Across the globe, millions of people are adjusting to being at home 24/7 without the time constraints of commuting, social plans or travel. Never before have there been so many people at home all at once. Because this situation is completely unprecedented, there aren’t many sources that the newly remote workforce can turn to for guidance or inspiration. However, there is one group of extremely relevant content creators that may be being overlooked as leaders and experts in this category – social media influencers.
For many years, influencers have quietly been building the blueprint for how to run a business – and they’ve been doing it from home the whole time. For many of them, remote work is all they know, and they’ve mastered the art of building empires, making connections, and navigating difficult business decisions from their living rooms.
So, how are they so good at working from home? And what can we learn from them?
Re-think your chain of command
The ability to plan, shoot, edit and execute culturally relevant content for both your own brand and sponsored partners is challenging, but influencers never seem to let up. This is likely because most of them have the luxury of being a very lean team that drives efficiencies. Without the constant need to communicate up and down and wrestle with edits and reviews, they have a speed-to-market advantage that teams of all varieties can learn from.
Influencers also have better at-home technology than you think, and it’s not just the latest smartphone. They have proven that the tools needed to constantly produce great work from anywhere don’t always sit in big studios with the most expensive gear – but rather, practical, powerful and portable equipment that gets the job done.
- Empower your teams to move quickly when developing and launching content. Maybe everyone shouldn’t or need a hand in the approval process
- Equip your creative teams with the right equipment to get the job done from anywhere, anytime
Read the room
If you’ve ever rejected or had an idea rejected because it wasn’t on brand, this should hit home. Influencers know exactly who they are and who their audience is, but they also understand the evolution of trends and culture and aren’t afraid to pivot in order to keep up. That doesn’t mean that they sacrifice the core essence of who they are, though. It means that they understand that communities, needs, channels and behaviors change.
The sudden shift to remote work has offered all brands and businesses an opportunity to showcase a more human, empathic side that may have been otherwise out of the question before this pandemic. It’s important that businesses and brands understand that, during this time, swapping ties for t-shirts and taking meetings from the bedroom is not a step back, but a step forward.
Influencers’ brands are like whiteboards – and they are constantly listening and reacting to the world around them and then looking at if/how they can fit into what’s happening – without erasing the entire board. They aren’t limited by a carefully curated list of adjectives and “this, not that” statements, and it’s important that, when working from home, businesses allow their employees the flexibility to “read the room” and break down the formality and routines of corporate businesses to adjust to the new world we’re living in.
- Create a more fluid idea of what your brand is and/or better process for challenging and expanding it
- Incorporate more social listening and customer/employee feedback to help define your brand in ways that are relevant to its audiences
Home comes first in “home-office”
Leaving our desks, offices and cubicles behind to work from our dining room tables isn’t easy. Odds are, we’re all going to experience some sort of technical difficulty, embarrassing moment or snag in the plan during this time. Not even the best influencers can escape fans spotting dirty dishes, misplaced pets or stray hairs every now and then. But when that happens, it’s not entirely uncommon for them to own up and admit that life isn’t perfect.
At the end of the day, we’re all trying to figure out how to work from home. But we can’t forget that this is still our home we’re talking about. No one is judging you when your child pops up on a video call and no one expects you to pretend your significant other isn’t making lunch during your business call.
- Remember that empathy is high right now so transparency and honesty are welcome and encouraged
Social influencers have seen their fair share of ups and downs as a legitimate marketing and communications tactic, and I still have some major issues when it comes to the true influence and value they can wield in a very oversaturated landscape.
But now, more than ever, I’ve come to look up to them and take to heart the valuable lessons that they can teach us all about working from home and forming genuine connections – after all, they are the best in the business at making the world their office.