Kennedy’s Start on Instagram
Before her accident, Kennedy wasn’t creating content or looking to become a social media influencer.
However, after reading through her Instagram messages after the accident, Kennedy realized she had a unique opportunity to impact others.
Kennedy shares, “I had so many DMs. People were reaching out about their experiences or how I’ve helped them, and I was like, this is so cool because it made me realize that I can impact other people’s lives. If I can make one person’s life better, it is so worth it to me. I’ve had so many teenage girls reach out and share, “You’ve helped me so much.” – because they have a missing limb [too.].”
Being able to help others has brought Kennedy immense happiness. She has made it her mission to uplift others by sharing her story and has built a large audience on social media that follows her for inspiration, humor, and her personal journey.
In January 2022, Kennedy started posting more regularly and went in-depth about her accident, sharing a picture of herself hanging by her femur from a power line.
She adds, “There was hate out there that affected me at first, and it’s hard because they were making fun of my body, and I already struggled with it. But I was like – you know what? It just shows they’re insecure with themselves…My followers are what keep me going with it because they’re so kind.”
Kennedy Jean Littledike: Turning A Tragedy Into An Opportunity To Uplift And Inspire Others
Overcoming Challenges as a Content Creator
Kennedy shares that one of her biggest challenges is staying on top of email and admin work.
She explains, “I was getting so overwhelmed with my emails because brands, podcasts, and interviews – All these things were flooding my emails, and I would have so many, and I would just ignore them, and then I’d realize what brand it was or what it [the opportunity] was, and I actually wanted to do that, but it was too late.”
Part of Kennedy’s overwhelm came from not knowing what to charge for sponsorships.
Signing with Clicks Talent Agency gave her a management team who negotiates deals and contracts on her behalf, significantly reducing this stressful aspect of content creation.
Another challenge she’s overcome is continuing to create content even when she feels her videos are underperforming. She shares that it takes time, and continuing to post has gotten her over these humps in the past.
@_kickitkenny_9 true story 🥱 #powerlinegirl #carwreck #oneleg vest & crewneck from @prettylittlething ♬ In My Face – Mozzy & 2 Chainz & Saweetie
Dealing with Hate
In the past, Kennedy would reply to hate comments and stand up for herself. However, she soon realized that this was a losing battle.
“I got to the point where I literally do not care what you think because you’re going to hate no matter what. There are people that will go to every one of my posts and comment something awful. They’re taking time out of their day to comment something so hateful to a person they know nothing about, and it just truly shows that they’re insecure themselves.”
Kennedy no longer acknowledges hateful comments because it often leads to the hater commenting with even more venom. If she sees repeat hate comments, she’ll sometimes block the person.
Kennedy’s Advice for Aspiring Creators
Kennedy’s biggest advice for other creators is to stay consistent, even when your content doesn’t immediately take off. She also recommends making your content relatable to others and choosing a niche.
However, she warns that once you are known for a specific niche, making successful content outside that niche can be challenging.
For example, Kennedy shares that content that doesn’t focus on her accident doesn’t perform as well. To slowly break out of her niche, she has begun showing her scars on camera, filming GRWMs, and answering questions about her recovery.
She explains, “I feel like if you don’t have something super eye-opening, it’s hard to get out there unless you are very consistent and put a lot of time into your videos, but it is possible. There’s a lot of people out there that do it.”
If Kennedy could go back in time and give herself advice, she’d say, “Take it more seriously. I think I’ve missed out on a ton of opportunities that I could have done in the past two years because I didn’t take it seriously. I was kind of just like this is for fun. Now that I could make a career out of it, I could have been so much farther than I am.”
Treat content creation seriously from the start, regardless of your current goals, because you never know what opportunities could come your way.
The Creator Economy
Kennedy shares that the creator economy has evolved a lot, especially as small businesses can now reach bigger audiences without investing a huge amount of money.
Brands are also shifting away from traditional marketing, like TV commercials, and putting money into influencer marketing.
Kennedy explains, “That’s what teenagers are watching. I don’t buy a ton off the Internet, but when I do buy something, most of the time, I’m influenced by TikTok because it’s what someone else has used. There’s a lot of really cool things that have come out of this for people, and especially for me, as someone with a disability, going to a nine-to-five job would be hard because my body can’t keep up as it used to.”
In addition to expanding opportunities for small businesses and creators, the creator economy has given rise to many new jobs and career opportunities which previous generations didn’t have access to.
Unfortunately, social media has a downside. Kennedy believes that TikTok has negatively affected many people’s mental health.
She shares, “It depends on what your feed is giving you because if you like one sad video, your feed will be all that, and it can really affect your mental health and what you’re feeling that day.”
Staying Authentic Online
In addition to her unique story, Kennedy showcases her great sense of humor in her content.
She notes, “People get upset about it because they’re like, how can you laugh about this terrible situation? I’m not laughing at a terrible situation for you. This is my situation. If I don’t laugh, I’ll cry about it… For some reason, people are bothered by the fact that I make jokes of it all.”
Humor is Kennedy’s authentic expression and just one way that she shows her unique personality online and stands out amongst the crowd.
Kennedy would love to create inspirational merch featuring relatable designs that don’t tie back to herself. Otherwise, she plans on having fun creating and sharing content and hopes to get more speaking opportunities to share her story.