social media | Jun 12, 2024 |
How to delegate social media content without losing your personal touch

In Ask an Influencer, Business of Home explores the creator economy. This week, we spoke with content creator Kenzie Elizabeth.

When Kenzie Elizabeth started making YouTube videos at age 16, she was focused on standard teenage social media fare: daily vlogs, “Get ready with me” content, and beauty and makeup routines. It wasn’t until a few years later that she stepped into a new role—a persona she describes as “Gen Z Martha Stewart.”

In retrospect, it was a job she was always primed for. When Elizabeth was growing up in Texas, her mom was an interior designer who operated a bedding and drapery company alongside the creative’s grandmother. When she bought her first home in 2020, it cracked open a whole new world of content: Her generation was quarantined at home and suddenly developing an early affinity for the domestic arts. And she was there to supply it—from interior design and the art of hosting to gardening and cooking, her content began attracting more attention.

As the pandemic waned, Elizabeth took her content to the next level, introducing a series of in-person events in Dallas and announcing the launch of her home lifestyle brand, Friend of Mine. Along the way, her follower count kept climbing, today reaching 365,000 subscribers on YouTube and 109,000 followers on Instagram.

Ahead, she shares how she brings together her online audience in real life; her best tips for boosting engagement across different platforms; and the two key hires that have saved her time and kept her content polished and authentic.

Hire Smart and Delegate
Several years ago, when Elizabeth’s content ideas and opportunities began to ramp up, she realized that one essential task was taking up all of her time—the video editing process. Delegating this responsibility was the natural next step, but it brought up a crucial question: Who knew the cadence of her videos better than her?

Kenzie Elizabeth, who calls herself a Gen Z Martha Stewart, posing in her Texas kitchen
Kenzie Elizabeth, who calls herself a "Gen Z Martha Stewart," posing in her Texas kitchenCourtesy of Kenzie Elizabeth

As it turned out, the answer was right in front of her—an avid viewer of her vlogs with a background in video editing. Having followed her channels for years, the new hire instinctively knew the intricacies of her content, like maintaining a casual and underproduced tone, and using bossa nova background music (or “anything they play in a Nancy Meyers movie”).

“When I’m filming, sometimes if I want something edited I will literally just talk to the camera and tell her that,” says Elizabeth. “We have got it down to a system where she just really understands. She’s been editing them for years now, but it really does help that she was a viewer of mine for years [before that], because she fully understood it prior to editing for me.”

Another time-saving hire was the graphic designer she brought on. The role was initially to create marketing and digital materials for Friend of Mine, but after mastering Elizabeth’s aesthetic, the designer began creating templates for podcast graphics, Instagram posts and YouTube banners, all in a cohesive style.

Fostering Community Off-Screen
In search of a way to connect with her online audience, the creative began introducing a series of in-person events for her followers in the years after the pandemic. Starting with local dinner parties, book clubs and needlepoint classes, she soon expanded the programming to a multicity live podcast tour.

“I'm constantly doing things where I can bring everyone together so I can meet them—but also, so they can meet each other,” she says.

Realizing that her followers wanted to build friendships with each other as much as they wanted to engage with her, she launched a community on group-chat app Geneva. The site allows her to create subgroups and threads based on different locations and interests.

“I meet girls all the time, especially in Dallas, who say: ‘I just moved here, and I met my best friend through that chat,’” she says. “Especially because they’re typically postgrads, so they’re in new cities, traveling around in their 20s and needing to make friends—and when you follow an influencer pretty closely, you typically have things in common with the other followers, so it’s been really cool to see all of them connect.”

The interior of the hosting closet Elizabeth designed
A "hosting closet" Elizabeth created off her kitchenCourtesy of Kenzie Elizabeth

Quick Tips for Engagement
When Elizabeth experiences a viral moment, she doesn’t chalk it up to a particularly great content idea. Instead, she credits the years (nearly a decade now) spent posting on a regular schedule. “Being consistent is very, very important [if you want] to build an audience that’s loyal to you,” she says. “People will go on TikTok and [create] content for a week and get discouraged, but it can take a very, very long time for most people who are creating that video that you see go viral ‘overnight.’”

Still, the process is a bit more complicated than consistently posting the same clip across platforms. Aside from editing content for time, Elizabeth has found that users on each platform prefer to digest information differently—so she adapts her videos accordingly. “I’ll make things that are a little bit more specific or detailed on TikTok, because people are typically looking for tips on there—and then I’ll make a whole hourlong vlog on YouTube, because people there are looking for long-form,” she says. “Then, on the podcast, I’ll go into a specific topic for an hour.”

Regardless of platform, she advises adopting a pared-down approach to production across the board. “It sounds cheesy, but you really have to be very authentic,” she says. “That’s why I’m always a little bit wary of [content] that is too overproduced, too structured and too strategic. You don’t have to share every single thing about your life—just talk to the camera like you would to a friend on FaceTime.”

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