Lydia is a 4th generation rancher born and raised in the western way of life. Through social media, she has harnessed her passion and talent for sharing authentic “ranch wife life” to create online content that showcases the real, relatable aspects of rural living within the ranching industry.
First and foremost, Lydia is raising three small children & helping her husband on the ranch. Knowing firsthand the isolation that comes with being a ranch wife, she works to create a community around the everyday life her family lives and breathes to help other ranching families see their own days to be just as valuable!
When Lydia’s not chasing kids or cattle, she collaborates with brands across the USA to help them connect with rural women in an authentic way & speaks at events to help those in the agriculture/western industries harness the positive power of social media to share their stories
Krysta: What was it like when you first joined TikTok? Did you have any goals or expectations?
Lydia: I started my TikTok in October of 2021 and my Instagram at that point was pretty small and personal. TikTok was one of those things where I was pretty resistant to joining because I didn’t have an interest in it, it didn’t seem like my demographic or that it would be a place where I would gain any traction. I really didn’t have an expectation when I started. I will say that I’ve always created content with intention. I’m not someone who dances or lip-syncs, that’s just not my demographic. I want to share and create content that is authentic and relatable for those in ranch life. I have a double degree in writing and anthropology and while it doesn’t seem like that would apply to social media, it actually helps me tremendously. From an anthropological standpoint, I know what people want and can read the room very well, so when it comes to consuming social media, I am turning that into a conversation with myself thinking, “What can I create that people want to see?”
Fast forward, my husband and I are the kinds of people that would have never watched Yellowstone but once we started it, we were committed. With the very limited information that I had about TikTok back then, I did know that it’s all about timing. So I’m watching the Yellowstone premiere and I had this moment where I was like, “You know what, everybody on TikTok is going to be talking about Yellowstone tonight.” So I created this very simple, kind of satirical video with an old video that I overlaid some text on and posted it right after the season premiere. It went viral. That video alone gained me 15000 followers within two days. At that moment, I had to make the decision if I was going to roll with the snowball or if this was just going to be a one-hit-wonder. I created another video about being married to a cowboy and that gained a lot of followers as well, even though it was completely unrelated to Yellowstone. Then from there, I just honed my craft and created a brand name for myself. As far as where I am right now, my home base is actually Instagram, but TikTok is where it started for me.
Krysta: What are some things that you’ve learned from sharing online?
Lydia: People might not realize this, but I am an extroverted introvert. So people only know what I tell them and see what I show them. Thankfully, up until now, I have not had any hard lessons I have had to learn but I think that’s because I am careful about what I talk about. By carefully choosing what I talk about, it doesn’t mean that I don’t have an opinion about it or that I don’t care, it just means that there are some things I am not willing to speak publicly about. I always tell people that if you are an influencer, you are not obligated to tell everyone everything.
Krysta: How do you hope to influence or inspire people with your content?
Lydia: When people in our industry, specifically women, see my content I want them to see their own lives, and everyday imperfect realities. There is a space for perfectly curated & polished content, but that’s not who I am. I’m a ranch wife with three little kids who can’t tell you how many times she’s rewashed a load of laundry because she keeps forgetting it.
We live in a world where we often see perfection and then feel less than adequate because our life doesn’t fit that aesthetic, but I hope that my content represents even the most mundane aspects of ranch living in a way that makes women feel seen in their everyday life. Whether it’s funny, sad, stressful, or romantic I want women to come to my content the same way they would come to a good friend’s kitchen table, knowing they are welcome just the way they are.
Krysta: What is some advice you have for those trying to get into the content creation community?
Lydia: You have to think about what you want to get out of it. I have big aspirations for what I want to accomplish and this is just a very small stepping stone in that journey. I am actually excited to start pursuing public speaking at events like FFA Conferences and other agriculture events speaking on the importance of social media. Now, for younger creators, their demographic is very much on TikTok, and they’re doing very well there, but you have to look at your social media and say, “What is the purpose of this and why am I creating?” You have to ask yourself, “Am I creating with an intention? Do I have a five-year goal? Do I have a 10-year goal?” If you’re trying to make a career or build a legitimate platform within an industry you have to be very intentional about it and this is no different.
Krysta: What is your favorite part about being a western content creator?
Lydia: I genuinely have a passion for this and it brings me so much joy. I’ve had women reach out to me and say “Thank you so much for being honest about our life.” That’s the reason why I’m doing this. I don’t want to be the type of content creator that creates perfect, curated content all the time because that’s not who I am. Women who are in the western and, specifically, the ranching industry can have incredibly isolating and lonely lives. I like to think of social media as our grocery store, where we get to stop each other in the aisle and have a conversation about our lives, and in turn, we become less isolated. I am proud to be a part of that community and to provide a safe place for women in ranching to realize they aren’t alone in their journey.
Krysta: Can you walk us through your content creation process?
Lydia: Content creation comes very naturally to me. On the other side of that, I am very thoughtful about my consumption of social media, meaning I don’t consume content that does not inspire or educate me. Some of the questions I ask myself when looking at what others are doing is, “How does this apply to my platform? Is this something that I could create with my own spin?” To that extent, I’m very conscientious about plagiarism and will never get myself in a position where someone says, “You copied so and so.” I even tend to look outside of the western industry to find creators who have a style that resonates with mine then, I look at what they’re doing and figure out if I can make it cowboy. Then as far as the creation itself, I feel that I am able to write captions that resonate with people but are still authentic to me.
My family recently moved so I am trying to make the best of where we are living right now and I had to remove 47 dead deer antlers to make my porch feel a little more like home. This is something that only ranch wives would understand. So I took a picture of what I was dealing with and I asked my followers, “What is your favorite pig that you have put lipstick on?”, in reference to my situation, and I immediately had women messaging me saying, “Thank you for validating that experience, because I was so ashamed of where I live.” When I create content, I look at that screen and think to myself, “What do my peers relate to? What validation do my peers need to see and hear today? I might be the one with 45,000 followers, but I am living the same life. It just so happened that you all landed on my page and I’m so glad that you did but I’m still living the same life and our life is important, valuable, and real.
TikTok Insights for Lydia Kyle
- Type of Creator: Influencer
- Years on TikTok: 1.5 years
- Followers: 132.7K
- Likes: 3.6 Million
- Handle: @RanchWifeLife
- Website: www.rancherswifelife.com
Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine
This article was created for the Summer Issue of the Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine which was released in early July. You can catch this article and many more by checking out the full issue. For more information on Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine, visit the website here.
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