Updated: Nov 29, 2022
If you're creating content for your personal brand or business on social media, try these top ten tips to help you maximize your potential.
by Mia B. Fanning, M.ED., The Queen of Content | November 25, 2022
The truth is, creating content can feel like you're entering an entirely different world if you aren't familiar with how to begin, what to buy, when to publish, where to showcase your content, if you should even release it, yeah, all of that... You might find yourself initially overwhelmed because there are so many platforms and content forms you can play with. However, when you stop and take a breather, you'll find that content is not as complicated as we tend to make it.
Don't count yourself out before you get going by thinking you don't have what it takes because you do. You are a creator. I am a creator. We are all creators. Whether you're in the music industry, tech, business operations, consulting, marketing, the education system, or beyond, we each possess the ability to construct something from scratch, including an idea originating in our minds.
Now that we've gotten that settled ride with me for a minute as I walk you through a few of the top tips that have helped me to build and monetize my personal brand and my business, create stellar content, and establish authority as an expert in my field with an audience of over 25k+ users on multiple social media platforms. Hi, I'm Mia B. Fanning, The Queen of Content, and I'm here to offer you support on your content creation + entrepreneurship journey.
Number One: Stop Stressing & Overthinking Your Approach to Content
Give it a break already. You're all worked up for nothing. Be mindful that content creation is more than just social media. It's writing, designing, singing, drawing, constructing, capturing, and more. When I tell people that I'm a content creator, they instantly try to put me into the box of being a social media manager and that's NOT it.
Content creation is multi-faceted and so are you. If someone tries to put you into a box, RUN.
Your content doesn't have to be perfect or one specific way or you'll get a bad grade and fail. In fact, nobody is expecting you to have it all figured out.
Instead of causing yourself and your team (if you're fortunate) an unnecessary headache, simplify everything from the start by embodying this understanding I've used with my 1x1 Content Coaching Clients and my content company's Social Media Management clients.
Please repeat after me...
It will be okay if I do not post everyday.
If a post doesn't perform well, it's not the end of my brand
I won't die if nobody likes my content.
Going viral is not the goal.
Perfection is overrated.
Social media is meant to be social.
There's always room for me to grow.
It's okay to be different.
I won't get upset because my content doesn't instantly equal clients or cash.
Showing up authentically and unpolished will always win on social media.
Patience and consistency will lead me to the results I seek.
When in doubt, refer back to this to help get you re-grounded. When you're all wrapped up in what everyone else is doing, what's not working, or where the gaps are, you're not present in the good that is happening. I always see it, and it will not do you any good. Make it your mission to approach your content with an open mindset, be willing to learn, and be eager to try new things. You got this, but if you're still not sure where to begin and need my help, check out my Content Creator Checklist resource guide.
Number Two: Create a Content Strategy & Then Ignore It
We'll keep this one short and sweet because it's pretty straightforward. Strategies are great, but they can also become your restraints. The more restrictions you put around your creativity, the less likely you are to see dynamic results.
You should 100% create a content strategy that you can use to help guide your content creation process. However, once you've created it, I urge you to set it aside and step a teeny tiny bit outside the box because what you think you know, you don't know until you put yourself out there and see what sticks.
What I'm saying is your audience may respond to something you didn't initially consider, such as blogs, video content, podcast, or maybe they only want to see you host livestreams. You never know. Don't limit yourself or your brand's potential because you want to check every box. Do the work of developing an initial guide and then release yourself so you can truly tap into YOUR creativity!
Number Three: Study Content Creation Experts Who Are Crushing the Competition
Look inside and outside of your industry to see who's really bringing the heat when it comes to content creation. There's a reason why they are performing so well. Is it perfection? NO. It's most likely a combination of their creativity, individuality, content distribution, value, and consistency that has allowed them to thrive in their craft. Identify what you like and don't like and see what you can apply to your own approach toward content. There are a ton of top of top-performing creators, and you can become one of them. Imitation may be the greatest form of flattery, but you must find your unique voice, and before you know it, you'll see success too!
Number Four: Invest in Your Content Creation Equipment
You don't have to spend thousands of dollars when just getting started, but you do need to be prepared to invest over time. You will need to up your game as time passes and your brand expands. Depending on the type of content you plan to create, the costs can get on up there. Everything I've made in my businesses, I've invested back into my businesses to purchase equipment for my craft, create new opportunities, and grow my brand. It's all a part of the process.
Not sure what you need for your standard social media content creation? Grab my Content Creation Equipment Guide.
For instance, if you're interested in becoming an influencer, your phone can only do so much, which means you may need to shift to a DSLR camera. Maybe you want to break into the blogging industry, but you have an outdated computer with a busted battery. It might be time to prepare to purchase a new laptop or desktop that's more reliable. Perhaps you want to launch a podcast, make beats, or record music. Your cell phone audio can't give you the same quality experience as a professional recording microphone will.
All of these things cost money, and you will need them as you grow. NOTICE that I did not say initially. Add to it as you go.
Number Five: Create & Share Content That Contributes Value in Your Space
Regardless of what type of content you create, when you add value, you can't lose! Value can come in the form of inspiration, education, entertainment, community engagement, and so on. By providing informative or interesting content that your audience can resonate with, you'll become a trusted authority figure, subject matter expert, or our not-so-favorite overused know-it-all phrase, a "thought leader." I'm trying myself to move away from this word, but give me some time... Anyways, consider creating content that brings a unique experience to those who encounter what you produce. If it's music or art, make it memorable and magical. If it's tips and tricks, make it digestible. If it's articles, make them readable and jam-packed with nuggets you've found and written about or have decided to share. If it's video content, make it interactive, so your community doesn't swipe with a quickness.
My highest performing multi-viral content to date has been when I've shared secret tips, how-to's, and tutorials jumped on top of trends and added value, and been vulnerable and unapologetically raw. So check out my Instagram and Tik Tok for receipts. Try it out and see if it works for you too.
Number Six: Choose a Priority Platform & Focus All Energy There
One of the biggest mistakes new creators make is spreading themselves too thin across multiple platforms early on. Here's the thing... Unless you're famous, have a big brand, or a sh*t ton of money for adverting dollars, you're not going to be able to blow up massively online. Your content could be the best in the business, but it doesn't mean that you'll shine on every single platform.
One tip I always share and advocate for with my clients, including the stubborn ones is that you should begin your social media journey by prioritizing one app, ideally where your audience resides. For instance, if your audience is Gen Z, get on Tik Tok. Interested in sharing music, demonstrations, or vlogs? Establish your presence on YouTube. If you're looking to connect with millennials, tap into Instagram. Want to mingle with Gen X? Look at Facebook. Need career connections? LinkedIn is the place to be. Understand where your people are and build your community there. I do advise reserving domain handles on all platforms and posting a small amount of content to build out a landing page experience early on, but the ultimate goal is to shift your efforts to your priority.
Number Seven: Build a Recognizable Brand Identity For Your Audience
Branding is EVERYTHING. I've been preaching this for years to my Instagram Tribe so if you're new here, get ready. When you have a recognizable brand identity, you can build trust with your community through your content. Take a peak below at how we integrated my client's internal identity and his external identity to create a visual experience for his social media audience through a social media branding package. Your brand identity is the experience other people get when they come into contact with your brand. It's not about the clothes you wear. It's not about the colors and design of your logo.
It's about YOU. It's about how you show up and show out in your work. It's about what you stand for. It's about your beliefs, and what you're contributing to the world through the content you create. Granted, your visual aesthetics help you amplify your brand and better tell your unique story. But please don't ignore these things, but do not give them more attention to understanding, building, and showcasing who you are at your core.
Once you know who you are internally, you can invest time and resources in crafting a recognizable brand externally. Your content branding should include a consistent experience through your style, personality, fonts, textures, patterns, sites, banners, social media templates, etc.
Don't confuse your community by giving them too much to consume at a single time.
Number Eight: Focus on Cultivating Community Rather Than Building Followers
One of the easiest ways to piss me off as your creative coach or consultant is to complain about your followers. Followers are vanity metrics. Yes. It's great to have them. We like them. We love them. However, millions of followers do not mean millions of dollars.
My business and partnerships have stemmed from the community I've built through my content and connections in the comments and DMs with clients and customers.
Followers are irrelevant. Let me repeat this. Followers on social media are irrelevant if you want to make money.
Community is what creates clients and customers. Community is what creates cash flow. PERIOD. If you wish to book more clients, get more customers, or bring in more cash, your focus must be your community engagement.
Bonus Social Media Growth Tip: 50% of your time as a creator should be spent on creating. 40% of your time should be spent engaging with your audience and other like-minded accounts to draw your audience back to yours. Finally, 10% should be spent on posting. That's the model.
Here are a few ways you can focus on community:
Comment meaningful thoughts on other creator's posts
Respond to comments on your original posts
Invite your audience to DM you
Craft your captions to pose a question
Include a call to action
Much more where that came from. "Stick with ya sis" and stay tuned for more social media engagement strategies.
Number Nine: Accept That You Will Make Mistakes & Give Yourself Room to Grow
Hey friend. You're gonna fail. You're gonna fail hard. It's alright. We all have. Your content will flop. You might hear crickets. You'll be okay. Failure is what will push you towards progress and progress will lead you to success. The irony is the most imperfect posts with all the typos and bloopers are often the ones that do the best.
Sidebar, a secret social media engagement strategy is to include a few typos here and there or missing information to prompt your community to check in with you.
Back to business. There's so much pressure to be perfect in this world, but your imperfections are the pieces that make you shine the most. Those are actually the secret ingredients to your ultimate success as a creator. Be okay with being flawed and take your lessons learned and keep going. Your content will get better. Your community will grow. Don't be too hard on yourself or those who support you. We'll leave this here for now.
Number Ten: Don't Do What Everyone Else is Doing
Originality is the best thing you can do for your brand. People don't connect with your content because it's exactly like someone else's. They are connecting with it because you're uniquely you.
If your role model is Viola Davis, that doesn't mean you have to be Viola Davis.
If you love the way Cher sings, that doesn't mean you have to sing just like Cher. You get the point. Be yourself. Find your unique voice and identity in your space, and be confident in your walk. I've often seen clients get so sucked into how everyone else is carrying themselves online that they don't want to step outside the box and do something different, only to discover that those differences could have put them ahead of the game. It's a slippery slope, but to be the best, you have to dare to be different. So be okay with being outside of the box.
Don't worry about what other people think about you. Easier said than done. I've been actively working on this for years, and it's been a journey. Judgment is a beast, but when you release yourself from worrying about other people's perceptions of you, you become a better version of yourself, and it shows up through the content you create and the person you show up as daily.
People laughed at me when I first started posting on social media to grow and monetize my brand. Yup. They thought I was a whole joke. I even had a boss once make a casual joke about me quitting my 9 to 5 to run off and become an influencer and content creator. I didn't care. I did what I knew I needed to do.
Since then, I've been all over the country, worked with clients across the globe, and have dared to step outside of my comfort zone even further, with a special surprise I'll share with you soon...
It all started because I wasn't afraid to show up and show out as the creator I was born to be. You can shine too with confidence. Take the first step of putting yourself out there.
Special shoutout to my mentor, Tia Buckham-White, for her recent role in helping me essentially not give a f*ck what people think about me as a content creator with my upcoming addition to my creative toolbox loading!
Still not sure where to start with your content creation journey? No problem. Pick up a copy of my Content Creation Checklist to get instant access to:
20+ Top Tools You Need as a Content Creator
180+ Content Ideas to Help You Get Going
Real Samples of My Media Kit & Portfolio That Have Led to Paid Partnerships
Content Strategy Tips
BONUS: Plus, You'll Also Get
Branding Tips & Tricks
About Mia B. Fanning, M.ED. a.k.a., The Queen of Content
Mia is a multi-talented global content creator, storyteller, digital microinfluencer, social media consultant, instructor, doctoral student in her dissertation phase, a motivational speaker, and the founder of House of Bequest, a content creation agency. Her social media following of 25k+ combined from her Instagram, Tik Tok, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter allow her to partner with brands you know and love, such as the Hyatt Regency, Blue Bear, Lemon Jelly, in addition to local Atlanta companies. She specializes in user-generated content creation helping many of your favorite brands develop organic-based experiential digital marketing content (images, short-form videos, etc.). "Content made simple is my motto." - Mia B. Fanning As a full-time multi-talented traveling content creator, her work allows her to support creators and aspiring creators through creative coaching and crafting exclusive content creation experiences to help users elevate their personal and business brands. She also consults clientele across a diverse spectrum supporting one of the world's top story design firms, Fortune 500s, premiere travel brands, SVPs, executive coaches, startups, and seasoned career professionals. Read her latest press feature in Shoutout Atlanta.
Connect With Mia on Social Media:
Website: www.miabfanning.com, www.houseofbequest.com
Instagram: @miabfanning – https://www.instagram.com/miabfanning
Tik Tok: https://www.tiktok.com/@miabfanning?_t=8XDiT8Futn1&_r=1
Image Credits House of Bequest: Ty Davis, Access Now Media, Pexels