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The billion dollar question isn’t “What will you create?” Rather, it’s “Why will you create?”
As a content creator, this should be the first question you ask yourself. “Why” is where your content begins and ends. If you look beyond social media platforms, you will find that “why” is the genesis of everything that is to be created. Why do we need this? Why should this product be sold? Why do people love certain brands? Why do fans want to watch my videos?
Figuring out “Why”
All successful major brands have established a “Why” statement. They have done so because it is how corporations can best relate to our own sensibilities.
Think about a company like McDonald’s. Why does McDonald’s exist? What is the why? It’s simple. We believe in our ability to serve consistent and delicious food without the wait – fast food. This informs everything McDonald’s does on an international scale. From the slogan “Every time a good time” to the popular phrase “I’m Lovin’ It.” – McDonald’s has established that they will be consistent and delicious – no matter where you consume it. It’s almost as if McDonald’s has signed a contract with the consumer stating what they can expect when stepping into a building with the Golden Arches.
Now let’s look at an example creator: A gamer who currently likes to create racing game videos. What do you think their “why” is? We would recommend they tie it to personal behavior, past experience or a desire that they stand firmly behind.
Example: I believe that racing game videos should be as action-packed and fast-paced as the content being played, and that fans of racing games deserve to participate in the excitement.
This immediately sets a tone for the creator and who they’re trying to reach. They can build all-encompassing branding that would entice fellow racing game fans that sends this message. Their content can be formed to maintain this key message.
Obviously, this is something that should be established from the start, but we’ve personally found that many creators are not able to identify the “why” for their own content. They can easily explain “what they do” or “how they do it” but rarely “why they create”.
The Wrong Why
We’ve heard countless times from clients:
- “I just want the views.”
- “I get why people watch my channel, but it’s not why I make videos.”
- “I just want to make money.”
- “I want to be an influencer.”
- “I dunno. I just make things because I like to.”
Although each of these may be legitimate statements of interest, they will not position you for long-term success. These are definitely not the best way to look at your channel if you are expecting an audience to join you. We strongly advise to go deeper. Try associating your base reasoning with an emotional purpose. If you apply any of the above examples as the main purpose, expect to be disappointed when your goals aren’t met.
We strongly advise against creating content simply for the sake of uploading, as this is nearly always devoid of purpose. Oversaturation is not and will never be an effective strategy. To create a long-lasting brand, you need to set both frequency and quality expectations with your intended audience that you are personally able to maintain.
Never let a platform dictate why/how/what you create, because platforms will always change for their best interest – not yours.
Why Develop “Why” Now?
It’s never too late to clearly establish your purpose. In fact, many clients we work with may adjust their purpose over time due to life events, technology shifts or personal interests.
Look at your content and ask yourself these questions:
- Is it clear to my audience why I made my last video/post?
- Does all content I create align with and communicate my personal beliefs, a common message or purpose?
- Can I see myself continuing to make this same content five years from now? Does it stem from interests that I grew up with?
- Is my content serving a need in society? Is there a gap in content online and does my content fill that space?
People don’t want to watch content just for the sake of content – they want to see content because you made it, and you have a unique voice. Make sure you find that voice, and be authentic to it. Formulate your “why” and communicate it in everything you do. Believe us when we say: Why matters.
*Recommended Viewing: Simon Sinek – “Start with Why”