In the era of hustle culture and influencers, content creation has emerged as a way for professionals to provide value to their personal brand outside of their full-time jobs. The reality: content creation is a part-time job that can quickly become a full-time job, especially if you find success.
Yes, you’ve posted content consistently and have grown a large, faithful audience across social media platforms, but how do you keep the creativity going? It’s important and intensive, and I’ll share what has helped me grow Git Cute’s multi-channel brand presence and maintain a loyal audience, all without sacrificing the creativity that helped me get there in the first place.
Creating your content brand
Before you start creating content, you need to have your personal brand identified. It was important to me that I stay true to myself and that my personal brand did not stray away from an honest view of the tech industry while keeping my kawaii aesthetic. With that in mind, I centralized the best of my personal brand into Git Cute: honest technical tutorials and information that is designed for the wide spectrum of software engineers and providing tools and games that maintain a cute perspective.
I credit creating authentic content for my success as a content creator. In an era where content creators make posts about products or ideas without disclosing sponsorships, trust is critical. That's not to say authenticity is manufactured as part of your personal branding, it should grow organically over time.
Tech professionals and creatives such as Amy with Bubblesort served as inspiration to providing accurate information without sacrificing my personal identity and aesthetic. Keeping steadfast with this approach has proven pivotal to the cohesiveness of my content from podcasts, published books, IDE (integrated development environment) themes, social media posts, and upcoming ventures.
Constructing your content strategy
A content strategy does not have to be as rigid as, say, an influencer who has to post every day, three times a day across several platforms (not including the brands that they have been paid to promote). You can start with a strategy that is small and aligns with the time and effort that you have to put into it now and can scale in the future. HootSuite, for instance, allows you to gather your social media posts in one place to schedule, and I find that it is a great app for scaling as it allows you to add more users and social media accounts on its paid tiers.
It is important to have this structure in place for the days where your creativity is lacking, but you know that you need to keep consistent. Here’s a few questions to consider:
- How many times a week do you want to post?
- What platforms do you want to create your content on?
- What length of time makes sense for the medium you want to use?
- What base content can be used across multiple platforms?
Planning for content differentiation
Logistics aside, content formats are also a critical piece of the process. For instance, by dividing your content into short- and long-form outputs, you’re able to identify the content that can be cross-posted. The benefit here is that by repurposing long-form content for short-term platforms, you don’t have to double your work.
For example, I send out a weekly Git Cute Newsletter where I give updates on content that I am creating, tech news updates, and write an essay about a topic that is relevant for that week. My essay can easily be a blog post that I can post on my website. My other common pairing is my short form content on TikTok and Instagram Reels.
Different forms of content will require you to adapt to fit their main audience while also maintaining your brand voice. This can come in the form of funny, meme-adjacent short form content on TikTok while expanding upon the topic in blog posts and/or your newsletter. The goal is to have the person consuming your content discover you on one channel, then follow you from platform-to-platform.
Being open to collaboration opportunities
Lastly, if you feel that your content is growing stale despite the above methods, reach out to your network about collaborations. By keeping relationships with others that are in the same niche of content creation as you are, you are keeping a lifeline open for new ideas when things become stale.
For example, you could appear on their podcast and vice versa or perhaps swap videos. This will expose you to a whole new audience and can inspire you to create new content by seeing what aspects of the collaboration engaged your audience.
Executing the plan
Now that your strategy is in place, it's time to execute. Here are some helpful ways that I apply the following content creation building blocks in meaningful ways:
• Stick to your content strategy. Consistency is key!
• You can always plan content days and weeks ahead so you don’t feel pressured to create every single day.
• Don’t pigeonhole your content. You can expand past what grew your initial audience to bring in more people.
• Remember that one form of content can be refactored to work across many content platforms. Work smarter, not harder.
• Don’t be afraid to ask fellow content creators for help or to create content together.
• Be true to yourself! Your content will see the benefits from audience growth and upward trajectory in other metrics.
Reminder: the other side of success is that content creation will quickly become a full-time job. The magic happens when you are honest about your capacity and the resources you can devote to the content. Be kind to yourself, be consistent, and watch your audience grow from your efforts.
Tools and Resources
Here's a few resources I've found helpful along my cross-channel content journey:
Jocelyn is a Java advocate and a senior software engineer. She's the author of Git Cute: A Software Engineer's Guide to Seniority and host of Git Cute Podcast.
She's passionate about Java, scalability, full scale testing, automating deployments, and diversity and inclusion within our tech community.