“Hard work, dedication plus patience. The sum of all my sacrifice, I’m done waiting”- Nipsey Hussle
At the beginning of 2020, I made a promise to myself that I was going to shamelessly promote my work. I said it out loud, and even tweeted it as a forewarning to “get ready for me to be mad annoying”, and I meant it. I’ve spent this entire year working hard to become the influencer of my dreams. From doing audits on my Instagram page, to starting this blog, to being more productive on my Youtube channel. All of this because I made a promise to myself to show up and show out in order to have the life that I want. Not just manifesting, but actually taking the steps to see my manifestation come to life. “I dream it, I work hard, I grind till I own it”- The Queen Bey.
The thing that has kept me grounded and somewhat sane this year is by diving into my creative work head first. Keep putting myself out there, even when I don’t think anyone is watching. Even when the engagement is low, when there are no comments and no one is reading this blog. I keep going, keep writing, keep taking photos, keep posting videos, because I am my biggest fan. I’m interested in the work that I am doing, and by being myself, flaws, mistakes and all, I know that this fire I’m starting will catch on. Let me also say, I don’t do this for popularity, because my formula would be totally different if I did. No matter how long or what it takes, I can see it, literally see myself in the life that I want, so I keep going forward.
I want to share some tips with you that can help you get started or give you a push towards meeting your creative goals:
- Promote yourself endlessly: No really, talk your sh*t, be shameless with tooting your own horn. Put your work out there on every platform that you have and promote it. Let your followers know you have a new post, video, blog up, and keep doing it. If you believe in the work that you are doing, you should not feel like you’re annoying people by promoting it.
- Be Consistent: I know it’s easier said than done because life be lifing, especially during this endless pandemic, I totally get it. However, being consistent with your work not only flexes your muscles but it keeps your audience engaged and waiting for your next project to drop. Posting every day not your thing? That’s fine, it’s not mine either, but how about 3 times a week? Getting your posts together on the weekend and using scheduling apps like Later, or Unum will set you up for success. You can schedule posts and not have to worry about being attached to your phone or laptop all day.
- Quality over Quantity: This is something that I’ve had to personally learn and for me, this went hand in hand with my consistency. Sure I was posting every day but it wasn’t anything of real value. Even I got sick of myself, because what was I even talking about? I backed off and realized that I wanted my content to have substance as well as look good. Instead of flooding my feed with endless (pretty, but kind of boring) images, I made sure my content made sense to me and to those who are viewing it and that I was providing value and good information to my audience.
- Authenticity is key: In the words of Dr. Seuss, “there is no one alive who is youer than you”. What I had to learn and remember is that inspiration and copying are two different things. Try as you may, copying someone’s style will always backfire. Your voice, your perspective is yours and it’s unique. Trying to emulate the exact way someone else is doing their thing will always read as inauthentic, believe me, I’ve learned this lesson the hard way. Make it easy on yourself by doing YOU.
I hope this was helpful and inspiring to someone reading this. There is nothing wrong with being your biggest, loudest cheerleader. In fact, I’d venture to say that waiting for someone else to gas you up could lead to disappointment. I’m not waiting until I have a magical number of followers or brand deals before I start advertising my work. Starting where I am and letting the numbers catch up is the key. Believe in yourself so ridiculously that when the big things start to pop off, you won’t be surprised but you will definitely be ready.