4 Things You Don’t Actually Need To Be a Top CreatorJun 17, 2021
It’s easy for creators to develop narcissistic traits when they begin to see success online. It’s a truth not said often enough but I can see it in myself.
The rational side of our brain can’t accept we might have no idea why we did well. It must explain it somehow even if what we believe is nothing to do with our rise. Exceptions are ignored and fans are used to feed the ego. This can lead to overconfidence in the superiority of our way of doing things.
This is nonsense.
Everyone you follow is another imperfect human and we’re working things out too. There are some basics most people should follow but when it gets complex then there are few things that are always true for everyone.
Here are five common opinions pushed as facts.
#1 You need to want to change the world
If you believe a creator’s marketing in the age of personal branding, you might decide they deserve a Nobel Prize.
There’s an obvious incentive for people to paint themselves as if they are heroes and the money doesn’t matter to them at all. Some people convince themselves they are guided by selflessness even when they check their stats every 5 minutes.
Becoming a content creator isn’t like running for President. You don’t need to prove to everyone you’re doing it for reasons they find admirable. You must make sure people can find value in what you do to keep them coming back though.
I have many reasons for doing what I do but the main one is I enjoy being creative and coming up with new ideas. The money feels good too and you shouldn’t consider me a saint for doing something I love.
#2 You need to master language
“Write to express not to impress.” — Ali Mese
This quote by Ali changed the way I thought about writing and it applies to any form of creation. Do you think the top YouTubers look up words to sound smart in their videos?
I used to use complex sentence structures and show off my vast vocabulary. Yet this made it harder for readers to understand what the actual ideas were. Quality is determined by whether readers resonate with your words not by how many 5-syllable words you use.
I believe this is why so few of the top writers I know are English Literature Majors because they have more to unlearn than the rest of us.
If the obscure rules were what mattered, I’d be dead in the water. I’m a native English speaker and until my younger sister corrected me, I used to randomly guess whether to use “a” or “an” until well into my adult life!
There’s a sweet spot where the complexity is just right. You don’t feel like you’re reading something aimed at children but it doesn’t hurt your head. The fun is working out how to hit it.
#3 You need years of experience
Many people who have been creating for years will tell you it takes years of hard work to be successful. Convenient isn’t it?
It reminds me of when I taught karate. There were benchmarks of when people should aim to earn their new colored belt but in reality, it varied greatly. We aren’t all built the same so it makes sense for us to have different paths.
Here are just some of the factors:
- Storytelling ability —All content creation is storytelling at its heart. If you’ve been captivating your friends and family for your whole life, your transition to online will be far easier. The power to engage people in real life is overlooked when people think about the digital world.
- Timing — Some people start creating when there’s a gold rush or a particular event that elevates them faster. For example, someone who was an expert in infectious diseases would have been able to grow an audience much faster if they began last year than if they began 10 years ago.
- Hours in the day — A creator who has only an hour a week to work on their craft will take much longer to grow on average than someone who can spend hours every day.
- Energy levels — If you’re chronically burnt out and exhausted, it will be much harder for you to put enthusiasm into your content.
This doesn’t mean you should expect to take off on day one but instead let your own journey unfold. No one knows how well you’ll do or when your highs and lows will come. It’s scary but also part of the fun.
#4 You need to be vulnerable
I once had someone write a comment on a YouTube interview of me saying how they feel like they know me because they’ve read so many of my stories.
I have so many interests and vulnerabilities I have never written about because I simply don’t want to. With any creator, you only get a tiny insight into their lives because like anyone else, they have a right to privacy.
Being relatable helps in building an audience but it doesn’t mean you need to tell everyone your deepest and darkest secrets. People are seeking all kinds of content and I know creators who have huge followings but have been vague about their personal lives the entire time.
It’s ok to pick and choose what you are comfortable sharing with the world. Don’t ever feel pressured into sharing a story when you’re not ready because someone tells you it’s the only way to grow.
I know sometimes everything feels overwhelming when you’re in the early days of content creation. I read the same myths when I started and it took me a while to realize I didn’t have to listen to what others told me I needed to do.
Despite the growth I’ve seen, I still have imposter syndrome. I hope reading these points has made you feel more confident in yourself especially if you felt you weren’t living up to standards you’d read about.
Remember to have fun with whatever you’re doing.
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