If you are a parent, you probably recognize Kristina Kuzmic, the parenting blogger and vlogger nicknamed the “Truth Bomb Mom.” Her humorous parenting videos have become an internet sensation, gaining over 500 million views across media outlets and websites worldwide. She has over one-and-a-half million Facebook followers, and her videos have received praise from The Huffington Post, The Inquisitr, People magazine, Cosmopolitan, U.S. Weekly, Yahoo and many more. In just a few years, Kuzmic has become a world-renowned social media influencer and motivational speaker/comedian.
Her whirlwind started in 2011, when the mother of three was chosen from 20,000 applicants and crowned the winner of Mark Burnett’s reality TV competition: Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star. Her subsequent talk show, The Ambush Cook, aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network. After multiple viral videos, in 2016, she landed a distribution partnership with LittleThings.com, the largest women’s lifestyle site.
I recently asked her for her best advice for fellow creative entrepreneurs and content creators. Here are my top eight lessons from my conversation with her in her infamous Los Angeles kitchen.
Be yourself and create for yourself.
Kuzmic explained her relief that the cooking show on OWN was canceled after one season, because the show didn’t feel authentic. Winfrey wasn’t engaged in the process, and the show producers pushed Kuzmic in a different direction. She felt like she had to play a character as she hosted the series, which would have been exhausting to continue.
“Every time I wasn’t authentic, I failed. Every single time I had success, it was because I was being authentic.” After the cancellation of her OWN show, Zuzmic went back to creating videos for herself, for fun. She made herself a promise.
“[I said], I’m going to be me. I’m not gonna care about anybody else’s expectations, I’m not gonna care about the negative comments, I’m not gonna care who’s trying to make me what, or what they think my brand should be. I know me. I know my brand. I know my parenting style. I’m gonna be me. And that’s when things blew up. I mean, out of control, blew up.”
Kuzmic was quick to give this advice. Sure, she had relatively quick success (her fourth video went viral after Ashton Kutcher was shared it) but the only way to maintain that success is to keep making videos.
“You can’t give up. People put out three videos, and if they don’t do well, say, ‘Well, it’s not my thing,'” she explained. “Keep putting videos out. I’ve had so many videos that didn’t do great, but then you have those few that go viral, and then, all of a sudden, People magazine is calling …. Consistency is everything.”
Kuzmic shared that her brand exploded when she started creating weekly videos on a schedule. Find a publishing schedule you can stick with and then:
Kuzmic started like many creators and entrepreneurs — in the hours between 5 and 9. “At 2 a.m., when everybody else in the house is asleep, I would be breastfeeding, and literally Googling how to edit videos.” she shared. She said many people who ask for her advice simply expect success too soon. “I worked so hard, in the beginning. And now, I’m at a place, a few years later, where I do have help. So you will get there. I think a lot of people expect to get there right away.”
For Kuzmic, the wait has definitely been worth it. Partnerships can be tricky for creators. Sponsored content can feel contrived, or creators could be pressured to give up ownership of their work. Little Things, a social media publishing company with multiple platforms and personalities, and a reach of over 10 million followers, offered her the opportunity to make videos about whatever she wanted. Since partnering, they have never edited her videos or tried to change her style.
“They literally completely trusted me. And that’s huge. I’m not saying you shouldn’t learn, and grow. I think that’s important. I think you should always be learning, and growing. But, be authentic to who you are.”
Keep creating and wait for the right partnership or sponsorship for your brand, your art and your goals.
Decide what you want and ask for it.
Kuzmic’s arrangement with Little Things…