My Perspective On Content Creation by Oli Dunn
I try to create more than I consume, I LOVE the creative process, I love creation of any kind, written, audio, video, painting, photography, the list goes on, it’s expressive, it’s expansive, it’s therapeutic, communication at its best, it’s good for you, in fact I’m addicted to it, as i am writing this I feel a chemical change in my body, excitement in my stomach, my heart beats faster.
Two quotes are coming to my mind as I write this;
“Create more than you consume.”
– Gary Vee.
“Do things that make your heart beat faster.”
– Nick Bianchi.
I regularly paraphrase the above. I’ve never linked the two though, until now.
Content creation for me has to be REAL, in the moment, spontaneous, unplanned and unpredictable (like life itself).
But most of all for me at least, it has to be fun, exciting and relatable.
Oliver Dunn for BROOD MAGAZINE © TOM Pitfield Photography
I’m pretty confident you will already be aware that video is where it’s at, users stay on platforms longer therefore apps like YT, IG, FB generate more dollars from ads the longer people are on their platforms. That said captions and written storytelling are equally important for the very same reason, this can often be undervalued.
My thoughts on Reels/ Shorts are as follows;
A reel is like a good night out, the less planned the better, the impromptu, spontaneous nights are the best right? I think the same applies for shorts. Give people the unexpected, surprise them. Think about where the value is, for example, whether you are a personal brand or a business think in questions, the answer is in the question – literally. If you are asked certain questions, bank and bookmark them, write them down and use them as inspiration and as a theme to create content.
For example, I’ve noted questions people ask me, such as;
How do you temper chocolate?
How do you stay so positive?
How are you so active on social media?
How do you speak in front of camera?
These questions will help you to form a basis for individual pieces of content or even a series of content. Consistency is key, become people’s habit.
Be relatable and authentic. Typically I notice that views are typically higher on shaky POV videos taken on a phone as opposed to a professional camera so don’t overthink it. Use equipment you feel comfortable with, that you can be consistent with. Consistency means you will become someones commodity, if you’re bringing them value, like a coffee in the morning, if users know they can discover fresh, exciting, interesting or entertaining new content from you daily or weekly they will keep coming back for more and you will become part of their routine.
My biggest lesson in social media.
A turning point for me was during lockdown. Generally people do things, people are busy, online and offline, doing, documenting, sharing their own experiences. In other words people are thinking about themselves and their agenda (nothing wrong with that) and not about you and what you’re doing. There’s a lot of noise to cut through. During lockdown a lot of people weren’t really doing anything at all.
I saw this as an opportunity to reach out to people, give them something to do. So I started selling chocolate making kits, this kept me sane, focused, driven and more importantly it gave people something to do at home with their family. This led to me sending out kits for big virtual corporate events around the globe for brands like Paypal, Facebook, Google and Gymshark and subsequently a Guinness World Record for the largest number of people making chocolate together in an online space.
As part of selling the kits initially we needed a call to action.
So Kim and I started a live show on a Saturday morning, called “Saturday Choc Live” inspired by our favourite nostalgic TV shows as kids, such as – Going Live, The Big Breakfast, Blue Peter etc. People could ‘make along’ with us, using the kits and more, singing, dancing, having fun, messing around, giving people lighthearted entertainment with compassion, just what I felt they needed at that time.
Saturday Choc Live and later, my LIVE YouTube weekly “Choc ‘n’ Roll Show gave me the necessary pressure to create new ideas for recipes and quirky creations but most importantly it gave me repurposing GOLD.
The weekly ‘pillar’ content was genuine fun for us, but off the back of it would be short clips, bloopers or reactions which were totally unplanned but when repurposed would showcase what we do, who we are, what we are all about and would often be the videos with the highest views and the most engagement, often more than the show itself. 15 seconds of a one hour show could be a real asset as a piece of content which would lead us to new and exciting places (that’s the fun part for me, you never know who’s watching and what doors can open).
It gave us and our viewers consistency and people knew exactly when and where they could find us and tap into the madness and hopefully take a shot of positivity away with them as well as maybe some chocolatey inspo.
How can I be consistent?
Commitment to a regular slot, live or pre-recorded content is great for consistency, but also great accountability if you let people know when to expect to see your content, this gives you something to focus on and puts some time sensitivity into the equation giving you, hopefully some excitement and the necessary pressure to find new ideas to share.
Think about how you are going to intrigue people, create curiosity, what’s the hook?
Why should they be interested in watching your videos?
How I made an Easter egg using a balloon?
Show people the true you, the behind-the-scenes. People love realness. Authenticity.
Share your thoughts, your ideas, even your insecurities. You want your followers to trust and relate to you so the more real/ human like you are the better.
I have a theory that people are interested in people, it’s just human nature, I’ve always found I’ve had more engagement on my personal accounts over my business accounts, so my conclusion is that business accounts should have a personality (or personalities) behind them, so they can be more interesting and relatable.
My Great friend Liam Gardner (who produces the Goin’ in deep podcast, which I host with my friend, Ben Eastwood) often, reminds and encourages me to re-purpose clips. For example, if we record a podcast on Zoom, then repurposing a 30 second clip of our conversation can be of high-value, because naturally we will pick a snippet of the most interesting part of the conversation or action which gives people a valuable insight into the dynamic, and hopefully leaves the viewer wanting to consume the long form content. “Repurposing gold” as Mr Gardner would call it.
This is becoming a much bigger inspiration for my entire content creation than I could have ever imagined. Now that I’m a Daddy I’m thinking more about the bigger picture and leaving a digital legacy for Romy and her children and her children’s children.
Giving future generations an insight into my thoughts, ideas and way of life. Therefore the emphasis is on “documenting” as opposed to just creating. This is where my YouTube channel will really come into its own. History in the making. Storytelling is how history has been made, literally, way back since prehistoric man engraved their stories inside caves. This is even more motivation for me to be the best version of myself so that I can leave a digital legacy and be a positive example for years to come. Paying it forwards.
So in essence, always be YOU, document everything, it might help or inspire just one person, that person might even be you.
Nothing is ever a bad idea, action always wins and everything leads to something.
Document everything, if it’s a good Instagram story it should be a reel and share on YT shorts and TikTok too, no rules approach, just do it.
You should also consume on all platforms so you can create bespoke content on each one, respecting the platforms trends and styles.
You never know who’s attention you might capture, it’s not all about a high number of likes or views, it’s about being authentic and true to yourself, forget the metrics and do it because it means something to you and because you love it! It’s about 1 person that’s all, that 1 person who you could be inspiring, changing their mood or perspective for the better, or someone who might offer you a fantastic opportunity in the future because you resonated with them, grab their attention. Go after it, try not to worry about being judged or other people’s opinions just be YOU and the rest will figure itself out for you.
I’m going to say that one more time for the people at the back, don’t let views, likes, interactions or engagement metrics dictate what you post or don’t post, definitely don’t let those metrics detract you from being your true self, do the opposite and double down on being you, it’s the authenticity people will love. You never know who’s watching and what’s going to pop as a result of your action, I certainly know what will pop if you don’t take that action, nothing!
Keep posting and you only need that one person to notice what you’re doing who can open doors for you and it will be worth it, but more importantly enjoy the ride, you are you, you are unique, embrace that, be proud of it and share it.
And lastly in the words Jay-Z, “remind yourself nobody built like you you design yourself”.
If you enjoyed this read take a screenshot and tag me and @broodmagazine #ContentCreation
Written by Oli Dunn
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