Lecture 9: Promoting Content and Branding the Self

1. Take advantage of free online resources

There are plenty of free intuitive online platforms and tools such as SoundCloud, Patreon, and YouTube that you can use to create, distribute, and promote your brand and content. Of course, always research the pros and cons of each platform before you use them. For instance, there are many pros to Patreon such as the ability to generate earnings from your content, grow your follower base, and create exclusive content for subscribers. There are also cons to Patreon such as their high fees. Moreover, being on too many platforms can be overwhelming and time-consuming for newbie creators which is why it’s important to research and understand the advantages and disadvantages of each platform.

2. Develop your promotional and marketing skills

Developing your promotional and marketing skills take time and practice. It’s important to understand that there is no clear-cut solution to mastering the skill of promoting content online and there is also a significant amount of trial and error involved. As social media algorithms are constantly changing, you must also learn to adapt and change how you market your content and brand. Keep track of your notifications on social media and pay attention to new trends (Pineda, 2009). It’s always a good idea to explore different marketing tactics such as following new TikTok trends, learning from social media marketing experts, and being creative in how you share your content.

3. Promote yourself without being a d*ck

We all get it: actively promoting yourself and your brand often receives backlash on social media. Why? Because oftentimes influencers and creators push their content to the extent where it becomes annoying and what people deem as “spam”. Be cautious of how you promote your content and understand that quality matters more here than quantity. For example, sharing one clear, informative, and persuasive post is much more effective than several pushy and vague posts. It keeps your “advertised” content to a minimum while also being confident and bold in who you are and the content you make. Always be polite and do nice things for others “because you’re human” and not because you expect something in return (Brogan & Smith, 2009).

4. Monetizing your content and social media

There are many ways you can monetize your content and social media whilst promoting your brand online. For example, you can sell merch, offer exclusive content on platforms such as Patreon, Kofi, etc. and work on collaborations with other content creators and companies. It is always a good idea to be interactive within your niche and network with fellow content creators since you cannot connect with people online without actively being part of “the conversation” (Brogan & Smith, 2009). As Johnstone (n.d.) writes, “social media is about real relationships with real people” and thus requires you to be consistent, authentic, and trustable. Therefore, you should always interact and offer valuable content to your followers and community before you seek to monetize your content.

5. Finding the right balance

It is important to find the right balance when it comes to promoting content and branding yourself. You want to appear confident without seeming cocky and you want to promote your content without seeming overly aggressive. Remember, online relationships are “genuine and take work” and cultivating a community on social media requires you to make real relationships with real people (Brogan & Smith, 2009). While being able to monetize your content can seem appealing, remember why you are making content and who you are making it for. If your heart is not in the right place, your followers can tell your ingenuity. Being authentic and genuine is always important. Make sure to offer content of value to your community and create relationships with your followers.