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Charli D’Amelio skyrocketed to fame in 2019 on the popular app TikTok. She started out posting dancing videos on the social media platform but since then she and her, Dixie D’Amelio, have grown exponentially as both influencers and celebrities. The two sisters have a combined total of 195.3 million followers on TikTok and have been steadily branching out to other industries and collaborating with established international companies, including Hollister Co., Dunkin’, Pura Vida and cosmetics brand Morphe.
The entire D’Amelio family is now starring in a new Hulu original show, The D’Amelio Show, in a move similar to another famous family. Whether or not the D’Amelio family becomes the Kardashians 2.0, there is still a lot to learn from them and how the young teens turned dancing videos into an empire utilizing these five strategies below.
1. Be consistent
Consistency is key. Charli’s first viral video wasn’t even her own original content, it was a duet of her copying the dance instructions of another creator. The popularity of the video happened mostly by a stroke of luck with the algorithm. But after her video blew up over the course of a few hours, Charli noticed a drastic surge in her followers, the number of which steadily increased for the next few weeks. During this time Charli continued to regularly upload videos, which helped to perpetuate the growth of her following and of her account.
Being consistent, if it’s on social media, in an advertising campaign, or with responding to customers, is important. This reliability can help to create trust in the eyes of your consumers and generate a loyal following.
2. Leverage social media
The story of the D’Amelio sisters shows just how powerful social media is today. Unlike the Kardashian sisters, whose father was well-known, the D’Amelio sisters have a humbler upbringing and have never lived life in the limelight, until now.
The D’Amelio sisters had to rely solely on their social media skills to catapult their careers. Their story is a great illustration of how you can create a lucrative business for yourself even when starting out on a newer platform like TikTok. Social media platforms are ever changing, but you shouldn’t wait for the next trending platform to emerge before you start. Progress is better than perfection, so the key is to start putting yourself out in the social media world. You don’t need to be on every platform either. It’s best to not spread yourself too thinly and rather post consistently on one channel with quality content.
3. Have a good PR strategy in place
Unlike many other one-hit wonders, the D’Amelio sisters took the opportunity that their viral videos gave them and ran with it. Shortly after their follower numbers exploded, their mother hired a manager, publicist, and marketing agency to learn how to best leverage this growing audience. Their team is not only starting to assist with their content, but also with collaborations, interviews and a slow expansion to other platforms. Life gives you many opportunities — run with what you have been dealt and leverage all the opportunities that present themselves as a result.
In my 20 years working in PR, I’ve seen first-hand how just one viral news story can change my clients’ business overnight. The power of publicity is immense, and with the world being more global these days, you can have an international business and following built on the foundation of press coverage in no time at all.
Related: 10 Ways to Get Global PR Exposure
4. Own your style
There have been many people who don’t really understand why the D’Amelio sisters are so famous. Some claim that they have no extraordinary trait or talent that makes them special, but that is the appeal. The D’Amelio sisters own their own look and don’t follow trends. This creates a sense of authenticity about them. Unlike other celebrities who have unobtainable traits and lives, the D’Amelio sisters are relatable and real, making them role models for much of Generation Z.
It’s often the micro influencers who are now quickly rising to fame, as people are identifying with them more than larger influencers who post overly curated content that misses the mark with its audience. As I say, be yourself. Everyone else is taken.
5. Remember less is more
Today, the D’Amelio sisters have expanded their reach to other platforms, but they did so in a slow and steady way that helped to maintain their popularity. For a long time the D’Amelios only focused their efforts on TikTok and had a smaller presence on Instagram. This was a smart move, because it allowed them to focus on posting consistent and quality content on fewer platforms. This allowed them to grow their following without forcing people to get sick of them by being on every platform.
During this time the D’Amelios were appearing in small collaborations with other influencers, commercials (like the Superbowl), interviews, guest-starring in television shows, partnering with companies for products, and other small stunts that allow for them to gain publicity and stay relevant but not force them into a long-term commitment where they may overextend themselves. The slow expansion into other platforms and brand collaborations across a wide range of industries has aided the sisters greatly in staying relevant and having continued growth.
The story of the D’Amelio sisters shows that you don’t need an abundance of wealth or connections in the industry in order to succeed, you just need to be consistent, properly leverage social media, have a good PR strategy, own your own style, and remember that less is more. Even though TikTok might not be relevant for everyone’s brand, we can learn a lot by examining how these two young teens rose to fame just by dancing to their own tune.