Have you ever picked up a pencil and sketched? Of course, who hasn’t! And, in that moment of sketching, you created by definition “art.” So, by definition, that makes you an artist.
I want you to use that same train of thought when you consider creating content. If you are putting content out into the world, whether it’s a photo snapped on your phone and uploaded to your personal Facebook or a 2,000 word article, you are already a content creator.
Now that you have the power of being a content creator in your own hands, why am I here? Well, I am going to offer you some moral support along with a few tips to sharpen your content creating skills. What makes me an expert? Uh well, I’m blogging on the World Wide Web where anyone can post whatever they want and call themselves experts on just about anything so… I’m the renowned expert content creator who is bestowing my tips on how to create content––with the content seekers of the world.
Seriously, though, I have trained countless speakers, coaches, and companies on how to create content that works for their businesses. These are clients who are speaking to audiences of 5,000+ multiple times a month and using my techniques to teach those audiences how to create the content of their own. All that is to say––I know a little bit about creating content, so trust that you’re in good hands as we run through 5 basic tips to start or improve your content.
- THERE ARE NO RULES! Create content that works for you.
- You do not need to know everything. As they say: jack of all trades, master of none––don’t be that person. There are dozens of platforms you could focus on. Choose only those where your target audience is hanging out. Podcasts, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook––you don’t need to be an expert on every single one. Do the research, find out where your audience is most engaged, and focus your efforts there.
- Do what you enjoy. Like I said earlier, if you’re taking photos, writing, filming, anything, you’re creating content. So, keep creating the content that you enjoy creating!
- Use what you have. You can start creating content right now. You don’t need the fancy camera, you don’t need the expert podcasting tools, just use that thing in your pocket––your phone. Think about it as your Swiss Army knife of content creation. You can shoot HD images, video, capture audio. The best part? It can also edit your content and publish it to your channels. Just get started now, upgrade later.
Now that we’ve got the basics in place, I’m going to give you a couple bonus tips to take your content to the next level:
- Consider social media layouts. There are people out there putting a lot of thought into their social media layouts. Here’s a great example of a content creator that curates her feed with precision. Notice looking from a bird’s eye view of all her post her style is clear as a whole and in each post individually. Before I lose you, we are NOT barking up that tree. But, I do want you to be aware of that level of planning and then think about how a theme, style or color palette could work for you. You will be amazed that without thinking about it you will probably start seeing your own style develop. Do you post clean photos, or maybe your images always have a ton of grays? Whatever it is once you see it (if you aren’t planning it) then embrace and develop it further. Again, no rules, just be thoughtful.
- Angles. If your thing is shooting straight on, cool, go for it. If your thing is shooting Dutch, nice. If you don’t know what Dutch is don’t worry about it. My point in all of this is you are over thinking all of this. You will develop your own unique style for creating content and that is a hundred times better than trying to follow a million tips from these so call experts on this World Wide Web. If your doing shots of product and not of a subject (human) think about how a straight on, flat lay, or quarter angle shot can shift the impact of your content. Shooting product photos? Check out this guide to 5 winning angles.
- Lighting. Like alcohol, too much or too little and you just have a bad drink. You need just the right amount for the appropriate goal. For some of you who dont know how to use a DSLR I would recommend sticking with your camera phone. They take amazing pictures. However, they have small sensors which means they need a good amount of light. Natural light is always easiest to work with and there are two times to aim for. Magic hour, right after sunrise and right before sunset is a great time to grab emotional shots. If you are looking for your subject or product to shine more than your photography skills aim for more flat times (sun close to its peak ) between 10 and 11 AM and 1 and 2 PM.
- Check your audio. If you’re creating a video or podcast, make sure your subject is talking towards the mic. If you have an external mic make sure you find out Also, right before you press record, close your eyes and listen. Take note of every noise that could distract your audience. Air conditioners are commonly overlooked noises that can ruin vlogs. Do your best to eliminate any background noise to keep your audio crisp.
Last tip. Perhaps the most important tip of all. Stockpile your post. Create 5-10 content posts and have them ready to publish on your feed before you start. Some people use these stock plied post when they get to busy to post others choose to create a week in advance just to stay ahead of the game. Either way, the purpose of this is to make sure you stay consistent with posting. Post daily, twice a week, or once a week–– just choose a schedule that you can be consistent with and stick with it. Nothing is worse than a blackout (where you stop posting entirely). Let me correct that. Never creating any content at all for your product or service is worse.
If this in any way has helped you please email me and let me know what your thoughts are and what type of content you are or about to start creating.
Craig Ballin is the Founder & Creative Director of Adspire Creative Group, a video production company focused on creating marketing content. Craig can produce your next commercial and he can create your marketing strategy. He competes in Iron Distance triathlons. Has traveler 30 +countries and currently calls Nashville, TN home.