Nowadays, the rate of people ditching their careers to become full-time content creators is rapidly increasing. This should come as no surprise given that we are living in a highly digitized world where the internet, particularly social media, has become a constant part of our daily routine from the minute we wake up to the moment we get some shuteye.
Because of our fascination and persistent craving for watching short and long-form content on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook day and night, companies, brands, entrepreneurs, creatives and more have discovered an opportunity to collaborate and monetize themselves through sponsorships, partnerships, and brand deals – making it the perfect opportunity to build a career doing what you love and are passionate about in life. But if there are hundreds and thousands of creators competing for the same spot at the top, how can you stand out from the crowd? Let’s explore some of the ways.
Tools of the Trade
The content creation space comes in all shapes and sizes. Almost anything and everything that sparks your curiosity and interests has already been captured and tackled in a video, article, blog, photo, or podcast. Whether you’re looking for travel tips, fashion advice, beauty tutorials, food recipes, comedic skits, life hacks, or educational material, you’ll undoubtedly find a content creator specializing in each category.
How you find your place and success in the content creation space greatly depends on the following factors:
Finding your niche
A niche is a particular position, place, or activity that makes a person unique and sets them apart from others. When you find your own niche or area of interest, your primary goal should be to bring new perspectives to the space in order to stand out from the hundreds of people who are also doing the same.
Find different ways how you can play around with the different concepts or categories under your niche so you can create content that is versatile and would be relatable to as many audiences as possible. You must also be able to know and cater to the distinctive wants and needs of your audiences so they will keep coming back for more.
Being a master of your own niche is better than dabbling into many things or spaces, which could confuse your audiences and hinder you from building a strong and powerful community.
Joining and building a community
Content creation thrives on collaboration and networking. If you’re someone who thinks that being a one-man team will make you rise to the top faster, then you’re already setting yourself up for failure. Having a successful career online boils down to having a community that will support and tune in to your work time and again.
Your priority must be to build and grow your own community more than worrying about your follower count, views, or likes because making people feel that they belong to something that makes them feel seen, heard, and understood, will most likely stand by you for the long haul, which is crucial in this career.
Furthermore, joining other communities and reaching out to fellow content creators are also imperative because they can lead to new collaboration opportunities and introduce your channels to each other’s audiences, which can further boost and grow your own communities.
At the end of the day, it’s all about the relationships you build and the connection that happens when you engage with your audiences on a deep level whether it’s by responding to their comments, getting their opinions, or giving them an exclusive look into your life.
Finding your voice
One of the most important pieces of advice that people working in creative industries would tell you right off the bat is to know your voice. It is your most valuable asset that will enable you to effectively connect and tell meaningful stories that relate to your audience.
Your own voice is a reflection of your beliefs, experiences, unique perspective, and all the moving parts that make you truly your own person. When creating your content and honing your voice, it’s important to know your “why” or purpose in pursuing this endeavor and also the reason behind your posts. Anything you create must not only add value and meaning to your life but more importantly, to your audiences’ lives because the reason why we consume content is having the hope that we will get something useful out of it and will ultimately enrich our human existence. Thinking about why your audience should listen and follow you is important to build and sustaining that lifelong relationship.
If you haven’t found your voice, one of the most effective ways is to create a list of things you’re interested in as well as core strengths that you have that you think will be beneficial to the space or niche that you’re trying to tap into. Having it written on a piece of paper will help you remember your purpose and the reason why you started creating content in the first place in case you get lost along the way.
Finding your aesthetic and brand identity
Another huge part of content creation is the way your content looks and how you present it. Since it’s a visual medium, finding a look and feel that are uniform, creative, and stimulating are vital, and nailing it will do a good portion of the work of successfully pulling your audiences in.
Having great aesthetics can come in the form of using distinct color palettes or patterns, using themes, editing your photos or videos, and using filters to enhance them. However, it’s still important to be authentic and organic as much as you can by finding the right balance when using filters and editing apps. Your aesthetics will immediately give an impression to your audience of who you are and whether your content is worth looking into.
You only have a few seconds to make a good impression, so make it count as soon as they stumble upon your post. The brands or creators are easily recognized by people because of the fact that they were able to build a strong and clear identity through their aesthetics. If you’re on multiple social media platforms, make sure that your visual aesthetics are consistent throughout so audiences can identify and remember you with ease.
Choosing the right platform
Each social media platform has its own unique features, tools, and audiences. Therefore, knowing where your content will fit and thrive the most is a crucial step in the process. For instance, TikTok is a platform that is great for creating short-form content that is trendy and caters mostly to Gen Zs, YouTube is one of the oldest video content platforms that are good for both short and long-form content and is great for building your own community, and Instagram is great for posting photos, creating reels, as well as promoting and collaborating with brands. All these platforms have their own strengths and weaknesses as well as algorithms, so make sure to take those into account when choosing the right platform to maximize the reach and monetizing abilities of your content.
While the creator economy is just getting started, its rapidly increasing popularity proves that it will only grow and evolve in the next decade, and there is no better time than now to jump in on the fun. While it sounds like a dream to do what you love for a living in the comfort of your own time and space, it comes with a lot of challenges in the beginning that would make you want to give up.
It’s typical to hear stories from content creators that it took them years and hundreds of videos before they found their breakthrough, but that’s what the journey is all about. Consistency is key in this game, and you’ll find the most success in building a community than in having a one-hit viral video. Don’t be afraid to experiment and use analytics to know what works, what doesn’t, and what your audiences want to see more from you in the future.
It’s important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t try to be everyone’s favorite, but rather be intentional and focused on the things that you naturally excel in because your audiences are following you for your authenticity, personality, skills, and talents. Always remember that if you are able to add value and make a positive impact on a person’s life through the content you create, then you’ve already successfully made your own mark in this world.
CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.