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Jacob Shwirtz: Owning Your Audience as a Creator

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Jacob Shwirtz: Owning Your Audience as a Creator

Jacob Shwirtz, Director of Content and Creators at Lightricks, shares his wealth of knowledge on the creator journey, owning your audience as a creator, and building long-term success on social media. Continue reading to hear his insights on the future of influencer marketing for brands and creators and why creator ownership is so essential to your success as a company or influencer.

Interested in expanding your audience beyond social media platforms and truly “owning” your audience independent of social media platforms? 

Who is Jacob Shwirtz?

Jacob Shwirtz, Director of Content and Creators at Lightricks, shares his experience working with influencers today and how he is helping more and more creators build ownership of their social media careers beyond the platforms they use. 

What is Lightricks?

Lightricks has created over a dozen mobile video editing apps for social media. Their apps have been downloaded by over half a billion people and won many awards. 

Jacob Shwirtz: Owning Your Audience as a Creator

Jacob shares, “Now the company’s at a super interesting place in its evolution, really growing beyond just mobile phone and video editing into really being a platform for creators. [Lightricks is offering] original content and additional features, services, offerings, like the new link bio service and a new physical magazine for creators that came out last month.”

Lightricks and the D’Amelio Family

Jacob Shwirtz: Owning Your Audience as a Creator

Lightricks and the D’Amelio family recently announced a new partnership. They are working together on both Lightrick’s offerings and the 247 project, where the D’Amelio family is sharing insider knowledge on social media, creator content, and lessons on being a creator.  The D’Amelio family also has custom Lightricks bio options that their fans can use.

This long-term partnership is committed to telling creators’ stories, developing creators’ tools and services, and publishing content written by creators for creators. 

Jacob shares, “[The goal is] to connect with creators at all stages of their journey… it’s about trying to understand the pain points of creators and then addressing them.”

Creator Ownership vs. Endorsement

The D’Amelio families are ambassadors and equity holders forLightricks, giving them a significant say in the link in bio development,

Many influencers do endorsements or sponsorships for brands. However, at a certain point, it’s ideal for both the brand and influencer to have the influencer own a part of the product they’re promoting. 

“I think for creators at the right stage in their career, that have built a solid foundation that, you know, aren’t just gonna be… it’s not just a going viral and then forgotten, but are actually in it for the long haul or building a career out of being active on social media and creating content.” 

For influencers, this can give them more reliable and additional streams of income, cementing their place in a long-term social media career. For brands, this is beneficial because:

“These folks [influencers] have amazing insights into what creators want, what their fans and audiences want, and for them… So I definitely see it was a part of the evolution that many creators are taking on.”

Jacob Shwirtz: Owning Your Audience as a Creator

Jacob’s Advice for You

For influencers, Jacob shares, “The best advice I can give is to try to stay true as much as possible to what got them into it, their passion for creating stories that they decided they wanted to tell as storytellers, it’s very easy to get caught up in, you know, which hashtags should I be using and exactly what time of day and all these things like growth hacks.”

Jacob Shwirtz: Owning Your Audience as a Creator

He gives the example that the D’Amelios likely weren’t obsessing over which hashtag to use. They focused on the content they wanted to put out there and the stories, passion, and creativity they were sharing. 

The content is what resonates with people, not the growth hacks.

For brands, Jacob says one of the biggest mistakes he sees is brands thinking influencer marketing is a short-term game. 

“[Influencer marketing] is very hard if you think in too short or too transactional [of] terms, meaning you can’t just expect to pay an influencer of any size, some amount of money for one or more posts and then just obsess over, let’s say, how many downloads or clicks or sales they made in a very short time.” 

Jacob Shwirtz: Owning Your Audience as a Creator

Influencer marketing isn’t a magical type of marketing that will produce tons of results in a short time. Brands need to have multiple influencers working with them in a long-term way. 

Influence is a slow process. It takes creators time to build that trust and confidence and reputation with their followers, and just one or a handful of posts from them talking about a brand isn’t going to change things overnight.”

The Future of Influencer Marketing

The creator space is constantly evolving, but Jacob thinks one thing that is here to say is ownership

“I think we’ll see a lot more creators take ownership of what they do… and I think creators are going to continue to find ways to better understand their audience, better “own” their audience, meaning have ways to actually directly communicate with them, like through email addresses.” 

This could include direct marketing through email addresses and direct monetization. 

Essentially, taking out the middleman, usually a social media platform, that takes a cut out of the career path of the content creators.

Jacob Shwirtz: Owning Your Audience as a Creator

For brands, Jacob predicts that companies will have increasingly complicated influencer marketing strategies due to the many ways that creators share content with their audiences online. 

For example “A challenge for a lot of brands… is [not just] maybe working with a talent’s Instagram account, but do they also have a newsletter you’re a part of? They are also active in the podcasting space? Are you there too? It’s very hard to ultimately influence people if you’re just looking at one platform.”

Future influencer marketing campaigns may look like regular mentions in newsletters, monthly sponsored posts on Instagram and TikTok, and a podcast collaboration with the same influencer. Holistic strategies with an influencer build trust with their audience and is a much more effective long-term influencer marketing strategy than one-off posts spread thin over many influencers. 

“Creating these more rounded 360-degree deals is really challenging because each one has its own analytics, its own strategy.”

Lightrick’s Future Plans

Jacob shares that the D’Amelio partnership isn’t the only partnership Lightricks hopes to make. He hints that there are more creator collaborations in the works that he can’t share too many details on now, but he is thrilled about the D’Amelio partnership and can’t wait to see what’s in store for Lightricks next. 

“We have big ambitions to work with some other really leading creators who help us chart the future of the company in terms of what we do and how we do it.”

Jacob Shwirtz: Owning Your Audience as a Creator

Lightricks continues to work on creator-forward mobile and video editing apps, along with the development of more creator tools. The development of The 247 website, Lightrick’s creator magazine written by other creators, including the D’Amelio family, is another big project that will continue to be in the works. 

Amy DeYoung is a freelance blog post writer covering influencer marketing and business topics. As the daughter of two business owners, she's been fascinated by all things business from a young age, which led her to graduate from college with a bachelor's degree in business. When she's not typing away, she spends her time reading nonfiction books and mystery novels, baking scrumptious desserts, and playing with her dog.

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