Working From Home
It’s 2 p.m., and there is a momentary break in the light rain that has been persistent throughout the day.I’m overlooking the world’s busiest intersection–Shibuya crossing, Tokyo–where three million people cross the street hourly in a mad scramble to get from one side to the other. Below me, I see camera crews placed among the square,filming the chaos for their various outlets.
As the light changes, a man rushes out into the center of the street and does some impromptu acrobatics before the crowd envelops him. A quick scan, and I locate the inevitable camera filming him, too. No one seems bothered by his antics–perhaps because others have also stopped in the middle of the street, filming themselves at the famous landmark. When the light changes again, the acrobat runs out again, repeating his maneuver. He’ll continue doing this until he gets the perfect “candid” shot.
This type of interaction is commonplace now, as we’ve entered the age of the microinfluencer. Rather than spendinglarge amounts on ad campaigns to build their brands’following, companies canfind content creators around the world–withhigh-quality cameras–who have their own. Using sites like Tribe, Hype,and Unboxed, you can find people willing to create the right post for you at any budget.
And with increased choices in social networks, want-to-be PewDiePies–the most-subscribed and highest-earning YouTuber of all-time–can take their pick of platform and niche and start creating the content needed to build their own followings, lured by the idea of instant fame and fortune.
Or, that’s how it is supposed to work.
Unfortunately, for the majority of people, they’re in for disappointment. 96.5 percentof all YouTubers make less than $13,000 a year from their channel–even those who have over 1 million views per month. As an individual brand, unless you’re dedicated full-time to a content strategy, you don’t have any hope of making anyrealimpact.
It’s similar for other platforms–on Instagram, for example, people who manage the gargantuan feat of 100,000 followers can charge aligned brands up to $1,000 per post. On Twitch, you can charge subscription fees for your channel once you’ve reached 50 followers–although only 1 percentof Twitch streamers have achieved partner status to make any significant amount.
This means that for companies just starting out in their marketing strategy, there’s almost no point attempting to build a following on your own channel–no one will see it. Instead, focus your budget and effort on someone who has made this their full-time job.
As a brand or influencer, here’s howyou ensure that you’re getting the most out of your social strategy.
To ensure you’ll provide enough value for other people to spend their time with you, you need to have something to say that people can’t get anywhere else–which means that you need to find something that only you can provide.
Focus on the things that come easily to you that other people find difficult, and then create content around that. For example, if you’re an excellent programmer, create a Twitch channel for live coding that has dedicated times for people to tune in and learn how to code with you.
While you’re building a following, you need to provide people with enough content to keep them interested and engaged. The easiest way to do this is to keep to a posting calendar, with certain types of posts always on specific days and/or times.
This is especially important on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, where the initial post engagement helps boost your all-time views.
As mentioned above, it takes a lot of viewers and content before you can start to expect to earn any real income or conversions. PewDiePie took years before he was earning a significant income. Gary Vaynerchuck spent years building content before he expanded his empire. Ninja is the top earner on the new-ish platform Twitch, and he’s earned a reportedly $500,000–but no one else has come close.
There is definitely money to be made in the realm of the influencer.
However, if your business plan is just “Become a YouTube Star,”I suggest you start working on your resume.
For Modern Fertility’s Afton Vechery, the biggest adjustment to going remote during the coronavirus crisis has been minor but symbolic: “I’ve had to switch from contacts to glasses because of all the screen time and video calls,” she says. Vechery co-founded her home-fertility-test startup, which has $22 million in funding, in 2017. While many now have plenty of time on their hands for, well, fertility, Vechery is busier than ever. Here’s how she stays productive.
The alarm clock buzzes at 6:30 a.m. “A lot of founders have these amazing morning productivity hacks, like meditation,” says Vechery. “For me, the single greatest motivating factor is to just be doing something I love. And so, uh, that translates to emails in bed when I wake up.” After that, Vechery typically bikes to work. During the crisis, she’s swapped her commute for an early-morning ride to the top of San Francisco’s Twin Peaks. It doubles as me time. “It’s really helpful to understand what’s going to bubble up from your subconscious when you’re not being stimulated sitting in front of a computer,” she says.
Vechery’s days in quarantine include more one-on-one meetings than they did before, but that’s the cost of keeping information flowing. Modern Fertility has implemented daily meetings at which employees can check on current and upcoming projects. And the staff has organized optional virtual lunches and happy hours, which Vechery will drop into when she can. Whether at home or in the office, she and co-founder Carly Leahy generally eat dinner while working and wrap up around 9 p.m.–though they encourage staffers to leave earlier.
Vechery relies on an app called Captio, which lets the founder email a note to herself with one click. But you won’t find the Captio icon on her iPhone’s home screen, which is clear of everything but three apps: Calendar, Clock, and Notes. Manually searching for apps lets Vechery ignore distracting notifications. “As a founder, there’s constantly something else you could be doing,” she says. “But when you have space to think through what you’re working on, you’re a better leader.”
When she makes time for a TV show, Vechery starts with the season finale and views the episodes in reverse order. The strange habit helps prevent the urge to binge. “I have an incredibly addictive personality,” she says. “So this is better for everyone.” Vechery also unwinds by playing the trumpet. “It’s a total break from everything else in life,” she says. “It lets you process your thoughts in a really different way.”
Want to keep up to date with all the latest news and events?