Week 7 - Make it Professional
Start: Is there another option?
It may go without saying but we will say it anyway. When creating content you have to be professional. You frankly will not be able to capture an audience, get others to want to follow your mission, and further your reach if you are not professional. Creating content about a specific niche that you are passionate about ensues the assumption you know what you are talking about and care. Let’s get down to some real hard truth here. If your content is sloppy, filled with slander and hate-speech, or is just plain ignorant and poorly versed you just won’t make it as a content creator or influencer. We’re all about the power of support but it won’t be supported on our platform. We want professionalism and the world needs that extra step in quality in order to make a real impact too!
Taking the steps necessary to create professional content is worth it. You will get more engagement, support, and better quality connection in doing so. There really isn’t another option. The influencer’s job force is competitive just like every other and people are realizing the power in being able to work online. The better quality care and intention you put into your content, the more frequently it will get shared and featured in the Alt Perspective Travel Circle, and the more successful you will be. Sounds pretty sweet huh! This lesson will talk about the extra steps you can take and little bit of effort you can add to your content to give it an edge and compete in today’s standards of online influencer’s!
Path to Success: Don't Be Lazy
When it comes down to it, the single most reason your work is not going to be as professional as it can be is if you don’t put in the effort. There will certainly be times when you are figuring out a new skill and it is discouraging. It’s easy to want to put in minimum effort just to get whatever you need to get done finished. Don’t do that! Opting out from putting in your full effort will over time tempt you to take the lazy way out. To be the most professional you can be in the way you create content you will have to not be lazy. As you work through the steps for each week, it is helpful to have a pen and paper or a Microsoft Word doc ready to take notes and write down your thoughts. This will serve as a helpful resource to you as you dive deeper into each goal week. Throughout this week we will cover strategies to elevate your content to a professional standard!
Step One: Analyze the Areas to Improve
“Everything I do is geared towards improving my next performance.”
To truly desire a higher professional standard for yourself and the content you are creating you must see which areas you need to improve on. Be very critical with yourself in this step. Ultimately you are creating your own standards and to what level you want your content to reach. If you are satisfied with mediocre or average that is completely fine. But just remember, you will be competing with professionals who have been doing the same thing as you for potentially years longer. It might be helpful to have a few examples in mind of influencers already finding success in a niche like yours so you have an example of what your level of professionalism content needs to be at. A good rule of thumb is to set the bar for yourself, and then aim to exceed it with every piece of content that you create. Some areas may be easy to raise the bar while others are lacking.
Right now, I suggest to write this down but visualizing mentally can work as well, think of the areas of development your content needs from idea to reality. Think of all the steps in between like the capturing of the content, the organizing process, editing, touch ups if necessary, drafting, publishing, sending it out, marketing it. There are a lot of areas to content production and the goal is to be well versed in all and as balanced as you can be. If for example as you are thinking of areas to improve you notice you are amazing and top notch at capturing content and organizing it but struggle with editing it in a natural way, this would be an area you must improve in to overall elevate the level of professionalism your content has. After all you can have a phenomenal photograph for example but without being able to edit it naturally and touch up only what’s necessary it just won’t be as great as it can be.
Being able to lovingly criticize your own work in order to improve overall is part of the process. You are your own biggest critic but you can also ask for the helpful suggestions of your supporters and followers too. They may be able to catch something you didn’t and give helpful feedback. The desire to improve and be the best will set your content apart much greater than those who settle for mediocrity. Give yourself a little spark of motivation to compete here and there. Your competition is your previous work so strive to beat yourself at your own game. Believe it or not, this can be quite a fun challenge! In the next step we are going to talk about how to learn skills to improve in the areas that need improvement.
Step Two: Utilize Your Resources
“Being the best of you, and utilizing the maximum of your resources in the worst of times is ultimate living.”
In the world of technology we live in today, we are extremely fortunate to have resources at our fingertips. At least speaking from the perspective of someone living in a first world country. We need to remember how fortunate we really are. Others do not have that privilege. With all the resources that we do have we can readily learn any new skill that we desire simply by looking online or scrolling through YouTube. Never has it been so easy to find resources to learn pretty much anything you want to learn, ever, for FREE too! Referring back to your list you made in the last step, where are some areas that you need improvement on to make your content more professional? Now, think of all the tasks beyond creating the content that you will need to know in order to promote your work. Are there additional skills that would be helpful to have knowledge in that you don’t already know? Ponder that for a second. Write a few ideas down if you need.
Becoming more professional also entails learning skills that may have nothing to do directly with the content you are creating but may enhance your skills in the world of content creation and becoming an influencer of some kind. For example, learning a different language or learning how to code simple website design. These are skills you may not immediately need to create content within your niche but these skills can help you in the overall realm of expertise that is content creation. You may stumble upon a connection that is from a Native Spanish speaking country and be able to start a conversation about your work in Spanish. Or perhaps you can give advice to a newfound friend doing a simple background color change with their website.
What a cool interaction to have! You don’t need an immediate reason to want to grow and keep learning. You never know when it will come in handy plus you become more keenly aware of how to find anything you need to find which is always helpful! Next, we are going to cover an important daily habit you can take on to create a professional mindset.
Step Three: Success Mentality
“Entrepreneurs have a mindset that sees the possibilities rather than the problems created by change.”
― J. Gregory Dees
Striving to become more professional in your work starts with the will to be better than your previous self. Meaning, aim to compete with yourself and create better content than you have previously. You can also do one very important task every single day, and that is to set create a mentality for success. A daily habit that is beneficial for both your personal and professional life is to listen to a motivational podcast, a book on tape, or to read a few pages of a book every day. This is a daily habit that many famous successful entrepreneurs and recognizable celebrities incorporate i their daily routines, and with good reason! This is a practice of always continuing to learn and craving more knowledge so you can better improve your skills. You also become more well-rounded of a person in general by doing so.
Taking that next step in your professional career by learning new skills and knowledge in different subject areas will greatly set you apart from others who do not do this. You may learn something you never knew and be inspired to incorporate this into your content in some way! You will also find that by listening to the advice of other professionals, you can learn ways that they found success. There is so much relevant and helpful advice out there that can really open up your perspective. Creating a mentally of success can apply to all areas of your life and subconsciously create anything you vision for yourself. The act of being professional in what you do extends further than the act of creating content itself. Try listening to a podcast, an audio book, or read every single day for a week to see how it benefits you. Then, check out step four to see how you can find a mentor to assist you in your success!
Step Four: Mentorship and Benefits
“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.”
― Steven Spielberg
A professional first earned that title through a series of events, leading them ultimately to become experienced beyond basic knowledge. Skills are learned gradually over time and build upon each other as you dive further into your niche. Inevitably there were mistakes made and lessons learned for that individual to truly have a well-rounded concept of their field to call themselves a professional. It goes beyond simply acting as so, its a state of being able to teach what you know and others follow.
Rather than go through all the stumbling blocks and taking the wrong paths that many of us take on the road to becoming professionals, there is a lot of benefit in having a mentor to guide you. Mentorship is a step you can make to save the pains and heartache of making mistakes, or at least to avoid the pitfalls that just don’t need to happen. If given the chance to be given advice to help accelerate your career, wouldn’t you take it?
This concept of being mentored by someone is not just a good suggestion that we made up on our own. This is the suggested advice of many famous entrepreneurs, celebrities, and business gurus that is reiterated time and time again; and with good reason. By seeking out someone to give you advice and mentor you in your journey, they can steer you in a direction that gives you the most beneficial return for your efforts. You already have a great resource right here with the Motivational Tools Library. That’s a great start!
Mentorship is a fine toothed comb to give you specific advice centered around your niche. So beyond the resources offered in this library, having someone show you the ropes related to your specific content interest will be much more hands on and relatable to you. The advice that a mentor can give you also helps you connect to someone on a more personal level and ask real time questions! Consider doing some research on your own to find a mentor and just see if this is something that can benefit your career. Finally, to become more professional you have to put in the work and that is what we are going to talk about in our last step!
Step Five: Success is a Process
“Movement is life. Life is a process. Improve the quality of the process and you improve the quality of life itself.”
― Moshé Feldenkrais
Taking the next step in your career and utilizing content creation to do so means you will need to elevate your process in all areas of your life. It’s not likely as effective of a strategy to pour a small amount of energy into one area while devoting the better part of your energy all in another. If you are serious about elevating your content to the next standard you have to be prepared to balance out your strengths and your weaknesses and collectively move up as a well rounded individual. Your content represents you as a whole and you want to give the best that you have in each piece you create. The impact you will make with each piece you publish can span across an unknown amount of people and leave a positive impression on them. Essentially you are a trend setter and a professional in your own world and represent others in your niche. Putting your best forward means you are putting in the work.
Becoming a professional just like any field is a process. Following the steps in these lessons is the first stepping stone to raising your standards of what you are creating and pushing the limits of where your content can go next. It is rewarding when you feel that sense of accomplishment and pride in the work that you do. That is the feeling you can have with every single piece of content you create. Investing the time in yourself to go through the process will create longer term success than trying to take short cuts. When you go through the process with intention you will get more back in return. Think of ways to motivate yourself to keep pushing and strive to achieve more. Set your standards high! This is your career we are talking about! You are here for a reason and you obviously care about your work and development to be reading this right now. You are nearly there and the cogs are working hard for you. Trust in the process and trust in yourself and things will always work out.
Optional: Do Week Eight Content Creation
When you have completed each step for this week’s lesson, you should be prepared to do what it takes to elevate your standards and become a professional in your niche. If you feel you have completed each step thoroughly and are ready to move on, take a glimpse at the goal for week eight!