Social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram have adapted their offering over the past few years to make it as easy as possible to create online content and help creatives build communities.
By doing this, the platforms have helped build an incredible amount of careers and brands have taken note of these online communities and have started engaging with creators to create content highlighting their products and services while the platforms get users to spend more and more time online. This symbiotic relationship has created a massive shift in the marketing industry and has given users the opportunity to land millions of eyes on their content if it’s strong enough.
With only a few days left to enter the DStv Content Creator Awards (entries close on 10 July 2022), content creators are finally being recognised for their incredible impact. However, as so many local creatives have already made a name for themselves online, so many more are expected to become viral sensations in the months and years to come.
How to make your content stand out
But, how do you make your content stand out? Some of South Africa’s most popular creatives give their advice for creators who are looking to get started.
For Tevin Musara, sharing jaw-dropping content is one way he was able to rack up more than 10 million followers on TikTok. “When it comes to creating, always put what you love first. Create content for yourself,” he says. “I watched this cooking show the other day and this Michelin star chef said, ‘I only cook for my pallet, that is what I serve, and I just hope they like what I like.’ That sums everything up to a T, doesn’t it. Always create for yourself first.
“You don’t ever want to find yourself building a whole entire community based on something that you don’t like because it’s more than likely that you’ll have to keep that up. I’ve seen so many of me peers go down this path and it’s a miserable road.
“Rest is so important. Self care is so important. Never compromising your worth is so important. Health is so important. Being yourself is so important. Staying humble and grounded is so important. Posting consistently and staying consistent with all of these mentioned above is most important.”
A Girl Named Cassidy
For comedian Cassidy Nicholson, who created the hilarious alter ego Constantia Mom, blocking out the haters and moving past self-doubt is one way creators can take their content to the next level. “Give it horns! Stop caring what people, your school friends in particular, think of you!” She adds that paving your own path is another secret to success. “Do not compare yourself to other content creators… JUST DO YOU!”
For Robyn Angler, who goes under the alias Miss Angler, showcasing parts of her everyday life with a twist has helped her build an impressive online community and it’s because of the content’s ability to relate.
“Creating content around making school and studying easier, sharing secrets to getting high marks as well as showing what happens behind the scenes as a teacher has helped me carve out my niche,” Robyn says. “What ever your niche is, build a community, that takes time so don’t expect it to come overnight. Then be the specialist who everyone and every company wants to work with.”
For Bontle Modiselle, using social media to build a brand has been a massive factor for her ongoing success. Even Kelly Rowland gave her a shout-out during her recent visit to Mzansi! Bontle wants to inspire up-and-coming creators to start posting immediately.
“Start where you are, and do the best you can with what you’ve got and stay the course because you don’t know where it leads,” she says. “It’s not about having it figured out, but you learning as you go. Be patient with yourself. Be kind to yourself and know that you really are doing your best.”
Bontle adds that determination and passion will be key factors in taking your content to the next level. “Many moments in life are like going to the gym. Often the toughest part is deciding to go but once you start, don’t stop,” Bontle continues. “Have a high level of awareness with your relationship with validation. They’ll be days when you need to believe, on your own, without the compliments, praise or applause. Be okay with that.”