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Local social media influencer Margaret Skiff hits her stride documenting life in Arlington

While many TikTokers share their perfect days in D.C., one recent grad has found a recipe for social media success by sticking closer to her home in Arlington.

Since graduating from Roanoke College and moving to Arlington in 2020, Maine native Margaret Skiff has accumulated more than 60,000 followers for videos inspired by this life transition, including tips on budgeting and relocating to the D.C. area.

While her account was originally geared towards caring for houseplants, Skiff found herself wanting to share more general lifestyle content. At first, she struggled with whether to lean into being across the river from D.C.

“I felt a lot of pressure at first to brand myself as a D.C. influencer because, you know, closest major city. Everyone’s like, ‘This is a day in my life in D.C.,’ and I had just seen that and I felt like that’s what resonated with people,” Skiff told ARLnow. “But I was like, ‘You know what? I don’t live in D.C. I live in Arlington. And there are plenty of people that live on this side of the river that will also relate to my content.’”

As she posted more Arlington-centric day-in-the-life videos, she watched her following, particularly among Northern Virginians, grow.

“It was very slow going at first, I was kind of just posting whatever, and then I had a couple of videos that started to do really well,” Skiff said. “Within six months I gained over 30,000 followers, and then it’s kind of been steady growth ever since.”

On her TikTok, Instagram and YouTube pages, Skiff now shares a mix of daily video blogs, budget breakdowns and fashion ideas on top of the ups and downs of working a 9-5 job in corporate America. Her TikTok page has more than 4.5 million likes, owing to her honesty about her life and work.

When it comes to Arlington-specific lifestyle tips, the local social media content creator says she typically keeps to Clarendon, Courthouse and Ballston. She enjoys Spider Kelly’s for a late-night spot, Maison Cheryl for an upscale dinner, and the Brass Rabbit for happy hour. In addition, her videos regularly feature local farmers markets and other popular spots like Brooklyn Bagel Bakery.

While not all of her followers are from Arlington, she does share tips for making friends and getting involved.

“There are so many cool and fun ways to make friends in D.C., especially right out of college,” Skiff said in a TikTok posted in July where she discusses social adult sport leagues in the area.

Skiff tells ARLnow the key to success is posting things that her audience will find relatable, whether that is lighter fare — such as finding the perfect dress for a summer wedding — or more serious topics, including mental health.

“Sometimes, you know, not everyone’s going to like everything that you post, but I try to be conscious of how other people are going to feel about it,” Skiff said.

In April, Skiff was open about her experience of being laid off after three months at her job. She detailed everything from how she budgeted after losing her salary to her job search process to trying out full-time content creation. Skiff started a new job in early June and continued to create videos throughout the adjustment period that came with a new workplace.

Her transparency during this stage of her career resonated with followers experiencing the same thing.

“I too am unemployed and this made me feel a little better,” one commenter wrote under one video in which she shared a day in her life after losing her job.

Skiff’s time in Arlington will come to a close next year when she moves to Boston. In retrospect, she says Arlington, and its population of young professionals, felt like a good place to land.

“Graduating from school and being able to go live in a place where you have a lot of people that are in the same position as you, it makes you feel more at home, and not so much like a stranger,” Skiff said.

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