Hey Kitchen Society fam! Its been 3 gorgeous months since I started this journey of sharing recipes, making reels and hopefully building a community of likeminded amazing people who also share a passion in food and society. Given I’m super new but not very old in this “creator journey” (still sounds like such a plush word to me), I wanted to share five insights on how its been like for me. Some of these insights are for people who want to use social media more consciously and others are for those of you who are contemplating putting yourself out there.
1. Creating content makes you a better consumer of social media
TL;DR: Make a “high value post” even if you’re not a content creator to become a more conscious consumer of social media
After my first month of posting content, I was convinced that everyone who uses social media should try and create a reel or a high quality post (i.e. something that has value to others not just a random selfie) atleast once. It should almost be a prerequisite before being a consumer of social media. The reason I came to this conclusion is because once you know how the sausage is made, you look at social media in a new lens. I started to analyse the quality of a person’s video, how entertaining or valuable is the material they are sharing, what does their audio sound like, how did they edit their videos? Taking that point of view raises the bar for all of us to become better consumers. We acknowledge, encourage and reward creators who genuinely put in hard work and that makes social media a better place for all of us.
2. There’s no such thing as a good time to start creating
TL;DR when you publish your first post, you’ll get almost no likes or likes from strangers and realise nothing really changed. All the fears were in your head.
Until you begin, it just feels weird to put yourself out there. There are a million thoughts that zoom your mind, what will my friends think? How would my colleagues perceive this? Will I actually be consistent with something like this in a few months? My suggestion, just post it anyway. You’ll realise that nobody actually cares and that’s magically humbling. All those thoughts that zoomed in your mind was for nothing. When you have a 0 follower account and post something, guess how many people like it? 1. Why 1? Because your mom will always find a way to like it but apart from her, nobody cares. You can keep building something in stealth and when you’re ready, share it! In my case, my friends who found my stealth account somehow decided it was time to share my work and since we had a number of mutual friends, it didn’t make sense for me to keep it private any more. In some sense, I didn’t even decide this moment. They did. And a for a good while, they posted almost everything I made. It was super cute and did a lot for my confidence.
3. Remove people who will judge your craft from your platform
TL;DR: There’s always people who judge. Create the safe space you require to perform even if that means blocking them.
There might be people who judge you or your work and that might be stopping you from putting yourself out there. Its actually even more important that you don’t wield your power to these individuals and instead soldier on in expressing your creativity and art. Folks that have categorically felt like bad juju in my life (some aunties in my case), were people I blocked right off the bat. If you feel like there are people inhibiting your creative adventure, don’t stop creating. Move them out of your space and continue. This also applies when there’s people shit-posting in your comments. Do not give them a voice. Block, move on.
4. Ship imperfectly
TL:DR: Don’t aim for perfection before you post, be comfortable with a 50% embarrassment rate and publish it nonetheless. Seeking perfection hinders progress.
In the tech world, to ship means to launch. Its so cute. I look back at my notes in April and May and I had all these arbitrary launch dates – 14th May I’ll release X and get Y followers! Such a noob. In reality, there’s actually no such thing as a launch day because even when you “launch” only one person will see it (see point 2). I borrowed the idea of a “Minimum Viable Product” from start-ups, where as long as something is functional, its launched and then iterated on. Borrowing from that, even if your website isn’t 100% great or the editing quality is rubbish, launch it nonetheless. You’ll learn as you go. Its only been 3 months of making reels and I’m already embarrassed by the stuff I posted in the first month. Its natural because you’ll grow faster than you expected. Keep shipping imperfectly and iterate.
5. Not creating because of being unsure about a strong “why”
TL;DR: Don’t conflate your ‘why’ with ‘what’s my end goal,’ You’ll figure that out over time.
Its hard knowing what a long term game plan could be. I don’t also think there’s a very static goal post when it comes to the creator economy. Unlike a job, there aren’t OKRs to hit and someone else isn’t deciding the direction. Its hard to figure out why am I doing all this? And my reply is as long as you are having fun, that’s good enough of a reason to do it. Don’t conflate your ‘why’ with ‘what’s my end goal,’ You’ll figure that out over time. Don’t let the questions you have about the future stop you from starting. Like many of the points above, you’ll figure it out eventually.