Eleven Lessons Content Creation Has Taught Me: An Open Letter To Young Creatives

Words by, Igee Okafor

Photography by, Jeremy Mitch

Dear content creators - Bloggers, Influencers, Brands and alike, 

I'm taking this favorable time to shed light on particular questions I receive so very often about tackling the challenges of content creation. 

Within the last few years, the world of content creation has evolved and changed drastically - all thanks the internet and specifically, social media. Nowadays, anyone is able to turn any form of creativity into a full time business. On one hand this advancement in opportunity is a wonderful thing because everyone is given a chance to authentically enjoy what you do while also monetizing it enough to cater to life's daily demands. On the flip side, the over exposure of content in every genre is making it a bit difficult for new comers to break in - sometimes leading to creative frustrations, and overall discouragement for new talent. This observation is my reason for writing this post. 

Getting to indulge in meaningful conversation with working creatives - both professional and aspiring, I have noticed a recurring struggle concerning an urgent pressure for hurried success and accomplishment. Myself included! It got me thinking about why we think this way - Is it because we feel that we are so talented and know all it is that we need to know surrounding our craft or is it because we compare ourselves to our success idols who make it all look easy? I urge you to really think about it. 

It is very important that as consumers and creators, we are paying attention to the conception of growth. For days when it feels like you can't just seem to win, use the pointers below as inspiration to help keep you going.

  • You have to know what your brand of content is and you have to stick to it while also successfully collaborating with other creatives who may or may not always be in the same genre. Collaboration and work experience in your field of interest with the people you admire and are inspired by goes a long way.
  • Be a sponge! Always be open to learning. I have learned so much about branding, advertising, marketing, public relations, time management, working with people and more. I started off writing for a Canadian blog. I went off to write for three different magazines at the same time. I then worked in Marketing as an intern for two or three different companies. I was doing all this while going to school and keeping up my blog and through these experiences, I met the best people and things just happened to fall into place.
  • Why? Engagement! I was putting out content that people cared about and I was making it a point to engage and network with like minded individuals. You always know someone who knows someone. You are going to do that by shamelessly promoting yourself and engaging with your industry's top leaders by being prominent, socially. Be bold, and engage. Not being on the guest list at popular events is not an excuse. Be consistently visible in the comments section or make it a point to schedule a meet up.
  • Understand how you can best serve yourself and your audience. Is it hi res images, is it style, is it being personable? Supporters will come if you have great content. You have to get them to care about your perspective - whether its being challenged or supported. What you discuss is your concern but always make sure to prioritize showing who it is that you are, what you're excited about, and how it's relevant in to what's going on in the world. Pay attention to exhausting opportunities that allow you to do so. For example, Radio interviews, magazine features, podcasts, leveraging your other talents to draw attention to the focus. 
  • Stay inspired and constantly study what everyone else doing. You have to seek inspiration and awareness. See how you can take the best of the best and translate it to how you view your art. Share it! It'll start off slow or so it'll seem, but the fact is you're working towards an end goal. Good things take time.
  • I have been blogging non stop for almost 4 years and I still do not feel like I have reached my peak. I have been fortunate enough to work consistently with global brands and people that I have admired since I started following blogs at 15 years old. There's a long way to go. Make sure what you’re producing is of quality and is as good as the people you admire if not better.
  • Stay focused and do not feel you have to explain yourself to people who don't seem to understand what you do. Not everyone has had the opportunity to explore the things that you have so, reserve judgement. It's your perspective! 
  • I did not start my blog specifically for financial or superficial purposes. I simply started this blog to express my creativity with the hopes of meeting other people who believe in it, which would ultimately lead to creating something even bigger than what it is.
  • Blogging/content creating is a lot of work. More work that most realize. It is completely fine to take a well needed break as you please. 
  • It's a working progress. Trust yourself, stand firm on your instincts/decisions, and always stay ahead of the curve.
  • Be kind to people. Loyalty to the people who wholeheartedly support you will go a long way. 

Thank you for reading!