If you have asked me early 2018 where I would see myself in September 2019, I couldn’t have by no mean, guessed. I probably would have said ” somewhere in Canada, working in a cool Tech company and enjoying Canadian nature”. Social Media what?
But instead, I participated in the Great British Bake Off and have been slowly transforming my career as a cook and a content creator. Basically what you can call me “a creative living from her passion of food”.
A lot of my current work is possible thanks the social media platforms I use (mainly Instagram) and thanks to my amazing audience. I gained it first from being in a successful TV show and now it is organically growing. I wanted to give you more insights on my life as a digital content creator, how I am building my own brand with the help of my manager and the important things I have learnt along the way working with social medias.
1. Have something genuine to offer to your audience.
If you want to start your own blog, insta page or Youtube channel, this is when you need to think, what do I have or do, that people can learn from? Who do I like to follow and why? You don’t have to want to change the world. Just share something that means something to you and that you are passionate about. People will feel your passion through. And that my friend, is key!
Doing it for the likes? Want to be Instagram famous? Turning Vegan because it is trendy but not sure if you can keep it up? …. I truly believe the best content creators online, are the most genuine people in real life. They have become what they have become by following their passion, have something to say and overall, started doing what they do for the right reasons. When I think about why people enjoy following me ( I hate praises and this is not one, just an analysis and critic of my own social media presence) I believe they enjoy my simple approach to baking and homemade French food in general, a little bit of fashion – apparently – and my positive life and lifestyle in London. Which overall, is a good representation of who I am as a person.
Why do I say all of this?
To be brutally honest, social media can be tough and cruel. It can easily get to you if the only thing you are looking for is more for self confidence or vanity. ( I am very sorry, I am being a little bit harsh here!) Sadly, you don’t have to look too far to understand which types of photos gets the most likes, I know. A photo of me always gets more likes than a recipe. Which I guess it is mostly because people can relate more to a face than to a piece of cakes 🙂 Never the less, half of my content is food and half it me. Because I know my purpose.
2. Create some quality content that you are proud of.
Whether it is written, photo, video or podcast content, you have to be proud of it before you share it. It is something I have learnt on the way. I sometimes have shared some content I thought was “OKish” well my followers thought the same! Even if you have something great to offer, the ways to delivering it will also make the difference. Plenty of people will have the same idea or concept as you. You will have to create your own style of content and make it personal to you.
Where to start?
Inspiration. Every creator finds inspiration. Apart of you are a genius inventor, I doubt that you will invent something in your lifetime. I take inspiration from everything around me, my family and travels in general. But I love using platforms like Pinterest, my favourite blogs and Instagram of course to look at visuals and styled shoots, to find what I like and create my own.
Tools. Whichever type of content you are creating, invest into the main piece of tool you will need. Doesn’t have to be the most expensive, start low and simple before splashing the cash on better and bigger equipment.
3. The power of No when it comes to Brands collaborations.
As you might know, most of the content creator online can live from their content thanks to brands collaboration. Just like magazines, free private TV and any traditional media work, content creators collaborate with brands to create some content, and promote the brand on their channel(s).
Earlier this year after the the FYRE Festival documentary, things started to change. Now thankfully, every content creator has to share whether that specific piece of content is a collaboration promoting a brand.
Why do I do “paid” content?
As much as you, I love a free magazine, and freely using Instagram. In a fashion magazine, I do enjoy looking at all of the ads, which compose 40 to 50% of the content . It is often beautifully curated and I understand that the rest of the content is available to me, because the magazine was able to finance their journalists, photographers, models etc . thanks to that advertising.
Just like a magazine, I also have to finance myself to be able to create free content. This is as simple as that. I am also very open to say when I am working with a brand and always disclaim at the beginning of a post, following the CMA rules.
Why I say No to certain brands (more than you think)
Now this is such an important point for me (and hopefully for you) I ONLY work with brands that make sense to me and that I am excited about. I am always so honoured that a brand wants to work with me, and have had some “pinch myself” moments after finishing some campaigns.
Me and my manager always look first whether the brand matches my own brand values and is a natural fit. I will have always used the product or service I am advertising. We say no to brands that won’t fit these rules. Even if they offer a lot of money, it is NEVER worth it for me.
Lastly, I love collaborating with brands because that is when it get challenging, but so exciting! You have to follow a brief, channel your inspiration and make it work! It is still MY recipe, MY photo and MY content. The only difference, is that this time, instead of doing it for free, someone kindly pay for MY work. Don’t we all like to be paid for our work?
4. Social media, a digital life shop front.
My work and life a very integrated. I pride myself to make my social medias as close to my life as possible. But for me, it is my shop front, just like many other digital creators like me.
I am saying this, because of the constant rise of the correlation between social media and mental health issues. I always find it crazy to hear that some of my friends don’t understand how easily content is manipulated. You can “pretend” to be at any place in the world for 3 weeks if you wanted to.
My main goal on social media for me is firstly to have fun and enjoy what I do – which I think is key. My key values online are realness, gratitude and giving.
I always ask myself these questions before I follow someone:
- I know this person personally so I can relate to them and want to keep in touch.
- I am learning from this person – yoga, style, food, photography etc
- This content is cool and I just like its ascetic
- I want access to online free reality TV
The reasons why I don’t follow or unfollow an account:
- There is nothing to learn from this account and I know it is purely fake
- This person make me feel insecurities about my body, my style, my life etc
5. You are your best competition.
Are you a competitive person? I am. I mean who doesn’t want to win? Put me playing a board game or on a sports ground, I am Ready! But really, who do I compete against? You could easily blame your opponents for your loss, but that is not going to get you anywhere.
And it is the same with social media. There is no point comparing your account to other accounts. I think it is very easily done to think you are not growing as much as someone else; who is doing something similar because of that external factor or that other factor. Instead of comparing yourself and asking but why people don’t follow me but they do follow him or her, just get cracking and make BETTER content!
Just focus on your content, and keep going with what you believe in. Working with social media is a long and tiring game. If you don’t take it as a fair competition and play the rules, then you have already lost.