Brittany Worthington “britifies” things – amplifies them, makes them better. And she does this for other people in the realm of social media, of which she and James talk in this podcast episode.
James and Brittany will look at the circumstances in which a professional dancer became a social media expert.
They’ll discuss what does and doesn’t work on popular platforms, particularly Instagram.
And they’ll talk about the double-edged sword that openness and sharing can be on social media.
Table of contents
1. Britifying things
2. From dancing to social media
3. The products Brittany works with
4. Prevailing trends on platforms
5. Stuff you can do better on Instagram
6. Is it okay to buy followers?
7. What can impact your number of views?
8. Style and having a team
9. How Brittany’s program works
10. Legitimacy and safeguarding your account
11. How much should you filter your content?
12. A responsive audience
13. Choosing what you want to share
14. Narrow down, or go broad?
15. How often should you post?
16. The equipment you’ll want to have
Brittany’s business name is a code of sorts, James observes. Her mom came up with it, Brittany shares. When a young Brittany would spontaneously reorganize her room or the pantry, her mother dubbed the result “britified”. So in the wee hours Brittany named her company “The Social Britify”.
While James shifted from a business handle to his personal name to strengthen his personal brand, Brittany chose “The Social Britify” as something aligned with her identity, functioning like a stage name for her personal brand.
From dancing to social media
When COVID hit, Brittany lost her job as professional dancer on cruise ships. For some time after, she struggled to find work, always being told she lacked relevant experience.
Her foray into social media was accidental, but she discovered a passion for it and now helps others capitalize on their strengths in the digital realm.
James wonders if Brittany’s performing background gives her an artistic advantage on platforms like Instagram. While Brittany admits she sought professional help to improve her online aesthetics, she believes her strengths in creativity and performance have played a significant role in her success, and encourages others to leverage their unique strengths for maximum impact.
The products Brittany works with
What types of brands or profiles does Brittany work with, James asks? Is it all beauty and fashion, or does it include more mundane areas like Pay-per-click agencies?
Brittany says she used to prefer working with businesses where she felt like a potential customer. However, as she transitioned into consulting and coaching, she collaborates with a wider range of companies, asserting that even “boring” businesses can maintain a captivating online presence.
Prevailing trends on platforms
As a social media content creator and consumer, James has observed the evolution and interplay of features across platforms. Instagram, for instance, seems to have quickly adopted successful features from competitors, such as Snapchat or TikTok. Has short video content become a predominant trend, he asks Brittany?
Brittany acknowledges the rise of short-form content, particularly during the COVID pandemic with the launch of Instagram Reels. She notes, though, that while Instagram might be seen as copying features from other platforms, it successfully integrates various types of content. This versatility, from short video clips to stories, makes Instagram a powerful tool for businesses. She contrasts this with platforms like TikTok, which focus on specific content styles, and YouTube, known for longer videos.
James and Brittany then touch upon TikTok’s appeal. While Brittany maintains a presence on TikTok mainly for fun, she stresses that it’s not her primary business platform, as her audience doesn’t actively seek her there. James has his personal reservations about TikTok, including its ownership and privacy concerns. He feels the platform promotes mindless scrolling, a behavior he’s observed among younger relatives, and doubts his audience’s active participation on the platform.
Stuff you can do better on Instagram
James expresses an interest in improving his Instagram presence.
Brittany says it’s about understanding one’s audience and the diverse ways they consume content. She underscores the importance of having varied content types that cater to different audience preferences, whether it’s pictures, reels, or written captions. The key is aligning content with the business owner’s strengths while ensuring it accurately represents the business.
James asks Brittany to define some terms, specifically “carousel.” Brittany describes a carousel as a series of up to 10 static posts or videos combined into one post. These allow for more extensive visual storytelling, often used to present information usually confined to captions. This format has a unique advantage with the Instagram algorithm, as it re-presents a carousel post to users if they haven’t swiped past the initial slide, thus increasing its visibility.
And what of reels? James has noted Instagram’s apparent push for users to adopt this format. Brittany acknowledges the platform’s nudge towards reels, pointing out that reels needn’t always be elaborate productions. They can be simple and focus on the core message without a lot of theatrics.
Is it okay to buy followers?
Purchasing followers is not an uncommon practice on platforms like Instagram. James, however, despite having a small follower count, has never been inclined to buy followers, even though many acquaintances admit to doing so.
Brittany warns that buying followers can be one of the most harmful decisions for an Instagram-based business, comparing it to inviting non-interested parties into a theater, only to have them ignore the main act.
James points out a possible reason people buy followers: the illusion of popularity or authority. Brittany agrees, acknowledging that a significant follower count can lend an impression of trustworthiness and establishment. Fake followings, though, become evident when engagement metrics don’t align with the high follower count, and reveal the lack of genuine interaction.
What can impact your number of views?
James and Brittany talk about the unpredictable nature of content engagement on platforms like Instagram. James observes that despite the consistent quality of his content, the number of views has decreased over time.
Brittany explains that fluctuations in audience engagement can be influenced by factors like the time of year, concurrent advertising campaigns, and shifting audience interests. As consumer behavior constantly evolves on Instagram, content strategies that were successful one year might require adjustments the next.
James remembers the days when content primarily lived on blogs. With the emergence of platforms like Instagram, especially features like Reels, he has found renewed excitement in content creation. James has also discovered a personal preference for video content over written material, and has leveraged his team to evolve their content strategy.
Style and having a team
Brittany delves into the topic of establishing a distinct style on platforms like Instagram. She emphasizes the importance of consistency in branding, advising against frequently changing visual elements. Instead, she suggests settling on a specific style and experimenting with it for a significant period before making any changes. Constant alterations can be time-consuming and prevent the establishment of a memorable brand presence.
When it comes to involving a team in personal brand content creation, Brittany stresses the essential role of the primary figure. While a team can provide support in maintaining consistency and refining the content’s look, the main individual must remain the driving force. Take, for instance, Kim Kardashian. Even with an extensive team, the celebrity is still responsible for capturing authentic content that resonates with their audience.
Discussing her approach to content, Brittany mentions her recent experiments with video editing to understand audience preferences better. By tweaking aspects of videos and comparing engagement, she gains insights into what captures her audience’s attention most effectively. Highlighting her experience as a social media manager, she notes that clients who remained involved and proactive in the content creation process achieved greater success, underscoring the value of collaboration and mutual trust.
How Brittany’s program works
Brittany describes her primary offering as a hybrid program that merges the elements of a self-paced online course with group coaching sessions. This program empowers individuals to manage their social media independently, with the ultimate goal of helping them achieve sufficient revenue and content creation confidence. This foundation then positions them well for potential future outsourcing, such as hiring virtual assistants or marketing managers.
Brittany emphasizes that while professionals can provide support, business owners have an unparalleled understanding of their audience’s needs and preferences.
James touches on the importance of personal involvement in content creation, drawing parallels to copywriting. While professionals can refine and polish, says James, the initial content often resonates best when coming from the business owner.
Addressing the dynamic nature of social media platforms, Brittany acknowledges the need for periodic updates to her course content. While foundational marketing concepts remain consistent, platform-specific changes call for adjustments. She points out that Instagram’s updates prioritize the consumer experience, not that of the content creator. James adds that these platform alterations, driven by consumer preference, also align with the platform’s self-interest, as the consumer is the product they monetize through advertising.
Legitimacy and safeguarding your account
James touches on the unpredictability of social media platforms, where users are subject to changing rules and potential bans. He is curious about the significance of the “blue tick” (verification mark) on platforms like Instagram.
Brittany explains that while the blue tick was initially introduced to distinguish genuine accounts of celebrities and public figures from impersonators, its role has evolved. It now serves as a form of “insurance” for your account, offering closer support from Meta, particularly if there are issues like hacking or advertising discrepancies.
Although not essential for everyone, the blue tick can be beneficial, especially for those who face frequent impersonation, as James has experienced with his account.
How much should you filter your content?
James delves into the topic of content filtering and expressing personal opinions, particularly during contentious times like the pandemic. While he’s held back certain views to maintain his business’s income, he wonders about the boundaries of content censorship and cancel culture.
Brittany says that while sharing opinions is crucial for personal branding, it should always align with the audience’s expectations and the business’s goals. Using Instagram as an example, she recommends always referring to community guidelines to ensure content compliance. They also touch on certain Instagram influencers like Adam Sullivan and James Smith, who have successfully navigated the platform with their unique and sometimes edgy messaging. Both influencers deliver a consistent message, repackaged in various ways to engage their audience.
A responsive audience
James discusses how his audience is resonating with a more “unfiltered” version of him. He believes that viewers appreciate seeing genuine behind-the-scenes moments, rather than just the polished business persona. This was evident when he faced a recent challenge with flight bookings, and shared his experience in real-time. His audience was responsive and empathetic to his travel woes, showcasing the importance of relatability and authenticity in content creation.
Choosing what you want to share
Brittany speaks of the appeal of influencers, attributing their popularity in part to the intimate look they give into their personal lives. This personal touch is gold when combined with the value they offer as business professionals. People appreciate authenticity and relatability; hence she believes in sharing mistakes and real-life moments with the audience.
Brittany advises business owners to remain genuine in their content, as it fosters faster trust and possibly faster sales.
James has his own experiences with sharing personal stories and the reactions it evokes. People crave realness and authenticity, he says, as it resonates with their own lives. This realness in content, as Brittany says, can lead to increased trust and stronger connections with the audience.
Narrow down, or go broad?
On choosing a broad topic versus a niche, Brittany believes that while starting broad and then narrowing down as you understand your audience’s preferences can be effective, every business is unique and might require different approaches. For her, top-of-funnel content should be broad to attract a wider following and then gradually become more niche to filter and nurture the right audience. The ultimate goal is to cater to an audience that desires the specific outcome the business offers.
How often should you post?
Brittany opts for quality over quantity when it comes to content posting on platforms like Instagram. While some specialists might post multiple times a day due to their heavy involvement on the platform, others might post 3-4 times a week, depending on their specific goals, resources, and personal bandwidth. It’s essential, says Brittany, to align content frequency with one’s intent and available resources while ensuring the activity remains enjoyable.
The equipment you’ll want to have
It’s a common question: what equipment is needed to produce content on social media platforms like Instagram?
Brittany says she predominantly uses her iPhone, an Amazon mic, and a tripod for her content creation, proving that you don’t need an expensive setup to get started. She and James touch on the trend of holding microphones like mini news reporters, as seen on TikTok, and Brittany reveals her preference for using the front camera for filming.
Brittany’s simple approach underscores that there should be no barrier for anyone wanting to dive into content creation.
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