2021 was a big year and 2022, I just feel it in my bones, is going to be even bigger.
Buckle up, because I’m about to recap my year, and set some 2022 goals. I really hope this information is motivational in that it shows that you really don’t need to be a big influencer to achieve some mind-bowing things.
I’m so grateful for everything I’ve been able to experience as a nano influencer, and I’ve dedicated this entire blog to helping others do the same and more.
This blog post is a summary of the below video. Watch here if you prefer an audio-visual experience!
*Some of the links included in this post are affiliate links, which support the operation of this blog. This means, at no additional cost to you, if you click on them and make a purchase, I will make a small commission.*
Let’s begin with the things I achieved that weren’t even goals because I couldn’t fathom achieving them.
In 2020, I was extremely excited to have made $10,000 as an influencer.
And so going into 2021, I set a big, scary goal of $40,000.
But then when I said my goal out loud for the first time, a friend of mine, Casey Palmer, said I should change it to $60,000.
And although I never officially changed my goal, his number really stuck in my head.
And then.. as many of you know, I blew that number out of the water and hit $70,000.
Sharing that number in a silly TikTok video was actually a huge catalyst for me. It hit over 1 million views, brought in 60k new TikTok followers, and motivated me to make the launch this blog.
It gave me the confidence to share what I’ve learned so far as a creator, and for that, I am so grateful.
Working with Pinterest
While my 2021 income is definitely my most talked about achievement, I wouldn’t say it’s the thing that I am most proud of. I’m grateful to have had a number of amazing opportunities that battle to this day for the spot of ‘experience of the year’.
The first being that I was chosen to be one of 10 founding members of Pinterest Canada’s class of 2021 creators.
It’s no secret that I’m a Pinterest fangirl, and I’ve had the absolute honour of working with them prior to this.
I spoke at one of their virtual events where I did a bit of a fireside chat just talking about how I use Pinterest and sharing some of my tips, and I had also created content for them in the past.
But being able to work with them in this capacity and to have been chosen to be a founding member of this program was just beyond-words exciting to me.
I love Pinterest so much. Working with them is always so much fun.
Their team is just so kind and so amazing, and the platform itself has helped me grow my blog in ways that no other platform has been able to do.
New to creating on Pinterest? Check out this post.
My First 5 Figure Contract
Another big milestone I hit in 2021 was signing my very first five figure contract. It truly blew my mind that I had made my entire 2020 income in a single brand deal.
The Kaya that started blogging six years ago could have never ever, ever imagined.
Especially when in 2019, the most I had been paid for a brand deal was $75.
I Decided to Quit my Day Job
And thanks to the increase in my income, 2021 was also the year that I decided I would eventually create content full time. The momentum that was building with brand deals was a huge confidence boost, and towards the end of the year, I told my boss that I wouldn’t going to be around for that much longer.
I gave a very loose 6-months notice, which I think shocked a lot of people in its generosity.
Investing in my Business
In anticipation of only having one source of income in 2022, I made it a goal to invest in in content creation gear and equipment in 2021. *Yay business expenses!*
I had already purchased my Canon RP and 35mm lens in 2020.
But in 2021 I bought three more lenses:
- And a zoom lens–the Canon RF 24-240mm so that I could travel in Ghana and not have to switch my lenses.
All of which were great, great, great investments.
And then at the very end of 2021, I actually got myself an iPad, which I am obsessed with. It has helped so much with productivity.
Shop the rest of my content creation gear on Amazon!
Working With Google
Another achievement of 2021 that couldn’t have been a goal, because I couldn’t have fathomed it was…
Getting the opportunity to partner with Google on SEVERAL occasions.
Halfway through the year, I joined them for a YouTube video, discussing how I use product reviews to generate passive income.
Out of that relationship I had the absolute honour of traveling to Vidcon Abu Dhabi with the Google for Creators Team and to speak to the Power of Strategic Content Bundling.
That experience was so amazing for a multitude of reasons.
Not only was my first ever paid trip as a content creator…
But it was my first time to the UAE, and I got to bring my husband along as an assistant. Which meant we got to make an adventure out of it and play tourists!
I am still so grateful that they chose me to go with them because there’s just so many creators out there.
Unaccomplished 2021 Goals
So let’s jump to some 2021 goals that I did not achieve.
First being monetizing my YouTube channel.
I launched my Comfy Girl Curls YouTube channel at the beginning of 2021 with the goal of being so consistent that I would be able to apply to the partner program by the end of the year.
If you’re not familiar with the criteria, you need to hit 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours.
And that did not even come close to happening.
I was so overwhelmed with all the sponsored content that I was doing , and juggling content around my 9-5 that YouTube became a lower priority.
I ended 2021 with like 300 subscribers. 😐
I also dropped the ball with pumping out blog posts the way I wanted to.
And this was before I launched this blog, when I just had one website to manage.
My goal in 2021 was to post 29 blog posts and I hit 21.
It’s not a huge miss, but setting 29 as a goal had been a really conservative number. Eventually I want to be pumping out blog posts like weekly.
All the goals that I didn’t achieve really had to do with the increase I saw in paid content, which I’m incredibly grateful for and like I said, didn’t anticipate. But I really hope to be able to find a bit of a balance in 2022.
2022 Goal Setting
Now let’s look at 2022, and all that I hope to achieve as s content creator.
Better-Use my Gear
So I invested in all of this awesome, relatively expensive gear. Now I want to learn how to use it properly.
I always catch myself eyeing fancier cameras and lenses, but then I see these talented photographers and videographers making absolute magic with the same tools I have.
That has kept me grounded, and reminded me that I need to become an expert with what I have before upgrading.
Collaborate with other Creators
Another thing that I want to do this year is collaborate and partner with friends and people in my community.
I feel like collaboration is very prevalent in other content creating spaces, especially more comedic channels.
But in the Black community, and especially in the beauty, lifestyle, and natural hair space, I don’t really see people collaborating with each other as much.
Maybe I’m missing something, but either way, that’s something that I really want to start doing this year.
Diversify my Income
Another huge goal of 2022 is to build up and diversify my income streams.
For the most part, last year my income came through brand partnerships.
In 2022, I really want to build up that affiliate income and ad revenue, so that I have more of a cushion and a bit of predictability in my income.
I do also eventually want to expand into some digital products, ebooks, course development, etc. I would love to be able to have my knowledge and the content that I’ve created work for me in the long term.
Be more Organized
And last but not least, I would just love to be more organized.
I’ve started using Notion and I’m still loving it. I throw every idea in there. It is the hub of absolutely everything I do when it comes to content creation, and I’m beginning to use it for my personal life too.
I just hope to be able to maintain it, and keep my Notion databases clean.
I’m very prone to just dumping information in and not taking the time to sort or categorize it.
Rapid-Fire Goals for 2022:
- Actively pitch brands for partnerships
- Post 30 blog posts
- Upload 25 YouTube video on the Creating with Kaya channel
- Hit six figures business income
Thank you guys so much. If you made it to the end, let me know!
I’m just incredibly excited about 2022. Last year left me feeling so grateful, and I’m hoping to keep that gratitude going.