Sure, just about anyone can go viral on social media. Maintaining a dedicated audience, however, is a much more difficult task. But having a great social media strategy can make things a lot easier. And that’s where Skyelar Garcia (aka Managed by Skye) comes in. The content creator-slash-coach is an expert on all things social media. Equipped with a background in advertising and ample creativity, Skye has successfully made the leap into content creation with a specialty in social media strategy.
With over 330,000 followers on TikTok, Skye shares content on how to improve your social media presence, including breaking down content plans, outlining the difference between short and long-form content, and even teaching newbies the basics, like how to add closed captions to TikTok videos. In addition to creating her own content, the social media expert also works on projects with brands like Adobe through her residency with Adobe Express.
Skye’s approach to being a content creator is different from most. For one, she focuses on how she can best serve her community, and provide them with the tools they need to grow into successful creators through varying strategies. Beyond just creating content, Skye offers her followers a series of products and services, like a content planner template, a TikTok strategy course, 1-on-1 coaching sessions, and even TikTok audits.
We sat down with Skye to talk about her journey into the world of content creation, her monetization strategies, and how she cultivates her own online community.
Tell us a bit about your content creation journey.
My journey began in February 2021 when I quit my job at an advertising agency. By that time, I’d been working in social media for five years, and I knew I wanted to become a social media manager or something of that nature.
In the beginning, I used TikTok as a lead generation tool to get my name out there, and that’s how I have been able to reach and educate people about social media strategy. Since then, people have reached out to me, hiring me to be their social media manager. I realized that I wanted to make my mark focusing on educating others within the social media space, and figured that the only way to do so was to continue being a creator.
I’m a creative at heart, and I’m really into the strategy side of things. Before TikTok blew up, I was managing Instagrams and knew how to replicate this work for TikTok.
What are some of the cool opportunities you’ve gained through content creation?
My biggest and most consistent opportunity is my residency with Adobe Express, where I create videos for them every single week. It’s pretty cool because I majored in advertising and use Adobe all the time. I’ve wanted to be a video editor since I was 12 and Adobe Premiere Pro was my thing, so working with Adobe is unique in that sense and means a lot to me.
Other opportunities include speaking at events, something that my younger self would be terrified to do. I’ve also worked with TikTok on a few collaborations.
It’s amazing that you came full circle from using Adobe when you were young to now partnering with them!
Yes, I wanted to work in short-form content, and YouTube was considered short-form back then, when compared to TV shows and movies. I wanted to edit commercials, music videos, and YouTube videos as those were my main options then. But now, I also edit for my clients and myself. That’s what really got me introduced into the [social media] space without having to go into the Hollywood film industry.
Why did you focus on social media strategy as your content creation niche?
To help people! I saw a gap in the market at the time, and I felt like I had a unique perspective, considering I have experience in advertising and a video editing background.
I want my perspective to be heard, because I truly have proven strategies on the back end with my clients. I’m not only testing these strategies on my own account, but with my clients too. I have 10 to 12 clients on the back end that are leaders in their respective industries. And if I can prove these strategies with a couple of these clients, I can also provide that education for other people on social media, so they can do it on their own.
Can you tell us about the content and audience growth strategies you use across your platforms (i.e. TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube)?
It’s hard to manage all three platforms, and I’m a bit inconsistent with Instagram and YouTube. I also dabble in Twitter and LinkedIn, but that’s my main goal for the second half of the year.
I really just jumped into everything all at once at first, but didn’t like how I felt about it. I’m a very organized person. And especially since I have many tasks to do on a day-to-day basis, recently, I decided to take a step back from everything for a moment. I hadn’t posted on TikTok in three months and was just serving my clients and working on my strategy.
That being said, I’ve developed the idea that TikTok is my most educational platform. Instagram gives a peek into my personal life and is more oriented towards content creators, as opposed to business owners trying to grow their social media. And YouTube is mainly showcasing the lifestyle of a content creator, for example “a day in the life of the content creator” or “my favorite tools as a content creator.” So, my TikTok content is pretty specific, my Instagram content is a bit more general, and my YouTube content is the most general — and I think the latter has the most potential to last longer in terms of the algorithm.
Every platform is different and has its own culture. Copying and pasting the same video onto every platform doesn’t always work, so I think having a strategy where you understand the platform and the type of content that does well on that specific platform is so useful.
How do you avoid burnout and stay inspired as a content creator?
Being organized and taking breaks keep me sane. I took the last three months off and that helped me avoid burnout. I think burnout comes with a decline in the quality of one’s content and, honestly, you’re not serving your community if you’re working in that way.
In terms of inspiration, I really try to consume content adjacent to my niche not on social media, but through books and podcasts. I try not to consume content in my own space, because comparison is the thief of joy. Creative and inspirational content helps keep my brain moving, which allows me to start thinking about how to transform that new information I’m taking in into more social media-driven content for my audience.
I realized you keep mentioning the phrase “serving my community” and I love how you use it. What does that phrase mean to you?
As I’ve become a more seasoned creator, I think serving my community properly has become very important. This means no gatekeeping, and it means formulating your videos in a way that makes sense specifically for your audience, rather than just for the purpose of going viral.
Of course, numbers and growth are important, but if somebody can learn something from some of my videos and implement it, that’s a win for both of us. I win when my followers win, and that’s how I think of my community.
I often get messages saying “I’ve been watching your videos for X number of years and I’ve been able to grow this much,” and those really remind me of why I do what I do, and why I provide high-quality content and help my audience on their journeys. If I’m just providing really easy, quick videos with information that everybody already knows, even though I know they’ll do well, they’re not going to do much for people at the end of the day.
What are some tips you have for aspiring content creators?
Content creation is a skill, it’s a muscle. You become stronger, and you need to keep exercising that muscle. Being on camera might feel weird at first, but it’s just about forming a new habit.
Also, don’t take things too personally and be consistent. Your community needs consistency. For example, if your favorite show didn’t come on Hulu at midnight, you’d be upset and think, “Where’s the show?” That’s something to keep in mind.
Can you tell us about your digital product and service offering?
I have a few: TikTok audits, a course, 1-on-1 calls, and a content planner. The TikTok audits are my main stream of income as a content creator. I release these twice a month and they generate $2,500 per month.
TikTok audits are typically problem-driven — clients are concerned with why something isn’t working and what they should change. 1-on-1 calls allow me to have a conversation with my clients about strategy. So, the common funnel is that people would book an audit, and then a 1-on-1 call for more strategy coaching.
Why did you decide to start offering social media audit and coaching services?
It comes back to the mission of serving my community and the fact that I can’t answer every question through TikTok videos. Not everybody can be a consistent client, but instead can hire me for an audit or a call. I feel excited to help my community in that way.
What’s the process of creating your digital products like?
It’s not as easy as it seems. Doing audits and 1-on-1 calls is pretty easy, but creating a course is an entirely different conversation: recording it, developing your plan, taking the time and effort to provide high-quality content to serve your community.
Now, looking back at your journey, what would you tell 15-year-old Skye?
I would say trust the process and everything will turn out right. There are different processes that will help you achieve the same results that you initially strove for. I thought Hollywood and film was the only way for me to become a video editor when I was younger, and now I’m in social media. With passion and hard work comes success, but it doesn’t mean it will come overnight!
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Photo: Courtesy of Skyelar Garcia