Temima Shames is a born entrepreneur who has been creating businesses from a young age. While earning her college degree in music business at SUNY Oneonta, she dreamed of becoming a CEO of a record label. Later, she interned at Visionary Music Group, where she was first exposed to influencer marketing.
Fast forward several years and Temima Shames is now the CEO and Founder of Next Step Talent, a full-service management company specializing in long-term growth via audience relationship building and digital strategy.
At Next Step Talent, Temimia has grown talent to over six billion views on YouTube and helped clients secure massive brand deals with companies like Disney Music Group, YouTube, Netflix, Target, Amazon, Nyx Cosmetics, and more.
One of Next Step Talent’s biggest successes is Sydney Morgan, who reached her first million views on YouTube a few years ago and now has nearly three billion views and almost five million subscribers.
Staying On Top Social Media Trends With Temima Shames, CEO And Founder Of Next Step Talent
Facing Challenges in the Industry
Temima shares that one of her biggest challenges is being a young female in the industry.
She explains, “I think some challenges are ones that we face every day. I try to let them roll off me and motivate me to work harder and to care more, and do the things I’m doing without letting anybody knock me down like that. It gives me a hard shell. Another challenge is managing a team and constantly keeping up with what’s new and what’s happening with technology.”
The digital space is constantly evolving with new technologies, which can be overwhelming to stay on top of. However, Temima shares that taking a step back and looking at the big picture, what is working, and what needs to be done keeps her on track.
Next Step Talent – Why Is This Management Agent So Unique?
Next Step Talent is a full-service management agent helping music artists, actors, creators, and entertainers.
Next Step Talent helps artists create strong digital brands by curating the overall picture for their social media brand, far beyond hiring influencers to market their music. One way this is accomplished is by having access to new features before anybody else.
Temima shares, “We get access to all the new features six months to a year ahead of time. YouTube Shorts, we were in the pilot back in 2020.”
This early access allows the Next Step Talent team to provide greater insights into new features that most brands and companies won’t have when the features are released to the public.
She explains, “Let’s say you’re a digital consulting company, but you don’t manage talent or have a talent division. You would get assigned a rep at YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, etc. That representative is a brand representative, so they only get the information when the brands are ready. Most beta goes directly to influencers because influencers are the guinea pigs for the platform.”
Next Step Talent has built a strong reputation with social media platforms, making them the ideal candidate for early access and behind-the-scenes looks at what is coming.
Another unique aspect of Next Step Talent is its team, which Temima has specifically curated with people from the music industry. She explains that those in the music industry don’t make money overnight, so they are often long-term, creative thinkers, making them ideal for talent management.
A long-term approach helps the Next Step Talent team connect creators with brand deals that align with their values and don’t taint their brand or confuse their audience.
Next Step Talent Case Study: Brooklynne Webb
Brooklynne Webb, a 19-year-old social media star and strategist from Vancouver, BC, Canada, had a hugely successful music campaign with Next Step Talent. Using actual comments from her social media account, Brooklynne created a music project demonstrating how far hate can go.
This song is now #7 on Spotify and received over 15 million streams, launching her music career further.
Regarding marketing campaigns, Temima explains, “What people mistake is marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. You just have to make it mutually beneficial for the people you’re working with, and you have to be creative, and that’s what we do when we come into a consulting position.”
Temima’s Tips for Growing Your Audience
A few of Temima’s top tips for growing your audience:
- Monitor and follow the algorithm. Study your analytics and follow the algorithm for success. For example, one of Temima’s creators posted a video that had views dropping off early. She recommended the creator cut the video by two seconds, leading to that same video receiving over 100 million views across platforms after that one change.
- Create a “parasocial” relationship with your audience. Fans want to know the real you, so don’t hide yourself, your personality, or your interests from them.
- Use the newest social media features as they drop. Social platforms spend a lot of time perfecting new features and often prioritize creators using these features in the algorithm.
- Post consistently. Treat creating content like a job with a consistent schedule and post frequently. The algorithm often punishes inconsistent posting.
- Treat yourself like a business and storyteller. Content creation is a business; if you’re interested in making money from it, you must invest your time, resources, and effort into creating fantastic content that tells a story.
Social Media Trends
Short-form content isn’t always king. While TikTok may have led to a massive increase in short-form content consumption, it’s not always the best thing for the creator.
Temima explains, “When TikTok happened, everyone shifted to short-form content, but then everybody realized, wait a second, we’re not building a strong fan base based on short-form content. It’s very fast-paced. It’s like walking down the street – you notice a bunch of people, but you don’t actually talk to anybody. You’re not building anything meaningful.”
In short, long-form content is still king for growing a dedicated audience.
Another trend Temima foresees is the popularity of live shopping increasing.
She shares, “People need to pay more attention to what’s happening in China because we always mimic China… We had two creators who were in the beta on TikTok and the highest-performing creators in that program for live shopping with brands. It’s really important that people are able to sell in a live capacity, but more importantly, that it feels organic and from the heart.”
Future Plans for Next Step Talent
Temima shares, “In the next six to eight months, we are building out the consulting side so that it is its own rebranded company. On the management side, we want to scale up. What we’re focused on with the management side is not necessarily bringing on as many new clients, but more so focused on building their businesses and creating brands.”
In addition to building out brands, Temima is looking at possibly building out management divisions overseas.