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Are You First, Best, or Different?

November 3rd, 2015

Welcome back to Content Creator Community College, sponsored by the PodPledge crowdfunding website, helping media makers, such as my channel, Pair Of Dice Paradise, raise funds towards producing the media that we make. If you’re a content creator, check ‘em out.

If I know you as well as I think I do, you pour a lot of time into the content that you create. So, it’s only natural that you want your work to have the best chance for success. How do you do this? By speaking encouraging words to your videos as they upload? No, that doesn’t help. Trust me.

Here’s some advice that I received once that doesn’t stink. To improve your chance of success, you have to be either the first at what you do, or be the best, or different. Let’s take a look at late night television as an example.

In the 1940’s and 50’s Ed Sullivan and then Steve Allen introduced and popularized the late night variety talk show format with The Ed Sullivan Show and Tonight Starring Steve Allen. They were first, successfully establishing the formula and setting the stage. Years later, Johnny Carson took over the reigns of The Tonight Show and perfected it, arguably doing it best during his thirty years serving as the show’s host. Since then, dozens of others have taken the stage of the host of a late night talk variety show, some standing out from the crowd by doing something different with the format, while most others have fade into obscurity.

Each aspect of the “first, best, different” approach has its own challenges. Being first means being a pioneer, a trailblazer that introduces something new to the audience. This can cause a wide range of reactions, from “I can’t believe nobody thought to fill this niche before”, to “this is new, and that scares me”. Being first doesn’t guarantee success, but it does grant the position of being an expert if and when the content gains traction.

What about being the best? Well, that’s incredibly difficult, because it’s completely subjective. What’s considered “the best” is going to vary from one person to the next. One viewer may love the way a content creator presents their material, and another hate that very same presentation, even for the same reasons.

Due to this subjectivity, an alternate approach is, instead of trying to be “the” best, to do YOUR best. There’s always portions of people’s presentation that they can improve, styles they can refine, and techniques that can be polished. I don’t know if anyone out there is universally considered to be the best in their field, but I know that continually pushing myself to improve will increase the odds of being considered among the best in my field.

That brings us to being different, which I think is simultaneously both the simplest, yet most difficult, approach of the three. That’s because, especially when starting out, often times content creators will try to emulate (even subconsciously) other podcasters, vloggers and performers who they admire, whose work they enjoy, and whose results they want to replicate. But the problem is, if we emulate someone else too closely, we simply become a carbon copy knockoff of them, going through the motions while lacking the substance behind it, and, as a result, offering nothing new to the conversation.

There’s a difference between being inspired, and simply ripping someone off. Fortunately, one of the best ways to be different is simply to be yourself. It may take time to become comfortable enough in what you’re doing to speak in your own voice, but, given time, you’ll start to discover your own style, and your presentation. 

It may be the way you present your ideas, the ideas themselves, how you edit them, market them, share them. Everything you do to further develop your own unique style will help make your presentation more memorable. And the more memorable you are, the greater chance your production will have at world domination. … I’m sorry, did I say that outloud? Success. I meant greater chance of success. … Success.

Also helping media makers succeed while plotting to conquer the galaxy is our sponsor PodPledge, the crowdfunding website for content creators. Whether you’re developing a one-time feature, or producing multiple seasons of a blog, vlog, podcast, YouTube channel, or website showcasing your collection of Walmart receipts, PodPledge helps you crowdfund it by empowering your backers to support you with either one-time donations or subscriptions, which automatically continue from one season of your production to the next, helping finance it for years to come. 

Get started gaining backers for the media that you make by creating a crowdfunding project on PodPledge’s website today! Because receiving support from your fans is a great way to Stay Inspired

The official blog from the crowdfunding site designed specifically for media makers.

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