Twitter. Facebook. Pinterest. Tumblr. The Fancy. Blogs. Websites. Print. e-Books. i-Books. Real books. Welcome to information overload. The amount of information we have access to has grown exponentially, the number of hours in the day, have stayed the same. Never before has it been so easy to create a mini-empire, never before has there been so much competition to do so.
As a Global Content Director at Lot 17 Media, my job is to source, create and market content, from luxury brands to niche publications. The content I create is not limited to a particular field— although fashion is my specialty— it’s based upon strategic content that adheres to specific digital, financial and brand goals and the one phrase that I truly believe in, “Always give back to the world more than you take.”
Here are 5 things to keep in mind:
Be Nice (Nice Guys Always Win)
This may not be the case in dating but it certainly is when it comes to creating content. Highlighting other people’s expertise, accomplishments or simply their style is a great way to create a vested interest in your content. Start with the people you know who inspire you and then reach out to other people you’d like to know. Shining a spotlight on others does not diminish your own; it helps create a community of work peeps you actually enjoy hearing from. And let’s face it, when it comes to the digital world, there is not a lot of down time so building a community of people you love and respect is the nicest way to live your working life.
Be Passionately Curious
Have you ever had an intern, friend, acquaintance who asked questions and actually listened to the answer? Not to steal your genius ideas but simply because they had a hunger for information? Hire them. On the spot. People who are passionately curious listen, read, and devour information finding fresh angles on tired subjects. They are the ones that come to you with information—a statistic they read in the elevator, a piece of news they found while reading AM on their way to work—and they are worth their weight in gold. You can’t order someone to be interested. Work with people who love what they do and are passionate about the quality of work they produce. The ones who get upset because there is a wayward comma, are the ones you want.
Choose Timely or Choose Timeless
If you don’t have the time or staff to break news, don’t. The online world moves at lightning speed and there is nothing that can kill your credibility more than breaking a news story five hours after your competitors. People are loyal to a particular point of view. Give your slant on a news item or better yet, create original content that brands your company as an expert in your field.
Consistency is Key
Nothing will loose you followers faster than sporadic content. It doesn’t matter if you create 10 posts per day or 10 posts per year, be consistent. Know your market. When is your target market online? When are your competitors? When do your readers check their emails? When are they most likely to click on a link and read a story? There is a wealth of tracking data available for every online platform. Checking online statistics is like balancing your cheque book. Do it regularly and you will succeed. And when it comes to content don’t be afraid to experiment with new sections. Just make sure it goes up at the same time each week so that your readers can look forward to reading it.
Always Have Integrity
I’ve lived my life in what most would deem “fickle” industries—entertainment and fashion. I graduated high school at 16 and never went to college. I come from the school of hard knocks where reading personalities is the key to survival. Are there vindictive, self-absorbed people in the world of fashion? Of course, there are in any industry. But remember jealousy must be earned. How others behave is out of your control, how you do, is. I have always believed in working and promoting people/brands that I believe in. That inspire me. That give me a reason to create. Those who are simply there to use and abuse don’t last very long in any walk of life. It’s a small world and what goes around comes around. So take the time to spell check, never publish a photo of someone that you wouldn’t want published of yourself, show others in their best light, remember it takes a team to create anything in this world and don’t always go for the obvious—big people were little people once too.
Creating killer content comes from a genuine desire to want to communicate with people. I admire people from all walks of life. And I’ve always been fascinated by other people’s stories. So doing this, watching traffic grow, and seeing a start up take off is something I really enjoy.
If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, stop doing it. If you have lost your passion for what you’re creating, find it. If the people around you don’t inspire you, search for others who do. Be responsible for what you create and give back to this world, in my opinion, life is too short to live any other way.
This article originally appeared on Open Source Fashion, an active community of helpful innovators working in fashion, retail, and technology. Join OS Fashion on Meetup to attend future discussion series events.