Welcome to Kyra Ketchup a place where we catch up on the latest in youth media.
For the last decade, we’ve been tirelessly building a business at the intersection of social media, influencers, content and youth culture.
For the past few years in particular, we’ve been particularly focussed on TikTok; managing some of the biggest superstars on the platform, helping advertisers set up and run global campaigns and more recently launching our own channels that have grown to hundreds of thousands of followers.
This is the first newsletter in a 4 part blockbuster-special-opener series that combines all of our learnings and thinking to give a pretty comprehensive view on how one can become ‘TikTok Famous’.
Over the next 4 weeks we’re gonna be covering all aspects of making it big on the new golden child of social media that is TikTok;
Topics will include:
Channel strategy - setting up to win
Posting for success - how to get going
Turning virality into an audience - what to do when you pop off
Growing an audience - it’s a bit like watering a garden
How to do brand deals well - this is complicated
Revenue Diversification - we promise not to talk about NFTs
Mindset and Mental Health - a big and important topic
Transcending TikTok and going mainstream - how to do an Addison Rae
So without further ado, let’s get into it.
Today, three quarters of young people say they would consider a career in online video - and let’s face it, if you’re thinking about becoming a creator right now, you’re probably thinking about TikTok.
Success on TikTok (or any social platform tbh) is a combination of art and science and there is certainly an element of luck involved at all levels. But that said, there are some general rules you can follow that will maximize your chances of success when it comes to TikTok.
But before we start exploring this, it is important to think about whether becoming a social media star is right for you… take a minute to consider the downsides and ask if you are doing this for the right reasons.
Being a creator is not an easy job... firstly everyone on the outside doesn’t even consider it a job which on its own is instantly frustrating. Here are some downsides that it is worth considering before you get too excited:
Posting the social media content every single day is exhausting and repetitive, coming up with fresh ideas with the pressure of satisfying an insatiable audience can become a huge burden
You are at the constant mercy of a faceless algorithm that will often punish you without reason
Your every move is under the public gaze, one foot wrong and things can quite quickly spiral into a full blown witch-hunt that will sometimes end in you losing everything
Even the purest of success will sometimes be greeted with intense negativity that can take a huge toll on your mental wellbeing if you are not able to ignore it
The money can be sporadic and unpredictable, especially in the early stages
If you do “make it” your inbox will be crawling with people who want to befriend you simply for the clout
The key characteristics that we feel define a great creator are below:
A genuine talent or mastery of some sort
A passion for entertaining
Serious drive and resilience
Strong mindset and thick skin
Extreme self awareness
So… with all that said, if you’re still keen to give this a go, then let’s do it.
This week, we will be covering: Setting Up For Success
Step 1: Choosing Your Niche
Okay we get it, you’re excited to get started. You’ve been using TikTok non-stop throughout the pandemic and you have a bunch of ideas that you just know are gonna break the internet...
But before you jump straight in and start lip syncing that new Doja Cat tune, the best thing you can do is take a step back and give this some real thought, you’ll only ever have to do this once if you do it right.
Ask yourself; “what am I good at?” “what do I enjoy?” “what am I passionate about?”... makeup? cars? sports? finance? dancing? comedy? rock climbing? Building model planes?… you name it, there’s an audience for it on TikTok, so don’t worry how niche it seems.
Remember, you’re gonna be spending a lot of time making content about this topic, so do yourself a favor and make sure you’re creating content about something you actually enjoy - DO NOT choose something because it feels cool, because you think it will get more views or for any other reason except it genuinely interests you.
If you look at any of the world’s most successful creators, Wisdom Kaye (Fashion), Abby Roberts (Makeup), the majority will have a “thing” that they are passionate about and the majority will maintain a level of consistency over the course of their careers (there’s a tangent we could take here to explain how this need for consistency is actually one of the major causes for creator burnout, but we can save that for another newsletter).
Last thing on choosing your niche: Having a specific ‘vertical’ that you are passionate about not only allows you to build a core audience faster but (as we will discuss later) also allows you to eventually monetize much better further down the line.
Step 2: Study the community
Unless you chose something really weird, the chances are that you won’t be the only one making content about this topic...
So now, you should really take some time to study the other creators in your space and the audience that is engaging with that content to try to figure out how your personality will provide a fresh perspective. Maybe your dry sense of humor will make finance fun, maybe your attention to detail will elevate your content above the rest, perhaps you’re just really good looking or funny and that will do the job for you. Ultimately, you need to figure out what it is that you bring to the table and hone in on that!
Step 3: Repeatable, sustainable content
As I mentioned in point one, you’re gonna be doing this a lot… especially if things go well, you could be doing this for years! - and once the ship has started sailing, it can become tricky to change course, so try to begin with a long term mindset.
Don’t create TikToks that require huge amounts of time, energy or rely on elements outside of your control - such as spotting rare wildlife.
In an ideal world, your content will simply require you, in a room, with a flash of creativity that you can churn out over and over again.
Charli D’amelio, PewdiePie, H3H3, Zack King, Dude Perfect…
Notice anything? They are all pretty low-lift - yeah sure, some of them choose to increase their production values over time, but Dude Perfect would really be just as successful in a 1 bedroom apartment with a back yard as it would in a giant studio complex (that they now film in).
Sidenote: The most sustainable type of content tends to be personality based, at least at some level. It may not always begin this way (people discovered Charli for her dancing, but her fans stuck around because they fell in love with her personality), but the more people love YOU and not just what you do, the more freedom you will have over time.
So get studying and we’ll see you next week where we will be covering what happens once you start actually creating content and how to ensure your videos break out onto the ever mysterious For You Page.
THANK YOU FOR READING
James, Nick & Dev
Co-Founders @ Kyra Media
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