Tips for making your content stand out in 2020 and beyond.
2020 starts a new year and a new decade. While I'm not a resolutions person, now is a great time for reflection. And it's been an interesting 10 years.
I entered this past decade with what I thought was a linear, predictable career plan (thanks, STEM!). Then I blew it up to pursue a passion for digital content production. The road since has been unpredictable at the best times and turbulent at the worst. But I can look back and say that several projects and experiences made me a better content producer, storyteller, and human being.
Here are three lessons I picked along my journey so far producing content (and in life) that I plan on taking into 2020.
One of my first professional projects was for a friend of a friend. We were to create a fashion video for one of their sweatshirt designs. I wanted to give “professional filmmaking” a try. So I decided to take on the project as a videographer and editor. It was a scrappy, guerilla-style shoot spread across Harlem and the Upper West Side.
This project gave me one of my first real experiences working alongside a client. And it also introduced me to an incredible person who I continue to work with today, seven years later.
Every collaboration since I have met interesting people, helped tell a compelling story, and challenged myself in new ways. Find these relationships early, and keep coming back to them. And say yes to every opportunity that you can.
In 2015, I sat down to write, direct, and edit a 20-minute short film. And for several months, no ideas were clicking.
The production part I knew well. But up until then, I had focused most of my energy on helping other people tell their stories. When it came time to create something for myself, it was harder to narrow in on a concept that I felt would be compelling. I realized I wasn’t being personal enough in my storytelling. If a story was not compelling for me, it would also fall flat for an audience. I took a risk and focused on a subject I cared about: family.
The result was well received — and even played at a festival or two — because it was a story that felt genuine and real. This lesson goes beyond personal filmmaking. As a content creator, tell stories that you care about. Express a strong point of view, whether it’s for a multimillion-dollar brand or a local non-profit. Break out of your comfort zone. People will notice and will engage with the content more.
This complements making content personal. The transition from a content producer to a strategist has changed my perception of building a brand. It's broadened my view of content as being one project. Whether it's a podcast series or a music video, each story needs to contribute to the larger brand message. At the heart of that message is the people that create those values.
It's easy to focus on products or intangible ideas of what a brand can offer. But highlighting a sense of community and identity is the key to lasting relevance.
If you like what you see and want to work together, get in email@example.com