I will say it right off the bat: this blog will be my traditional blogging style combined with a little bit of a rant. I promise the message is a good one, so hang in there with me.
I was driving to work last week and it took me through a small town of a few thousand people. In this town is a chiropractic practice with a sign out front. It was the message on this sign that inspired this blog: Being famous on Instagram is like being rich in Monopoly.
What this sign did is make me realize that there is still such an incredible disconnect between a large portion of the population that rejects disruptors like social media, self-publishing, and the creative economy in general, and those that wholeheartedly embrace it. But let’s take a step back. Was this small office even wrong?
We live in an age where your social media following is more important than ever. Where people get paid for having a ton of followers, where they get sponsored to post instagram photos or product blogs highlighting a company or item. People are able to travel the world while writing and taking photos along the way. If you are reading this blog, odds are you are a self-published author or are keen on being one.
To think that “being Instagram famous” or popular in another content outlet is something that is easy or something that can be done with almost no effort is absolutely ridiculous. If you are an indie author, you know that self-publishing your book involves wearing countless hats. Being “Instagram famous” means being a content creator, curator, marketing expert, community manager, customer relations expert - all that just to name a few.
But hey, that’s no more difficult than collecting rent when someone lands on your Boardwalk hotel, right?
As I said, there is a massive disconnect between two large groups of people when it comes to the creative economy. There are those, like you and myself, who realize its potential and are committing ourselves to acting on it. You educate yourself on it, devote countless hours to it, and play the long game that you know is necessary in this digital landscape
Then there is the other group who think that managing a platform is as simple as that sign made it out to be. They don’t understand the countless hours it takes to build that platform, the sheer work it takes to acquire all the skills you need, or how invested you really need to be to succeed.
But take heart in knowing that this latter group, the one that wants to diminish your accomplishments, is shrinking. Platforms like YouTube and Instagram are becoming more popular by the day. eBooks have been consistently outselling their physical counterparts for years. Blogs are the most viewed articles on the internet.
Content creation and curation is a booming industry and you should never be belittled for making your way in it. It is not easy, not by a long shot. But the last thing you need is to listen to the people who will put you down while you’re doing it.
Especially for those who are just building a platform, a group where I still consider myself, don’t get discouraged by the naysayers. You are on the right path, you can do this, and I will be happy to help in any way I can.
Be sure to check out my Author Platform Checklist from last week if you are just starting your journey - it can apply to most digital platforms, too! And come back on Thursday for a new blog with some tips on how to grow your platform on Twitter.
Until next time, my friends.