Content creation seems to be the industry of the decade, whether in writing, podcasting, or video making. Content creation is in-demand everywhere you look, and in the world of business: “Content is King.” Every business and industry wants to be able to produce more and more content, faster and faster, because consumers gobble it up at such a rapid rate. There will always be a need for more content creation because the market demands it.
So how do you become a content creator? More particularly, how do you become a video content creator? When we think of video content creators, new creators think they need to start with “what’s the best camera to use?” and “how do I edit video?” and while those are important questions, they’re not the most important. A polished video with great equipment won’t capture anyone’s attention if it doesn’t grab its audience. So how do you do that?
Immerse Yourself in Your Industry
The first thing you need to do is do a deep dive into your industry. Stephen King once said of writing that “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.” To be a good writer, you’ve got to be a good reader, because you learn so much not only about craft but about trends and the publishing market. The same is absolutely true about video content creation. To be a video content creator you need to watch videos–in your area of interest. You need to become part of that video community, even before you put out your first video. See what other people are doing, not to copy them, but to see what works and what doesn’t–and to possibly see a niche that’s going unfilled.
The next thing you need to do is create all the time. Obviously, the more you create the better you’ll become, but also the more you’ll be part of the creators’ community. If you want to create video, then start creating video! Don’t sit on your hands and meticulously plan what you want to do someday, but dive in and start creating. Sure, you don’t need to upload the first video you ever made, or even the first ten, but you have to start somewhere. No amount of meticulous planning will make up for not having practice.
Ray Bradbury once said that the quantitative will outweigh the qualitative: that Michaelango’s and Leonardo da Vinci’s great masterpieces would never have been possible if they hadn’t spent so much time drawing sketch upon sketch–the quantitative–that would eventually lead to the Sistine Chapel or the Mona Lisa–the qualitative.
Know Your Audience
As you immerse yourself in your industry, watching the videos made by people who are creating in the same niche that you plan to be in, you’ll get to know who is watching. By participating in online forums, Discord servers, YouTube comments, and more you’ll get a good idea of the type of people who are also watching and sharing those videos.
But once you start creating, there are so many wonderful tools available to video content creators that let you see the actual demographics of the people who are engaging with your content: you can learn not only ages and genders but even locations, average salaries, family size, and more, through the powerful tracking algorithms of the most popular video streaming services.
And when you know your audience you can better cater to their needs. It’s like market research: by understanding your consumer, you’ll not only be able to give them what they’re asking for but you’ll be able to anticipate what they want–before they know they want it!
Understand Your Goals
An important part of becoming a content creator is understanding your goals. Why do you want to be a video content creator? Is it because you have a passion for the content and just want to be able to share it with as many people as possible? Is it because you want to make a living as a content creator? Is it because you want to get seen and hired by a company to make their videos? Knowing why you’re getting into the content creation business is important when you’re planning what to do next and where you see yourself a year down the road.
Set goals for yourself, whether they be number of subscribers or number of views or number of comments or amount of money earned. When you have that goal, you can do what it takes to achieve it.
Collaborate and Network
Part of becoming a successful video content creator is by working with other content creators and becoming a part of the group. Look for every opportunity to rub elbows with the content creators in your niche, even if it starts with something as simple as commenting on their videos. You can also join their Patreons or Facebook groups or other online communities and get to know them. Eventually you may be invited to collaborate with them–or you can invite them to collaborate with you. By combining forces you get to share audiences, and most content creators will jump at the chance to work with others. Everyone is trying to reach new people and even though you may be smaller than them, they might very well be interested in working with you.
Offer Something People Want
Most of all, you need to offer something that people want. You need to have a value proposition. Are you teaching a new skill? Are you entertaining? Are you spreading information? People want to watch your videos because they’re about something, not just because they exist. No one will get addicted to your channel if you’re not giving them something they want.
Have a Point of View
It’s also important to have a point of view or a different take on what else is out there. When someone is choosing between your video and someone else’s, there has to be a reason to pick you–and that reason is going to be your voice. The way that you make your videos and present information or entertainment has got to be different from the way others have done it on other channels.