Becoming a pilot is a serious feat. According to the FAA, burgeoning pilots need to acquire 1,500 flight hours before they can become an Airline Transport Pilot, and 250 flight hours to become a commercial pilot. This illustrates the dedication and expertise that pilots have to accumulate before their piloting career has even begun.
Kay Hall, who has a private pilot license, has been able to make another career out of her piloting process. Kay turned to social media as a fun and educational way to document her flights while accruing her flight hours. She has done so by using her affectionately named airplane: Lil Red. From this, FlyWithKay was born. The pilot has now been able to amass a dedicated following across TikTok and Instagram – where she regularly highlights her travels and experience as a pilot. In fact, Kay’s followers are so interested in her story and her journey that she has been able to publish a book on it: Becoming FlyWithKay: Plain to Social Media Fame.
Maneuvering Between Flying and Social Media Fame
To many, focusing on being both a social media influencer and becoming a pilot would seem tremendously daunting. Both require consistency and dedication. On the social media front, it might seem like a simple process, but in reality, influencers put a lot of time and effort into crafting engaging and interesting content. Kay has been able to navigate both aspects of her career smoothly. This is largely due to the fact that Kay is able to combine her flight hours with her social media posting. Her followers are interested and engaged with her documentation of her flights.
When asked which was easier, becoming a pilot or getting followers on social media, Kay candidly responds, “Both are hard, but getting started on social media was much harder than I imagined.” This is definitely due to the commitment that it requires to build an active following on social media. Influencers cannot simply be entertaining. A great deal of business savvy is required as influencers navigate engagement levels, brand deals, and follower interaction.
Kay, however, has been able to find balance and harmony between her two career avenues. By optimizing her flight hours to also obtain content for social media – she can participate in both her passions at once, and build a career simultaneously. Kay has also taken to ‘going live’ on her social media accounts. This is an interesting way to allow followers to engage with her, and also showcase her activity in real-time. Additionally, the influencer documents events she attends, like flight shows. This gives followers an insight into the other facets of Kay’s life.
Kay’s book, Becoming FlyWithKay: Plain to Social Media Fame, offers Kay’s perspective on all the changes in her life, from building flight hours to soaring on social media. The book’s blurb notes that readers can, “follow along with Kay from paycheck to paycheck, to pilot, to social media creator,” and, “Gain insight into the true cost of becoming famous on a social platform. Learning to live with the different rules of TikTok, Instagram and YouTube is a full time job.”
The Social Media Effect
Kay has over 2 million followers on social media across TikTok and Instagram. Followers are invited to participate, as she tries to answer their queries and throws in some interesting facts about flying, travel, and lifestyle.This makes Kay an influencer that anyone can enjoy – both flying enthusiast and everyone alike. Whilst many followers have expressed a desire to pursue flying thanks to Kay’s posts, other followers simply enjoy the content she creates and find her posts to be entertaining to watch and look at.
Kay notes that, “I was inspired to document my flights when ‘Lil Red’ came into our possession. However, I soon realized I needed to start a company to manage everything since social media became my primary career.” Kay adds, “What I love about my life journey so far is that I have attained my dream to fly, and with the help of social media, I can send a positive message to other women who dream about an aviation career.” Now, Kay has developed her own company where she is able to explore brand deals, marketing, and other entrepreneurial pursuits that relate to her newfound career on social media.
Becoming a pilot is no easy ordeal, and it can be even more difficult when you factor in a social media career as well. Kay Hall has been able to create a career out of her passion, and discover a new one along the way. Her career path was surprising, but she can now place influencer, pilot, and author as titles under her belt. With her new business, more doors are opening up for her to continue to evolve on social media and outside of it. Regardless, followers eagerly await her posts, live sessions, and TikTok videos.