Content creation is an ever evolving landscape. With every new game release, media trend or cultural shift, creators constantly have to reassess and adjust to the changes.
Regardless of where we are in our journey to the top, at some point, the best creators understand the need to cooperate with others to help them get there. So how do we get our foot in the door? What can we do to get others to buy in?
Ultimately, we need to recognize that content creation on a fundamental level is a business. A business of passion. It may not change our lives right away, but creators take their craft seriously. The advice below is meant to give insight on how we can better represent ourselves as a whole. It is by no means the only way to behave. This is simply one mindset we can adopt to help achieve our goals.
Own Your Behavior
When we enter the public eye, whether through our jobs, platforms or simply walking down the street, we are constantly being observed. Ensure you are doing everything in your power to represent yourself in a way you are prepared to defend.
We’ve all said or done things we are not proud of. It’s a key part of growing up and maturing into who you will eventually be. We find ourselves experiencing things from different perspectives or understanding the world around us on a broader level than we did years, months or even days earlier. This allows us to evolve our thought processes and see things on a deeper level. We can see our younger selves in a different light and strive to be better overall human beings.
Sometimes though, this happens in a sudden and public way. An insensitive social media post or a task poorly performed that causes somebody call you out and account for your actions. This can be embarrassing. We might have moved on from those views or been having a bad day that caused us to come short.
None of these things matter in the face of adversity. Don’t give excuses. Own it. Apologize. Sincerely apologize for the wrongs you’ve done and move on with real intent to change. We are the sum of our actions and while it’s good to be valued in the public eye, we must value ourselves. If we can’t be proud of how we carry ourselves, this will never happen.
You might be surprised with how quickly a mistake is forgiven by simply owning the behavior for what it is.
Time Well Spent
Nobody likes to have their time wasted. So don’t waste their time. Be on time to appointments. Meet deadlines. If a meeting has to be cancelled or you can’t attend, take a moment to communicate that need well before the last moment.
The people that you cooperate and work with will appreciate your attentiveness. They’ll return this respect in many different ways. What they will not tolerate is the continued neglect from people who can’t be relied on. Many employers feel that if a member can’t be trusted to show up to work on time, they can’t be trusted with more important things. Being late by a couple of minutes may not be a big deal once or twice, but when it becomes habitual, the quality of your character might be questioned and those opportunities might not be there anymore.
The last point on this, do not waste your own time. If there are goals you have in mind, make a game plan and execute it using specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound parameters. The most important thing about time well spent, it respecting your own time.
A part of being responsible is knowing what one is actually capable of. We can be blinded to our limitations when attempting to fit into a crowd or work toward a personal goal. Don’t fall into the trap of making promises you can’t commit to.
If a task is beyond your knowledge, you don’t have the time or your life has too much going on, recognize that fact before trying to fit another commitment into the equation. This doesn’t mean the thing you want to do will forever be impossible, but be real with what can and can’t be done.
Overcommitting can have several bad side effects. Increased stress, lack of quality products, damaged reputations and a failure to meet other needs are all potential problems that can arise when we do too much.
Certainly, at the start, we can have motivation and energy, but our reserves can only go so far. Tie in backlash from other projects being impacted and we can find ourselves in a very negative place. The people around us might think we’re no longer reliable and those opportunities we were afforded before suddenly go away.
It’s okay to tell somebody no, if you know you’re not going to be able to give them what they want, even if that somebody is yourself.
We’ve all seen the grammar enthusiasts nitpick a social media post. Oftentimes, they focus on the improper use of “there” and “their” or “your” and “you’re.” Every subsequent post is a pile on of ridicule lambasting the original poster as uneducated and unworthy of listening to, argument lost in a pile of snark and anger.
The truth is that proper spelling matters and people will judge you if you can’t do it. Communication through writing, either in a text or an email is an opportunity for you to sell yourself. You are persuading somebody that what you are saying is worth listening to. If the message is bogged down with poor spelling, abbreviated words or the improper use of words, the delivery becomes muddled and confused.
Many employers can and will overlook the occasional grammar mistake, but too many will frustrate the reader and they’ll begin dismissing the things you have to say before you’ve even had a chance to say them.
Reduce the use of jargon or slang as well. Common sayings where you come from may not be as apparent to somebody who isn’t familiar with your culture. In the worst case, the meanings behind those words could be opposite or something entirely different based on their upbringing and you could unintentionally offend somebody.
Punctuation is vitally important. They create the pace that your message is given. People will be looking for the capitalization that starts a sentence. The period at the end will allow them to process the conversation piece by piece. The commas will help separate topics and let you focus on new ideas or details. If punctuation is omitted, the valuable information you are trying to share will quickly become a muddled mess of words that nobody has the time or motivation to translate or understand.
Lastly, regarding emails use an introduction and a signature block. This tends to add gravity to your message and in the case of the signature block, provide one last opportunity to give contact information as well as formally close the email.
One Final Note
It’s easy to spout advice on an article telling somebody how to act or behave. Honestly, the content in this article is something not everybody is going to value. Realistically, it only scratches the surface when it comes to how people behave and how that behavior is viewed.
Most things in life aren’t valued until the information becomes relevant and each person’s experience will be different. We just hope you find value in the words above and they can help you achieve what you go out to accomplish.
You do you. Just be aware of how you do it.