Last week I had the most awesome opportunity to attend Borderless Live 2019 in London, an indoor festival for all content creators: from those just starting out to those who have been creating content and blogging for a while. It was an event for the most forward thinking brands and the most innovative content creators that facilitated networking and connecting. It ran over two days from Friday 6th to Saturday 7th September, although I could only attend the Saturday. I’ve expressed before that I have a particular interest in improving my content creation skills, which is why I went with the aim of learning as much as I possibly could. And since I have received some questions about blogging and content creation from some of you, my wonderful readers before, I’ve decided to share the most valuable lessons I learned on the day with you. There were so many good speakers but the talk entitled SMALL AUDIENCE LARGE PROFIT: THE ART OF MAXIMISING YOUR EXISTING REACH by well loved YouTuber and photographer, Sorelle Amore, is by far the one I found the most useful.
Here are the main take take aways from her talk.
MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT BEING A CONTENT CREATOR
1. You need to be a giant.
Contrary to what many believe, let go of the notion that you have to be an influencer with followers in the hundreds of thousands to be able to make a decent living from it. There are creators on both Instagram and YouTube with followings between of 10k and 20k who earn a full time living from it.
2. It’s awesome when you’re a giant.
Having a massive following doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be living a lavish lifestyle and earning large sums of money. If you haven’t taken the time to learn how to monetise your following and turning it into a business, all it is is a large following with no other benefits.
3. It’s always fun working with brands.
Yes, working with brands is great, but it isn’t always. Sometimes you have a certain vision for a piece of content and the brand has something completely different in mind, resulting in a clash of ideas. They may completely remove your ‘voice’ and the post will come off as inauthentic to your following, which will make you seem like a “sell-out”.
4. Making money through brand work is the only way to make money as a blogger / content creator.
There are many other ways to make money other than brand deals. See points 8 and 9 below.
5. You’ll need to make bank.
I.e. you need to make a massive amount of money to be financially successful. This is not true. With clever money management, you can have a rewarding career as a content creator without necessarily “making bank”.
TIPS FOR DEVELOPING YOUR CONTENT STRATEGY AND BUSINESS
6. Decide on your 4 or 5 topics a.k.a. buckets/pillars that you’ll create content around.
Consistently create content around each of your buckets until you see which one of them resonates the most with your audience. Now that you see which one is resonating the most, you have your niche. Continue to create more content around that one topic and give your audience what they want but without selling your soul. Really dive deep into that topic so that you become the world’s best at that one particular topic. Now you’ve discovered your hyper niche.
7. Once you’ve discovered your hyper niche, create a business around it.
Create a business around your hyper niche so that you have direct contact with your audience by always giving them value. The more people you can help with your content, the greater and more profitable your business will be. Come from a place of love as if you’re friends and talk to your audience the way you would talk to yourself.
An example of this is Sorelle who has a business around her hyper niche of taking the perfect self portrait. Because she kept on receiving questions from her followers on how to do it due to her own stunning self portraits, she was able to create a business around it and thus her course, the The Advanced Selfie University was born, a course dedicated to teaching her audience to take exceptional self portraits.
8. Select one of two ways (or both) to make money with your business.
- You can make money by selling physical products to your audience, but this can become very labour intensive.
- You can also make money by selling your audience digital products, which in the long run leads to financial freedom.
9. Choose some of the following ways to develop your online business around your hyper niche.
- Mailing list – use your mailing list to promote and sell your products to. You have direct contact to your followers which is a much more effective way than reaching them through Instagram or Facebook.
- Online course, such the Advanced Selfie University.
- Membership area on your site to make monthly recurring income. If people want access to your best content, they pay a monthly membership fee and you keep on offering them really great, valuable content.
- Lower ticket items such as ebooks and merchandise (e.g. T-shirts) also work, but it’s not as effective. Sorelle made the point of saying that if you’re going to spend the time creating an offer, you might as well spend your time creating the higher ticket item such as a course, as opposed to merchandise which is the lower ticket item.
10. To figure out how much money you need, break it down into bite-size portions.
If your aim is to leave your day job and create content for a living full time, work out how much money you’ll need to maintain your current standard of living. Once you have that figure, break it down into a monthly and then weekly and even a daily figure. Once you have that figure it will be much easier to plan your income and to work out what exactly you have to do to reach your financial target.
This is obviously just a tiny snap shot of what was covered at the conference, but again I found Sorelle’s talk incredibly valuable. There were a lot of other workshops that took place during day with more awesome content creators, such as Katy English, Kate McCulley @paperboyo and Lisa Binderberger from Boom Creative Lab who spoke about leading with the value and the quality of the content you create, as opposed to the number of likes and followers. Do check out all of them, even it’s just to see what’s happening beyond the immediate list of people you’re following.
Borderless Live was honestly the most valuable £18 I’ve ever spent and I can’t recommend it highly enough. I’ll definitely be back next year.
Have you ever done a content creation / blogging course before? Is it something you’d consider? And if you have done one, please share more about it with us below.