to the final destination.

Ok super. Let’s now jump to the core focus of our interview. Can you describe to our readers how you are using your platform to make a significant social impact?

Absolutely. Well, I’ve been doing social media full-time for over 8 years now, and I knew I’ve always wanted to do something bigger. After some years of constantly churning out content, I began to feel kind of bored and selfish just posting about myself. I was on the verge of getting burnt out and wanting to quit, but once my show came out on Amazon Prime, I realized how much more of a positive image I had with my community. On TV, I was portrayed as a strong Asian American woman who didn’t bode similar characteristics to a “traditional, submissive Asian woman.” On the contrary, on several occasions during filming, I stood up for myself in scenarios in which people tried to disrespect me or take advantage of my kindness.

After the show, my reputation in the social media and entertainment industry became even more well-known and positive. From then on, I knew I could have a strong impact in media as an AAPI individual. I then decided to launch my influencer management agency, Untamed Agency, to help creators succeed and make money in social media just like I had for years. I finally could give back to the community and feel less selfish about my purpose on social media. I decided to focus on the AAPI community because it’s already hard enough as it is to be successful in this industry, and it’s even harder to be successful as an Asian or Asian American. American brands want to hire mostly Caucasian models and ambassadors, so I wanted to be at the forefront and be a leader for AAPI creators everywhere.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted by this cause?

I can’t think of a particular individual, but it is a well-known fact that there is a lack of representation of Asians and Asian Americans in the social media and entertainment industry.

Was there a tipping point that made you decide to focus on this particular area? Can you share a story about that?

When I first thought about launching the influencer agency, I didn’t think about focusing it solely on the AAPI community. However, after doing a lot of research on the top influencer agencies in the United States, I realized that most of their roster was filled with Caucasian creators. There was a huge lack of representation of minorities. Even though it may not be as lucrative, I decided to focus on minorities so I could be in their corner. After more thought, I realized I didn’t even know of an agency who only focused on uplifting Asian and Asian American voices. Once I saw that this niche was missing, I knew immediately that this was what I needed to focus on — my own kind. All of a sudden, the agency went from being just a business to now serving a mission to help my community.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

I think that the American society should focus on employing more Asians and Asian Americans in industries that may be lacking representation. We need to make it a priority to donate to social causes like Stop Asian Hate or Hate Is a Virus, and be more humanitarian towards the AAPI community. I believe society and politicians can do a better job of raising more awareness of the racism and impartial treatment that Asians and Asian Americans face on a daily basis.

Why do you think social media in particular has the power to create social change and create a positive impact on humanity?

Social media right now is the most influential marketing tool out there. Think about it — the last thing you do before you go to bed is check your phone. The first thing you do in the morning is check your phone. Whether we’d like to admit it or not, we all have some sort of codependence to our mobile phones, in good and bad ways. And since everyone checks their social media so often, it’s up to us as influencers and changemakers to produce content that can positively impact our communities and consumers. For example, as a successful entrepreneur and content creator, if I wrote an article or filmed a video about my daily habits and career advice, a lot of my followers and friends would read the article and be influenced by what I have to say. I really do feel that it is a duty of ours as creators to positively impact those around us, and social media has helped us do just that.

What specific strategies have you been using to promote and advance this cause? Can you recommend any good tips for people who want to follow your lead and use their social platform for a social good?

As cliché as it sounds, just stay 100% authentic and be yourself. Document your winnings and things you do for the community, and your audience will find you. If you want your social media to grow, be active. Post on Instagram stories every day and post on your feed 3–5 times a week. Be relevant and cover topics that are trending. Be engaging with your audience. Be opinionated and don’t be afraid of what people think. Not everyone is going to like you, but those who do, will stay.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Focus on something that even if you couldn’t make money from it, that you would still work equally as hard. The reason why I started my content creation wasn’t to make money. In fact, I didn’t even know you could make money from it! I wanted to start my blog in order to motivate others going through the same life experiences and hardships as a woman in her mid-20’s in New York City. The fashion photos followed, but they were never the main focus. It was with this purpose in mind that I was able to keep going at it every day, even when I was making zero dollars.
  2. You won’t be able to sleep a lot — find ways to cope with stress, lack of sleep, and frustration. Too many times I would get burned out and want to give up. I would want to give up because it was just too difficult, and I felt like I wasn’t progressing as fast as I had wanted to. My anxiety and depression had surfaced, and it wasn’t until a few panic attacks later, that I knew I had to learn how to cope through the difficult times when my body and mental health couldn’t take it anymore. It was through weekly therapy sessions, meditation, yoga, and consistent exercise that I was finally able to maintain a healthy mind and body to set myself up for success.
  3. Have a “constant” in your life. Since you are being an entrepreneur in your own way, your life will be chaotic, unpredictable, and at times, reactive. Find something to ground you that won’t really change as your life does. This can be a hobby like dancing or singing, spending time with your loved ones, or playing a sport and working out with your friends. You need to learn how to create your own work-life balance because it’s easy to get caught up in working too much and become a workaholic. Learning how to balance your life is key to becoming successful at anything you do in life.
  4. Be patient. Success doesn’t come over night. You could be working for months and barely see any progress towards the ultimate goal you created for yourself. It’s important to not only be patient, but also make sure you look back at yourself every day and see how much you’ve accomplished. Every little bit of progress stacks up into a lot of progress in the long run. Focus on your mission and keep working at it — success will come.
  5. Be positive. Try to always look at the glass half full. It’s easy to get caught up in thinking about everything that’s not going right, or what’s progressing so slowly. Make sure to always write down and celebrate the wins and what is going right for you and how you are positively impacting the community you are trying to help. Thinking positively will put you in the right mindset to get over hurdles and build upon your business and ultimately, help attract opportunities towards you. Practice the law of attraction. Be positive and positive things will happen to you.

You are a person of enormous 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. 🙂

I feel like I am already starting a movement by being an advocate and leader in the AAPI community, but if I could take it even further, I’d like to start an organization to help employ Asian immigrants and also bring awareness to the ongoing racism and microaggressions that Asians and Asian Americans have to face daily.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a power lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Oprah Winfrey. I always admired how she had such a beautiful way of speaking to people and comforting those in need. She is so generous and has such a beautiful influence on the world. I would love to be someone just like her.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Instagram: @kaseyma

Untamed Agency Instagram: @untamedagencyla






This was very meaningful. Thank you so much!

Social Media Stars Making a Social Impact: Why & How Kasey Ma Is Helping To Change Our World was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.