Discover more from Entrepreneur Office Hours
Entrepreneur Office Hours - Issue #127
Maybe it's time to join the age of the creator?
I’ve recently begun carrying a vlogging camera rig with me everywhere I go. I bring it into my classes, I take it with me to meetings, I have it when I’m picking my children up at school. It’s even with me at grocery stores and restaurants.
In part, I’m doing this because I’m trying to grow my TikTok presence and you never know when you’ll run across a cat doing something funny enough to take you viral. The other reason, however, is more of a social experiment. I’m curious how people react to someone publicly engaging in the “creator economy.”
The results have been what you’d probably expect. People who don’t know me tend to give me strange looks. People who do know me almost always make a snarky comment. In response, I’ve written the article you’ll see featured in this issue of EOH below. If you’re at all entrepreneurial — and, since you’re reading this, I’m guessing you are — then maybe it’s time to stop laughing and start… well… carrying a vlogging rig with you everywhere you go.
Entrepreneurs love creating products, but, while you’re busy building a product, you could be missing out on a much bigger opportunity.
Are you spending too much time worrying about your product’s features and not enough time on the thing that's actually going to make your startup successful?
Office Hours Q&A
I was reading about your TikTok class. Since you teach social media, I was wondering your advice about what would be the best platform to focus on for a young creator. Would you start with Instagram or TikTok or YouTube or some new platform? Basically, which platforms would you choose and why?
This is actually a question I encounter often with my students. Maybe not so explicitly in terms of asking which platforms they should be on, but, instead, in the ways they struggle with creating content on certain platforms that they honestly shouldn’t be bothering with.
The many different social media platforms all have attributes that make them better for certain types of content than others. Choosing the one that’s right for you is a question of figuring out what kinds of content you’re most interested in creating and then being able to match that content to a platform where it’s most likely to find an audience.
For example, I teach entrepreneurship. When I decided to start creating content on social media, I had to think about which platforms are good for translating my work/interests/skilset. As much as I hate to admit it, entrepreneurship education doesn’t have a compelling visual component. By that I mean nobody wants to see photos of me standing in front of classes and giving lectures. Because of this, Instagram isn’t a good platform for teaching entrepreneurship.
In contrast, longform essays are a great way of teaching about entrepreneurship. Realizing this, I spend most of my “creator” time focusing on platforms where audiences tend to like reading… platforms like Medium, LinkedIn, and the Substack you’re viewing right now.
Similarly, while I’ve been spending an increasing amount of time creating content on TikTok, I don’t teach entrepreneurship on TikTok. It’s not a great platform for entrepreneurship education. Instead, since TikTok is a good platform for relatable memes, most of my TikTok content revolves around humorous ways of engaging with college students.
The point is, the first step in building a social media audience isn’t to tie yourself into a platform. It’s to figure out what kind of content you want to create and your goals for creating it. Once you’ve figured that out, then you can judge the relative merits and drawbacks of the different platforms in order to choose the one that makes the most sense for what you’re trying to accomplish.
Got startup questions of your own? Reply to this email with whatever you want to know, and I’ll do my best to answer!