And why you can't wait for someone to "discover" you.
Free book preview No direct response BS guide to social media marketing
The ultimate guide to achieving measurable, monetizable results with social media marketing.
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I've spent a good part of my life thinking that opportunities should magically fall into your lap. We heard the romanticized stories about it exactly. In my last TEDx, I talked about how actress Charlize Theron was upset at a bank when she first moved from Johannesburg to Hollywood because she couldn't access her bank to withdraw money. Hollywood manager John Crosby happened to be in the bank at the same time. He saw her make her fit and immediately signed her.
Or just as coincidental: Mandy Moore worked on her music at the age of 13 in a studio in Orlando, and a FedEx delivery man above her vocals. He sent her record to his girlfriend on Epic Records, and that's how it started.
But here's the problem with stories like this: we hear them so often that we start to believe that someone is coming to "save" us – whether it's a Hollywood manager at our bank or a FedEx- Deliverer who overhears our talent. It makes it easy to put our dream in your back pocket and believe that the right opportunity is falling from the sky with fairy dust. This is a dangerous mindset because it promotes complacency in our own lives when we really need to be out there to start our dream career alone.
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How do you do that? It depends on vision, traction and a content creation plan that flows into both areas. With the right audience, you don't need a TV network, record deal, or magical connection to pursue the career of your dreams. You can start alone.
Show what you can do on your own terms
How can you show what you can do now with the platforms that are available to you instead of waiting for that audition or meeting that may never take place? My own dream career is to be a TV show host. When I got advice from Joya Dass, a longtime TV presenter and founder of LadyDrinks, she told me that it was only about publishing content that reflects your talents and abilities.
"Nowadays, networks come to you when you have the audience and are already doing what you would do on your show," she told me. So if you can build the audience yourself, you have plenty of evidence that you have skills or talents in your dream career and that you are an asset that employers should want.
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This is in line with one of my favorite quotes: "Be so good that they can't ignore you." Jessie James Decker, country singer and fashion designer, told Lori Greiner in the Instagram live series "Bed Talks with Lori" that as a singer you should first publish videos of yourself when you sing. If you are good, people will be attentive, follow you and share your side with others. We think so often that we have to get “the microphone” or the platform first to show what we can do, but it starts with taking the initiative and believing in our talents to trust that that Share it takes us somewhere.
Build your audience backwards
It's easy to say, "just get started," but it's also important to be strategic in our efforts. Sunny Lenarduzzi is a social media marketing expert with almost half a million YouTube subscribers. When I asked her for her best advice on building an audience for your dream career, she said she should work backwards. “The most successful channels and clients I've worked with know exactly who they're talking to and what they want to achieve before they ever record a single video. I emphasize that you have to do some research before you start recording, ”she told me.
“Look at mentors and influencers who have exactly the audience you want to attract, and see what content is most engaging to your audience. This helps to inform the type of content you are creating, ”she says.
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The bottom line is knowing what you want to say or do, and then identify the audience that wants to hear or deal with it the most. Do not abandon this message or this type of content when you start building your audience. I saw explosive growth on my TikTok channel (quadrupling my followers from 10,000 to over 40,000 in just over a month) when I focused solely on my niche that "is supposed to create your dream life". By building my audience backwards, my efforts have been more fruitful.
It is admittedly discouraging to meet a (initially) small audience every day. But ultimately, if it really is your dream career, you want to be at the heart of the job, even if no one sees or hears it. In today's social media-driven world, we can make the most of our platforms instead of waiting to be discovered. If you take it seriously and create consistently, your dream career is waiting for you.
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