It’s not easy to go viral on social media. It’s even harder to leverage that fleeting virality into long-term success.
Charly Jordan has managed to do just that.
Jordan, with eight million fans on TikTok, 4.9 million followers on Instagram and over 500K subscribers on YouTube, has taken her overnight social media fame and converted that into a blossoming career as a music artist and entrepreneur. She is one of the few female DJ’s with a Las Vegas Residency at Zouk Group, and the founder of Smoke Roses, a cleaner alternative for rolling papers, and Beauty in Pain, a community that helps raise awareness around eliminating the stigma and lack of understanding towards mental health. Jordan speaks on her the secrets to her massive success to date, how she carefully built a giant, organized team to support goals, and her future charity endeavors.
Frederick Daso: What drove your evolution from being a social media influencer to becoming a rising star DJ on the music circuit?
Charly Jordan: I loved doing social media when I first started, but as we all know, social media has changed rapidly over time. As the times changed, I changed as well. Music was always a passion of mine, especially being from Las Vegas. I’ve always been passionate about going to music festivals and seeing so many artists. I decided that I wanted to build something more long-term for myself, and that’s why I got into music. It kind of naturally came with what I was doing. I never really planned on it being my career or my job, but it was something that I was extremely passionate about. I blew up on social media at a very young age, so it was cool to find what I was passionate about and share that with my audience as I’ve come into my own as an adult.
Daso: Fantastic. Leading into my next question here, how did you get the opportunity to get a residency in Vegas?
Jordan: Having residency in Las Vegas is the epitome of any DJ’s music career. It’s one of the most sought-after things. Every DJ is trying for residencies all the time. I have been trying to get a residency for years because it’s the best consistent money, and having an amazing working relationship with one consistent hotel and client is always really amazing. I was supposed to have a residency at Hakkasan before the pandemic. Obviously, with everything that happened, it ended up not happening. It was very all over the place if I was going to be able to secure another residency, but I’m now with Zouk Group at Resorts World, which has been so incredible. I have an incredible team, and my hometown connection to Las Vegas makes everything come full circle. What’s crazy is the hotel that was there before resorts world started up.
What’s crazy is that my grandfather was the attorney at the Stardust hotel, which got ripped down and replaced by Resorts World. So, playing there is truly full circle. He passed away when I was in high school so it’s a very special thing for me. My family has deep roots in Vegas so the transition was seamless and it just made sense.
Daso: Whereas many run away from their anxiety, you choose to lean into it. How does that change how you approach mental health as a content creator and as a DJ and speak about it with your audience who face their own challenges?
Jordan: That’s an amazing question. Being mentally healthy is of the utmost importance. Such a big part of my job is being emotional and influential to other people. You must make sure you’re taking care of yourself before you start to influence or take care of other people. I believe that taking care of myself first has allowed me to help so many people, which is what I’m passionate about down to my core. When I speak to individuals and when I go about my work life, I am a very emotional person, and I’m proud to say that. Being emotionally intelligent isn’t bad.
It has helped me so much in my life with the decisions I’ve made with my businesses and my career. Everything that I do, I do with longevity. I always treat people like they’re human. I don’t treat people like they’re disposable. The people that I have been able to meet so far are so cool. Everything I do, I love. The respect and love the people I surround myself with drives my success. It’s not just surface level people coming in and out of my life all the time.
Daso: Awesome. Given the variety of products and initiatives you’re involved in, how did you build a team to support your short and long-term endeavors?
Jordan: Initially, when I started, as do many young people, I thought I could do it independently. Over time through people that genuinely had an interest in what I was doing and were just there to help and support me, I’ve been able to build the most incredible team ever. The only reason I’m where I’m at right now is because of them. I respect them. I love them, just like I said earlier, and from creatives that I’ve worked with my manager to my publicity PR to business management attorneys, I’m pulling up to their offices bi-weekly, we’re hanging out, we’re getting stuff done! Those are some of my closest friends as well, which is cool. Many people don’t cross that over, but I’m proud to say that I’m friends with people that I work with, and the team that I’ve built has been able just exponentially to increase everything I’ve been doing.
Working with 40+ people in my team is cool because you get to experience and see the talent and beauty that other people have to offer. I like people that are good at what they do and focus on that. We’re all good at what we do, and we’re all just there to support one another. No one’s trying to take anyone’s job or copy anyone else. We all do what we’re good at and enjoy each other’s company. And that’s the best.
Daso: Would you say that when it comes to building out your team do you outsource that decision to others within the team? Or do you always have the first and final say about who you choose to work with?
Jordan: Recently, based on how exponentially large all of this is, I have delegated some of that to one other person on my team. But, up until this point, I have selected and hand-picked every single person on my team that I work with. It’s interesting, employing people and overseeing them, learning how to have team management, bonding, making sure people want personal interest and feel personally invested in what’s going on. That’s something that’s super important to me. I want everyone to feel like they have something in it for them and work towards something else. People who work with me must have something going on outside of what they do for me. I want them to be pushing to have their careers and have their own external goals.
I understand that not everything’s permanent. When you work with people you’re friends with, it gets very hard to sever those relationships, even when they become not valuable anymore. Having that mutual respect and understanding like we’re friends and if we can work together, for now, is great. I try to work with people at the level I’m at or higher. That seems to help. For a long time, I feel like people just tried to do business with everyone, which is crazy. Bad things can happen from that.
Daso: Absolutely. From our earlier conversation at Elephante, you stress the importance that if you’re an influencer for an audience, you should be aiming to make a difference. Some of these younger ones in the game don’t know what to do with the influence granted them in the form of all the attention they get. How do you hope to make a difference at scale through your social media presence?
Jordan: I still stand by that. Many of the younger influencers don’t know what they want to do yet, nor would I expect them to know what to do because they are very young, and we all go through that phase. I’m 23 now. I have a decently strong idea of what I want to do. With my music career, with the two companies that I have, Smoke Roses and Beauty in Pain, and my social media presence. I’ve been trying to bring awareness with every aspect of my career cause that’s all I can do. Long-term, I hope to be able to donate large portions of my income from everything that I’m doing. Right now, money from both my businesses goes immediately back into it. I do not see any of that. One day, I want to start my own charity, which I’ve been looking into for a while. But, for now, because I have so much going on within my music career, I’m just looking to partner up with different charities.
I’ve spoken to several charities. I’ve worked consistently with Operation Underground Railroad, a sex trafficking organization in Utah. It’s ex-Navy seals that go and prevent sex trafficking. I’m just trying to donate to that right now. For example, on Valentine’s Day and Mental Health Awareness Day, we’re making sales to donate portions of the income to those different charities. I’m looking to set up a charitable fund where no matter what sale, it’ll be in a portion of all sales going towards Operation Underground Railroad. Hopefully, we’re bouncing back and forth on the mental health one. It still hasn’t been decided, but there are two or three that we’ve been speaking to for a while. Still, I want to get back and make a difference money-wise and then hopefully, down the line, start my own charitable and make my own trips and do my own, especially environmental conservation.
That’s something important to me as well. If you go back on my Instagram, that’s almost all I did when traveling to all those third-world countries, places suffering from natural disasters. I didn’t have money. I didn’t have anything I could do at that point bring awareness through my platform. I posted about it as much as I could, posted stories, worked with brands, and for the most part, companies that I’ve worked with from the beginning have had some charitable initiative attached to it. That’s a huge part of why I pick who I work with and why I work with them. I’m training to get my scuba diving license here soon to go pick up tires out of the ocean for another huge charity based out of Florida called 4Ocean.
It’s just a huge part of my life. It will continue to be a huge part of my life in anything and everything I do. Specifically with my businesses, financially, the next step for me is to give back a significant amount.