Living in the age of the Internet, TikTok stars and Instagram influencers is a fantastic place to be if you’re a content creator.
There are no longer any barriers between creating content and sharing it with an audience. If you have a phone, an Internet connection and a spark of creativity, you can become a content creator.
Of course, you probably already know all of that because there is enough content flying around the Internet to make your head spin!
If you’re reading this article, you don’t want to be just another content creator. You want to be a successful content creator. Maybe you want to make money from your blog or YouTube channel. Maybe you want a sponsor-worthy podcast or Instagram account. Whatever it is, you want to be great.
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Want to create something great? The 2nd annual Content Creator Day is just around the corner! Save your spot now for this free virtual conference!
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We identified 5 habits of successful content creators that you can follow to help make you great.
1. Content creators know their audience (and they keep getting to know them).
There’s a famous marketing quote from Meredith Hill that every content creator should live by: “When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one.” It’s better to have a clear focused idea of who your audience is and what they want from your content than to try to create content that everyone will find valuable.
The best content creators understand this and they take time on a regular basis to interact with their audiences. They respond to their comments, listen to their feedback, ask for input and in general, get to know the people in their audience. You’re not creating content for you (no matter how much you enjoy it), you’re creating it for your audience so they need to be your focus.
Also, the best content creators remain focused on their audience, even as it grows. Your audience will evolve as you do and if you want to stay their favorite content creator, you have to keep adjusting to their needs and wants.
If you’re just getting started and don’t yet have an audience you can listen to, then do some work learning about the people who you do want to be in your audience and create an audience persona. Who would be interested in your content? You should get the basics of your audience down, like their age, location, needs, wants and struggles. (Need help creating your audience persona? Follow this step by step guide.)
2. They have a unique voice (and they trust it).
“Find your voice” sounds like advice from a cheesy teen movie but it matters for content creators too!
It can be really tempting when you first start out to mimic someone more established and successful in your industry. But the thing is, your industry doesn’t need two of anyone. They need your unique voice. For example, many coaches and consultants try to mimic Gary Vaynerchuck’s direct and, occasionally, brash brand voice. But there’s already one Gary Vaynerchuck and the audience that loves his style already found him. They’re not looking for another one.
The best thing you can do to stand out is to share your voice, unique views and experiences. Your voice is the one thing you can bring to your content that no one else can.
Not sure what your unique voice is? Here are some things to consider that can help you shape it:
- What are your brand values?
- What’s your personality or the personality you want for your business? Try to come up with three adjectives for this.
- What do you sound like? Your brand might be an extension of yourself. So how do you speak? What’s your general tone? Record yourself or ask someone close to you what they think.
3. They know, understand and track their metrics and goals.
There’s a romantic idea that content creators just create for the love of their content. For many people, it’s true. Content creation is their hobby and they don’t do it for anyone else. But if you’re someone who wants to make a living off your content or grow a business with it, then you need to pay attention to the metrics and goals that will push your business forward.
So while it’s good to strive for the happiness and gratitude of your audience, you also should assign some metrics or key performance indicators to your content. These could include metrics such as:
- Website traffic
- Social media shares
- Video views
- Likes or comments
There are many different combinations of metrics you could track but successful content creators understand why they’re measuring and tracking certain metrics. You want to avoid tracking vanity metrics. According to CrazyEgg, vanity metrics “don’t bear a direct correlation with numbers that speak to business success.” Just because you can measure it doesn’t mean that you should be measuring it.
When you’re choosing your metrics, you should ask yourself: “How are these helping me to achieve my overall business goals?” This helps to ensure that you’re not wasting time on efforts that give you good metrics but don’t propel your business forward.
4. They aim for progress over perfection.
While we’re on the topic of metrics, it’s a good time to bring up this fourth point. Successful content creators understand this. They know they are not always going to hit their goals but they’re not looking to do so every time. What they are looking at is how they can keep consistently improving and optimizing so they can hit their goals.
If you have a blog post that bombs, instead of immediately blocking the entire creation process from your memory and moving on to the next post, you should ask yourself
- Why didn’t this work the way I thought it would?
- What happened instead?
- What parts of it did work or what could be improved?
- Is it worth improving?
You may learn that it wasn’t the content that wasn’t great. It might have been the specific promotion or the timing of publication or your audience loved half of your content but lost focus halfway through. There’s always something you can learn from projects that don’t meet expectations.
5. They’re always learning.
Finally, successful content creators are always learning. We’ve already mentioned that successful content creators want to know everything about their audience and everything about their own content but they’re not just curious about their own business.
They’re curious about their industry, about the newest trends or ideas. They want to learn from others as much as they want to share their value with others. They learn as much as they can by reading industry news, taking courses or training, following industry experts and experimenting with new trends.
When business gets busy and your to-do list is overflowing, most people often cut “learning” from their daily tasks. But taking 15-20 minutes a day to listen to a podcast, read a few articles or watch a webinar will keep you sharp and keep your content up to date and sharp, as well.
Incorporating these 5 habits into your life will help you to create unforgettable content. We’re living in the age of online content creators and nothing should stop you from becoming one of the best!
If you are ready to create something great, join us at the 2nd annual Content Creator Day on March 26th! This free day-long virtual conference features entrepreneurs, bloggers, podcasters and content marketing experts. Don’t miss out, save your spot here!