It seems like in this day and age, everyone either has numerous social media accounts or a website or both. There is a virtual identity for every individual who has access to the relevant technologies (internet, smart phones). Given that this allows people to create various personalities to market to the masses or put up useful content in a bid to make a living, it does not come as a surprise that people are leaving nine to five jobs and purchasing equipment for them to work for themselves.
This is attractive to most as it gives people the freedom to delegate their time to whatever they deem important. It has also spurned a trend for people to quit their jobs and travel the world. This niche of wanderlusters have made the best out of working remotely and travel the world as they do.
Before we delve deeper, let’s first take a look at how to start and manage a successful business online as Youtube personalities, bloggers and other social media influencers are essentially a brand. According to one article on Entrepreneur, online businesses all follow a pattern.
They first “find a need and fill it”, through looking at trends and forums to see what market fits what they are willing to do before going out and fulfilling it by creating a service or product that has the potential to satisfy. Then comes the advertising bit and making sure that customers can find out about them easily through a responsive website. The website should also be optimized for search engines and social media content marketing, and one can go about that with any social media marketing agency that fits their bill (literally). When all that is done, it is up to them to drive traffic to their websites, establishing a reputation and other tactics that can help grow sales.
When you look at it from a business standpoint, it is easy to understand why certain personalities are so successful. Let’s take a look at Casey Neistat – the number one vlogger on Youtube. He is known for his authenticity and video editing style, but more than that, he is world famous for creating content that speaks to people.
There is never a lack of authenticity, if it is real and interesting, you have a winner on your hands. The first video that made the world take note of him was of him and his brother going around Manhattan to deface Apple iPod posters as it was false advertising – the batteries did not last eighteen months. True to his persona, years later when he made a big deal with Nike to make a film for their #makeitcount campaign, instead of creating some false image of what Nike stands for Casey took the money and traveled the world with his friend. That video is the second most watched video on his channel to date and it was posted five years ago.
The vlogger has succeeded everything on the list of creating a successful online business and more. He garnered fame and bottled it, all without ‘selling out’. Now that is a market that is hard to tread into, to stay the same person whilst selling another man’s idea.
While fame appeals it most as it comes hand in hand with fortune, there are those who would rather stay low key for personal reasons or perhaps they simply do not have the talent or the ideas to captivate interest. This is where many decide to go down the blogging route. What could be simpler than blogging your way to riches from the comfort of your own home? It definitely beats hours of racking up ideas and translating them to video, not to mention the time and circumstances that one has to make allowance for to create the videos – the commitment levels are simply too high for someone looking to make a little extra on the side with minimal effort.
While blogging can also flourish into a full time job, the steps taken are seldom as drastic. Most people look into their current interests and start a blog as a hobby. It is crucial to write about something that one already cares about as passion is an aspect of authenticity. It allows others with the same interest to relate to you and to take what you say with more stock than from someone who does not care for what they are talking about and it shows in one’s writing as well. When you care about something enough, it manifests itself through words and actions and that is something that attract people.
Therefore, identity plays a crucial part in success. Do not be something that you are not – there are plenty of people who employ a certain persona or have created an alter-ego, but do not confuse that with a false facade. Most of the times, those quirks already exist within that individual. Think Happy Polla, a Thai boy who makes videos dressed as a transvestite and shot to fame with his suggestive and over the top videos, he probably is naturally prone to satire and have no problems with embarrassing himself to get some laughs.
There are many personalities who create an illusion of self and disappear into nothingness because the masses have exposed them for what they truly are or they simply no longer have the energy or incentive to continue being what they are not. Hence, to be sustainably successful, you have to be real.