In our exclusive interview, TikTok sensation Lauren Kettering shares her transformation from a competitive dancer to a social media superstar. She opens up about the challenges of content creation, the importance of authenticity, and her focus on diversification to navigate the fast-paced creator economy.
Guided by her management team at Additive Creative Partners, Lauren is expanding her reach, exploring new content avenues, and making a difference by aligning with brands that give back to society.
Lauren Kettering’s Humble Roots
“I’ve been a trained competitive dancer my whole life, dancing since I was two years old,” Lauren Kettering revealed. “Dance was pretty much my whole life until I started posting fun videos back in 2018 on Musically.”
The evolution from Musically to TikTok was a natural one for Lauren. “I simply was just doing it for fun with my dance friends,” she explained. “The dances on TikTok are catchy and fun. If we ever had free time, we’d just make a video.”
But it was one viral video that shifted the course of her life. “One dance friend gave me the idea to do a particular dance and wear a specific outfit. For some reason, that was the video that blew up.”
This breakthrough led to new connections and opportunities within the content creator industry, bringing Lauren into contact with fellow influencers and allowing her to participate in industry events. But while her online popularity grew, Lauren continued to prioritize her education and career goals.
Then came the opportunity with Brat TV, marking Lauren’s entry into acting. “Brat TV gave me the opportunity to be on a TV show for them,” she shared. “Acting is something I’ve always had an interest in. I’ve always loved performing and showmanship.”
She ended up spending more time in LA, where she joined a content house for six months, making close friends and gaining opportunities. “The house gave me a lot of opportunity. I was really blessed to be part of that.”
Now Kettering is signed to Additive Creative Partners and lives on her own in LA. Reflecting on her journey, she remarked, “Now I’m here.”
Partnership With Additive Creative Partners
Lauren’s partnership with Additive Creative has proven transformative, shaping her dreams into realities. “They were the first people that I felt really took the time to understand me as a person, my goals and dreams,” she stated. The close-to-home agency provides a strategic and comprehensive approach to her career growth. With three years in the industry, she appreciates the resources they provide, which she says, “They literally take what my normal goals are and make it into a real-life plan.”
Eager to expand beyond Instagram and TikTok, she envisions exploring YouTube and streaming, even with her self-admitted limited editing skills. Additive Creative’s support includes practical resources such as shoot locations, videographers, and editors.
The partnership has also ignited an interest in acting for Lauren, and she looks forward to learning more about this potential career path. As Lauren ventures towards digital stardom, her relationship with Additive Creative will continue to be a fundamental part of her journey.
Content Creation Process
Lauren acknowledged the challenge of audience engagement, emphasizing the need for authenticity. “Staying connected with my audience has always been a challenge, but the most crucial element is remaining true to myself,” she said. She finds that audiences resonate most when she shares content that reflects her true passions and aspirations.
Understanding her followers’ unique interests is crucial. She explained, “My followers appreciate it when I share stories from my life and advice, allowing them to feel more connected.” She stressed the importance of authentic, non-scripted content and expressed her desire to reveal more of her true self this year.
She admitted to occasional content creation struggles but finds inspiration from varied sources. From watching fashion videos to observing dance styles, she sees opportunities for content in many aspects of her life. Despite the challenges in bringing her ideas to life, she finds strategy planning sessions with her creative partners to be instrumental. “My inspiration comes from all over the place,” she concluded, encapsulating the diverse nature of content creation.
How Additive Creative Helped With Her Efforts on Brand Partnership
Lauren’s enthusiasm for working with fashion, beauty, and travel brands is evident. However, she also expressed a deep desire to collaborate with brands that contribute to societal improvement. “I’m really looking forward to trying to connect with more brands that give back,” she explained.
Her partnership with Additive Creative involves discussions on societal contributions. She stated, “I hold giving back as a high value to myself. I have the platform to make that change.”
Moreover, Lauren aims to use her influence to promote health and nutrition, areas she has become knowledgeable about due to personal experiences. “I’m interested in working with brands that allow me to give back and help others in need,” she said.
She further acknowledged the power of influencers to bring about significant societal changes. “Influencers have the power to talk about these things and really make a difference. We need to talk a lot more about food relationships, mental health, and giving back to the community.”
When asked about her approach to brand collaborations, Lauren prioritizes alignment with her personal brand and audience connection in her brand partnerships approach. “You need to make sure they know you for who you are as a person,” she advised, emphasizing the importance of clarity in agency relations.
She praised her agency, Additive Creative, for facilitating partnerships that reflect her interests and comfort zones. “They’re amazing at keeping me in the loop, knowing what my passions are…They’re able to look for those brands that would be a good fit while keeping me informed.”
Moreover, she underscored the significance of audience interest in collaborations. “You need to know what your audience wants…Those are the ways that I help ensure all my content and brand deals stay aligned and resonate with me and my audience.”
In Staying Ahead in the Ever-Evolving Influencer Marketing Landscape
Lauren emphasizes the role of research and understanding audience demographics in content creation. “There’s so much that goes into the content behind the scenes, and having in-depth knowledge is critical,” she points out.
She advocates for consistency and staying updated with popular content, noting, “When you’re consistent, people have something to be excited about, and that gets them to come back.”
Recognizing the importance of analytics, she advises not just chasing trends but adding a unique perspective. “You need to know what does well for your audience and yourself… it’s also about bringing originality and incorporating your unique perspective into the trend.”
She concludes by stressing the balance between following trends and maintaining personal style, “Looking at trends is important, but so is staying true to your own style. You have to find a way to incorporate your individuality into the content you create.”
How Social Media Shape the Careers of Content Creators
“I definitely think that social media platforms are instrumental in shaping the careers of content creators. Technology is just everywhere now, whether it’s a tablet, a computer, or a phone.”
She went on to emphasize the significance of these platforms in today’s digital age. “Social media platforms are huge now. You see the biggest app right now, which is TikTok. And the moment you go on it, there’s all these advertisements. That’s the first thing you see. It’s honestly all about the marketing that goes into it and the advertisements. It’s a huge business.”
Drawing from their personal experience, she says, “I’ll be on Instagram, going through my stories, and I’ll see ads of cute clothes or something. I’ve bought stuff after seeing it in these ads. It’s a great way to showcase things now, given how prevalent technology is in this generation. It’s a huge thing.”
Challenges as a Content Creator
“Opening up to the public eye means opening yourself up to scrutiny and hate comments. It’s a lot easier said than done,” Lauren confesses. Despite the anonymous nature of online users, the harsh criticisms thrown at them often led to self-doubt and even caused anxiety in social settings – a challenge she had never faced prior to their digital career.
Lauren also discussed a pivotal moment in their journey when her physical health was impacted due to ongoing stress and mental health struggles. She mentions, “A year ago, I was struggling with eating and with my physical health. It was then I realized the toll it was taking on my mental health and knew I needed professional help.”
Her road to recovery involved understanding her nutritional needs and taking time off to nurture her mental and physical well-being. “It’s all about trial and error and learning to not be too hard on yourself because, at the end of the day, you know yourself better than anyone else,” she adds.
With a poignant note on the toxicity often prevalent in social media, she offered a vital insight – “The hate comments, in 99.9% of the cases, say more about the person behind the comment than about yourself.”
While navigating the turbulent waters of content creation can be tough, Lauren affirmed her commitment to overcoming these hurdles and understanding the nature of this profession, reminding us all, “It’s hard, but I’ve gotten better at understanding how it works and not taking it personally.” As echoed by other creators, the underlying message remains: prioritizing mental health is paramount.
Monetizing Strategies to Maximize Earnings
Monetizing content has been challenging for Lauren, though her management team assists her in strategizing for platforms like Snapchat and YouTube. She plans to incorporate more of her interests online, such as learning Spanish, traveling, and cooking. “Finding ways to implement these topics into my videos is a goal for the upcoming month,” she said.
Expressing a desire for more authenticity, Lauren aims to share her vulnerabilities. “It’s about showing more of my voice, my struggles… I want to be completely transparent with my audience.”
Noting the fluctuating nature of the creator economy, she believes in diversification. “The industry is always changing, and it’s hard to stay on top… it’s important for creators to have different revenue areas,” she advised. Her approach includes brand partnerships, affiliate marketing, and maximizing all available opportunities.
Giving Back to the Community
With a palpable passion for community service, Lauren explains, “I’ve always been involved in different initiatives, from organizing donation events at local schools to contributing to my church’s mission trips.”
She describes one of her recent contributions, a large-scale donation project she orchestrated at a school where her mother works. “I managed to collect over 30 bags of clothes, and we made it a whole event, allowing the students to come in and choose what they needed. It was a recent effort, but it resonated so much with me, and I now plan to work with more schools,” she shares.
But her altruism doesn’t stop there. Besides her church and schools, she is deeply involved in donating to various charities and shelters. “I make it a point to donate as much as I can, wherever I can,” she emphasizes.
Advice for Aspiring Influencers
“The first thing would be to figure out what it is you want to do, like your niche. I feel like everyone has their own thing. For instance, mine was dancing when I started.”
She emphasized the importance of consistency and authenticity in your content, “Figuring out what you are passionate about and demonstrating that through your content, looking for trends, but also knowing to incorporate yourself and your niche into it, making it your own. Your supporters see that you are doing a trend, but you did it with things that include what you like to do or the way you like to do it.”
Moreover, Lauren stressed the significance of engagement, “Being active and staying engaged is really important. Whether that’s going live—I used to go live like every single day with my supporters—or just responding to comments or looking at edits. I look at edits almost daily.”
She concluded, highlighting the respect for the audience, “Just appreciating, you know, because those are the people that are looking up to you so much and spending their time and energy into supporting you. It’s also really important to make sure that you’re keeping them engaged and connected.”